Although I’ve been a proud English woman for 22 years and have lived in the UK my whole life – I’ve never visited Scotland. I find it pretty shocking to be honest, I’ve been to so many places and have travelled as far as South Africa and America, yet I’ve never made the 2 hour train journey up North. However, the time has come and in a few weeks, I’ll be popping to the Scottish capital for a cheeky weekend away and I can’t wait! What makes this trip all the more exciting, is that I’ve booked it in secret for my boyfriends birthday and I’m itching to see his face when I tell him!
So, in honour of our impending trip, I’ve done my homework and have found 7 things I must do when there.
1) The Kitchin
I’m a huge foodie, I love going out for meals and eating gorgeous food – you’d be silly not to! Although, as much as I love to try new places, I’ve never been to a Michelin star restaurant and with Edinburgh housing a handful of them, it seems only fitting we try one out – it is a special occasion after all!
The A-la-Carte menu ranges from £11 for a dessert to £36 for a main meal, so it looks like I’ll have to take out a small loan even to afford a basket of bread and butter.
However, their set Lunch menu looks much more appealing, at £28.50 per person for a 3 course meal. Boasting a scrummy seafood pate, calf liver and lemon souffle – the Lunch menu is actually more tempting in my eyes and that isn’t my bank balance talking…I don’t think.
2) Arthur’s Seat
It seems that everybody who visits Edinburgh has to climb Arthur’s Seat, so you could say this is on my list as a formality more than anything.
Located in the heart of Holyrood Park, Arthur’s Seat is a dormant volcano sitting in the middle of the city with fabulous picturesque views of the Edinburgh skyline at its peak.
Although a 823 metre uphill trek isn’t my initial idea of a crackin’ day out, I’m partial to a pretty view and photo opportunity, so with the walk promising to only take an hour or so, I don’t think I can justify not giving it a bash.
3) Victoria Street
I’ve read great things about Victoria Street. A quirky alternative to the mainstream touristy stuff, it seems Victoria Street offers an authentic Scottish experience and it sounds super cool.
There’s loads of boutique shops, restaurants and bars, which in my eyes is a recipe for the perfect day trip! However, what caught my attention the most was Oink, a tiny shop that apparently serves the tastiest hog roasts.
With 3 different sizes;The Piglet (£2.95) to suit a smaller stomach, The Oink(£3.95) is somewhere in the middle and The Grunter (£4.95) better for bigger appetites, it looks as though there’s something for everyone.
I can already imagine strolling down the street, munching on crackling and admiring the vintage shops – perfect.
4) Edinburgh Castle
Similar to Arthur’s seat – Edinburgh Castle is another formality.
Dominating the city on its rock, it seems that the Castle is Edinburgh’s unique selling point. There were many a fight over it, royalty lived and died in it and countless generations were inspired by it.
With the Castle being such a prominent part of Edinburgh (it’ll be a constant backdrop of our trip – we’ll see it every day) it’d be a bit silly not to go and see what all the fuss is about.
Who knows, it might be fun!
5) Lulu Edinburgh
Situated in Edinburgh’s New Town, Lulu might be inside a gorgeous Georgian building, but it’s decor is definitely 21st Century with Swarovski crystals embedded in the walls and a cocktail menu to impress.
We can’t leave Edinburgh without seeing what the nightlife has to offer. I love trying posh new drinks, having a boogie and getting dressed up, so I’m really looking forward to trying out this nightclub over the course of our weekend – maybe I’ll need a stiff drink after tackling the Castle and Arthur’s Seat!
After looking at the cocktail menu, it looks like Lulu is pretty affordable. Cocktails approximately £7-£9 and other drinks less than that – this looks like my kind o’ place!
Grey Goose le Fizz specifically caught my eye on the menu. At £7.95, Grey Goose le Fizz sounds like an elegant cocktail, combining Grey Goose vodka, fresh lime juice and elderflower, served in a champagne flute and topped with soda. . . I can taste the bubbles and hear the music already.
I’ll definitely be posting a review about this one!
6) Old Town
Described as a ‘labyrinth of cobbled streets, narrow alleyways and hidden courtyards’, it sounds like Edinburgh’s Old Town is one wand shop away from posing as Diagon Alley.
As much as I love the modern and mainstream, I also love the old and unusual. I love not knowing what to expect, original buildings and pretty streets.
It’s a shame we’re going to Edinburgh in May, as the Edinburgh Fringe and Festival is held in August and it seems this is when the Old Town comes to life with performers drowning the streets with music and fun.
Nevertheless, seeing the Old Town in its quaint and peaceful normalcy will be just as enjoyable for us. We’ll pub hop and try real ales until we’re tipsy and will trundle over to Oink for drunken hog roasts instead of the standard kebab shop. Bliss!
7) Panda & Sons
This has to be the most unusual ‘must do’ on my list. I love the idea of a Speakeasy and coincidentally, I was actually having a chat about them the other day saying how much I want to go to one.
From the outside, Panda & Sons looks like a barber shop, but the foreign currency painted on the windows outside tells those ‘in the know’ that they’ve reached the hidden watering hole.
It boasts a creative cocktail list, extensive wine list and welcoming atmosphere – now that is my kind of excursion!
I have a feeling a blog won’t do this place justice, although, that won’t stop me writing about it after I’ve been! Take a look at their website (link in the subheading) to see the extent of its quirkiness.
So, there we go, my 7 Edinburgh Must-Do’s. Do you live in Edinburgh or have you been? What have I missed off my list? I know there’s tonnes to do – I’ll just need to find the time to fit it all in. I’d appreciate some more stuff to fill up my itinerary.
Love, Tasha x