O FAIR Edinburgh, your beauty and rich cultural depth we did not appreciate, your cobbled character, your cosy hub and your impeccable fusion of history and the present, we ignored.
We praised only the Megaplex, the Pizza Hut on Victoria Street, Luca’s and “The Cav”. Forgive our teenage ignorance and believe us when we say we have now seen the light atop your castle walls and the beauty beneath our feet.
Alana and Lisa.
Forgive our romanticism, but we have been filming a new series in the city this weekend and had the opportunity to visit some of the Capital’s best offerings and refresh and reset our senses to that of a brand new tourist.
Mother Mac’s fridge door was given a bit of respite as we visited the rustic traditional charm of Hotel Du Vin. Just off the Royal Mile, it’s sandwiched wonderfully between the old and the new. It marks itself out as a restaurant with rooms, characterised by its focus on food and wine – it boasts its own sommelier, a whisky snug, a fresh earthy menu and a dazzling chandelier of wine glasses.
Each of the rooms (aptly named after wines and vineyards) offers a free-standing bath, a couple of which are set in a bay window so you can sightsee and scrub in the suds.
The richly decadent historical murals in the Burke and Hare room, for instance, give a little potted history and along with the decorative splashes of tartan throughout, provide Scottish influence with class.
• Iain Macpherson of Panda and Sons is going to revolutionise the Edinburgh bar scene in the next five years. Mark. Our. Words.
From the corner of Queen Street, you would assume it to be a modest barbers, little do you know of the libations inside. Set up as a classic prohibition speakeasy, you do get the giddy feeling of naughtiness as you prise open the bookcase to enter.
Aside from the wonderfully characterised and innovative drinks menu there’s photo ops aplenty with barber’s chairs, a phone booth and gorgeous gramophones.
The storytelling book menu really ignites your sense of adventure and speaking of ignition, you MUST try the Birdcage Cocktail – a goblet of Johnny Walker Gold Reserve whisky, rhubarb & lemongrass shrub, aperol and angostura bitters, sitting inside bell jar of cinnamon and clove smoke.
We also sipped on The Emperor’s New Clothes from a lovely tin can with origami nestled in the ice, and shared the Liquid Brunch that comes with scented oshibori to enhance the flavours. Want to impress your friends? Go there, immediately.
• Seeing Edinburgh in all its glory while supping and sampling some of its best cuisine? The Tower is the place for you. We visited on a clear sunny day with the light bleeding through the castle and it made our hearts melt like the macaroons we were devouring.
Set above the National Museum of Scotland, its fab for taking new visitors to the city, you can point out all the landmarks and share the little nuggets of history you know.
We opted for the afternoon tea, but a simple scone and a cucumber sarnie this was not. Flowing champagne, a savoury tier with quiches and brioches then two toppling tiers, of chocolate mousses, different scone selections, tartlets and eclairs, we felt like Marie Antionette.
We’re bringing Mother Mac here ASAP to sail comfortably into her good books in time for Santa coming.