They often say the best things in life are free. After five hours and 43 minutes on one of Richard Branson’s finest (as a treat for being major delayed for our wedding), that isn’t always the case. They’re so comfortable, and the on-board first class service is, well, first class, but 343 minutes?! That’s a lot.
As you can imagine, as we arrived into Edinburgh we were fairly keen to get our lovely long weekend off to a flier. Laura had sorted us some amazing accommodation through Airbnb, and after a short taxi ride, it was time to put out feet up.
Except who travels all that way to stay in their room? Not us (although I’m sure if you ask Laura she might have a different answer), so we headed out. After four days in the Scottish capital and much Gluhwein and Drambuie Hot Toddies, here’s our guide to eating in Edinburgh. There are so many pictures, so instead of taking up loads of room in this post, just slide through on the gallery above!
Even for us nestled in the city centre, this little cafe come restaurant was located short taxi ride away in the middle of another busting neighbourhood, Stockbridge. Nonetheless, braving the freezing air, we made our way to one of our favourite meals of the day. ESPECIALLY when it involves Eggs Benedict, which is exactly what we had. Hamilton’s looks fun and is pups friendly, and as we took our seats we were glad we’d made the effort. Sadly, this was where the fun ended.
We asked for soya milk with our lattes, but they didn’t have any – cue: grumbling bellies full of frothy milk all day. The eggs came with more of a cheese sauce than hollandaise which looked like it had been sitting out for a while, and the eggs themselves bordered on undercooked – we’re not fans of jelly eggs unless Haribo is involved.
Despite the breakfast itself being a bit meh, the service was excellent and it’s exactly the kind of place we think is a local favourite. We can picture socialising with friends without having to yell over loud music here. It’s dog-friendly with plenty of Chesterfields to relax on too. There were a few people enjoying a lazy Saturday morning with the paper and a coffee, or chatting away with the family on the sofas.
Ambience and feel is nothing less than 10 out of 10, but the food is, well, six out of 10…
Treacle Bar and Kitchen Review
An early lunch awaited, and boy did we love it. Located within a haggis’ throw of the Glasshouse and our Airbnb apartment, Treacle enticed us with their promises of home-made STILL IN THE PAN cookies and FRESHLY MADE WAFFLES. How could we possibly refuse? The menu – rather like The Blackbird (below) – was full of variety and catered for everyone looking for a light bite to a hearty pie, which is exactly what I had.
Laura instantly decided on the Katsu Curry with Pad Thai noodles, so everyone was happy. We were even happier when we finished, as the food was beautiful. I can vouch for both, being the human bin I am.
The highlight of the afternoon was the bacon-infused Jack Daniels cocktail. There are many beautiful things in life. Bacon and JD are two of those, so you can only imagine my excitement when I saw the menu.
Add this to Elf on TV, and there was much rejoicing. The place was full of men in suits grabbing a business lunch, to ladies looking to lunch. It was a real mix of food, people, and
Drinks were ordered and arrived about fifteen minutes later, and food was about the same. The longest wait, though, was for the cookie. And this was totally forgiveable given it arrived still sizzling in its own cast iron pan. Served with a lashing of ice cream which was melting deliciously over it all, I don’t know that any other dessert will ever beat it.
(depending on if you’re northern or not)
The Blackbird Bar and Restaurant Review
Tucked away in the heart of Edinburgh’s West End, the Blackbird is no more than a 10/15 minute walk from Princes Street. If you’re staying around Haymarket, even better. We arrived and were promptly seated, a surprise as it was pushing on 7.30pm on a Friday night. The bar was heaving, and tables were getting filled left, right, behind and in front.
A fellow bearded chap called Josh showed us to our tables and ran through the ‘What we’re drinking’ winter cocktail menu (priorities, obviously). Laura found the greatest cocktail ever (her words, not mine) involving sherbet and a strawberry lollypop, and I found mine had a little too much ice but lots of fruity flavour.
One of the best things about the Blackbird is their food menu. It will change as the seasons do, but what we loved was the dishes vary EVERY DAY. Laura’s starter of mussels (BLEURGH) are cooked in a different broth every day, the fish varies on a daily basis and even the cuts of meat. Very impressive. Laura went for the crispy chicken schnitzel and noodles for main, and I had the mushroom and spinach burger. Both were delicious.
I’m not even in the same postcode as a vegetarian, but it was truly outstanding.
The only drawback we could see was the location. It’s a really cool bar, with an outside garden area, mirrors everywhere and the hint of a winter cinema club – it was almost Shoreditch in Edinburgh. But, as tourists in town, there is so much going on around the Old Town and Princes Street it can be quite difficult to drag yourself away.
Like any city you go to, it’s off the beaten track you find the gems, and The Blackbird is one of those. Laura’s just gutted she’s 500 miles away from the best cocktail she’s ever sipped.