With everything from old cobbled streets, boutique interior design shops, fine dining venues to suit all tastes and one of the UK’s best Christmas Markets – it was no surprise that Edinburgh has been on the top of my list for a winter weekend getaway.
So, for G and I’s 4 years, we took a couple of days off work to spend exploring the old (and new) city. It was magical!
For most holidays we’ve been on together I have always looked on Airbnb to find a cosy apartment, with little/no luck for location and price. But in Edinburgh you don’t need to look far…it is teeming with Scandinavian style flats, with fur throws, lots of blankets and matching kitchen appliances…(yes this is the kind of thing I notice). Our apartment was located about a 15-minute walk to the city and a 5-minute uber (which is pennies compared to London!) Our host was incredible – offering suggestions of places to go, giving clear instructions of how to find the flat and leaving us a bottle of prosecco in the fridge for when we arrived (as well as milk/tea/sugar/chocolate snacks!)
It was a beautiful home that felt new, clean, cosy and romantic – we couldn’t have chosen anything better! Want to visit? Click here to find this accommodation!
4 days was the perfect length of time to stay in the city because we managed to do and see so many things, whilst it still remained a relaxing and romantic weekend. From visiting the Camera Obscura and Illusions museum, to drinking glow in the dark cocktails at Hoot the Redeemer, walking up Carlton Hill in the pouring rain, doing a ‘ghost’ walking tour, shopping at the Stockbridge markets and eating a steak pie at the Scran and Scallie pub – it has left me with so many special, funny and beautiful memories that I will never forget.
Although a few special mentions must go to the below, and are things I would highly recommend doing if you ever find yourself up North.
The Witchery – I had been to The Witchery a while ago with my parents but remember being far too fussy to appreciate what an incredible restaurant it is. Set in the very heart of the old town of Edinburgh, next to the Castle, is this renowned Gothic restaurant. Dimly lit with oak panelling hung with tapestries, candles, old portraits, stone walls and leather seats, it really feels as though you are stepping into something fictional. We had pre-booked our table, which is a good idea if you want to come at prime time for dinner. Enjoying a glass of fizz before our meal it did not take us long to soak up the ambiance and realise what a special place it was. Find their menu and more information here.
Christmas Markets – There is nothing quite as exciting as attending a Christmas Market in the run up to the 25th December, and this could not be more true than on Saturday night when I realised it was our turn. I found myself clapping, squealing and smiling like a 5-year old child as we started walking down the row of wooden houses that were home to little shops selling a variety of goods from homemade candles, Bailey’s hot chocolate, knitted hats, paintings, Christmas decorations, handcrafted jewellery and obviously German sausages. G and I took everything in, winning a teddy on ‘hook-a-duck’, going on the Ferris Wheel, ice skating, eating a fresh dish of potato, cheese and sausage and being flung around in the air with my eyes shut on a very tall and scary ride!
Loudons – I was recommended this restaurant by a friend for one of the best brunch locations in town and luckily for us, it was a 3 minute walk from our apartment! We met a friend for brunch and I opted for a delicious Mexican/avocado dish which was ‘oh-so-insta’ and a vanilla latte. I don’t need to say anything other than go go go. Get a sneak peak at the menu here if you fancy!
Chaophraya Restaurant– another recommendation, this was a last minute booking for lunch when we realised that we didn’t have huge dinner plans. Hidden away in a random building, you have to go up a ‘not very well sign posted’ escalator to see what a gem this place is. 100% worth walking around in the rain to try to find it. We requested a table with a castle view and had the best spot in the whole restaurant (in the glass conservatory!) We shared our food and although we ordered our favourite classic dishes (pad Thai, tempura prawns, sweetcorn fritters and more), they were done extremely well and left us surprised by how fantastic it was, considering it was a bit of a late decision. Find out more here.
I know if we have time off work we usually think of cheap city breaks in Europe, but I couldn’t be more glad that we made the decision to stay in the UK because it felt like we got the best of both worlds – exploring, sightseeing, eating, drinking, laughing and learning, but also relaxing, chilling and catching up with each other without rushing around at 100 miles per hour.
If you have any more questions about restaurants or bars we went to, or want to know other recommendations just comment below or contact me via email – I’d be happy to help!