A ‘mini’ break only in the sense we were there for two days, we did however, manage to cram in about a weeks worth of sightseeing whilst we were away.
Our legs didn’t forgive us quickly and Monday morning was a struggle but this did mean we got to tick off some of the best bits of Edinburgh and eat plenty of delicious food without feeling overly guilty about it.
We had an almost painfully early flight on the Saturday morning. You know, when you look at the alarm beeping in front of you and can’t quite believe you have to remove yourself from the warmth of your bed. It makes it a little easier when you remember it’s not because you have to go to work but because you are off on an adventure.
Our hotel was about a 20 minute walk from the centre and almost parallel to Arthur’s seat – a dormant volcano with incredible views of the whole city. With this in mind once we’d dropped our bags off at our hotel, we made a slight detour and took a climb to the top.
After the slippery and slow walk back down – I was in knee-high boots as I wasn’t expecting to be climbing many hills on our city break, we headed into the centre for the most anticipated event of our trip. For me anyway.
Thanks to my friend Emma at work, I found out a cat cafe existed in Edinburgh – there was no question, we were going.
The cafe is open at specific times, allowing only a certain number of people in at one time. You get an hour, whereby you can have a slice of cake, cup of tea and make a fuss of your new feline friends.
For me, it was the highlight of our trip.
I was in my element the entire time. It’s a good job there was a time restriction, otherwise we wouldn’t have seen anything else of Edinburgh.
If you fancy a visit, the cafe is called Maison de Moggy.
Next stop was lunch but not before a quick stopover at the castle.
The old buildings dotted around the city, steeped in history bear their age – their presense towers over you and can create quite an eerie atmosphere, especially when the day draws to a close.
Lunch was stumbled upon on the outskirts of the old town. Both being foodies we’re usually keen to do a little research before making a decision, however sometimes you just have to trust your instincts (and the menu) and hope you’ve found yourself a winner.
Luckily we found ourselves a little gem at Hadrian’s Brasserie, located in The Balmoral Hotel, offering a varied three course set lunch menu.
A recharge and some food was just what we needed. I started off with some salmon and James went for the terrine.
For mains we both opted for the braised beef, that came with smokey mash – an ingenious idea.
To finish things off I went for the sticky toffee pudding and James had the cheese and crackers.
A great find and perfect spot for a bite to eat whilst visiting the city. Feeling re-energised we spent the next couple of hours in the new town, where you’ll find all the shops you need to get your retail fix.
Later that afternoon we had booked ourselves up on a Ghost Tour. We got taken around parts of the city, told gruesome facts about what happened to people who broke the law or often just said the wrong thing.
Part of the tour took place in vaults under the city. We heard of more ghostly stories of people who had perished in the vaults and how other visitors had felt the presence of spirits.
Enough spooky tales to give me a restless night we went in search of something a little more relaxing.
So what better way to relax in Scotland than with our own whiskey tasting.
The pub had well over a hundred different whiskeys for us to sample, it’d be rude to not check out at least a few.
Feeling warmed up from the inside out we headed out into the cold, back to our hotel. A successful and jam-packed first day in Edinburgh. Stay tuned for part 2!