Our poor little blog has been quite neglected as of late, but it’s been a crazy busy couple of months! Just like everyone else, it seemed like our Decembers were jam-packed full of festive drinks, shopping and generally trying to squeeze in quality time with everyone we know in the name of Christmas. However, the pair of us were also lucky enough to shoot across the pond to sunny Melbourne for the big day itself – which we spent on a beach at beautiful Black Rock. Posts from Oz to follow soon… but first, a girls weekend in Edinburgh.
I’d had the urge to visit Scotland for ages and after our villa party holiday this summer, it seemed the only way to get over one holiday was to get under another… well, you know what I mean. Edinburgh seemed like the perfect place for a cheap and cheerful winter weekend with the girls – quaint streets, beautiful scenery and quirky things to do that were a bit different to the normal tourist stuff. Here are a few of our best bits:
Brunch at The Pantry
I am such a big fan of brunch (and eating in general) and Edinburgh didn’t disappoint. The emphasis at The Pantry is on quality, seasonal food and the menu is filled with all the brunch-time favourites like eggs, waffles and cooked breakfasts – all with a creative spin. I tried the Sunshine on Stockbridge – poached eggs, roasted tomatoes, spiced sweet potato, roasted aubergine and chilli on toast. Many mimosas were also consumed at this venue. No girls weekend in Edinburgh is complete without mimosas.
City of the Dead ghost tour
We decided to embrace the city’s reputation as one of the most haunted in the UK and booked ourselves onto the popular City of the Dead tour. This took us on a nighttime journey into the network of underground tunnels beneath Edinburgh, where the city’s ‘undesirables’ once lived and died in the darkness. Our guide was great and delivered a hefty dose of history to go with the horror. We also toured the supposedly Covenanter’s Prison where over a thousand supporters of the National Covenant were held for months without shelter and hardly any food as penance for revolting against the Government.
Although these pics were snapped in the daytime, we took the tour by night and I’d highly recommend doing the same if you’re looking to up the spook factor. The vaults and crypts of Greyfriar’s Kirkyard with their tales of torment, body snatchers and plague victims are creepy enough but the Black Mausoleum at night definitely won the creepiest destination prize.
This is the final resting place of George Mackenzie, a bloodthirsty judge who was renowned for torturing and executing covenanters back in is heyday. The Mackenzie poltergeist is said to not only haunt the cemetery but to physically attack unsuspecting members of the public with scratches, burns and blackouts – to the point where Edinburgh City Council locked the gates to the area that had the most recorded incidents. Until City of the Dead tours made a business proposition and were given the key.
Disappointingly, no ghost sightings or attacks to report.
Cocktails at a hidden speakeasy bar
I’m a fussy one when it comes to cocktails (though I couldn’t get enough at the amazing Soho London Cocktail Club), but I can’t resist a tasty espresso martini. Luckily, Panda and Sons, offered the perfect menu for a girls’ weekend in Edinburgh. Taking us back to the traditional speakeasy roots, the front of this cocktail bar has actually been designed to look like an old-fashioned barber’s shop. You have to go inside, down the stairs and through a bookcase to discover the spacious bar below. Quality cocktails and you can order off-menu too.
Cake and cats at Maison de Moggy
Cake and cats – a winning combination, I’m sure you’ll agree! Maison de Moggy, Edinburgh’s first cat cafe, takes its little kitty residents very seriously – visiting hours are carefully controlled and there are a variety of rules you must abide by to ensure the cats stay comfortable. However, there is plenty of petting to be had and some really unique and adorable breeds prowling around. Fluffy Persians, friendly Bengals and (my personal favourite) a mischievous Sphinx kitten called Elodie. Her little bald body might look a bit like the Grand High Witch one she’d been turned into a mouse, but in the flesh she is a gorgeous thing who will dive-bomb your cake soon as look at it.
Oh and the cakes are pretty fantastic too.
Vintage shopping at Armstrong and Son
It’s always fun to have a good rummage in a giant dressing-up box type shop and Armstrong and Son was like an Aladdin’s Cave of vintage! So, many hidden treasures buried in amongst the stock – I caught a friend eyeing up some pretty vintage wedding dresses and we were mildly delighted to find a full Teletubby costume. One girl’s trash…
These were just a few highlights of my girls’ weekend in Edinburgh. But if you have any cool places to check out for next time, I’d love to hear them!
Whilst I have fully returned to reality now, lucky Sophie is continuing her travels out in the glorious Philippines. Although she’s skipping beautiful Boracay, she’s hit up El Nido and my favourite beach in Palawan… Catch up with her on our Instagram @saintsonaplane