There’s nothing better than an impromptu adventure to relight the spark in your eyes, open your arms to embrace the different and entice you into tasting the exotic. In this case, the ‘exotic’ may of consisted of fried potato cakes and Blue Moon for breakfast, and the ‘different’ may have been gallivanting up Prince’s Street opposed to circling The Arndale but still, an adventure. 48 hours in Edinburgh: GO!
Although my home is in Eglingham (a little village off of Alnwick, Northumberland, where Harry Potter was filmed) – which is about an hour’s train ride from Edinburgh – I’d never travelled to the Scottish capital before. So I accompanied by my boyfriend, Matty, hitched a ride with Virgin Express to Waverly Station, Edinburgh on Wednesday 29th June, 2016.
The thing that I and Matty have most in common is our inexplicable adoration of food and drink. We make a good match. An example of this love for food and drink is the fact that we’d been in Edinburgh for all of ten minutes before hiking up to the Royal Mile for a pint at Burgers and Beers Grillhouse. The Grillhouse inside itself was beautiful, but we opted for an intake of Scottish air instead. Celebration, we got here!
Throughout the couple of days we spent basking in the ferocious wind and battling with the rain; we ate and drank in various places, including: Ryan’s Bar (Hope St), Café Centro (George Street), Filling Station (High Street) Dirty Dicks (Rose Street), eteaket (Fredrick Street) and Burger (Shandwick Place). Of all the places we dined and drank, my favourite was definitely the quirky, Dirty Dicks, on Rose Street. A nymph-cavern, dimly lit by melting candles in old whiskey bottles and adorned with fairy lights, Dirty Dicks offered fabulous service entwined with out-of-this-world food. A definite yes from me!
Did we do anything other than eat good food and drink good beer? Surprisingly, yes. It wouldn’t be a trip to Edinburgh if I hadn’t been to the zoo. Although my morals are torn on zoo culture and Edinburgh Zoo itself, and I felt my heart bleeding for the chimps who were being peered down upon by screaming school children, I all-in-all had a fantastic day. The highlight of the zoo trip however was definitely being able to see a real-life Giant Panda.
(All animal pictures by: MG Photography)
The zoo itself boasts that it is the ‘only UK zoo to hold Giant Pandas’. Edinburgh Zoo has two Giant Pandas in fact – a female named Tian Tian or ‘Sweetie’ and a male named Yang Guang or ‘Sunshine’. We were only allowed to view Yang Guang, who was sleeping, but what a mesmerising creature he was! I honestly felt honoured to be in his presence. Both I and Matty viewed all the animals in the zoo in approximately 2 hours, making time for lunchtime pints, oioi!
Our trip’s accommodation came in an accidental two parts. By two parts I mean we managed to miss the last train home to Alnmouth and ended up staying an extra night… I wasn’t complaining.
Our first night’s stay was at Edinburgh’s Capital Hotel. Roughly about 1.5 miles from the zoo and fifteen minutes from the centre of town, the Capital Hotel was b-e-a utiful! We had a triple room to ourselves, which came with a large en-suite bathroom and ridiculously massive bed, as well as full freeview on a flat screen. The hotel also had a leisure centre, consisting of a 17m pool and gym (which we didn’t use because someone forgot their swimming trunks and someone needed a nap.) Staff were lovely and breakfast in the morning (£10 each extra) was even more amazing. A full buffet catering to all our English (and Scottish needs) – I tried a potato cake, which was SO GOOD.
Our second (accidental) sleep in Edinburgh was conducted at 4* Parliament House Hotel. The building itself was breath-taking – a mesh of Jacobean and Georgian – nestled on a cobbled back alley. The rooms were also wonderful, although slightly on the small side, it catered to all of our needs and even offered a mini fridge full of alcohol. Who could say no to ice-cold beers?
Coat / Buberry Top / Missguided / Skirt & Bag / Topshop Shoes / New Balance
All-in-all my Edinburgh trip was fantastic. I embraced Scottish culture, ate some fantastic food in wonderful company and can put a new pin on my ‘places experienced’ list. The only question that remains is: where too next?