Category Archives: The Edinburgh Address

Articles about Edinburgh written for the Edinburgh Address luxury holiday apartment company, where I work as Marketing Assistant, and also take on tasks in guest relations.

Winter in Edinburgh – St. Andrew’s Day

Written by Aija for the Edinburgh Address Blog
Saturday, 23 November 2013 
Whereas in many countries, my own included, a national holiday is just another bad excuse for drinking more than usual – but in Edinburgh it seems to be another good excuse for celebrating the extraordinary creative power in the city and country’s ingenuity. It is not for nothing Edinburgh is considered to be the best city in the UK, and one of the leading travel destinations in the world with the ever-growing success and room for opportunities. So, next weekend it is the time for another one of those fantastic Scottish celebrations – St. Andrews Day.St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland – Andrew was first recognised as an official patron saint of Scotland in 1320 at the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath an appeal to the Pope by Scottish noblemen asserting Scotland’s independence from England, and his patronage extends to fishmongers, gout, singers, sore throats, spinsters, maidens, old maids and women wishing to become mothers. What an eclectic mix – same as is the city of Edinburgh and the extravaganza of St. Andrew’s Day.

This year the city celebrates yet again in style and lavish – with a whole day of free events and celebratory atmosphere on Edinburgh’s Grassmarket from 2pm till 10pm – and sticking to Edinburgh’s tradition of catering to all, the whole day is free! All the shows and extravaganzas of the day showcase the very best of Scottish culture. This includes musical galore by Dougie MacLean, Blazin’ Fiddles and Breabach! And not to forget if you get hungry, the Grassmarket Market will be trading throughout the day from 10.00am to 6.00pm offering a range of quality foodstuffs from locally sourced vegetables, fish and meat to hot food with a distinctly international influence! And it is not all happening just in Edinburgh – Fife has its very own St. Andrews Food and Drink Festival l coinciding nicely with St. Andrew’s Day – on going already all the way until December 1st!

From traditional music and dance to storytelling, St. Andrew’s Day is sure to have something for everyone, and it is just another taste to what rich, vibrant and full of life city Edinburgh actually is!

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The lively Leith

Written by Aija in the Edinburgh Address blog
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 19:23
Another part of Edinburgh worth every bit of your appreciation and keen exploration is Leith . A port district to the north of Edinburgh city centre, Leith and Leithers – though now part of the burgh of Edinburgh – are still fiercely independent in nature and character. And they have every right to be, what with all the undiscovered gems which most Edinburgh visitors have not dared to venture out to scavenge. Of course, Leith Port is also where the Royal Yacht Britannia resides, for those curious.

Leith brims with personality and creativity; quirky off the trodden path indie shops and bars, high quality restaurants and cafes providing respite from all the walking and exploring. And not to forget, there is a whole film on the beauty of Leith – anyone seen Sunshine on Leith?

The best way – weather allowing – to find your way into Leith is along the Water of Leith walkway that leads from Stockbridge, Dean Village or Canonmills all the way to Leith’s picturesque The Shore area. Alternatively, you can also use some of the excellent public transport connection from New Town Edinburgh centre down Leith Walk.

If you are out looking for some culture, Leith is definitely the place to go, as there is always something going on (same as the whole of Edinburgh, really – this city never sleeps!) and there is a varied choice from exhibitions, to live music, to the general hub of night life. And you could never stray away from Leith hungry – the abundance of restaurants and cafes is stunning. For those looking for a snack or a comfortable lunch, you cannot go wrong with any of the Boda crew’s places along Leith. From the top of Leith Walk starting with Joseph Pearce, then  Boda, Victoria, and Sofi’s, you are sure to be in for a treat! As well as yummy treats we mustn’t forget the tongue-in-cheek, contemporary and definitely unique monthly changing art exhibitions.

The other lovely pit stop for coffee and, ethically sound, home-made delicacies fix is the Word of Mouth café, just off from Leith Walk. Just alone their savvy local sourcing of products and support of local businesses especially in and around the Leith area is worth to stop by to show this lovely café some love.

