Earlier this year, me and Green Ranger went to Edinburgh for the first time – ok, it was in February – a while ago but it is still worth a post. When we arrived it was still snowing in that part of the world, after coming from an equally cold but wet London. After the excitement of getting on such a short aeroplane trip from Gatwick, we took the Airbus to the city and past Edinburgh Zoo as we went, excited for our Valentines Day treat to ourselves.
Once we arrived, it felt as though I was in another country. There was a large hill, covered in snow, that looked like something from a Tolkien novel with a beautiful and quaint castle on top. After staring for a little while and gathering our bearings, we needed a hot chocolate and cake.
We found our Novotel, it was a little bit out of town but cheap enough not to complain. We later found out we had full access to a pool and spa but forgot our swimmers! Anyway, back to the cake part.
We ventured into West Port and found a stripped back but very adorable cafe called Lovecrumbs. We sampled the local handmade cakes; I had a raspberry jam and white chocolate three-tiered monolith and GR had a coconut and passion fruit slice of heaven. Annoyingly, I lost out in the competition ‘Who picked the best slice?’.
After trialling what Edinburgh had to offer in way of cakes, we wandered around town and stumbled upon a jewellery shop I had found online that I needed to visit – Hannah Zakari. After 30 minutes of indecision and looking at wooden to perspex jewellery in so many colours it blew my mind, I bought myself a beautiful, simple, gold star necklace – the simplest piece of jewellery I’ve ever owned.
We then got washed out by the weather but I did enjoy this piece of graffiti:
“So much for my happy ending.”
“Have a cup of tea and write a better one.”
The next day rolled around and it was Valentines day, our visit to the Zoo and most importantly GIANT PANDAS was imminent. We hopped on a bus after visting a gorgeous french patisserie, Valerie, in the morning.
Edinburgh Zoo itself was a delight. The animals looked like they had been well looked after for many years, and despite them being in the suburbs of a city, you wouldn’t have known it from their exciting enclosures. However, there was a lot of funny business going on – it was coming into mating season for a lot of the species, even the Pandas and love was truly in the air.
As lunchtime came about it was our time to visit Tian Tian and Yang Guang. The staff at the Zoo were trying to get them to mate (pandas are notorious for only mating during 24 hours a year and that’s if they feel like it) and it looked fairly promising at the time (we later found out it was unsuccessful). However, it was truly wonderful to see a panda up-close and very exciting to see how they interact with one another at such a special time of the year.
After the excitement of pandas, it was lunchtime and we decided to try a deep fried Mars bar… The verdict: delicious, even though it looks fairly foul.
After returning to the city, we got ready for our Valentines meal at one of the oldest pubs in Edinburgh, I had researched it online and the pub came highly recommended, named 1780. It was here that we sampled a delicious meal, had a somewhat questionable dessert (a half set strawberry and whiskey cheesecake that our chirpy waitress assured us would be fine – it must have had half a bottle of whisky in it) and too many ales to count to the sounds of cheerful folk music.
When we paid the bill, I was offered a beautiful pink tulip by our waitress, or by then friend, that I kept for the remainder of the trip in our hotel room.
Other interesting spots we visited included Camera Obscura which provided us with some of the most stunning views of Edinburgh – definitely worth a visit with a camera, Deadhead Comics, the Royal Mile and the National Museum of Scotland which we hid in for one afternoon.
Have you ever been to Edinburgh? What were your favourite parts?