Last week the pregnancy app on my phone pinged up and said it was a good time to take a ‘babymoon’ so off we hopped to Edinburgh. Well, it didn’t quite happen that way, we’d booked a while ago to celebrate our anniversary, Not having had much time off over Christmas it was so nice to chill out and spend some proper time with Andy.
I started my time off with a spa day at the Holland House hotel, which was just what I needed (although I kept having to stop my massage as I thought I was going to pass out – fun baby times). And then off to Edinburgh for three days. It’s not the first time I’ve been there, but it was the first time I felt like a proper tourist there. Last time I went involved seeing the inside of two children’s rights organisations then straight back home, so it was great to spend some proper time exploring. I’d love to go back in the summer when the fringe is on. On the to-do list for sure. Here are some thoughts on some things that are now on the done list:
Kalpna – Vegetarian Indian restaurant. The food was lovely (sorry, I am never going to be a food critic!), I had the Dam Aloo Kashmeri which was served in this gorgeous tomato, honey and ginger sauce. However, it was a quiet night and the service was a little too…attentive. I hate feeling like I’m being watched when I’m eating! Andy had just picked up the last piece of naan bread when the basket was whisked out from under it. A bit off putting, maybe better to go on a busier night?
David Bann – We found the same as above really. I loved my food, although Andy felt he’d made a bad pick. My mushroom bake with goats cheese and roast vegetables was really tasty, but I hadn’t even put my cutlery in the ‘hey, I’m done’ position when the waitress came and took my plate away. And there were still chips to be eaten! Don’t come between a pregnant lady and her chips. The ginger and lime ice cream I had for dessert just about made up for it.
Hula – Really cute little cafe near the Grassmarket. The epic bowl of porridge and Ginger Jack juice (why yes, I did have something gingery pretty much everywhere we stopped) set me up proper good for the day.
Howies – This is how waiting staff should be! Friendly and made us feel we were choosing the best thing on the menu, whatever we chose! Andy seemed particularly taken with his haggis starter, and my banoffee pie was amazing. (I had a ginger beer to drink, just to continue the theme – Andy thinks I’m trying to influence MiniRegz’s hair colour, I hope it works!).
Illegal Jacks – Tex-Mex fast food, like Boojum in Belfast or Bar Burrito in Manchester. Why isn’t there anything like this in Cardiff? If someone wanted to open something similar on City Rd I’d be a loyal customer. Although the veggie haggis burrito, which is what I had here, may not be as popular down here.
The Elephant House – Where J. K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter novel. My rubbery quiche was made up for by the graffiti in the toilets.
Hannah Zakari – Beautiful little boutique featuring prints, jewellery and accessories by indie designers. Treated myself to some cute little raindrop earrings by Plastic Bat, which sadly reflected the weather for most of our time in Edinburgh, apart from the Saturday which turned out to be a beautifully sunny imbolc – spring is on the way people!
Red Door Gallery – Another lovely little shop selling artwork, jewellery and accessories. On Victoria Street, one of Edinburgh’s most picturesque streets. I could have spent lots of money on prints – if I had lots of money to spare! Restrained myself and just bought a little postcard instead.
Analogue Books – Independent bookshop specialising in art and design books and magazines. Got myself a copy of Frankie magazine to keep me busy on the journey home.
Edinburgh Zoo – It’s a zoo – penguins, parrots, primates, pandas, you know the score. If you do want to see the pandas, remember to book at least the night before!
National Museum of Scotland – I love wandering aimlessly around museums like this, learning about genetic clothing, and giant sloths. Make sure you go up to the roof terrace for some great views.
Museum of Childhood – Ok, so we mostly went to this one because it was free entry, but it was a fun way to hide from the rain for a bit. A collection of children’s toys and playthings put together by a man who apparently didn’t like children.
Terror Tour – There appear to be a million of these kinds of things in Edinburgh. We went on one organised by Auld Reekie Tours. Took us around some of the South Bridge Vaults, which used to serve as underground slum housing, but now houses a Wiccan temple, a ‘haunted’ stone circle and various other apparently spooky goings on. In the room that supposedly is home to a poltergeist one of the girls on the tour stumbled forward and claimed she’d been pushed and her hair pulled (although she was standing next to Andy so I suspect him).
Thanks for the fun times Edinburgh! My boots are now falling apart from walking so much, so am off to put my feet up and recover.