Not Another Fringe Festival Post | The Local Stuff | Part 3
Read this post to learn about the elements that made my everyday life in Edinburgh. I will introduce you to some of my favourite neighbourhods, where I lived, restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, shopping, - all the good stuff! I could write a book on this, so I am only mentioning my favourites.
The first neighbourhood I lived in where I briefly rented an AirBnB was the Blackford neighbourhood. It is located south of the city centre and near the Royal Observatory, centre for astronomy research. This area has mostly houses and some flats. Other than the Observatory, this neighbourhood is home to one of the seven hills of the city where you can get incredible views of Edinburgh’s skyline and surrounding countryside giving a highland vibe. Its also super windy! Other than that, its a bit further out of the city centre, 20-30 minutes by bus depending on traffic.
The neighbourhood that I rented a flat in was Canonmills, next to the Inverleith & Warriston neighbourhood. I immediately loved Canonmills for its close proximity to the centre of town (15 minute walk), the beautiful and trendy Stockbridge neighbourhood, lots of grocery stores, cafes, restaurants and pubs. An old small clock tower located in the middle of a crosswalk always symbolized home for me and was my marker to get off the bus during my early days and whenever I wasn’t paying attention! With three bus lanes to choose from, I easily went anywhere and could even come back late with night bus service. When I first came to look at a flat here, I stopped at this wonderful Italian Cafe, Di Giorgio, for a delicious cappuccino. I would later sample their Victorian Sponge cake, and come for lots of brunches and lunches. Not to be missed, there is also the cozy Orchard Bar for a hearty British Pub food near the Botanical Garden! Speaking of which, the Royal Botanical Garden is truly a gardener’s paradise in the city. There is a research centre, green houses, ponds, The Queen Mother’s commemorative garden, and a variety of plants and trees. I am no botanist, but it’s easy to spend some time here wandering and taking it all in. It’s also a great venue for events and has a fabulous light show at Christmas!
The Stockbridge neighbourhood that I briefly mentioned, is probably where the best architectural features of the city are located. There are cobbled stone streets, cute back lanes and concave shaped brick flat rows and more. The whole city is beautiful, but Stockbridge is a must see as it is a photographer’s paradise. This neighbourhood is definitely very upscale and is one of the most affluent areas of the city, next to Murrayfield and Morningside. There are also some very trendy bars, restaurants, and boutique stores such as this awesome wine bar - Good Brothers. I had an epic charcuterie plate with good crusty bread and delicious red wine.
Food and Beverage
As for everyday food, I came to really love British grocery stores! Marks & Spencer (M&S) was one of my favourites. What really made it good was their £10 dine in deal that includes a prepared main, side dish, dessert, and a free bottle of wine!
For everyday treats (or once in awhile), Edinburgh has some seriously good hot chocolate. Near my flat in Canonmills there was Cora’s that made simple hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallows, and sprinkles. They also had cheeky signs in the cafe and simple, yet delectable hot chocolate.
I say simple hot chocolate, because this other place, Hotel Chocolat took the hot chocolate game to a new level. For the everyday, they have salted Caramel, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and hazelnut blends. For Christmas, they had gingerbread flavoured hot chocolate and for Valentine’s Day they has raspberry, white chocolate, and other goodness in the cup. I mean look at the presentation in these photos!
So, yes, pubs. There are sooooo many in Edinburgh and throughout the UK. I have lost count how many I have been in and spent my evenings. I heard someone say that pubs are an extension of British people’s living rooms and I definitely think it’s true. Did I mention that it’s legal/encouraged, (ok, maybe not encouraged) to bring your dog to the pub??? How awesome is that! I don’t think I have a favourite, but I do have some recommendations.
The Beehive in the Grassmarket
The Three Sister’s Pub
The Royal Mile Tavern
Hector’s in Stockbridge
The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Pub at Broughton Street
There are so many to choose from on Leith Walk and Hanover Street
While we are on the subject of alcohol, Edinburgh is quiet famous for it’s gin. If you know me, you will know that I hate gin. BUT, there was this Gin bar (Gin 71) on South Charlotte Street (near the city centre and Haymarket train station) that served a variety of cocktails including non-Gin based ones. They are amazing!! This place is so good that even if you don’t like gin or you like it, you will be happy in cocktail land. They also served afternoon tea complete with a tower of cakes and sandwiches! I wish they were still there!
Some pictures for your inspiration: