MAJE cropped leather jacket | ZARA burgundy cardigan | KATE SPADE clutch (c/o) | ASOS midi skirt | RAG & BONE knee high boots via The Outnet (c/o)
Well hey there! Today's post is another travel one, but this time we're slightly closer to home in Edinburgh. I'm often through for work but very rarely for pleasure (as anyone who's ever asked me for a bar recommendation will know) so me and Rob decided to have a wee weekend there just for ourselves a couple of months ago. We stayed at InterContinental Edinburgh the George, which is one of my all time favourite hotels in Edinburgh; it's perfectly located on George Street (a great street for shops and bars and also a two minute walk from Princes Street/St Andrew's Square), the rooms are lovely and the staff are always oh so very welcoming. Plus their cafe - Burr and Co - is one of my Edinburgh go-to's, it's got a really lovely European feel to it and they do a grrrreat cake. The hotel has a really interesting history too: it's made up of five Georgian townhouses, dating all the way back to the 18th century, in an area that was frequented by famous Scottish faces like Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott. We stayed in one of their suites which was such a lovely treat - there's a living room area, which you can chill in after a hard day's touristing, a big beautiful bed that feels like it's made of clouds, as well as a free standing bath that looks increasingly welcoming every single time you visit the bathroom. There were some lovely Scottish treats waiting in the room for us in the form of an incredibly cosy jumper from Pringle (which you might have spotted on my Instagram stories, I'll show you on here very soon if not) and, continuing on with the cosy Scottish theme, a throw from Knockando - a woolmill that dates all the way back to 1784 and one of the last of it's kind (which you can also now visit in person for a tour) - who are now stocked in Pad Lifestyle and Harvey Nichols, so there's two lovely Scottish brands for you to check out whilst you're in Edinburgh!
We checked in late on the Thursday afternoon, dropped our bags in the room and, with a few hours to spare before dinner, headed down to Armstrongs and Carnivale for some vintage shopping, followed by a much needed cup of tea at Lovecrumbs. Normally we would always head out for dinner when we're visiting somewhere, but on the Thursday evening we had dinner at the Printing Press bar and Kitchen in the hotel and I'm SO glad we did. I'd been to the bar in December for some festive drinks with friends (it's so lovely and atmospheric at that time of year) and loved it, so we started with a wee cocktail in the bar - which I've since learned won Scottish Hotel Cocktail Bar of the Year in 2019 - and then went on to have an amazing meal in the restaurant, tucked in the romantic wee window seat above. I'll let you have a wee look at the full menu here, but my particular favourite was the scallops with pea and parsley puree, whereas Rob said the smoked haggis, pureed neeps and crispy potato starter was up there with the best haggis he's ever tasted (a truly big claim). They were also fantastic with allergies for anyone who, too, suffers with a sad digestive system. Bellies full, we headed up to bed ready for the jam packed Saturday ahead.
WAISTE VINTAGE faux fur cuff coat | & OTHER STORIES black scoop neck top and blue check trousers | ASPINAL OF LONDON brown crossbody bag (c/o)
Friday: Valentine's Day! The morning started off with a visit to the Strathberry shop, it was my first ever time there and it's such a beautiful shop (plus I could easily have spent the whole morning chatting with Ruthie and Vanessa who work there) where I picked up a lovely bag that I'll show you as soon as we're out and about and bags become a necessity again. We finished up, armed with a full day of plans and... cue dramatic entrance from Storm Dennis, who put a bit of a dampener, literally, on those carefully crafted plans. We ran to 127 - one of my favourite cafes in Edinburgh - for cake and a matcha (I'm rapidly realising how hard it is to say you drink matcha without sounding like an arsehole) and a bit of respite. It didn't seem to be letting off any so we scrapped our plans for the day ahead and headed back to watch movies in the room - also my idea of a dream day - but what I'll do is talk you through our original plans so that, if you happen to be there on a more fortunate day, you can hopefully take a few ideas from it! So, originally the day was to start with brunch at Urban Angel (who do 'mmm' worthy gluten free bread) followed by a trip to Anthropologie (we don't have one in Glasgow so I always make a beeline for it when I'm in Edinburgh), followed by a walk up the Royal Mile and down to the Grassmarket - stopping in at Mysa (a lovely homeware store), Pie in the sky (some of the best greeting cards you'll see), The Milkman (another great coffee shop), Camera Obscura (home to many an optical illusion and a really fun way to spend a few hours in Edinburgh) and Victoria Street (the famous colourful street I'm sure you'll have seen many a time on Instagram) with a wee stop off at Museum Context (Harry Potter gift shop heaven) along the way. You can also carry on to the castle from here if you fancy! And then we'd planned to finish up the afternoon at Panda and Sons, a speakeasy bar who do fantastic cocktails (and who I loved even more when I saw they had a cocktail called the 'Paolo Appletini'). Our evening plans went ahead, thankfully, as we'd planned, so we got ourselves into some Valentine's glad rags that Cupid would have been proud of and spent the evening at Fhior. I'd read about it online before we visited, as you do, and was nervous I'd set my expectations too high but, whatever I'd imagined, the meal exceeded it ten times over. We opted for the 7 course tasting menu - Rob with the added wine pairing - which included:
Gently baked North Sea sole in butter sauce with fermented swede and pepper dulse
Roasted East Lothian carrots in a parsley emulsion with whipped crowdie and and chestnuts fried in brown butter
Roasted duck breast with sage marinated beetroot, fermented pear puree in a gastrique sauce made with beetroot, duck stock and pear vinegar.
Pumpkin tart with birch sap ice cream
...pretty special, isn't it? At the end of the meal we sat and tried to choose our favourite course and genuinely couldn't, every single one was just as good as the one that came before. The staff were all so incredibly lovely (and knowledgeable too), they were brilliant with allergies and the food was, of course, amazing, but another of my favourite things was the atmosphere. Often there can be a bit of a stuffy air when you're in a restaurant that offers that level of quality of food, but there was none of that at all, it just felt really nice and relaxed. Their website states that they believe serious food and wine should be accessible, playful and light-hearted and that they strive to ensure their dining experience is delivered with skill and passion but no pretension, and they really have found the perfect harmony between the two. You can choose either 4 or 7 courses for the dinner menu, priced at £40 and £65, or head there during the day to enjoy the lunch menu - it's honestly a restaurant I couldn't recommend more if you're looking for somewhere special to eat once we're able to start dining out again. We're already daydreaming about a return visit!
The next morning we were up bright and early to enjoy one last breakfast - and a whisky sour at the 'make your own cocktail' stand at the breakfast buffet table - before check out. Storm Dennis was in full swing at this point but we decided to brave him a little while longer to head down to Stockbridge for a last Edinburgh lunch before we went home (it was a truly fantastic weekend for our bellies). We were torn between The Pantry and Cowan and Sons - both Stockbridge favourites - but settled on the latter as it was a little closer and the winds were starting to reach hat blowing-off levels. I had gluten free granola, because I'd really hit the breakfast table hard, whereas Rob opted for the veggie breakfast. If you do go there, make sure not to miss the cakes - their gluten free white chocolate and raspberry brownie's heaven. And that brings our 48 hours in Edinburgh to a close! I hope that gives you some inspiration for if you happen to venture to Edinburgh in the future. We're through often, like I say, so I'll keep gathering recommendations as I go!
We were guests of the hotel and Fhior whilst we were there but that hath not swayed my opinion one bit. Thank you to the amazing Jigsaw PR for being so wonderful and arranging such a great trip for us!