Inspire Me: 9 great things to do in the next week

Africa theme at The Pond'Botanic Lights 2016
Africa theme at The Pond'Botanic Lights 2016
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THE 2016 Botanic Lights is entitled Explore, fitting as this year, the Royal Botanic Garden’s award-winning spectacle promises a ‘round-the-world lighting odyssey’.

Light, sound and nature merge in the ground-breaking event which promises to take audiences from the US to Chile and around the tropics to China and Nepal, exploring regions from where the Garden’s plants were collected, and places where its scientists carry out important conservation work today.

RBGE’s Heather Jackson says, “We are excited about this year’s concept - a lot of work goes into making every lighting set spectacular, and much effort is spent to ensure that Botanic Lights is unique and exciting for returning and new visitors alike.”

Explore, until 6 November (not Mondays), £15 (£7.50 -16), family tickets £27 (3 people), £40 (4 people), 0844-573 8455 or


THE Autumn/Winter season of A Play, A Pie and A Pint at the Traverse is well under way. This week it’s Mischief By Ellie Stewart playing on the lunchtime stage. Ronnat and Brigid live alone on a tiny island where they trade with the monastery across the water.

However, the delicate equilibrium of their lives is threatened when a man washes up on the beach seeking work and shelter.

Tickets, costing £12.50 include the 50 minute play, a pie, and a choice of a pint of beer, a 125ml glass of house wine, or a regular glass of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, lemonade, orange juice, filter coffee or tea. A 1pm start means it’s the perfect lunchtime pick me up, there’s also an evening show on Saturdays at 7pm.

The season continues, next Tuesday, with Walking On Walls By Morna Pearson. When Claire was little she’d pretend she was Superman. Now an adult, she hates the graffiti and drugs in her town and is on a mission to clean up.

Traverse, Cambridge Street, 0131-228 1404


WITH more than 50,000 followers on Twitter and 20,000 on Facebook, Scottish punk/popsters Single By Sunday are ones to watch.

They stop of at Electric Circus, Market Street, tomorrow to demonstrate why.

Their music has been described as having ‘the fun and excitement of early Busted records with some Scots swagger’ while the infectious catchiness of their songs draws on influences as diverse as Blink 182, The 1975, 5SOS, Paramore and Green Day.

Although currently unsigned, it’s unlikely to stay that way for long.

Singer Josh Ladds, 22 says, “Our manager always says ‘gig like your life depended on it... but have fun’.”

Promoting their debut EP Get Up Get Out tomorrow, that’s exactly what they intend to do.

Support act on the night will be Mad Tango with an arsenal of brand new, upbeat and feel-good original material.

Single By Sunday, Electric Circus, Market St, tomorrow, 7pm, £6, 0131-226 4224


TO celebrate its 150th birthday the National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, is hosting its first ever sleepover.

On Saturday, families will have a rare opportunity to spend the night in Scotland’s most popular museum as the museum continues its anniversary celebrations with a fun family sleepover.

Children aged 7–11, and their grown-ups, will take part in exciting activities around the Museum before spending the night in the Grand Gallery, under the gaze of the Tyrannosaurus rex.

Inspired by the Museum’s grand opening in 1866, the evening’s entertainment will have a Victorian twist, with historic hosts, storytelling and a time travelling detective adventure.

Tickets, £45 per person, are available from


TIME to roll! If you thought rollers discos were consigned to the history books way back in the early 80s, think again.

Yes, it’s time to look out those leg-warmers, don those wheels, and embarrass the kids with a family trip to the roller rink.

United SK8S Family Roller Discos are hosting two events in and around the Capital over the next week or so.

First up, on Saturday, Meadowbank Stadium is the place to be for the ‘HUGE Family Roller Disco’.

The fun starts at 4pm and runs until 5.30pm, with tickets £6 for adults, £5 for kids, and family tickets at £20.

The family session will be followed by an adult session between 5.45pm and 7.15pm.

Prices remain the same, with skate hire an additional £1 per person.

United SK8S are back a week later, on 22 October, when they roll into Musselburgh Sports Centre for a Hallowe’en themed ‘Spooky Skate’ from 2.15pm-4pm. For more details visit


OKTOBERFEST may have departed Princes Street Gardens for another year, but there’s still a chance to clink those glasses and share a beer at the Marriott Hotel, where head chef Clark Gillespie has partnered with renowned Scottish brewery, Harviestoun, to create the ultimate food and craft beer pairings.

Gillespie, 33 years a chef, has used his culinary skills to whip up a variety of delicious dishes, each of which is perfectly paired with an award-winning beer.

Available until the end of October at the hotel’s Source Grill restaurant, Gillespie’s griddled lamb and coriander patties, for example, have been matched with Broken Dial, an amber ale, made with what is often considered to be the finest hop on earth, the Simcoe hop.

“Pairing the right food with the right drink is extremely important for an exciting culinary experience,” says the chef.

Marriott Hotel Oktoberfest, Glasgow Road, 0131-334 9191


CROSSING the boundaries between traditional and contemporary Indian dance, Dance Ihayami presents a new powerful dance experience of evocative rhythms, technical precision and striking geometry at the Festival Theatre’s Studio space tomorrow.

Silent Space, The Studio, Potterrow, tomorrow, 6.30pm, £7, 0131-529 6000


BLACKWELL’S Bookshop brings Scotland’s bestselling crime author, Ian Rankin, to the Royal Lyceum next month in an evening of conversation with writer and literary critic Lee Randall to mark the publication of his latest novel, Rather Be The Devil.

John Rebus, now a couple of years into his retirement, finds himself drawn into a cold case from the 1970s involving a female socialite, found dead in a bedroom in one of Edinburgh’s most luxurious hotels.

It’s a crime more than 40 years old, but no one was ever found guilty.

Now, Rebus has his own reasons to investigate... but it is going to set him against some very dangerous people.

In a tale of twisted power, deep-rooted corruption and bitter rivalries, Rather Be the Devil showcases Rankin and Rebus at their unstoppable best.Some cases never leave you. The death of beautiful, promiscuous Maria Turquand still preys on the mind of John Rebus.

Murdered on the night a famous rock star and his entourage were staying at the same hotel, her killer has never been found.

Meanwhile, in the dark heart of Edinburgh a young pretender, Darryl Christie, stakes his claim, but a vicious attack leaves him vulnerable, and an inquiry into a major money laundering scheme threatens his position.

Is old-time crime boss Big Ger Cafferty biding his time?

An Evening with Ian Rankin, Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street, 7 November, 7pm, £8, 0131-248 4848


FANCY a break from city shopping, or a bite to eat before hitting the town. The chefs at the Mercure Hotel, Princes Street, swapped chef hats for thinking caps recently to reinvent their restaurant menu.

The result is an exciting selection of reasonably priced Chef’s Signature dishes including a Black pudding Scotch egg, chorizo salad, and Tandoori spiced chicken skewers with sweet potato fries.

Book now on 0131-226 8434