We paid a visit to Stockbridge's new Neighbourgood Market - which is giving the area new lease of life

Takeaway food just isn't quite cutting it anymore – but Neighbourgood is giving street food fans a new sense of normal
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Scotland really is sensational when it comes to street food - and Edinburgh’s latest outdoor market is no exception to all of the Capital’s hidden gems.

While those of us living towards the west of the city often need to venture to Leith to try out the latest pop up, or van, there is now something extra special for those who can’t make the trip down to The Shore as often.

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Hidden in the grounds of the Grange Club and tucked behind Raeburn Place is a space, which to many people had previously been unused by anyone who wasn’t into cricket or sport - but has now been transformed into a bustling socially-distanced social space.

Neighbourgood is the latest addition to StockbridgeNeighbourgood is the latest addition to Stockbridge
Neighbourgood is the latest addition to Stockbridge

Born out of lockdown and ‘the new normal’ is Neighbourgood - a stunning open air space offering up a safe and dynamic platform for local businesses and traders to sell products.

There is a one-way entrance and exit system into the wide open grounds which has everything from desserts to fresh vegetables.

I took a trip down to be pleasantly surprised at how normal and relaxed it felt, for weeks we’ve all been locked down, nervous about the outside, but the one-way entrance and exit system didn’t even phase me.

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Throughout the market there are ground markings for queuing at each trader and socially distanced circles for people to sit and enjoy some sun, good food and relaxed music. There’s even going to be yoga once they are allowed to practice.

The market have partnered with Deliveroo for contactless paymentThe market have partnered with Deliveroo for contactless payment
The market have partnered with Deliveroo for contactless payment

Traders range from The Prosecco Boys - who run a bright pastel pink stand offering up glasses or bottles of well...prosecco, and equally pink truck Don’t Tell Mama, which serves unique coffees and sweet treats. While the thought of hot chocolate never really does it for me - I’m sure I will head back at some point to try out one of their delectable chocolatey drinks.

On my visit I tried out the Loaded Festive Bowl from Caravan of Courage - think vegan Christmas dinner with macaroni and cheese, topped with crispy onions. I must say that while not a vegan myself, I really consider switching this Christmas just to eat this again.

Alongside that I tried - and shared - fresh and salty halloumi fries from Rost as well as trying some of my guest’s buffalo cauliflower. I highly recommend them all, but I’ll definitely be making another trip to try out what is on offer from The Peruvian, Manapoke Bowls and Mint.

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Musselburgh institution Luca’s Ice Cream had a van set up and Mimi’s Bakery were also on hand to bring the sweet treats to the market - if I had had the room for it I would have had one of each.

You can't miss these two pink pop ups!You can't miss these two pink pop ups!
You can't miss these two pink pop ups!

There is definitely something for everyone of all ages with all different tastes.

With social distancing in mind, Neighbourgood is completely contactless - and my favourite part about it was the fact you could grab a socially distanced table or space and order from the Deliveroo app to pick up from each of the vans.

Since lockdown began something I have not done a lot is ventured out to treat myself to a restaurant or cafe for lunch because part of what I miss is sitting in.

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While The Pitt and Leith Arches have modified their approach to takeaway only, the real treat about Neighbourgood is the fact you can have an outdoor space right next to everything and sit in the area.

If you haven’t busted your gut by the time you leave and feel like you should cook up something fresh tomorrow - Romain Calm is set up right at the entrance and exit point.

They sell shiny fresh and ethically sourced Scottish produce including the biggest beef tomatoes I have ever seen, oyster mushrooms and Scottish grown pak choi. I must warn though, if you love a vegetable it is hard to stop yourself picking up one of everything - just make sure you double (paper) bag it so it doesn’t fall apart in the middle of Stockbridge right as you leave…I’m telling you from experience.

While all the excitement of Stockbridge has always gone on towards the Dean Village and Water of Leith end, the area at The Grange Club has a new lease of life thanks to this new addition.

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The Neighbourgood Market will run weekly until the end of August, Wednesday to Sunday and trading hours will be 12:00pm until 7:00pm - but if you’re not quite done after then, The Raeburn’s outdoor seating has also reopened if you want to drop in for a couple of more drinks to polish off the evening!

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