The Edinburgh Experience

Some of you may remember my previous post ‘7 Edinburgh Must Do’s‘ I wrote before my short trip in Scotland.

Well, now I’m back, I thought I’d give you a little update as to how many ‘must do’s’ I managed to cross off my list.

In a nutshell, I can safely say I did 3 out of 7. Not the best, admittedly, but we found much nicer and better things to do. The best times are the unplanned ones after all, right?

So the first day, we arrived at 12.15pm and after unpacking in our hotel, we decided to go for a wander. We walked all the way through the city centre to explore our new surroundings and our first spot? The castle! Right on the peak of a huge hill, overlooking the whole of Edinburgh, it was a gallant piece of history in an otherwise contemporary city.


Edinburgh Castle

We decided not to go up that day though, we were keen to carry on exploring.

Our next stop was Grassmarket. I have absolutely no idea why or how this didn’t make the cut in my 7 Must Do’s but it was fantastic! Slap bang in front of the castle, Grassmarket (adjacent to Victoria St, which was on my list!) boasts tonnes of classic and cosy British pubs. From markets in the square to tourists wandering through, this area had an amazing atmosphere.

That evening we headed over to Princes St / George St way, where there are a handful of cocktail bars and lovely restaurants to complete a beautiful first day.

I found Panda & Sons, the speakeasy on my list. There was no obvious sign, just a small panda sticking out the side of the wall. We walked down the stairs and were faced with a bookshelf…


We had to use a book to enter our cocktail filled Narnia. Pretty cool eh?!

To our surprise, it was pretty booming inside. A lot of people and a lot of alcohol! It was nice in there though and they had an array of cocktails whereby I knew none of the ingredients bar gin / vodka / whisky. They were gorgeous! I had no idea what to order though, so I asked for recommendations.

At approx £7 / £8 per cocktail, the prices were fair as I was happy to pay for the experience.

A couple of photos of our drinks & how they were made.



After our secret speakeasy spell, we trundled away to another cocktail bar. I was feeling pretty drunk at this point though, so for the life of me I can’t remember what it was called. But here’s some pretty pictures of what it looked like inside…



The 2nd day was our only full day / night.

We headed back over to Grassmarket but we stopped at the Jolly Botanist on the way. A Gin Bar. Enough said!!

It was alternative inside but super appealling. If I owned a bar – it would look like this!




With a bulging menu with tens and tens of different gins to choose from, with different mixers and garnishes for a variety of pallets. The Jolly Botanist was definitely a lovely experience and we ended up going there a few more times before the end of our trip as we enjoyed it so much! Definitely a recommendation.



After playing pool and going to see Murrayfields stadium (the boyfriend’s choice, of course) we had another wander to end our afternoon. We stumbled across this statue of a dog and legend has it, he continued to visit his owners grave for years after he passed. If you rub his little gold nose, it’ll bring you good luck!


That evening, we had a scrummy Indian at Mumbai Mansion and headed next door for more gin and cocktails at the Jolly Botanist – our new favourite place.
After a relatively early night, our final morning had us up early for check out. We were super hungry so headed to none other than….the Jolly Botanist for breakfast. Where else?! I had a gorgeous Eggs Benedict and a proper mug of tea. I hate those wide mugs other places give you – this was right up my street!!



Anyway, we didn’t have much time left, so we walked up to the castle to see the view and have a standard touristy photo to celebrate the amazing trip we’d just had together.



We walked the long way back to the station, stopping at Oink – which I raved about on my list – for a traditional hog roast, with stuffing and apple sauce. AMAZING.

Here’s the beautiful Victoria St in all it’s glory, where Oink sits and awaits the hungry! 


I had the best time! I can’t recommend Edinburgh enough.


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