Keith is currently holding the fort at Edinburgh Spotlight as I am on extended holiday visiting Australian in-laws.
I can’t wait to get back to Edinburgh and see what’s new in the city over the couple of months I’ll have been away.
I couldn’t possibly do another review so soon of Mark Greenaway at Hawke and Hunter without raising suspicion as to whether we have connections to the restaurant. We don’t – but I just simply LOVE the food there. It’s not often I eat three times in the same restaurant in such a short space of time, but yesterday I took my other half to enjoy the food and he became an instant fan.
Don’t be frightened of this place in that it’s ‘too posh’ or the food ‘fussy’, that’s not the case at all. It’s fine dining at remarkably decent prices with the market menu at lunch times and pre-theatre (including Saturdays) being an absolute steal. Two courses are £16.50 and three courses £20. There’s only one place I’d be heading before a trip to the Edinburgh Playhouse and it’s conveniently across the road.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I’ve been out and about doing the tourist thing in Edinburgh. My Australian relatives loved the city and Camera Obscura was really popular with the children.
After they left town, I welcomed some New Yorkers and took them around the best places in town to take photos (Blackford Hill etc).
I’ve never known two people to love Edinburgh (and Scotland) so much and devour a plate of haggis, neeps and tatties so quickly at the Sheep Heid Inn.
I’ve managed to have a few lunches in Princes Street Gardens thanks to the great weather and have been out walking every day and soaking up the ‘green’ of the city.
One of the walks I did was up Arthur’s Seat where I discovered this year’s stone artwork. The Evening News picked up on it and I was interviewed for the paper and my photo used (but sadly not credited for). The same day, I went to Edinburgh Castle to see the pomp and ceremony of the Queen’s birthday honours.
Good Friday saw me have some rare time off with my boyfriend and we headed over to Culross for the day. I say ‘time off’, but I never really take a break and decided to write about Culross to put in our daytrip section. On the way back, we also stopped off at Malleny Garden where we sat in the sun for over an hour. I can hardly believe it’s April!
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of this week has seen me test out the Edinburgh Pass to its absolute limit. I scheduled lots of tourist attractions for the 3 days, to make sure I got good value. Although primarily aimed at tourists, it’s also suitable for residents who want to do the tourist thing and save some money.
One thing I learnt was how exhausting it is being a tourist in Edinburgh. Everywhere I walked seemed to be uphill and trying to soak in all the information being fed to me was hard going. I was blessed with good weather, especially when I went up Nelson Monument.
Other day trips included visiting North Berwick in the good weather and being blessed with spectacular views from the top of Berwick Law . I also paid a visit to the Zoo and headed. down to Hopetoun House at South Queensferry.
This long weekend sees me head off again, this time up to Durness. It’s my second favourite place in Scotland (with Edinburgh being at number one) and the forecast is for good weather so I’ll be in my element. As much as I love visiting new places, there’s nothing like coming back home, especially when Edinburgh is so green with the hope of a good summer ahead. I love Edinburgh.
Posted in Edinburgh
As much as I enjoyed my jaunt to Gdansk last week, it’s always lovely to return to Edinburgh. This time I was blessed with clear weather on my approach to Edinburgh airport and I managed to capture some lovely aerial shots of the city.
I was then immediately blown away with a lovely sunset over Granton Harbour as I took an evening stroll. I spotted a seal in the water for the first time, but only had a little camera with me and the result was so grainy, I’m too embarrassed to publish it!
Friday saw me try out the food at the newly renovated Peacock Inn at Newhaven. It’s beyond recognisable from the old version, but the fish is still as good as ever.
With the sun blazing on Saturday, I headed down to the Borders for the day on the motorbike before warmly welcoming my Australian relatives to a very sunny Edinburgh. As the sun shone on Sunday, we ventured to Ecofusion and a stroll around Arthur’s Seat. It seems half of Edinburgh were up at the top, but it was the most glorious day for April and I loved that people were out and enjoying the sunshine after the long, cold and snowy winter we’ve had.
