Tag Archives: Edinburgh

Working full – or part-time while studying – doable exhaustion?

Penguin

A discussion on Reddit sparked a wander down a memory lane. Contributor j_icicle enquired  How do people bring themselves to be in full-time work and part-time education at the same time? For this contributor the mere idea seemed inconceivable;

I just can’t see my self sticking with it, I can’t drop full-time work because of rent and life ect but I’ve been doing shit jobs for 8 years with very little increase in pay. My GF would never let me just up and take out huge loans to get my through university and it would be unfair to her if I did.
Taking 4 years out of my life, by the time I get anywhere I’ll be 28. I also get paid to play music a few times a week so I’d have to drop my social life as well as that extra income would be gone.

Child, please – I was lucky to go through big chunk of my studies without having to work but once that option was gone, I worked and I worked hard – there was no question. While studying full time, I had two part time jobs as well as being involved in student advisory body at my undergraduate institution

So many other contributors have lived through it, and they know the reality of it –

I work a full-time job and go to school full-time as well. Is it difficult? Yes. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You’re just going to have to make some sacrifices along the way. That might be not grabbing a beer with your buddies every weekend due to studying. As long as you remain focused, you’ll be fine. (OhPraiseHim)
In 4 years you are going to be 28. Do you want to be 28 with a degree or 28 without a degree?
Eye on the prize, mate. Little pain now for greater gain later. (Pun_In_Ten_Did)
I am currently working full time and attending school full time. I had the same issue you seem to be having, what’s the point of going back to school if I’m going to be 28 by the time I graduate? If you let that thinking take over, next year you’ll be 29 by the time you graduate instead of one year closer to your goal.
Can it be stressful? Totally. But I keep telling myself that I’m going to bust my butt now so I can have an easier life in the future.
My suggestion is to try going to school while maintaining your full time position. If it gets to be too much, there’s no shame in cutting work back to part time while taking out some loans. Loans can be a great resource if used properly. (DC_lurker)

 

Once I decided to do my postgraduate and move to a new country (best choice ever – by the way!) I knew I would have to work. I ended up being unemployed for several months but eventually through volunteering I met some good people, got my first job in a new city and never stopped working since. At the busiest time I had 3 part time jobs while studying part time in a university that was in a different city than where I lived. And I was making enough to make ends meet, not to save much or have that “out all night, sleep all day” student life. I had weeks when I would together with the commute work anything between 60-72 hours a week, plus studying time. My friends and family were asking me when do I find time to sleep? August 2014 was my reply – that would be when I have handed in my thesis and I wouldn’t commute, I wouldn’t write, I wouldn’t research, I would just work. Just one job. I would have a regular 9-5 life like so many people and I would love it.

As I put on my penguin gown and listened to the speeches, as I walked in a line, got “capped” and my hand shaken and patted on the back by friend and families, I swore never again – never again would I study as it had drained me dry and it was hard and I had achieved what I was out to get education wise. It was time for a change. I was exhausted.

And now I work. Yet I haven’t really found the haven I was looking for. It’s not the job; I enjoy my work (or aspects of it…).

My jobs have exhausted me more than my studies did; I commute, I work on shift-pattern, I come home, I eat sleep and repeat. I haven’t got much time or energy to socialise, and I seem to recluse myself without realising, making bad excuses for not going out or avoid making plans all together as I know I might have to work. And I have started to consider options. My work has made me see how much I enjoyed studying, how much I enjoyed the reading and researching, the constructive arguing and the writing, the testing my own abilities intellectually. I have realised I long to be back in an University setting; I am a fish out of water without it.  Although there are so many questions to answer before a decision can be made. Questions like; “will someone supervise my idea?”, “is my idea good enough?”, “am I good enough?”, “will I have the energy?”, “will I get bored?”, and so many more, but most importantly – “how will I afford it?”

