So, if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or my blog or Youtube (or anywhere else that I can bombard you with pretty pictures of scenery, food, makeup, outfits and more food) then you’ll know that I recently went on a 3 day Blogger/Press trip to Edinburgh. You’ll also know that I ate and drank more than a year’s worth of food and gin and managed to to see some stunning sights in between attempting to gain 10stone in 3 days Oh, and also stayed in a bed that dreams are made of, literally…
So I thought that it might be a good idea to put together a little Travel guide for Edinburgh just in case you’re planning to visit – which if you are, I couldn’t recommend it enough #EdinburghFangirlForLife – so here are my top picks for where to stay, where to eat and where to see.
I also happen to mention the birthplace of Harry Potter so, you know, this is pretty much the best post I’ve ever written…
When it comes to where to stay in Edinburgh, for me, there is no other option than the Sheraton Grand hotel and spa. A beautiful but classic hotel, the Sheraton is a strange contradiction of being luxurious but also accessible. You can’t help but notice the luxurious rosewood and warm red and beige tones with the additional modern, luxe features throughout, but then it also feels completely homely and totally comfortable at the same time. To find a grand hotel that also feels like a home away from home is extremely rare, and that’s exactly what I love about this hotel.
Other notable reasons why it’s a contender for one of my favourite hotels that I’ve ever stayed in? The One Square restaurant. I wrote a huge post about it previously but in short, it has absolutely everything. From amazing afternoon tea, to their very own gin, to the Dining at The Pass experience which will forever go down as one of my all time favourite dining experiences, ever. And then there’s the Sheraton Sweet sleeper beds which really are the bed that dreams are made of. Plus the fact that the staff are extremely friendly and helpful and can’t do enough for you (oh, and actually have an amazing idea of what gluten is and how to cater for it – insert hand clapping emoji here – huzzah!).
Seeing as I’ve already mentioned One Square – and spent a whole post fangirling over it – I’m not going to say anymore, other than if you’re in Edinburgh it is definitely worth checking out. Photo’s included because they speak a thousand words and for once, I’ve decided not to. I mean, look at those scones…
If you think that you’ve been to a magical restaurant before, I promise you you haven’t seen anything yet. The Witchery, based a stone’s throw away from Edinburgh Castle is potentially the most magical, stunning, dreamy, Instagram Porn place I have ever the pleasure of dining in, feeling like you’re in a Harry Potter film – i.e the most amazing feeling that you could ever feel – you are surrounded by lanterns, leaf entwined beams across the ceilings and the most stunning gold candelabras and table decorations that I’ve ever seen.
So once you’ve stopped Instagramming the life out of appreciating the decor, it’s time to eat, and that’s where it gets really good. With the most extensive allergy information list – *insert choir voices* haaaaalelujah – I made my way through the menu finally settling on the hot smoked salmon and sweet potato fries (with a side portion of mash because I’m a pig carbs upon carbs the “it” thing, right?) But if fish isn’t your thing, I have it on good authority that the lamb wellington is incredible!
And if you still have room for dessert – if you don’t, then make room – the coconut creme brulee was absolutely amazing/dreamy/[insert your own choice of delicious synonym here].
If you’re into your gin, then you must visit Summerhall Distillery, home to Pickering’s Gin and also where the One Square gin was crafted. Seeing as we’d spent the previous night getting hammered sampling One square gin, it was only right that we went to check out how it was made. For someone that didn’t know anything about gin and hadn’t particularly show the biggest interest previously, I found it so fascinating to discover the process of how it was made, the botanicals that go into gin, waxing our own gin bottles etc. Plus, I also managed a G&T at 10:30am, move over Lindsey Lohan…
Edinburgh castle, The real Mary’s close and The Royal mile
I’m sure I’m not the only one that immediately thinks of the castle when it comes to places to visit in Edinburgh and that’s for good reason. It is, in short, absolutely stunning. For starters, just walking round the grounds alone makes you feel like you’re in a little village in Harry Potter; it is so incredibly magical, plus the castle itself is obviously breath taking.
We actually had something called an ASVA pass which allowed us entry into a whole host of attractions including The Real Mary’s King’s close which is actually situated underneath the Royal mile. Unfortunately we wasn’t allowed to take photo’s inside but I found it so incredibly interesting and insightful into what life was like in the 16th – 19th century. You know, before Instagram and that (… I know, what an awful time that must have been).
The final thing I’d suggest within The Royal mile is…. well, just walking down The Royal Mile itself. A really beautiful mile long – funny that – road, The Royal Mile is full of amazing, unique shops that are definitely worth checking out if you’re not already based in Edinburgh.
The Elephant house, the birth place of Harry Potter
I have to say, I totally lucked out with the loveliest group ever on my press/blogger trip, but you never really know who you’re going to end up with, whether you’ll get along etc. It was definitely safe to say that we got on from the beginning, but it was when Chiara mentioned that one of the places she’d love to see was the cafe that J.K.Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books in, and Lela enthusiastically agreed that I knew we were going to get along just fine. Anyone that knows me, follows me on social media or on my blog/youtube channel, or just generally anyone that’s spoken to me for longer than 5 minutes will know that I am the biggest Harry Potter fan girl so this was definitely something that I couldn’t miss.
The Elephant House in Edinburgh, birthplace to Harry potter – as plastered all over the cafe, I think they’re just a little bit proud of that fact 😉 – was indeed where J.K.Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books. Now, obviously it’s still a working cafe so there’s not much to see per se, but if you are a HP fan (we abbreviate because we’re cool) then it’s just such a cool place to check out. You also need to make sure you check out the signed toilet which is basically signed by Harry Potter fans from all over the world and will make laugh, smile and maybe even cry of happiness.
(If you’re a loser like me…)
So that brings me to the end of this – slightly mammoth – Edinburgh Travel guide. I really did have an incredible time and couldn’t recommend these places enough. If you have any recommendations, I would absolutely love to know as there is no doubt in my mind that I’ll be returning to Edinburgh very soon 🙂
As always, thanks so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!