Birthday month! And with it comes a new trip (obviously). This year, I decided to spend my birthday in beautiful Edinburgh – one of my favourite cities, and home to kilts, bagpipe music, diabetes-inducing tablet, and whiskey a go-go. Wanna hear about it? Of course you do! Read on…
I flew into Edinburgh from Gatters on Thursday 7th September – the flight was surprisingly empty considering it was a late one, and only took around 1.5 hours in total. Arrived at Edinburgh Airport where I promptly caught the bus and travelled to the city centre – namely Waverley Station, where my hotel was..
Side note – the hotel I stayed at was Motel One, this awesome German chain which I swear by. Everything is always clean, well designed and incredibly reasonably priced. They’ve opened in a fair few cities now, so I’d always check whether they’re around before booking your mini break in a European city. 10/10.
(not my image, cheers Google)
I woke up a year older the next day (and feeling it), and after a hearty breakfast of croissants and Danish pastries, decided to hit the town.
It wasn’t my first trip in Edinburgh – I visited with an ex boyfriend a few years back – but it was my first time solo – and instead of doing the typical tourist stuff, I decided to go and visit some of the ‘burbs. I went shopping in the morning and had a gel mani/pedi (obviously), but then met a friend and her beautiful baby in Stockbridge for a birthday lunch at The Pantry, Stockbridge.
This was an adorable little cafe, with space for little ones, and outrageously good things like smoked salmon and soft cheese bagels with pickles and crispy salmon skin. Yummers. After this, we strolled down into Stockbridge and did a bit of vintage shop browsing, whilst I wished I had more money.
I spent the evening hanging out with another friend and his girlfriend in various whiskey and cocktail bars, after having a beautiful meal at the Printing Press on George Street. The whiskey and cocktail bars were absolutely outrageous in the best way possible – especially Lucky Liquor with its bizarre ever-changing menu (seriously, it’s already changed since I went… two weeks ago).
The bar itself had space for maybe 20 people maximum – it was *tiny* – the cocktails rotate every month or so, and let me tell you, they’re not scared of using odd ingredients. On the new menu, you can see that one cocktail contains ketjap manis and cider vinegar… They also sell their own homemade liquors, which I would have absolutely taken advantage of if I hadn’t gone with hand luggage only. Damn my shrewdness!
We then strolled onto a whiskey bar called Usquabae which was a delightful experience, despite me hating whiskey to my core. We were ushered into an underground bar with separate private booths, where we were given a menu of over 400 whiskies. I have the most under-performing palette in existence, so really needed advice which came in the form of our wonderful whiskey waiter (for want of a better phrase), a sweet Canadian guy who blew us away with his ridiculous knowledge of whiskey, as well as his top bantz. I settled for something I can’t remember with a side of water. I despised it, but it had to be done, right? When in Scotland and all that.
On the stroll back to the hotel, I was taken aback by the sheer beauty of the city at night. It was just breathtaking – the scenery, the lighting, the bitingly cold air with a light breeze, the clear sky showing off the landscape. Absolutely wonderful – I fell in love a little more than I had before.
On the final day (told you it was a fleeting visit), I shopped in the morning, stopped off at Baba Budan, a donutterie (yes, you heard that correctly), demolished an apple and cinnamon doughnut, and took more pictures of this beautiful city. Pix below.
It was then time to go back to the airport to catch yet another delayed flight… the joys!
All in all, I adore Edinburgh. The people are friendly, the scenery beautiful, and the alcohol – although perhaps not to my taste – was flowing. I’ll be back soon, if only because I need more tablet.
Other Things To See In Edinburgh That I Didn’t Do On This Trip
- Edinburgh Castle
- Camera Obscura
- National Museum of Scotland
- Walk the Royal Mile
- Visit Arthur’s Seat
- Royal Botanic Garden
- Edinburgh’s Gin Distillery
- Scottish National Gallery