So, this is it! The last of my posts from Edinburgh. It’s testament to the city, really, how tricky it’s been to narrow down only four short days of sightseeing and photo-taking into blog posts (ones that don’t require ten minutes of scrolling!). I could’ve waxed lyrical about all we saw (and ate…) whilst we were in the city! I figured that I’d pop the last few photographs I wanted to share from Edinburgh in one post, and use it as an opportunity to give a few of the restaurants and tourist attractions we visited, as well as other aspects of our holiday a more in-depth review. Look at me, being all informative and ‘travel-blogger’!

:: Travelling by train ::
We made the decision to take the train up to Edinburgh, as opposed to flying or driving. We live just south of London, and so the from door-to-door the entire journey took about 6 and a half hours. We made the decision for a few reason: 1. Because I hate flying, and if there’s an option for us to get somewhere without having to board a plane, I’m all over it like a rash! I wouldn’t say I’ve got a phobia of flying or anything super serious, but it does make me anxious enough that I’ll dread flying home throughout whatever holiday I’m on and so was keen not to have our break spoiled by my silly worrying! The train journey was really relaxing, and kind of forced us both to take a breather after having had a busy few weeks in the run up to going away.

And reason number 2. The train was cheaper, since I have a 16-25 railcard and so could take 1/3 off the price of the ticket up to Edinburgh. Score! The only thing we would say though is that if you book with a company like The Train Line (as we did) make sure you check your connection times before you book the tickets. We actually missed our train from King’s Cross to Edinburgh, because The Train Line had booked us onto a train that left Kings Cross only 25 minutes after our train from home got into Waterloo. Even though we caught tube trains really promptly, there’s no way we would’ve made the connection! So, check your tickets people! (One last note about the train- I reread Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on the way there, and it was awesome.)

Nira Caledonia
I’ve mentioned before that the hotel we stayed in was the Nira Caledonia, but it deserves a little more press than it got in my previous post. It really is the loveliest hotel we’ve *ever* stayed in. Jason and I always feel that it’s the little details are what make a good hotel great, and the Nira Caledonia was full of them. The concierge greeted us by name upon arrival, coffees were unlimited and delicious, the juices at breakfast were all fresh (not watery or synthetic tasting!), the bed linen was plush, and we didn’t need to remortgage our house just to grab a coke from the minibar. Which, you know, is always great! ;) We were completely blown away by our room too! We actually were given an upgrade when we arrived (a complete- and very lovely- surprise!) and so ended up staying in one of the Garden Suites which comprised of a huge living space, bedroom, ensuite bathroom, and private access to the hotel’s garden. It was crazy beautiful! There’s not one single thing I could fault about the hotel, and we felt that the service more than justified the (incredibly reasonable!) price we paid to stay there. I’d wholeheartedly recommend it.

The Blackwood Grill
The Blackwood Grill is the restaurant linked to the Nira Caledonia, and was where we ate dinner the night we got engaged. The food (and service!) was absolutely superb. We ate an amuse bouche of tempura fried cauliflower with a sweet soy dipping sauce (cauliflower has never tasted so good!), lobster ravioli (for Jase), fillet steak, charred winter vegetables, triple-cooked duck fat chips, sea bass with a herby tomato sauce, and warm chocolate fudge cake to share for dessert. That cake was *insane*. I swore blind I didn’t want dessert, but the waiter (who obviously knew how amazing that cake was) slyly handed me a spoon and a knowing smile at the same time as he brought Jason his slice of warm fudge cake. I’ll be honest with you, the situation worked out less well for Jason than it did for me…;)


Fudge Kitchen
The Fudge Kitchen fudge was expensive, and tasty. Not the nicest fudge I’ve ever had, but really lovely and buttery, and great in how varied the range of flavours was. We brought home a box of four different flavoured slices for my Mum and sister, and a slice of the vanilla for ourselves which we only managed to eat half of before we accidentally left it on the coffee table, and Teddy stole and scoffed the rest. And then he smelt so bad for the next 48 hours we were tempted to shut him out in the garden until the fudge situation had…passed. So…there’s that information for you.


Mary King’s Close tour
Okay, now for a not so great review. Jason and I were both really disappointed by the tour we took of Mary King’s Close! Jason had been so looking forward to it (you know how we love a good dose of history!) and even though I’d been reluctant to go at first, by the time the tour came around I’d become really excited about it! We found that the information given on the tour (by a guide who was dressed in period clothing, and who assumed a character based on one of the real residents of 17th Century residents of Mary King’s Close) was kind of gimmicky, and not as insightful or informative as we’d like. It almost felt as though we could have got pretty much the same information just with a little Googling, you know? The tour itself wasn’t ridiculously expensive (I think we paid £12.95 each) but ultimately, we felt we’d rather have spent the time and money on exploring another part of the city. Not something I’d really recommend, if I’m honest.


Holyrood no.9
The Holyrood no.9 was another of the places that came most highly recommended for us to visit in the city, and it didn’t disappoint. Not one single bit. Burgers = excellent! Chips = excellent! Drinks = excellent! Jason and I ordered BBQ burgers with brioche instead of ciabatta buns (we’re far fonder of brioche buns than we are ciabatta, thank you *very* much) and demolished them in about thirty seconds flat. They’re very different to our beloved Patty & Bun burgers (which are really super soft and so juicy you kind of almost need to wear an apron and rubber gloves to eat one- sexy) in that the burger itself was far thicker and kind of ‘steakier’…if we can pretend that steakier is a word. In short, we loved it there. Definitely worth a visit, if you’re in the area!