Is going back to university, working throughout full or part-time really worth it? Would I do it again? The answer is simply yes. I’ve done it, and it burned me out very quickly. But damn did it not also kick my but in gear. I am older now, I’d like to believe I have more discipline and determination and I definitely have learned to skimp and not have the kind of social life most students dream of.

Now I just have to make words into actions. Easy, eh?

 

onlyWay

 

 

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‘Espresso Sospeso’ or ‘suspended coffee’; the new pay-it-forward.

Yesterday I spoke of my coffee addiction with a fellow addict. First time in a long time I was told there was no judgment for me drinking more than eight cups of coffee a day (well, I used to – now it’s more like four or five). And that got me thinking of all the new flavoured coffee creations, those with all sorts of creams and liqueurs and spices? Whereas I’m more traditional – I like a cappuccino, espresso and most of the time I’ll opt for just a cup o’ joe so piping hot it’ll put a hop in my step.

Now, I don’t usually partake in “do this get this, do this feel, this pay this feel this, I dare you I dare you not” challenges presented on Facebook or other venues. But recently, I’ve seen a lot of inspirational people turn the ice bucket challenge to something else. For an inspirational example, my friend Inês turned the ice bucket challenge into something more personal, and more beautiful, with a well-explained message on how she would not throw cold or other kind of water on herself, but rather has donated and encourages others to get involved with suspended coffees.

cafe-sospeso

Those unfamiliar with the idea, the idea of suspended coffees originated in Naples, Italy, and has since spread across most major cities. Largely due to the unwavering efforts of an Irishman John Sweeney,a young plumber from Cork who recently himself having experienced unemployment knows exactly how hard it can get.

For those more suspicious, not in first-name basis with “in your face” homelessness and anti-homelessness campaigns, suspended coffees is a way to give with knowing your contribution goes directly to help those in need, with no second or third parties taking a cut, without governmental organisations involved and without any morality preaching. It is up to you what and how much and if you indeed suspend something at all.

So, what do you do? How does it work? What does it mean for those in need? And if you have questions, do some rudimentary research – such as open a link, Google it or, you know, ask… Valid or invalid questions alike can be covered with the rather self-explanatory answer of how the process is rather simple; you walk into a coffee shop, order your coffee and on top of your own explain the barista that you would like to include (insert number here) suspended coffees as well. You pay your own and the suspended coffees, and next time someone in need comes inquiring for a warm drink, they’ll have one waiting for them.

As this heart-warming notion of help is spreading, it is good to be aware of the locations nearest to you. Myself being in Scotland, here’s a list of suspended coffee places in Scotland. But I’m sure there is more to follow?

Social Bite Rose Street, Edinburgh. They are a leading example in Scotland when it comes to suspended coffee. Truly remarkable. And it’s not just coffee.

Stewart’s Cafe St. Andrews Street, Glasgow.

Bite’s and PCs Internet Cafe Main Street Falkirk.

Our Story Cafe St. Andrews.

Moondogs Channel street, Galashiels.

The Suspended Coffees Scotland are continuously looking for more coffee shops to get involved, so if you or you know someone who does run a coffee shop, in Scotland or anywhere, find your local suspended coffee community and get involved. As that hot beverage or a sandwich or whatever you have suspended might be the only thing down on their luck individual gets that day, you can be the reason for someone to lay their head down that much fuller of warmth, even for one night.

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Books, Beer and Biscuits – Marion Sinclair Talks Books and Publishing

Another riveting guest speaker at the university of Stirling’s publishing course – Marion Sinclair the chief executive of Publishing Scotland, and herself a 1987 alumna of the Publishing course.DSCN4609

Marion informed the class of how the combined turn over in Scottish publishing is roughly 350 million, with around 17.000 professionals directly employed within publishing, with also much of publishing related work being outsourced out of house. This means the Scottish publishing industry s roughly the same size as the cashmere and salmon industries – the two biggest export goods from Scotland. Banks, biscuits, books and beers is what the Edinburgh city as founded upon, and this is why Publishing Scotland is actively encouraging growth within publishing business – and here Marion’s message to the publishing wannabe’s coincide; it is a great time to be entering the industry. The industry is in constant move, and even if a main street publisher disappears from Edinburgh, another will start in Glasgow and eventually vice versa.

