Toast marshmallows and sip mulled wine at Edinburgh festive pop-up

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If sitting by the fire with good food, mulled wine, and friends and family sounds like your ideal festive evening, then you’re in luck.

Edinburgh businesses, bar Paradise Palms and street food market The Pitt, have teamed up to put on the cosiest Christmas pop-up the city has ever seen this December.

The Fireside event will bring together the best bits of a traditional Christmas, alongside modern street food and unique entertainment.

Creating a winter retreat

This new winter retreat will be located in The Arches, part of the New Waverley development, which is home to a variety of independent businesses.

Fireside will be taking over four of the disused arches, and transforming them into a cosy Christmas hub.

Each arch has its own unique purpose, including the bar, ‘danceteria’, feasting hall, and games room, as well as an outdoor courtyard.

Visitors will be able to admire real Christmas trees, while relaxing on Chesterfield armchairs around roaring log fires, for the ultimate festive experience.

Street food, festive drinks and entertainment

Open from 30 November to 6 January, entry to Fireside will be free, and the festivities will run between 12 noon and 1am each day (excluding Mondays).

In addition to toasting marshmallows by the fire and sipping on mulled wine, guests will also be able to enjoy craft beer and street food from around the world.

“We’ll have a rotation of four different unique street food offerings each day, so just like the food at The Pitt, there will always be something for everyone,” explains organiser, Trystan O’Brien.

“Paradise Palms will also be setting up a Lucky Pig vegetarian and vegan stall.”

The Pitt, who are well known for their regular street food market in Leith, will be bringing together a variety of local street food traders throughout the month.

The team from Paradise Palms will be looking after the drinks, with a selection of Christmas tipples and local craft beers and cocktails (served in flasks for handy fireside sipping) available in the bar arch.

“We’ll have a range of hot mulled drinks, including hot cloudy cider, mulled buckfast wine (actually delicious!), hot tropical rum punch, hot buttered rum and hot whisky toddies, together with draught beers from Barney’s Brewery and Williams Bros,” explains O’Brien.

As well as food and drinks, there will also be an eclectic programme of events running at Fireside throughout December (including live music and DJ sets), culminating in an extra special Hogmanay Bash on New Year’s Eve.

“Our entertainment is shaping up nicely, with nights from Optimo, Sneaky Pete’s, Night Vision, Samedia Shebeen and our chaotic fringe cabaret show, Pollyanna, making an appearance for one night only on Saturday 9 December,” says O’Brien.

An independent alternative

The organisers hope that Fireside will provide a unique retreat in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town during the frantic festive period.

The pop-up will have a chilled out atmosphere during the day, and more of a party vibe at night – but the four different arches will allow visitors to choose the kind of ambience that suits them best.

The four themed arches will give visitors and locals the chance to ‘eat, drink, dance and play’ their way through the Christmas season away from Edinburgh’s more mainstream Christmas markets in the city centre.

Fireside’s organisers aim to create an alternative to the hustle and bustle of Princes Street, offering a more relaxing experience and showcasing some brilliant local independent businesses.