La Lanterna restaurant has been around for decades, with word of mouth largely responsible for its success. It would be quite easy to miss if you were just walking by on the street – with an unassuming sign and a small flight of stairs down to the basement level, the institution quite easily blends into the background of the big bright lights of the city centre.
Something of an institution in Edinburgh, you’ll never find Black Medicine Coffee empty. It’s in a fantastic location, a stone’s throw from the university and only ten minutes from the city centre. Plus, rumour has it that JK Rowling wrote some of the first chapters of Harry Potter in this very building.
If I were to sum the Edinburgh weather up in one word, it would be: changeable.
For as long as I can remember, Edinburgh’s Christmas has been something of a tradition in this city. Every year, during the month of December, the normally empty courtyard beside the Scottish National Gallery becomes a charming and whimsical European style market, with more craft stalls and rides expanding down to Waverley Station.
However, last year the Christmas events were taken over by Underbelly, and as a result the operation has “snowballed” (see what I did there?!) into a huge funfair/market/entertainment extravaganza that covers most of East Princes Street and St Andrews Square. If you’re planning on making a visit, put aside at least a couple of hours to enjoy everything there is on offer.
Edinburgh is chock full of free museums and exhibits, but one of my all-time favourites has to be the Museum of Childhood. I went on my very first visit back when I was 10 years old, and have been back countless times since. Usually, it’s the first place I go when I am playing host to visitors who have never been to Edinburgh before.
There’s no doubt about it. If you want soup in this city, there is only one place to go: Union of Genius. But don’t take my word for it – they have a whole rack of awards and accolades, judged by people far more worthy than I, that goes to show just how soupy their soup is.
A welcome sight for those who have just come down from Arthur’s Seat, The Sheep Heid Inn in Duddingston is the oldest running pub not only in Edinburgh, but Scotland as a whole. With a charming exterior and a lovely warm pub inside, it’s a great way to reward yourself after a long day rambling around Holyrood Park.
I often joke that Mary Queen of Scots is my next door neighbour. Pretty much on my doorstep I have the delights of Craigmillar Castle Park, home to (as the name aptly suggests) Craigmillar Castle, which was once home to one of our most iconic historical figures.