Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Weekending: Edinburgh (March 2015)

Edinburgh is one of my favourites. I've been there with friends and with boyfriends, for romantic trips away and to the festival. I have been there enough times to have my favourites that I always visit as well as always having a list of new places to try. On our most recent trip we (me, my boyfriend, my friend, her husband) were there mainly to visit a friend, but my boyf and I decided to make a long weekend of it to get the most out of the city.

We got the train there and back - going up at around 11am on the Friday and returning about 2.30pm on the Monday. My friends who joined us got the sleeper train up overnight arriving Saturday morning and then flew back Sunday evening. Like most UK cities, Edinburgh is easy to reach via a number of travel options, and if you book well enough in advance then it's more than affordable.

Once again, we stayed in the Nira Caledonia hotel - one of my favourite hotels in the world. This was my third stay there, and we definitely had the best room I've stayed in there so far as our bathroom had a bath with jets rather than just a shower that I've had in previous stays. The bed was as big and comfortable as I remembered, and I gave the huge bath a go (and used the jets, though be advised to not try and figure out how to turn them on until the bath is full) which was delightful. The hotel gifted us a bottle of wine as well which was a lovely touch. We ate there for breakfast all three mornings during our stay, and also ordered some room service on Sunday night, and each meal was exactly what we were after. I cannot recommend the Nira Caledonia highly enough - with the lovely staff and relaxing rooms I can't imagine staying anywhere else in Edinburgh.

Friday night - burgers at Red Squirrel - one beef and one chicken. They were awesome. We also shared a beetroot salad which was deffo in my top ten salads.
Saturday morning - breakfast at hotel (I believe I had poached eggs on toast, followed by some fruit and yoghurt)
Saturday evening - Hanams. We left it until that afternoon to decide where to eat, and after some googling I came across Hanams, which serves Kurdish and Middle Eastern cuisine. It's also BYOB with no corkage fee, which definitely made it a cheaper meal. Definitely one I would return to if I was in the mood for that type of food.
Sunday morning - breakfast at hotel (think this was my scrambled eggs and smoked salmon day)
Sunday lunch - Set-menu at Wedgwood. This was delicious, and such good value! I'd eaten there before on my birthday last year, and the food was just as inventive and interesting as I remembered. I believe I had goats cheese with curried lentils to start, then sooomething for my main (i'm annoyed I can't remember this) and then sticky toffee pudding. The food here is delicious, and the set lunch menu costs £12.95 / £16.95 for 2 / 3 courses. You can't really go wrong!
Sunday evening - room service. I had a smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich, with some chips. Obviously.
Monday morning - final breakfast at the hotel.
Monday lunch - train picnic!

As we had all visited the city before, we didn't feel the need to do any of the touristy sight-seeingy bits this time around. Instead, we did a few geocaches along the Leith River Walk, and visited the Camera Obscura museum, which, although pricey, I would definitely recommend.

The main shopping street in Edinburgh is Princes Street, which is full of all the standard high street shops. A couple to look out for though are Zara, which has a huge section upstairs of their child and baby clothes; Russell and Bromley, which has a great selection particularly from their mens range; and HMV, which has a really awesome vinyl section (I picked up Purple Rain and Blue whilst I was there).

Writing this all up now it doesn't seem like we did much aside from eat. But that's the great thing when you visit a city you know so well - you can just relax and wander and have a lovely time without feeling like you have to be go-go-go all the time. For me, that's what Edinburgh is all about.

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