Up for something with a laid back and distinctive atmosphere for that dinner of yours? The restaurant e:s:i (or the Englishman, the Scotsman and the Irishman) is a gorgeous restaurant with enviable first class food. A warm and friendly restaurant with excellent service provided by the Englishman, Scotsman and Irishman – three friends who have joined together to open their first restaurant. What originally was a fire station has provided the brasserie a unique layout, entering e:s:i into the nu-Leith era in style

And of course if you can tear yourself away from the Michelin star restaurants of Kitchin and Martin Wishart and the Plumed Horse, there is the splendid The Ship restaurant, with inimitable sea food of highest quality – and a wine list to match! And the cook’s in The Ship are not shy about their skills either, explaining how with over 200 varieties in Scottish waters, they are in the enviable position of being able to offer a world class product that’s enjoyed in the world’s finest restaurants. I do agree – plus you will be onboard a ship for your exclusive dinner, overlooking the quaint The Shore.

And of course, now that Christmas is on its way, there is no way Leith would not join the jolly season with its very own switching on of Christmas Tree Lights event with a hearty sing a long officially starting the Christmas season in Leith!

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Literally Literary Edinburgh

Written by Aija on the Edinburgh Address blog
Saturday, 16 November 2013
One of the greatest assets of Edinburgh is its rich, centuries old cultural legacy – and none other is as impressive as the literary cocoon the city has been, being the birth place of many of the literary greats. And what better way would there be to enjoy the city’s finest than following on the footsteps of just, for example, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson or the more contemporary Ian Rankin?

Edinburgh has the honour of being one of the UNESCO’s cities of literature and as such, prides itself with numerous literary events, fairs and other literature themed accessories around the capital city. A lot of the masterminding behind the events is by Edinburgh City of Literature Trust, who constantly come up with new ways of celebrating the literary richness in the city (just look at their events page!). And of course during the festival season there is the ever-amazing Edinburgh International Book Festival. But when it is not festival season, there are numerous ways of getting yourself acquainted with the literary affluence.

For example, you might want to take part in one of the literary tours – the most popular and always exciting are the Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour and the Edinburgh Book Lovers’ Tour And what is more, if up for it, you can conduct your own walk following the storylines of some of the best literature set in Edinburgh or written by a Scot.

During your literary exploring, you might also want to pop in for a hot drink and a delicious pastry while you browse the selection of books and rest your feet. This is ideal in the abundance of selection of indie bookshops around the city that also have cafes and events within them.

Personal favourites, for a literary puff like myself, is the Looking Glass Books and Pulp Fiction Books. Always a great atmosphere, always great service and both with unique flair to them.

And after all that exploring of the literary scene and history, what would a bibliophile want more than obtain a copy or few of the thing itself; books! City of Literature Trust has come up with the amazing Bookshop Trail app that is up for free download on their homepage, and lists 53 bookshops around the city centre that are worth scavenging thoroughly. And as Christmas is nearing, it is always good to remember a book is a gift that keeps on giving – it does not go out of date and it does not wither away; it is your best friend, your biggest challenge and the greatest comfort one could have.

Never boring in the city of literature, with whispers of profound cultural inimitability following you with every step – what more could anyone want?

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Ex Tempore

 

 

Written by Aija in the Edinburgh Address Blog

Saturday, 09 November 2013

Arthur's Seat view from HolyroodEdinburgh never ceases to amaze me. Just when I think there could not be more to discover, I go for a walk, on that rare sunny day this time of year, and as the weather is so uncharacteristically warm and sunny, I keep walking.dunsapie loch2

This ex tempore day stroll took us through Grassmarket, up Victoria Street to the Royal Mile, down all the way to Our Dynamic Earth. Can’t stop here now can we? Through the Holyrood Park up to the foot of Arthur’s Seat and little ways up there’s the Dunsapie Loch, filled with what seems like dozens over dozens of swans and other water birds. What’s that? Up the hill overlooking the Loch still remain the ruins of St. Anthony’s Chapel. The view from up there is breathtaking. You can see big part of the city centre, all the church peaks and the Castle.

Back down through the park to go behind Holyrood Palace, up Abbey Hill and towards Regent Terrace, a road I haven’t before walked through. Probably that was why I was surprised to encounter the Old Calton Burial Ground – a beautiful old cemetery that whispers of history, clashing with the modern times abuse it suffers from the hands of renegades of all sorts. Another beautiful view of Arthur’s Seat, from a different angle.

