Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A Cultural City Break in Edinburgh, Scotland

A Crisp Edinburgh Morning

Well, that was most definitely a quiet spot in blogging, yes? Truth be told, I was planning to go away on holiday, and then I was on holiday, and then I was having a massive clearout and listing tons of my belongings on eBay. Seriously, it takes forever to list stuff on eBay, and I’ve not even got half of it listed yet. That explains why, however, there’s been nothing but white noise on this here blog. Of course, you don’t want to hear my excuses though, you want to hear about my holiday shenanigans, right?
Last Wednesday the Mr. and I boarded a train North to Edinburgh. I love Edinburgh, I don’t know whether it’s the fact that it’s less rushed, the people are friendlier or just the proliferation of tweed and tartan that makes me think it’s the best capital city in the UK. Anyway, having been promised a late summer heatwave, we arrived in suitably summery attire to be faced with thick fog, cold and drizzle.


The only option, of course, was to drag the Mr. reluctantly around Harvey Nics, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Michael Kors! Well…. It was warm and dry in there.


Once we had checked in to our hotel, which was centrally located on Queen’s street, we wandered back out for a meander, stopping off in the amusingly named, but beautifully welcoming, Dirty Dicks. This pub was delightfully dark inside, with an array of nik naks and things all illuminated by gentle candlelight. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend it if you’re visiting the city.

Dirty Dick's Edinburgh travel blogger

After stopping long enough to enjoy a pizza we returned back towards our hotel, stopping off and spending a few hours in the comfy leather chairs at a bar that had been recommended to us by an acquaintance of mine, 99 Hanover. It was a very relaxing way to end the day, before retiring for a well deserved sleep.
We had already decided before coming on the trip that we would fill it with as much culture as we could stomach, and so on the morning of day 2, after enjoying what can only be described as a hearty and good value Weatherspoons breakfast, we were off to the portraits exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. It was a real eclectic mix of self portraits, and whilst I couldn’t deny the talent displayed by artists such as Rembrandt, I was particularly struck by the presentation of selfie’s by Ai Wei Wei, they demonstrated how much social and political commentary can be achieved by one small self portrait on a social media site.
After drawing our own self portraits (I apologise for mine, I can’t draw), we visited the photographic exhibition, and then were surprised to discover we had spent ALL morning in the gallery.


We spent the afternoon perusing the old town, where I mostly drooled over beautiful tweed suits, and tartan skirts because frankly, I do love a bit of tweed and tartan. After a lovely meal at Viva Mexico, and a couple of hours respite back at the hotel, it was back out to the Royal Mile and to a bar called Whiski to enjoy Irish Coffee (yeah I know, in Scotland) and live traditional Scottish music.

British Travel Blogger
Mmmm, Irish Coffee
Day 3, and we were off to the palace to see the Queen’s dresses, but en route we got distracted by another photographic exhibition, this time at the Scottish Parliament. The Harry Benson exhibition was seriously impressive and spanned his whole career, with images of everything from the assassination of JFK, through to portraits of popular figures such as the Beatles, this guy was prolific and seriously impressive.

The Mr. enjoying the Harry Benson exhibition
Over at the palace of Holyroodhouse (where we weren’t allowed to take photographs inside) it was impressive to see some of the rooms that the Queen actually uses today to meet with VIPs, she obviously didn't know I was coming since she wasn't in residence (chortle). A few things struck me about the palace, how threadbare some of the rugs were, and how grand some of the chandeliers are. Such a juxtaposition. The exhibition of the Queen’s dresses though were the real reason I was there, and they did not disappoint. Amazing 1950s gowns with tiny waists and handsewn beads by some of Britain’s best vintage designers was truly breathtaking, oh, and more tartan and tweed of course.

Dress by Lindy Bop, Shoes Clarks, Jacket Gap
Keeping with the Royal theme, we walked to the other end of the Royal Mile to visit the Castle. Overlooking Edinburgh on a high extinct volcano, this is the perfect spot for views of the city and beyond and we were blessed with a fabulously clear day to see it all.


Inside the castle was as impressive as outside, with grand paintings, great halls and all around grandeur.

Edinburgh Castle


After taking a drink in the Kenilworth, which holds special memories of being the pub we drank at on the night of our wedding, we spent the rest of the evening back in the Old Town enjoying yet more Scottish music at the Doric.
A selfie in the pub where we celebrated our wedding years ago

On our final morning, we took in the permanent collection at the Scottish National Gallery, before wandering around Princes street gardens in the sunshine. The train journey home was a long one, but we were filled with fantastic memories of a wonderful break in an amazing city and I know that I won’t leave it so long next time before visiting again.


5 comments:

  1. Edinburgh looks absolutely fantastic, one day I will cross the border and visit!
    That pub sounds like just the kind of place I'd visit - I'm with P though, those department stores are my idea of hell - great photos! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks lovely. Edinburgh is on my wish list of cities to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks so nice there..I'd love to visit someday. I've never been to Scotland before.

    I've actually been planning to list my stuff on eBay as well. I'm renovating my place soon so I thought it'd be a good time to get rid of everything I don't want to keep.. but I keep procrastinating on listing everything!

    www.leftbanked.com

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  4. Aw what a great looking and sounding trip Louise. :)
    Edinburgh is on my list to visit next year for definite. I feel you have a well rounded trip though.. Culture, Shopping and eating and drinking. :)

    Caroline.x
    www.carolineelgeywhite.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the comment on my blog! I enjoyed reading this and now can't wait for my trip! x

    ReplyDelete

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