Edinburgh is a beautiful and charming city that’s bursting with history, art and cobbled streets; it’s the perfect place to visit during a crisp, cold January- especially because you can pop into one of it’s many unique cafes to grab a coffee every now and then when your hands start to go numb!
On our first evening, we began our very cold city break at Monteiths, a hidden restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh’s old town. We followed a cobbled pathway down an alley that was draped with fairy lights and it led us to the entrance of the bar. We bought some cocktails from there, before heading to where we were staying for the weekend.
The next morning, we decided to explore more of the old town, one place I fell in love with was Victoria Street and its curvy line of colourful shop fronts.
This fascinating street is packed with quirky gift shops, stylish restaurants, bars and boutiques, I wanted to peer into them all and have a look around! J.K Rowling was actually inspired by this street when she created Diagon Alley, a place in the the Harry Potter series and there is also a little red coffee shop in the old town called ‘Elephant House Cafe’ which is where she put her wonderous ideas together and wrote the books- I love the idea of sitting there with an Earl Grey Tea, writing my very own story one day.
Some places to eat in the Old Town:
Scott’s – This café is situated on Victoria street above the colourful shops on Victoria Terrace; if you peer over the Terrace, you’ll get a stunning view of the street and if you’re like me, you’ll take photos of it. The food here was delicious; we tried some vegetarian Haggis, which was really nice and the soup of the day came with a home-made cheese scone that was perfect for dipping!
Southern Cross Café- This quirky café serves a perfect, luxury hot chocolate in a pineapple mug- what more could you need!
There are sparkly lights that hang from the windows, along with artsy, mouth-watering cakes, a gingerbread house and other sweet treats! The cafe is decorated with homely furniture to give the place a cosy feel to it. We sat next to a fireplace and enjoyed our hot chocolates before heading back out into the chilly, Edinburgh air.
Blue coffee box- This very little coffee shop in the street isn’t exactly bigger on the inside (I love doctor who), but it makes use of an unsused police box and sells a hot drink and a chocolate chip shortbread for £4, which was perfect for a mid afternoon drink and a snack after all the walking we had done.
Places to eat in the New Town:
We spent sunday wandering around the new town, but on the way, we stopped off at The Gardeners Cottage for Breakfast, a pretty café in a park.
The cottage was built in 1836 and began as a home to a gardener, but was soon transformed into Edinburgh’s humble home for seasonal food. We enjoyed a croissant with jam and a bowl of granola and yogurt, the waiter topped up our teas and coffees and we munched on our food. I actually painted this beautiful place before my visit, and for giving them my watercolour, we were given complimentary drinks as a thank you.
Henderson’s: There are two of these cafes in the new town of Edinburgh; a vegetarian one and a vegan one, so we tried out the vegan one. If you like sweet hazelnut milk lattes, i’d definitely recommend stopping by this place. I had the soup of the day here, a lovely heart-warming tomato soup and sour dough bread after a cold, breezy walk to the castle!
Tigerlily: This glamorous restaurant on George Street was the perfect place for our last night in the city. We were sat amongst chandeliers, fairy lights and candle lit tables, I spent far too long deciding which cocktail to get from a list of hundreds! I also tried Roti bread for the first time. I really loved it here, it was a perfect sparkly touch to our evening! I had to brush my windswept hair a bit to look a little fancier!
As well as good food, there are some fantastic galleries and museums in Edinburgh that are worth visiting, one of my favourites was The Scottish National Portrait Gallery as there is a J M William Turner section that is only open throughout January, so we were very lucky to see some of Turner’s stunning stormy seascapes in all their watercolour glory.
We had a great weekend strolling around lots of Scottish streets, wrapped up warm in our scarves and hats! I’m on the plane now, goodbye wonderful city, thank you for having us.