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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Travel: Edinburgh and The Fringe Festival

Last weekend, I went to Scotland for bank holiday. Two days in Edinburgh, home to the bustling Fringe Festival and two days in Glasgow. Both so different and both absolutely amazing. First up, the Captial...

Edinburgh Castle

The Fringe Festival played its last 2014 show last Monday but the beautiful Scottish capital has so much to see, and when the sun completely disappears, Edinburgh's sights, restaurants and galleries are perfect for a winter weekend away. 

An Edinburgh shop front

It was the first time I had been back since studying Graphic Design at Edinburgh College of Art. I remember how sad I was to leave and vowed to make a trip back every year. Then post student life got in the way and I broke that promise. I cannot begin to explain how excited I was for my reunion with the city that was once my home.

Oh yes!
I took Ollie, who's an Edinburgh novice and we travelled first class for free because I had a whole load of East Coast reward points saved up. This meant constant snacks and gratis gin and tonics - what a good start to the trip!

Hot Dub Time Machine

We only booked a couple of months ago, so affordable accommodation was scarce. One of the things I loved most about living in Edinburgh was the tenement flats', high ceilings and huge rooms so I was slightly dubious about staying in an Air BnB room in the new Quartermile development. Here's the link - and I don't think the pictures don't do the room justice!

I needn't have worried. The flat was a stones throw from Bristo Square, where most of the Fringe action is, and the room had great views of the meadows (Edinburgh's largest green space), and to be honest, we spent hardly any time there anyway.

The very funny James Acaster

As it was the first time I was going back since being a student, and it was Ollie's first visit, I wanted the trip to be about the city just as much as the Fringe so a wander through the landmarks was essential. The castle, The Grassmarket and The New town were all on our list. For this reason, we only booked the brilliantly fun Hot Dub Time Machine, a club night, where you dance to a song for every year starting from 1954. We also nabbed last minute tickets to the sell out hilarious James Acaster and I'll be booking tickets for the London stop on his upcoming UK tour. 

Underbelly Fun

We met up with friends on Friday night and went to the Comedy All Stars where the hilarious Stephen K Amos had us in stitches. 

Where to Eat

Amazing Eggs Royale in Urban Angel

Breakfast - Urban Angel
Recommended by a friend, Urban Angel has got to be up there with one of the best breakfasts I have ever had. With a menu full of classics, and a nod to ingredient with a Scottish provenance, I ordered the eggs royale with Aberdeen smoked salmon to help cure the Hot Dub hangover and the carrot, orange and ginger juice gave me a much needed restorative health kick. We sat outside and basked in the rare Edinburgh sun. Heaven.
121 Hanover Street

Toast is another great option on the other side of town in Marchmont for breakfast. They homemake their own baked beans and the cooked breakfast little extras like sweet corn fritters are great.
146 Marchmont Rd

Lunch - The Outsider
The daily changing lunch menu is an absolute steal and includes local seasonal treats such as rabbit, crab linguini and makeral. Don't miss the garlic fries. Lunch runs until 5pm.
15 George IV Bridge

Dinner - Mother India
This authentic Southern Indian restaurant does 'tapas style' curries, which just means smaller portions, so you can try more. That's my kind of place. My favourites are the dry okra and butter chicken mopped up with a garlic naan.
3-5 Infirmary Street

We tried to book a few new places including Timberyard and Blackfriars, but they were completely fully booked. Next time!


We wandered over to Stockbridge, a lesser known side to the city to tourists. It's seriously beautiful, with wide streets lined with grand houses, dispersed with lots of little independent shops. There's even a stretch of canal to walk past before popping into Hectors, a pub which won points for an amazing bloody mary and Beavertown on the beer list. 
47-49 Deanhaugh St


We also spent a couple of days in Glasgow so check back soon for my write up...

Stockbridge grey cat

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