Scotland may be known for being a bit damp and cold but there is a hell of a lot on offer further up north. From luxury shopping to historic castles Edinburgh has the lot and that is exactly why I went on a day trip with my housemates this week.
We stepped off the train all giddy with excitement to explore the famous Scottish capital. We headed straight onto Princes Street to walk down past Scott Monument heading towards the castle. It was a lovely warm day with a slight breeze which we were actually thankful for with all the steep roads we were walking up. Despite being a weekday we were surprised to see so many tourists unfortunately it was too busy to get inside the castle but we got a picture outside (close enough) so decided to walk around the stunning streets of Edinburgh to see what we could find.
The one place I really wanted to see was the Insta-famous Victoria Street. The multi-coloured shops on a curved street looked stunning in the sun. We took a load of photos which I think was the general theme of all the tourists actually aha. There were quirky cafes and cheese shops that encountered the cute and colourful shops. We then headed back up to The Hub which was this stunning castle-like church building which has been converted into a cafe and dining place before deciding to walk out of the central part of Edinburgh to get some lunch.
Located on Circus Place in Edinburgh New Town, we decided to check out The Pantry (man) which so many people we knew had raved about. The theme of Edinburgh shops, cafes and bars were that they were in the lower parts of the terraced buildings. We went down into the busy restaurant and took a table in the back.
After much deliberation some of us opted for sweet and some savoury. I ordered the Waffles which were priced at £9.50. These homemade Belgian waffles came swimming in blueberry compote, fresh blueberries on top and Canadian maple syrup to pour on top. The waffles themselves were lovely, nice and crispy yet soft when you bit into them, although for me there was too much compote and that’s all I could taste. My housemate however, got the same and she loved them. We also ordered the U.S.A (aka smashed avocado on sourdough) with a poached egg costing £8.20 which Luke loved.
After filling our boots at The Pantry we decided to walk onto the Royal Botanical Gardens a bit further out of the city centre, near Canonmills. Free admission into the gardens was great as I think many tourists had the same idea as us. There was however an exhibition further inside the centre that did require payment but we skipped that one. The sun had properly come out at this point in the day so we loved walking about the huge gardens especially when we got to the Victorian Temperate Palmhouse which was like something out of a movie. This stunningly huge glassed house building was where the exhibition was held. Surrounding the Palmhouse were large grown trees and student gardens for the local universities.
Although just one mile out of Edinburgh city centre we decided to taxi back because we had already been walking all day and we were ready for a drink! We headed into the city centre again and stopped off at Rabble. Described as a “rough-luxe tap house and grill” Rabble was something rather special as it seemed to be divided into atmospheres. There was the relaxed, contemporary and simplistic bar area moving into the more modern and stylish dining area and then through into the back where we sat was the garden bar. Cafe Ciroc was the name of the beautiful light and floral space covered in blue, green and white features.
We sat in one of the many booths and ordered some cocktails. We ordered a classic mojito which wasn’t actually on the menu but the bartenders were more than happy the shake one up for us and then two from the special offers menu. One we ordered was called Cuppa Joe priced at £7.50 which included Cîroc vanilla vodka, Frangelico, espresso, gingerbread syrup & cookie crumbs. The other was a blend of Cîroc vodka, espresso, Teisseire cinnamon syrup, cloves, dehydrated orange & smoked cinnamon, named Turkish Espresso Noir. Again this was £7.50.
After sipping our delicate cocktails and basking in the beauty around us we headed off to explore more of what Edinburgh had to offer, making our way to the National Gallery. We spent a good half hour looking at all the paintings with the main collections being renaissance. After this we had about an hour and a half to kill before we needed to be at the restaurant we had booked for dinner. Half of the group fancied looking at some of the shops whilst the rest of us wanted to walk through Princes Street Gardens so we split off and agreed to meet up later.
I went walking through the gardens where we found a stunning large water fountain called Ross Fountain. It was so peaceful! There were so many people just sitting on the grass reading or having picnics with their friends and families or on the benches near by just watching the water trickle over the fountains features. It was lovely to embrace the moment.
We carried on walking up through the gardens and came out on the top of Princes Street and walked up round Charlotte Square where the Albert Memorial is, then onto the gorgeous Rose Street. My housemates loved the cute little streets that reminded them of York. The shops were connected by fairy lights that I can image create an amazing atmosphere in the evening when pub goers and restaurant diners sit outside. We then made our way onto George Street where we headed to Tigerlily where we had made dinner reservations.
If you have ever searched Edinburgh on social media or even just Google, Tigerlily is one of the restaurants that immediately comes up, and to be honest, I totally understand why. This beyond unbelievably stunning bar and restaurant took our breath away when we walked in. The white marble and crystal bar area decorated with pink and purple delicate flowers was beautiful. We sat in one of the high chairs waiting for the other half of the group and ordered some drinks whilst we waited. I went for a mocktail which was called Raspberry Collins priced at £4.50. This deliciously refreshing drink was a blend of cranberry juice, fresh raspberries, vanilla syrup & lemonade, perfect for the weather and all the walking we had been doing. My friends went for one of the mojitos which they had on offer at the time. All mojitos on this menu were incredibly charged at £5 and they ordered the one called Lojito which was Bacardi Carta Blanca rum, St-Germain Elderflower liqueur, lime juice, sugar syrup, mint leaves & soda. They absolutely loved it, so much so that they all kept ordering it!
When everyone arrived we then went to our table where we ordered our food. There were a few hiccups with the order but overall we had a great time. I won’t give any spoilers on what we had just yet as I have a full review coming soon!! so watch out for that one appearing on the blog this week. Finally we wondered down the road to a cocktail bar that we were buzzing to try. Copper Blossom was quite quiet when we went but the vibe was exactly what we were looking for, relaxed, soft music and of course fitting with our floral theme.
For £8.50 my housemate got the Candy Floss Martini which was a mix of Roku Gin, Blue Curaco, Cointreau, lime juice, candy floss syrup and egg white whilst I again ordered a mocktail (boring I know- get used to it) called Princess Passion. This £6.75 mocktail was divine and actually tasted alcoholic which was great. A passionfruit puree was combined with apple juice, orange juice and vanilla syrup, simple!
Overall we all loved our flying visit to Edinburgh. I honestly love Scotland, I always have ever since I was younger and could really see myself living there in the future, I could end up writing about living there rather than just a day trip! For now though I’ll still to the toon xox