Last week I shared how Will proposed in Granary Square, King’s Cross, and how he planned a romantic getaway for the following days in Edinburgh. This is a city very close to our hearts; in fact I was convinced this was where he would end up proposing! We’ve spent a couple of holidays up there throughout our relationship, and I’ve had a whirlwind trip for a job interview too. I absolutely adore the place, so I’ve put together a guide for mini city-break.
This isn’t a definitive guide to Edinburgh as there’s so much more to do and see, but it really shows my favourite parts of the city, the best moments I’ve spent there, the things I’d really recommend.
Where to Stay: Intimate Luxury @ The Rutland Hotel
Having always rented a serviced apartment for our trips before, it was a lovely change to spend our engagement weekend in a hotel. Will had picked out The Rutland which turned out to be a perfect choice; excellent service, just the right combination of modern and cosy, an amazing bathroom and the most comfortable (and huge!) bed imaginable.
I loved the fact that we could have breakfast delivered to our room from the bar downstairs – and my Eggs Benedict arrived perfectly cooked. I also sampled the Full Scottish the next morning whilst overlooking Edinburgh Castle; this became the first cooked breakfast I’ve failed to finish!
Where to Eat/Drink: Cocktails @ The Huxley Bar
Sat below our hotel, this bar was the place that cooked up our delicious breakfasts. Despite the slightly limited menu we also had a rather enjoyable dinner here; I highly recommend the Fried Chicken Burger (the spicy jalapeno slaw was addictive!), whilst W really enjoyed his Chilli Dog. A high point was definitely the excellent cocktails!
Where to Eat: Cosy Soup @ Hula Juice Bar
One of our favourite places, Hula is somewhere we have to visit each trip. They serve a massive range of sandwiches/wraps/bagels, two fresh soups daily (their Haggis & Potato is my favourite!), fresh and tasty salads, and the most amazing cheese on toast. The drinks menu is just as good, loads of fresh juices and shakes. We highly recommend the Pink Lady or Nutty Professor. It goes without saying, but their baked goods are equally as delicious.
Where to Eat: Celebratory Meal @ The Kitchin
I’m not even entirely sure how he managed it, but W managed to secure a last minute table at the Michelin-starred restaurant tucked away in Leith. I’ve got no photos as it was an intimate restaurant and romantic date night – but it was completely worth the money. We chose the Tasting Menu, comprising of;
- Bar Snacks – 4 flavours of crisp bread, with a cream cheese dip topped with toasted wheat.
- Amuse Bouche – chilled carrot veloutee, with ginger and lime, topped with seasonal vegetables.
- Pre-Starter – I had a leek terrine with beetroot, lemon ricotta and quails egg, whilst W had ‘Rockpool’ (a selection of seafood and seaweed in a consomme).
- Starter – razor clam served in a creamy chorizo sauce.
- Middle Course – ‘Pigs Head’ i.e. a pig cheek fritter, langoustine, and caramelised pig’s ear.
- Main Course – a pulled lamb fritter, topped with a lamb chop, served with carrots many ways (pureed, roasted and a delicious carrot tarte tartin).
- Pre-Dessert – Pear sorbet.
- Dessert – Scottish sea-buckthorn panna cotta, served with marshmallow, meringue, textures of apple and a sea-buckthorn veloutee.
- Petit Four – Coffee fancier, orange macaron, salted caramel.
An awful lot of food, the portions were surprisingly generous, and we had some delicious cocktails too. Service was attentive without being overbearing, it was a delight to meet Tom (W was more nervous at that point than the previous night’s proposal!) and the bathrooms were the most luxurious I’ve ever used.
Where to Eat: Burger Overload @ Just Burgers & Beer
This is the place that really sparked my love for a good burger – anywhere do thinks Mac’n’Cheese is an appropriate burger topping is a winner with me!
What to Do: Festive Markets
We were in Edinburgh the weekend before Christmas and everything looked wonderfully festive. Admittedly the main one running in the gardens by Princes Street was a little tacky, but still quite charming.
What to Do: Climb Arthur’s Seat (or Calton Hill for the faint-hearted!)
Not for the faint hearted this! We climbed up (using the not-so-easy route!) in the heatwave during June 2014 and it was tough going. The views however are utterly fantastic and I’m so glad we did it.
A much easier and quicker alternative is to talk a short stroll up Calton Hill. We only managed to do this in December for the first time but I really wish we’d done it sooner. A great view over towards the castle, and it was beautiful as the sun began to set.
What to Do: Picnic on the Beach @ North Berwick
A beautiful seaside town around 30 minutes from the city by train, this is where me and W stayed during our first trip to Edinburgh. The beach is utterly stunning; sandy, atmospheric rock pools and long enough for a proper walk. During our engagement weekend we packed up a picnic, snuggled up on the rocks and watched the sun go down before heading for a hot chocolate in a nearby cafe. Perhaps a little cold, but utterly perfect!
So, there’s a round-up of our best bits in Edinburgh, the places I really recommend people to visit and the bits I highly suggest you do.
Have you ever been to Edinburgh? Where do you recommend?