It is nearly impossible to stop walking in Edinburgh once you’ve started. Just wanting to walk through yet another path or passage, wondering what they could possibly lead to. From the Old Calton Burial Ground we walked to the steps at the bottom of Calton Hill, deciding to go up the Hill as well – why not, we were there already!

Walking the curving path winding up towards the top of the Hill, getting an almost full 180° view of the city. Unbelievable.

After all that walking (whole walk was about 4 hours, with breaks to take in all the beauty and sun) there are no words to describe how hungry I was! faber emporiumCandy proved to be the best place for tea – some finger food for starters, a great burger for main. The whole dinner for two with drinks came to just over £21 and is absolute quality!

After dinner the dusk had set, which proved perfect for a walk through the city itself, with the street lights and street performers adding to that eerie, yet magical feel. Sometime is hard to understand how lucky I am living here, and how happy just a walk in the city can make me.


Last but not least, we ended up back in Grassmarket and although it was chilly, the outside seating area by the Last Drop was too tempting. Another amazing view, people watching with a wee dram of Dalwhinnie wrapped up the perfect day.

 

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Chan eil aon chànan gu leòr

Written by Aija in the Edinburgh Address Blog
Saturday, 28 September 2013 15:57
The headline translates to “one language is never enough”.

Today when I was walking to a meet in the city, I heard an older gentleman greeting another with “Feasgar math! Ciamar a tha thu?”. I am by no means a proper linguist, but that did not sound like any other greeting I had heard before. The two gentlemen continued their conversation in English, but that phrase stuck in my mind until I got home and got to make some research. After multiple attempts to write phonetically what I had heard, I found out that “feasgar math” is Scottish Gaelic for “good day” and “ciamar a tha thu” is “how are you”. Now, I couldn’t pronounce that to the life of me, but I find it fascinating that an ancient language such as Gaelic, abeit being a minority language, is still spoken and even educated in schools.

Scotland is one of the three countries that belong to Gaelic language group. The three Gaelic groups – Irish, Manx and Scottish – are distinct from each other and unfortunately a minority language that in places is facing extinction. A sad example is the Manx Gaelic, where the last native speaker, Ned Maddrell, died in 1974. On a positive note, though, Scotland and Ireland are still undertaking grand measures in keeping the rare language alive. Edinburgh being a wonderful example of this – with opening its first fully Gaelic school; Bun-sgoil Taobh na Páirce, or Parkside Primary School, has a roll of 211, 58 of whom are in Primary One. A further 79 children are in the nursery. There are 30 Gaelic-speaking staff and the curriculum will be taught entirely in the language. The Parkside Primary join other two fully Gaelic language schools in Scotland.

An indigenous language that might be in decline, but recent efforts to revive Gaelic in Scotland seem to be working. The previous Census results recorded an 11% drop in speakers, while the new figures suggest a 1.2% fall from 59,000 to 58,000. The latest results also show a 0.1% increase in Gaelic speakers aged under 20. This increase in interest towards Gaelic and in the numbers of people who regularly speak Scottish Gaelic is encouraging, and communities and the cities are providing more and more opportunities to enjoy events and entertainment in Gaelic. Edinburgh being an exhilarating and culturally very diverse city, with a steeped heritage in Gaelic, it is exciting to see the growth and trust in the origins of the Scottish culture.

Fascinating, don’t you think? Slàinte mhor a h-uile là a chi ‘s nach fhaic!

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‘Tis the Time

Written by Aija
Saturday, 02 November 2013 in The Edinburgh Address Blog
 

The Jolly Season is nearly upon us! Winter in Edinburgh is yet another magical time – with markets and events happening all around the city, there couldn’t be much better a-place to get that Christmas shopping done and to do it in style – and that means with a mug of mulled in your hand!

When you make your travel bookings, make sure you plan around some of these extraordinary events – and keep in mind the Winter Special deals on our apartments to make sure you get the best experience from your stay!

For a day out with your mates, loved ones and kids, a special New for 2013 is the Real Christmas Tree Maze, which is bound to be a joy for children and adults alike, explore the maze in East Princes Street Gardens – can you make your way to the centre and back again? If you do find the centre, then Santa’s elves will be waiting for you with a present.

