Hi Everyone, I hope you are all having a wonderful week and looking for the weekend. This is not my usual posting day, but I have managed to find some quiet time from my hectic schedule the past few weeks to share with you all the adventures that I have.
This one is just an introduction to my weekend getaway with my sister to Edinburgh. It has taken so long to write this post because I don’t think how I can do this beautiful city justice. I believe there is a reason why it is the most visited city after London! Let’s dive into Day 1 of our trip!
I landed late in the evening in Edinburgh due to delay to our flight and not enough staff handling suitcases from our flight. Turns out that this is a regular occurrence, so for those that are planning to go to Edinburgh and had plans after you land, I suggest that you leave ample time!
Novotel Hotel, Edinburgh Centre
Thankfully, the airport is not far from the city centre, where we stayed at Hotel Novotel Edinburgh Centre (note that there are two branches, the other closer to the airport). I really do not recommend this hotel at all. Though location wise, it is great and the lobby recently refurbished. I thought the rooms and bathroom had a lot of wear and tear. Definitely not worth the money we paid for the room, therefore, I highly recommend that you try and other hotel than this one. It is located right next to a Premier Inn…I think I might have been better off there!
Other than my poor accommodation choice, the rest of the city is beautiful and the people are so friendly! My sister and I also had great luck with the weather – mostly sunshine with only a spattering of rain! None of my Scottish friends and colleagues back in London believed me when I told them!
All things Harry Potter….
On the first day, we started off just walking through town, where we found Grassmarket Square with a few stalls. It is located right at the foot of Edinburgh Castle, for someone who has never been to Scotland before (despite being British), this was really phenomenal and exciting! We didn’t manage to pick up anything along the stalls, but we kept walking and arrived at Victoria Street.
For those that may not know, this is probably one of the most photograph streets, with its colourful facades and cobbled streets. As I climbed up the hill, it is no surprise how J.K. Rowling might have been inspired by it for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series. Each individual shop had these beautiful displays of tweed, and little bookstores crammed next to another shop. So dreamy!
For all my fellow HP fans out there, you have to visit Diagon House, which sells all things Harry Potter. I am not 100% sure whether all the merchandise in there is official but all the trinkets and beautiful displays, really makes it worth while! There is also another branch on Cockburn Street.
Despite Victoria street being so famous, it is one of the shortest streets! So do not expect that it will take long at all to walk through, though it is just around the corner from the Royal Mile, this is where you see all the hustle and bustle! With large groups of tourists disembarking from coaches. Though crowded during the weekend I was there, it still managed to retain its charm and it is the number 1 place to go to pick up a souvenir!
Whilst at the Royal Mile, we stepped in St. Giles’ Cathedral, which is famous for its fine selection of stained glass windows. For all photographers, please be aware that there is a £2 charge to take photos whether from your mobile or camera. I don’t often take pictures of the inside of churches (exception being The Sagrada Familia, Barcelona), therefore I do not have photos to share with you but I highly recommend to step into this lovely cathedral, which is free for all.
Given the wonderful weather, we decided to walk all the way out of the city centre towards Stockbridge for our first meal in Edinburgh. Before flying from London, I was doing a lot of research to where I could have a nice meal without breaking the bank. One name that came up was Rollo. It is a boutique family run restaurant and for adults only. Not only has it received wonderful reviews about the food, but also famous for its super chic design. This comes to no surprise given that it is owned by three partners George Rollo – Architect, Alison Rollo – Sculptor, Ailsa Rollo – Fashion Designer.
I loved the atmosphere in there and truly one of the most outstanding service I have had in a long while. I enjoyed the food though was not blown away. It is difficult to pin down the cuisine, as it was was fusion of many cuisines but mainly west meets east. I have to admit that their non-vegetarian options were a lot more exciting than my pumpkin gnocchi. Nevertheless, I think it is worth seriously considering if you are in town and looking for a place to eat. (3 out of 5 pineapples!)
The Royal Botanical Gardens
Before heading away from Stockbridge, down the road from Rollo, we found this amazingly cute store – Life Story (on London Street) which I think everyone should stop by if they love things for the home! It had such a great collection of home ware which is mainly Scandinavian inspired (think white marble and slate coloured bowls). Really loved the vibe in there! Highly recommended if you like stores such as the Conran Shop in London.
To make most of the sunshine, we walked all the way to the Royal Botanical Garden. As I have gotten older, I have found myself wanting the to connect with nature more and my love for anything green has grown. The Royal Botanical Gardens satisfied ALL those needs. I can’t express how beautiful this place is. If you ever go to Edinburgh, I personally think this is a MUST visit place and that includes paying tickets to go into glass houses. There is no point otherwise. For those who follow me on instagram, you might have seen a few of these leafy greens on my feed. It is so wonderful to walk around the gardens, they had a pond where we managed to spot a few ducklings too. A definite 5 out of 5 pineapples from me!
I think that is enough an update from me today! Can’t wait to share with you my adventures for Day 2. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!
With Sweet and Sour Love,