How does Publishing Scotland fit into the Scottish publishing scene and why does the publishing business need a support organisation? As a small nation with so much to offer, it makes sense to have a collective voice, a collaborative organisation that can voice concerns and operate as a liaison between organisational bodies.  Publishing Scotland is “the network body for the book publishing industry in Scotland, working to promote and protect the interests of its members, both nationally and internationally”; with over 60 members (or over 95 per cent of Scottish publishing industry). These members consist of suppliers, universities, booksellers, literary agents, publishers, and other relates to the industry either directly or indirectly. Publishing Scotland, as an non-governmental, charitable organisation, can collectively on behalf of book industry professional negotiate and find the most beneficial deals, assist in setting goals and all in all find the best solutions to all questions and issues raised for all parties involved. As Marion explains, the Publishing Scotland as an organisation offers specific, targeted advice, planned activities and events for publishing industries – including magazines, libraries and schools who are out to find the best opportunities. These activities and advice include training opportunities, marketing advice, infrastructure projects and tailored advice related directly to your organisation and the goals you have set out to achieve. And what is more, Publishing Scotland helps you find the right kind of funding. In collaboration with Creative Scotland, Publishing Scotland offers the Go-See Grants Fund; purpose of the fund is to enable Scottish-based publishers to attend national and international book trade fairs for the first time. (Deadline for this is next week – there is still time!) The other notable fund Publishing Scotland and Creative Scotland have teamed to administer, is the Go-Digital Fund which is aimed to help publishers in three areas:

(a)   in accessing training or consultancy on digital matters;
(b)  attending digital events in the UK and overseas; and
(c)   marketing their digital books and content

This fund is especially interesting, considering how the evolution of book industry is moving; it is necessary to embrace all things digital; we might not wish to consume digital but it does consumer us.

All the support that Publishing Scotland aims for is to aid the publishing professional and those just entering the business to be responsive to the sector needs, operating as the network body, offering advice, digital support and helping to get the message out there, enabling contact and assistance from government bodies where necessary. Much of the work is relating to consumers and the nature of the market. Simply put – Publishing Scotland is there to strengthen the business capacity of the members of the industry and to support them to be the best they can be, to build their sustainability in a precarious book industry; for publishers by publishers.

DSCN4610Considering that Scotland already has strong government objective for supporting creative industries (a category under which publishing fits), and how there is a strong national sense in how the knowledge economy needs to be supported Marion maintains there would not be reason for anything to change drastically whether Scotland achieves independence. There would be no sense to start creating trade barriers, alienating Scotland as a separate, peripheral entity. Marion sees the future as re-birthing of a nation, re-creation and refreshing and rather than hinder will help the creative industries stance within Scotland as a vehicle of celebrating nationality and uniqueness.

After a thorough insight into the inner operation and mission statement of Publishing Scotland, Marion reminds the students of how it is a great time to be entering the industry; book industry is not dead or dying, but it is changing. And this is why the skills gathered through the publishing course will allow each of us to set ourselves apart; the degree can show we have abilities and keen insight into the industry already as we enter it, instead of entering blindly. It is a complex industry, requiring perseverance and hard work – with the constant changes and other industry advances, there is no other way than to keep up to date. Marion especially emphasises the importance of networking – become known and know the key players, as within creative industries it is often who you know rather than what you know to be able to get ahead and to get that chance. And another rather different advice Marion gave, one we have not heard in class before, is to become numerate; know the key facts, statistics and figures and make sure you understand what they mean to your sector as well as in grand scheme of things. There is power in numbers, and ultimately – publishing is a business.

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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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‘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

Eds

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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