The best attraction that will keep you busy for a full day or two are the three special Christmas markets that spring up for the season. The Traditional Scottish Market at St. Andrew’s Square will offer the shoppers and connoisseurs the best of Scottish food and drink on offer. If you are a tourist, there is no better place to find that special Scottish treat to bring home with you for the holidays. The Edinburgh European Market on the Mound Precinct and West Princess Street Gardens then follows more the traditions of Germand or Bavarian Christmas markets, including the variations of Glühwein to keep you warm, and where you can find those quirky trinkets that make your Christmas that much special. And finally, there is the Children’s Market right the heart of St. Andrew’s Square is the Children’s Market, a host of magical child-friendly shopping, aimed at to enable children to be their main customers.
All of the markets are open from 22 November 2013 – January 5 2014. Sunday – Thursday 10am – 9pm and Friday and Saturday 10am – 10pm.

If you get cold and yearn for a moment of warmth, department store’s Jenners and the shopping centre St. James both have a fantastic Christmas atmosphere – with special deals and decorations all around to ensure that jolly holiday feel. And if the Christmas market food is not enough for you, Edinburgh always has a selection of culinary delights to choose from for you brunch, lunch and dinner.

Light Night
Sunday 24 November 2013, 2.30pm to 5pm, is free for all to enjoy and encapsulates the spirit of the festive season: the family and the community. As always, the Light Night will follow a theme and this year it is the Twelve Days of Christmas, with a selection stages along the length of George Street and an estimation of 850 performers giving their best. The theme is the Twelve Days of Christmas. Hosted by Arlene Stuart of Forth Radio, the event will culminate with the lighting of the Edinburgh Christmas Tree, a traditional gift of solidarity from Norway, at the Mound, with the Olympic Gold medalist Sir Chris Hoy switching on the central Edinburgh Christmas Lights!

LIMBO
22 November to 5 January 2014
For the first time, St. Andrew Square becomes a major arena for the Christmas Event.
St. Andrew Square will host the magnificent Paradiso Spiegeltent, which will present LIMBO, the international circus sensation, direct from Australia and London’s Southbank before it heads to the Sydney Festival and an international tour in 2014.

For the all night partiers, looking for that special Christmas sensation – in the Summerhall
for ten day special tour, 4 December to 21 December 2013, back by popular demand is the sell-out hit of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013, Hot Dub Time Machine: Best. Party. Ever, makes a triumphal return to Scotland for 10 exclusive nights.

After all that shopping and events out, all you probably want to do is lay your head down on the comfort of home away from home. Here at the Edinburgh Address we appreciate the joys of Christmas, and in the spirit of holidays offer a range of special Winter Specials:

Apartment Castle Terrace @ 9A – 15% Off in November!

New Town Boutique @ Northumberland Street – 10% Off in November!

The Gatekeepers Cottage @ Blacket Estate – 15% off in November!

The Studio @ Drumsheugh Gardens – 10% Off for Midweek stay in November!

Stockbridge Grandeur @ Carlton Street – 10% Off, bottle of bubbly and a free late check out to make that shopping spree that much more special!

Oh, and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow soon!

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Edinburgh Artisan Fresh Markets

Written by Aija
Monday, 28 October 2013 19:24 in The Edinburgh Address Blog

 

Edinburgh is a fantastic example of supporting the local producers – every weekend there is a fresh market or few to choose from, to get that fresh goodies kick. The offer is as varied as it is fresh, and there is the added bonus of exceptional atmosphere to go with your shopping. Face to face shopping with those who actually have made/grown the products available, and it is well worth the moment to spend talking with the producers, informing yourself of where the meat, fish, fruit, vegetable, baked goodies or hand-made crafts actually come from. It is more a social enterprise than just another shopping experience.

The Edinburgh Address has many apartments conveniently located just around the corner from some of the best Edinburgh fresh markets, to make it easy for our guests to nip out for a fresh bun with some home-made jam or other delicacies for your breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

Just up the road from The Stylish City Break @ Gayfield Square and a short walking distance from South Charlotte Street @ Charlotte Square there is the St. Mary’s Market, just in front of St. Mary’s Cathedral on Cathedral Lane. The market is every Saturday from 9am to 5pm, and is one of the community-focused markets, which also supports various social projects within Edinburgh city and the Lothian area, and are committed to reinvesting part of our profits from stall rent into projects that benefit the local community with a focus on employability and skill development.