This week sees me spend time with the Aussies and to continue to show them around town and what Edinburgh has to offer. Of course, it will involve a lot of eating and a slice of cake (or two).
After an enjoyable few days in Spain in temperatures of 22 degrees, I arrived back in Edinburgh on Thursday to enjoy the start of the long days and Spring!
It’s one of my favourite times of year in the city as the greenery and flowers come to life and there’s always the hope of a good summer.
I reported this week on the excellent Los Cardos celebrating their first birthday with special offers. Even if you don’t live down Leith, it’s worth the trip for the friendly service and excellent food.
On Thursday evening I took my usual stroll along Silverknowes promenade as the sun was setting and got some lovely pictures.
We couldn’ t resist some April Fools jokes – the one about the Royal Wedding party with a ”huge long table stretching from Castle Terrace to Jenners” sparked a lot of competition entries.
Flawless at the Festival Theatre on Friday were excellent and I’m still suffering from the screaming of the Mini-Spotlight member who was beside herself as she watched and danced along.
This week sees me off on another Spring break – this time to Gdansk in Poland. Gotta love the Ryanair for their cheap flights from Edinburgh!
What can you fit in when you have 36 hours in Edinburgh? Quite a lot actually. Just back from the wonderful Tallinn and heading out to Spain tomorrow morning.
If anyone was thinking of taking advantage of Ryanair’s Estonian route, then I highly recommend you take the plunge and go for it. Despite it being very cold (around freezing and just below) it was a beautiful place for a long weekend.
The Old Town is stunning to wander around and take in all the fabulous buildings and the food was top-notch too. I was worried that I would eat nothing but bread and sausages, but the food was excellent and of far better quality than I was expecting. Prawns with caviar and pasta for 9 euros anyone?
The Ryanair flights was early getting in both ways! Who’d have thought it eh? I hope it wasn’t a one off experience though as I am using them to get to Spain tomorrow morning.
This morning saw the official launch of the 2011 Edinburgh International Festival programme and an amazing selection of performances ahead. It was the first time that myself and Keith were in the same room at the same time for 2011 which means that Festival season in Edinburgh is well under way.
The afternoon saw me head to Ceilidh Culture press launch at the Usher Hall, followed by a great baking afternoon at the Breadwinner Bakery. I was literally salivating at the mouth waiting for the chocolate strudel to cook and the walnut, cheese and chilli bread was to die for. The Breadwinner Bakery are running one-to-one lessons with any budding bakers out there that would like to learn skills from the owner Sean who has a whopping 50 years of experience behind him .
Must dash and unpack my cold-weather clothes and exchange them for 18 degree weather-clothes. I hope it’s sunny in Spain after all this gorgeous weather that Edinburgh’s been dishing out.
It’s been a busy time at Edinburgh Spotlight for me before a well-deserved break away. Cold Tallinn beckons thanks to a Ryanair special fare, followed by a break in warmer Spain.
I was finally allowed to let the cat out of the bag regarding the new private dining club in Edinburgh, Kitchen Porter’s.
This was swiftly followed by a visit to eh15 at Jewel and Esk College. A fabulous dining experience that’s well worth the trip across town if you don’t live nearby.
We were accused of playing an early April’s fool joke when we announced there were 5000 free tickets to Musselburgh Races. As I type this, over 3000 tickets have been snapped up, so be quick if you want to go!
Yesterday saw us attend another Afternoon Tea event by It’s Good 2 Give. A fabulous afternoon had by all the lovely ladies who attended and lots of money raised. Lynne McNicoll is an amazing woman who has also managed to sell lots of tickets for an event in Spring 2012 without having a venue yet! In relation to raising money, when Lynne says jump, you ask how high.
Today saw us have a round of golf at Brunstfield Links, something we’ve not done in a long time, but could only play the short 9 hole course since the summer 36 hold course doesn’t open till the end of April.
And the best news of the last week for me has been the arrival of Jacob’s cakes at the excellent Fredericks Coffee House. It’s one of our favourite in-town offices as the wi-fi is fast and reliable and the window seat views of Ramsay Gardens remind me exactly I love Edinburgh so much.
