For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you know that for my birthday end of January, my SO “kidnapped” me and flew me all the way to an unknown destination! I had gotten a few hints before we left : “Plane ride + weather like the one in Paris + Currency is not the Euro”. I was thinking maybe Prague or London?
Crazy as it may seem, the secret was kept all the way until we landed : Hiiiiii! I was going to spend my birthday in Edinburgh!
Edinburgh mini guide
To be quite honest, I wasn’t expecting to do a blog post – it was a relaxing weekend, where we weren’t in a “report” set of mind …. but following my posts on Instagram, some of you asked for addresses to prepare for an upcoming trip (Ah! You’re all trying to get me to work!)
So I gathered all I had photographed with my Iphone, and dove right back into the addresses I tried out, and here I am with a mini-guide of Edinburgh!
Let me start with a disclaimer : it won’t necessarily be very thorough, since we were trying to walk as little as possible : my SO, being the great sportsmana he is (haha) had a bad ankle sprain and had both a brace and crutches! But I hope this will still be useful!
The cutest bookshop on Victoria street
Scotland’s capital is clearly a walkable city, but due to the “crutches situation”, we took a lot of cabs (who were adorable! Contrary to the cabdrivers in Paris, they will take a fare even for 300m! Haha!). The list is far from complete, but I still think we saw quite a lot of things, considering our circumstances, don’t you think?
Edinburgh castle : we didn’t go in for a visit – we were afraid it would be too much walking for the SO’s ankle…next time!
Scottish National Portrait Gallery : we did end up browsing in this museum, as a way to escape the rain. I particularly enjoyed the exposition with ultra-realist portaits, and pictures with a little Mc Gregor-y surprise at the end!
Ewaaaaaan ! <3
Victoria Street : : the colorful road that is said to have inspired JK Rowling for Diagon Alley (see how I’m getting there with my Harry Potter trivia? I’m close to finishing the 3rd book!)
Greyfriars kirkyard : a cemetery where you’ll find a number of Harry Potter fans – it houses the grave of Tom Riddle! (wait, what’s happening to me, where are all these Harry Potter references coming from!?)
Calton Hill : we climbed all the way up the hill (with the crutches!) under the admirative/disapproving glances of surrounding tourists, but it was totally worh it ! A great view of the city, a mix of architecture, and this almost Parthenon, scottish style!
To see next time : the Scottish Natinal Gallery of Modern Art (no time!), Arthur’s Seat (when the SO’s ankle is better).
Eating in Edinburgh
Urban Angel (121 Hanover St) a café where you can get a quick lunch or brunch. There’s a bit of wait, but it was a cosy and relaxed atmosphere (and there was good music). The gluten free food they offered was of good quality.
The Elephant House (21 George IV Bridge) the café where JK Rowling started writing the Harry Potter saga. I don’t know if inspiration inhabits the place, but it’s welcoming, and there’s a pretty view of Greyfriars Kirkyard. The food is good but not amazing, but fans will love walking in the steps of their favorite author, and reading the inscriptions in the bathroom (that I didn’t read, I was too afraid of spoilers!)
Mimi’s Bakehouse 63 Shore (Leith): a teahouse for a proper teatime. On the picture, the plates holds food for one person (me!), my SO had decided to be reasonable, and opted for a slice (but quite a big one!) of carrot cake.
The Scran & Scallie (1 Comely Bank Rd, Stockbridge) : Gastro-pub that I really recommend. This is where my SO had made a reservation for my birthday dinner, and I loved it, the food was delicious! I remember amazing meaty oysters, and a delicious pearl barley risotto with artichoke. Make sure you book in advance.
Howies restaurant (10-14 Victoria St) : a chain of scottish restaurants that serves local products, prepared with care. No pictures,but we enjoyed the experience.
I tried haggis (for breakfast … yes, I’m fearless) : ewe’s stomach stuffed with a mix of oats and minced meat. I liked it!
The haggis is hiding behind the black pudding
This surprise scottish weekend really made me want to come back and stay longer to visit the city, the vicinity and actually all of Scotland. I was charmed by the atmosphere, the architecture, the loveliness of people there (The Ewan touch!) despite the very thick accent (but it’s part of the charm!).
Don’t hesitate and leave your own recommendations in the comment section below, it’s always helpful! Thank you! (English translation by Marine)