Just across the road from Apartment Castle Terrace @ 9A and Garden Apartment @ Castle Terrace, and short walking distance (less than 10 minutes) from The West End Retreat @ Lynedoch Place, Drumsheugh Apartment @ Drumsheugh Gardens and The Studio @ Drumsheugh Gardens is the most popular market in the city; the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market. With over 55 specialists attend every Saturday (9am to 2pm, on Castle Street) with their artisan goodies, fresh bakes, vegetables and fruits and fresh dairy, meat and fish products. With the quirky add of the smallest café on wheels, the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market is somewhere you want to spend a good hour browsing for the best for you daily needs. Or if you just want to drop by for a quick snack, make sure to try some of the best hamburgers and other delish dishes cooked and served smoking hot and ready to eat (especially head for the MacPherson family’s Well Hung and Tender stall – you won’t regret it!).

Near our lovely Stockbridge Grandeur @ Carlton Street apartment, there is the artisan Stockbridge Market, Sundays from 10am to 5pm, on the corner of Saunders and Kerr Street’s (not too far to walk from our other city centre apartments, mind you!). The Stockbridge Market brings that extra bit of grandeur to the artisan delicacies in offer; where the farmers bring in their freshest of products with traders and specialty producers from all over, including Scotland’s own as well as French and Italian specialties. Just the idea of those French cheeses and wide selection of antipasti makes my tummy growl.

Have a delicious stay in UK’s happiest city!

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Scotland’s Finest Dishes – the “must taste’s” of Scotland’s traditional dishes

Thursday, 25 October 2013 | Written by Aija | The Edinburgh Address Blog

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One of the most enjoyable things to do when travelling is to try all the local specialties. Each nation has its traditional dishes that go way back to the beginnings of a nation. Scotland is no different. Everyone’s aware of the fact that some of the best lamb and mutton comes from Scotland, as well as what haggis is. But there is so much more in traditional Scottish cuisine to be explored – for those with a strong stomach and a taste for hearty home meals. The indigenous game and temperate climate, Scotland is a well of delicious dishes; the abundance of seafood, pastures of free grazing lambs and the plenty agricultural lands ensure fresh, home-made goodness. And deep-fried Mars bars.

Being a expatriate now local to Edinburgh, I went digging for some of the most typical Scottish dishes, so here they are – and they are, in their own way, scrumptious!

Aberdeen Rowie
A buttery, also known as a rowie or Aberdeen roll, is a savoury Scottish bread roll. They are noted for their flaky texture and buttery taste (hence the name). To those who have never experienced one they are probably best described as a flattened, round croissant, with a very salty taste.

Cullen Skink
Cullen Skink is a thick Scottish soup made of smoked Finnan haddock, potatoes and onions. This soup is a local speciality, from the town of Cullen in Moray, on the northeast coast of Scotland. The soup is often served as a starter at formal Scottish dinners.

Sheep’s Head Broth
Also called powsowdie. Best way to dissuade you from even thinking about this traditional Scottish food is to quote part of the recipe. ‘Choose a large, fat, young head. When carefully singed by the blacksmith, soak it and the singed trotters for a night… Take out the glassy part of the eyes… then split the head with a cleaver.‘ Mmm – right? Also, Sheeps’ heads are not skinned in Scotland but singed only and this gives the good flavour to the broth.

Stovies
Recipes and ingredients vary widely between regions, and even families, but the dish usually consists of tatties (potatoes) and onions and some form of cold meat (especially sausages or leftover roast.) The potatoes are cooked by stewing with fat stove being the old Scots word for stewing. And absolutely heart-warmingly tasty especially on a cold day – comfort food at its best!

Lorne Sausage
Sliced sausage (often known as square sausage, or lorne sausage) is a delicacy which may be pork, beef, or a mixture of the two – is set into a square and sliced into pieces. The sausage is rarely a perfect square given the minced state of the meat, which is often bulked out with other ingredients such as rusk. Especially great for breakfast with a couple eggs and a fresh-from-the-oven roll!

Scotch Pie
A Scotch pie is a double-crust pie originating in Scotland but also popular in England. The traditional filling is minced mutton, often highly spiced with pepper and other accompaniments such as mashed potatoes, baked beans, brown sauce or gravy, contained in a crust of thin, stiff pastry. An individual piemaker’s precise recipe, including the types and quantities of spice used, is usually kept a close secret, for fear of imitations.