I can’t wait to see Tallinn and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin in Spain, but as I fly back, I am always appreciative of calling Edinburgh my home.
I’ve had one of the busiest weeks in a long time, reminiscent of a typical Fringe week! It started off with a less than enjoyable visit to the Edinburgh Dungeons with the mini-Spotlight members but got better as the week went on.
I’ve been catching up on some of the hundreds of emails we get requesting to cover events, new bands and other exciting things going on in town. We have some really interesting and diverse features to publish in the coming weeks.
On Thursday I popped along to the Botanics for the launch of the Edinburgh Science Festival with an amazing programme in the Easter holidays. Tickets are on sale now.
On Friday I visited the new Steve Bloom exhibition at St Andrew Square. The outdoor exhibition is on until the 1st May and is absolutely stunning (also free).
The rest of the Edinburgh Spotlight team had a busy week at the theatre and all of the reviews can be found here.
Yesterday I made good use of the sunny weather in town and caught up with friends and family and re-visited a couple of places on the now-famous Edinburgh Cake Trail.
But the highlight of the week had to be trying out a new Secret Dining Club in Edinburgh. Not the excellent Charlie and Evelyn’s table, but a brand new one. So new in fact that it doesn’t have a name yet and was by private invitation only.
The opening of this club is perfect timing since Rachel and Chris who started Edinburgh’s first ever supper club are on a maternity break, but will be opening again later this year.
The new Secret Dining Club seats up to 18 people and future events will be held monthly. We’ll be the first to bring you the dates and all the information you need. The experience was entirely delightful and food exquisite. Secret Dining seems extremely popular in Edinburgh just now and it’s a great way to meet new people.
Since I last blogged, I’ve finally got over an attack of the winter lurgy which saw my lose my appetite (always a first for everything). This has somewhat hampered my ability to go out and eat and I only just managed along to the Point Hotel’s new Sky Bar on Thursday night which had the most fantastic views of the Castle through their floor to ceiling glass windows.
On Friday I booked some trips out of Edinburgh thanks to Ryanair and Jet2go ‘s amazing offers at the moment. I’m heading to Tallinn followed by a trip into Budapest and out of Bratislava.
I also decided to start baking again. BIG mistakes. The reason I don’t bake like my wonderful friend Lea Harris (aka @bakersbunny) is because I would just eat everything I made. I put this to the teston Saturday afternoon when I made banana loaf. Things have changed since my Ladybird ‘Cook with mother’ book. I googled a recipe on my iPad and propped it up in its stand to follow.
One hour later, my boyfriend and I were wolfing down the banana cake in one big hit. I would have made more if I had any ripe bananas left, but it wasn’t to be.
Our new food reviewer Chiara Pannozzo (even with that name, she was born and brought up in Edinburgh) visited Illegal Jacks and was amazed at the size of her burrito in the review.
On twitter today, I’ve been posting hidden gems of Edinburgh for all our new followers – since they were first published last year.
The week ahead is a busy time which many involves eating and catching up with school friends now that the lurgy has well and truly left me.
Keeping my promise of writing more entries for this blog in 2011 is going in the right direction so far.
This week I’ve been struck down with sore throat, general lurgy and other winter illnesses but have still been out and about town.
I’ve eaten at Loudons, the new swish cafe in Fountainbridge along with local celebrity baker Lea Harris who gave her thumbs up to the polenta cake once it was served with Crème fraiche whilst I chowed on some breakfast followed by jasmine tea and delicious carrot cake.
I’ve also seen the amazing King’s Speech this week and eaten at e:s:i in Leith for a friend’s birthday and finally reviewed it.
Today I visited family in North Berwick and was amazed at the amount of people windsurfing and kite-surfing near the Longniddry Bents. The sky was a lovely blue today, a mild 10 degrees and certainly warm enough to have done the trip on the motorbike. Shame the bike broke down on the way home
This week sees a whole lot more eating and interviews with the lovely people of Edinburgh.