Every year, the Scotch Pie Club holds the World Scotch Pie Championship (entry deadline is November 1, 2013!). Butchers and bakers enter their pies into this competition, and the maker of the pie judged tastiest by a panel of judges is awarded the title of World Scotch Pie Champion!

Bridie
Another type of meat pastry or pie, with this one originating from the town of Forfar. It is made of minced beef, sometimes with onions and spices, placed on rolled-out pastry and folded into a semi-circular shape; the whole thing is baked in an oven.

Haggis, neeps and tatties
Scotland is famous for its game and salmon, the national dish is haggis and neeps (innards and offal chopped up lungs, liver and heart) mixed with suet, onions, herbs and spices, all packed into a skin bag traditionally made of a sheep’s stomach. Haggis is often served with mashed potatoes and mashed swede or turnips. And don’t forget to serve with some mouth-watering whisky sauce! Traditionally served on Burns Night suppers as the main deal.

Dundee Marmalade
Traditional marmalade containing thick chunks of orange rind, this recipe (probably invented by his mother) being a new twist on the already well-known fruit preserve of orange marmalade. On a fresh roll or a rowie, yum!

mars bar

Deep-fried Mars bar with Mel McGinnis at Fiddler’s Arms, Grassmarket

Rowan Jelly
Rowan berries can be made into a slightly bitter jelly which in Scotland is traditionally eaten as an accompaniment to game, and into jams and other preserves, on their own, or with other fruits. The berries can also be a substitute for coffee beans, and have many uses in alcoholic beverages: to flavour liqueurs and cordials, to produce country wine, and to flavour ale.

Tablet
Tablet (or taiblet in Scots) is a medium-hard, sugary confection from Scotland. It is made from sugar, condensed milk, and butter, boiled to a soft-ball stage and allowed to crystallize. It is often flavoured with vanilla, and sometimes has nut pieces in it. A bit like fudge, but not fudge.

Oh, and Glasgow is the home of the deep-fried Mars bar.

Is your mouth watering yet? Can’t wait to get your hands on some of that haggis with tatties? Most local restaurants and pubs serve a variation or another, so finding the local delicacies will not be an issue! And before you choose your restaurant, see our special offers for the perfect flat for your stay – all our flats are very central, so after that hearty meal, you can almost roll back to the comfort of your apartment. How about an extra special treat for yourself or someone you wish to indulge, as they deserve? At the Edinburgh Address we also have a fantastic chef available, for that special night in with your mates or your significant other – professional chef Steven Harvey offers a fine dining experience to our guests in their Edinburgh Address apartment.  Choose one of our four decadent menu options, and allow yourself to be spoiled

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We’ll Weather the Weather Whatever the Weather Whether We Like It or Not

 

Written by Aija
Saturday, 07 September 2013
The time of the year has come, when the weather proves to be even more precarious than normally – that half of the year when any Courtesy of Annu Oksmantype of weather phenomenon could take place. Such as today; sunshine, rain, sunshine, heavy rain, sunshine and wind wind wind.

That does not stop the locals nor the tourists from venturing to the great city of Edinburgh, ready to experience and explore. A great opportunity to get to know the city better is the upcoming Doors Open Day weekend on 28 and 29th September! Organised by the Cockburn Association, the Doors Open day weekend provides something for everyone – architectural discoveries, educational heritage encounters as well as the best of the cultural opportunities – and what is more, admission to all buildings is FREE!

A city of contradictions not just by its weather, but also through its never-ending possibilities of discoveries and experiences, the metropolitan hub with a village feel that enchants as much as infuriates. Much of the city’s deep rooted intellectual and cultural heritage is played down by the down-to-earthness and approachability of the locals. Not a day goes by that an expat like myself will find herself in midst of light hearted banter and off the cuff quips about the tram works or the upcoming referendum the same as the stranger on the street would be talking to a close friend.

City built in three levels allows you to ceaselessly find new routes to your already established haunts, the hidden wynds, closes, pathsCourtesy of Manuel Bukovics and staircases ensure you get your daily cardio as much as find endless amounts of hidden treasures.

How about wandering down to Leith Shore for some of the best home-made food in the lovely Granary? On the way there, why not stop by one the Swedish (oh yes, with meatballs and smörgåsbord and all!); Sofi’s, Boda or Joseph Pearce’s.intellectual and cultural heritage is played down by the down-to-earthness and approachability of the locals.

Have a quick snack at the Spoon or a heftier meal at the Mosque Kitchen, neither too far from the Pleasance Cabaret Bar before you mosey on to one of the well-kept secrets of the local student hoard. The wonderful underground pop up events, such as the Wordy Thursdays, an open mic night by Soap Box that is sure to have your linguistic senses tingling! Or the ever so quirky and wonderful Neu! Reekie! that surely is unbeatable when it comes to fusion nights.quips about the tram works or the upcoming referendum the same as the stranger on the street would be talking to a close friend.

Courtesy of Melissa McGinnis

Being relatively new to the city, I Still get to enjoy the walk about and sudden realisation I’ve stumbled on a way I have never been on before, found a nook I have not yet explored or sat down for my drink and a meal somewhere I haven’t tried out before, or warmed myself up with a snifter of whiskey I haven’t tasted before. Although, bit by bit, the homey feel of Edinburgh has even the most curious explorers set in their ways – and more often than not, I will opt for the Last Drop on Grassmarket for my drink, more times than I care to admit settling for that smooth taste of Dalwhinnie, or go for a meal at the Caley Sample Room. I’m a creature of habit, even in exciting Edinburgh.

I think I’m here to stay. Royalty and grungy underground scene in the same city, what more can you ask for?

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New Town Magic

Friday, 30 August 2013 by Aija

 

The modern face of Edinburgh city – or so they say, as in all honesty, modern is only referring to the things you can do and what and where you shop, not the actual part of town. New Town is as rich in history and culture as the rest of the city – built in stages between 1765 and around 1850, and still retains the most of the original neo-classical and Georgian architecture. The Old and New Towns were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

In 1766 a design competition was held to find a suitably modern layout for the new suburb that originally spanned from Princes Street down to Queen Street, joining the crossing Hanover, Frederick and Charlotte Streets. The competition was, rather surprisingly, won by 26 year old James Craig, who, following the natural contours of the land, proposed a simple axial grid, with a principal thoroughfare along the ridge linking two garden squares. A nice contrast to the jumbled old cobble street and alleys (or “closes”) or the Old Town, especially with the stipulations of unity (such as how the wrought iron façade details must be painted black) and the communal gardens in the squares between houses. Small patches of respite amidst of the city’s hastiness.

The names of the streets speak for themselves; named after the King and his wife, St. Andrew’s Square and St. George’s Square were the names chosen to represent the union of Scotland and England, and this idea was continued with the smaller Thistle Street (for Scotland’s national emblem) between George Street and Queen Street, and Rose Street (for England’s emblem) between George Street and Princes Street. The three streets completing the grid, Castle, Frederick and Hanover Streets, were named for the view of the castle, King George’s father Frederick and the name of the royal family. Inventive, don’t you think?

What is more, the New Town is home to some of the greatest Edinburgh galleries, such as the National Gallery of Scotland, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery as well as being sprinkled with dozens upon dozens of unique smaller galleries of contemporary local artists. There is more than you can imagine to discover; personal favourite would be the Castle Fine Art gallery on Multrees Walk. Castle Fine Art is known for its rare discoveries that include the renowned Alexander Millar and the occasional exhibition of either Keith Richards or Bob Dylan, to name but a few.

And that reminds me – Multrees Walk. One of the more high-class streets in Edinburgh, located just off St. Andrew Square, Multrees is home to such exclusive shops as Calvin Klein, Harvey Nichols, Mulberry, Louis Vuitton and Swarovski as well as a few lovely cafes, such as one of the two famous Valvona & Crolla deli’s, with unmistakable style of cooking that derives from recipes handed down s over the years from the owners’ families in central and southern Italy and all prepared from the very produce they sell in their own shops.

Another rare gem we would like to recommend for the drama lovers out there, is the Hill Street Solo Theatre – tucked away down a minor street this venue is easy to miss, but the Hill Street Solo Theatre has been in nonstop action since 34 years now, and is one main stay of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival! Focusing on those artists out there that are interested in developing their solo performance work as well as offering workshops and talks of solo theatre, with extensive performance schedule, we would highly recommend spending a night cultured in this unusual jewel!

For a bite to eat, how about starting with the Urban Angel on Hanover Street. Their ethos of providing natural, season, fresh and as local as possible, mainly organic, daily changing inventive menus is what draws in loyal client base that would in a heartbeat recommend the wide range of deliciousness.

An up-and–coming area of Broughton Street is just down from St. James’ Shopping Centre, and for those looking for rare treats and unique shops and places to eat, you would fare well acquainting yourself with the offerings of Broughton. On Broughton Street you would do well to check out the Basement Bar, a fun place and even the staff states that “you won’t find friendlier staff, better tunes or a bigger collection of Hawaiian shirts anywhere in Edinburgh, so what are you waiting for?”, and we are bound to agree. Also, while you’re at Broughton and get peckish, try out the Bonsai Japanese Bar Bistro – amazing choice of sushi and other dishes that will leave you wanting more even after you’ve stuffed yourself silly! Another fine choice is Treacle, with a sophisticated vintage interior and a fair trade menu that reflects the season you could not choose a better place for your lunch/dinner and/or a drink whilst exploring the Street!

Another place for a good night out, we would recommend is the Fingers Piano Bar on Frederick Street. Although it does get extremely busy on weekends, even weekdays can provide you with a treat of piano players who truly know their trade, while you enjoy that excellent drink. All in all, great atmosphere and worth the crowds, if you’re in that kind of a mood. Reviews might be more than mixed, but try out for yourself, don’t believe all that hearsay, we say!

And if you’re looking for something really special, it is the Voodoo Rooms you want. Hidden away on West Register Street the Voodoo Rooms offer an award winning bar, with specialty rums, tequilas and amazing cocktails, and food served daily! But preposterously fine drinks are not the best part – the best part are the live shows that the Voodoo Rooms host, not just for the Fringe, nono – but throughout the year! The Voodoo Rooms aims to provide an electrifying eclectic and exotic range of music, cabaret, exhibitions, screenings and much more to ensure that you shall return, over and over again. And by the way, our staff party there just recently was a blast, great wine for good value and a show for a donation price that we know from experience the Voodoo Rooms are recommendable for that night out – fantabuloustic!

Does dusky purple lights that cast romantic shadows on the walls, jazz-centric music and fine dining sound like just the night for you? Then for a little bit of extra glamour, the Jam House is an experience not to pass. Superb! And for wine connoisseurs there is the treat of Whighams Wine Cellar on Hope Street by Charlotte Square, which has become a leading wine bar and restaurant in Edinburgh, frequented by local dwellers and visitors alike.

It’s not all about party-all-night and eat-yourself-silly, now, is it? Some of the finest views you can have of the city is up from Calton Hill. Climb up any time of the day to enjoy the sunrise or sunset over Edinburgh city centre on one side, Leith on the other and the rest of Edinburgh spreading in all directions – you can even see the ocean from up the Hill! The many monuments up on the Hill provide a rest after the climb, and especially the Athens’ Pantheon, which was built as a memorial to the Napoleonic Wars, is known for many locals and readers for a place to sit and take in the day, read a book or enjoy your picnic – if you get up on the monument itself that is!

The elegant, spacious housing that was to be the answer to the overcrowding of Old Town has proven to be a gem for The Edinburgh Address as well – we are proud to have not one, not two and not even three apartments in the area, but all together we have four gorgeous apartments in the midst of the New Town grandeur.

The two grand apartments we proudly represent are the New Town Chic @ Northumberland Street and New Town Boutique @ Northumberland Street. Conveniently right by each other, the two apartments are perfect for a larger group (can sleep all together eight) or two smaller groups (each sleeps four) when looking for a bit of luxury where to rest after a day of exploration, hill climbing, fabulous dining followed by wine, cocktails and a show or a few. Both of the apartments are ideally located in Edinburgh’s prestigious and central New Town and are in an excellent position from which to explore Edinburgh, being less than 10 minutes’ walk from both Princes Street, with its city centre shopping and the delightful Stockbridge Area. And you’re in for a treat, as with both of these apartments we currently have special offers, which you would be wise to take a use of!

What more is there to say? New Town has magic, hidden treasures in all its little alleys, nooks and crannies, and you never know – if you venture all the way down to Young Street, you will get a glimpse of the sordid night life of one of Scotland’s most well-known literary characters; Ian Rankin’s Rebus is known to frequent the Oxford Bar in Rankin’s novels. Why not become part of that fictional atmosphere, and make it a one-night reality.

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