Final things to note about the city! 1. Even though we were there midweek (Monday-Thursday) AND out of season (mid-April) we still found that pretty much every time we went to a restaurant in the evenings, we had to wait at least half an hour for a table. Apparently this is pretty standard for Edinburgh, and that you really do need to book tables in advance if you want to be seated straight away each evening. And 2. It’s an incredibly hilly place, and since the city is pretty small we ended up walking all over each day instead of hopping on the tube/bus as we would do in London. So pack comfortable shoes (ones that can cope with a load of cobbles!)

And that’s it! Edinburgh- you were a blast! We’ll *definitely* be back!


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1 :: Raspberry zinfandel sorbet (shall we just take a minute to appreciate how amazing this sounds? Oh my. Too much for a Tuesday morning!)

2:: Rhubarb crumble icecream (which I think must taste like summer in a mouthful!)

3 :: No-churn mint chocolate chip icecream (so much more appetising than the usual day-glo green colour of mint flavoured icecream!)

4 :: PB & J icecream! (all of the goodness from a PB & J sandwich, but without all the bready-stodge! That basically makes this icecream saintly, right?)

p.s. I accidentally wrote two icecream-themed posts in a row. Guess I’ve got a craving, or something…


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Mary's-Milk-Bar-Salted-Caramel-gelato Mary's-Milk-Bar Mary's-Milk-Bar-milkshake-machine Mary's-Milk-Bar-Icecream Mary's-Milk-Bar-Coffee Mary's-Milk-Bar-gelato-and-sorbet

Three words kept cropping up in the comments and emails I received after asking for recommendations of where to eat whilst in Edinburgh last week :: Mary’s. Milk. Bar.

Over and over again, people told us we couldn’t possibly visit Edinburgh and not stop to worship at the shrine of Mary. And because we are good, obedient people (especially when the reward for obedience is ice-cream) we took a trip down to Grassmarket and to Mary’s Milk Bar on Wednesday afternoon! I’ll tell you, it didn’t disappoint…

We ordered one scoop of smoky salted caramel, one of the kiwi and banana sorbet, and a couple of coffees. E v e r y t h i n g (including the coffee) was absolutely outstanding. The gelato was some of the creamiest I’ve ever eaten (in Italy & the UK) and the sorbet was incredible! Mary herself was so lovely to chat with too, and the shop (all retro and pastel-hued) was so sweet and friendly and charming. We want to go back and sample the full range of milkshakes, and some of the more unusual gelato flavours too! It’s just as well we have such strong ties to the city now (what with getting engaged there and all…), because otherwise it might be embarrassing to keep going back to Edinburgh *just* for the ice-cream…

Find Mary at ::
Mary’s Milk Bar
19 Grassmarket
EH1 2HS 


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Pastries** Photo by Tomasz Wagner

Happy weekend, everyone! I hope you’re having a lovely one, and that not quite so rainy where you are as it sadly is here. April showers have arrived in Surrey, good and proper! If you too are stuck inside this weekend, you could always spend your time getting to know the darling blogs that’ve been linked in my sidebar this month? There are some truly wonderful ones, after all! Many have become new favourite reads of mine, and I’m sure you’re going to just love them too. So…read on! :)

Life Outside London
Can we just take a minute to talk about how fabulous Michelle’s blog is? It’s without a doubt one of my favourite reads of the moment. Her writing is SO funny, and as a fellow cocker spaniel owner, I feel she’s my kindred spirit ;) Life Outside London documents Michelle’s beautiful life in Devon with her lovely family, and I can’t recommend it as a read highly enough. And really, Pete and Betty (Michelle’s handsome pups) are reason enough alone to head over there for a read, if I’m honest! Just try and resist those darling faces, won’t you?!
Favourite post of the past month? The art of procrastination (because it rang so true with me I shared it on twitter the very second I’d finished reading it!)

Peanut Butter Cake
I’ve kind of been absurdly jealous of Becki whilst reading her blog this month. I mean, have you seen her holiday photos? Oh my. If you want to be hit with a serious case of wanderlust (and end up green with envy) then you should definitely head over there right now for a read! Also this month, Becki’s been sharing some delicious recipes (quinoa & prawn salad, yum!) and sharing her thoughts on fabulous restaurants! All round, quite the most delightful read!
Favourite post of the past month? Four Seasons Langkawi Paradise (because hello honeymoon destination, right?!)

Super Naturally Healthy
I’ve so enjoyed following along with Kezia’s site this month. It’s fast become my go-to site for finding healthy, nutritious recipes and advice on how to treat my body like a temple! I especially love Kezia’s creative recipes for delicious but healthy sweet treats, because I find sweet things are what I miss most when trying to keep to a healthy diet. How crazy delicious does that carrot and coconut cake look?
Favourite post of the past month? Carrot + coconut cake. (because it’s gluten + dairy free, and still looks so delicious!)

Life is Worth the Fight
Stacie’s blog has been as great a read as ever in April. She’s shared her thoughts on her two years spent on the transplant list, and photographs from a lovely family Easter, AND has been rereading Harry Potter! Always a good idea, if you ask me! Life is Worth the Fight is a blog I’ve followed along with for such a long time now (coming up for 2 years!) and so I feel as though I know Stacie personally. And let me tell you- she’s one inspiring lady!
Favourite post of the past month? Two years waiting…celebrated with lots of chocolate (because Stacie is amazing, and also she has excellent taste in sweet food!)

Setarra is the coolest. She lives in Washington (cool), she goes to ball games (*so* cool), and can use the word ‘girl’ as a term of endearment without feeling dorky like I do. I think she’s pretty much awesome! Quiantrelle is full of gorgeous photographs and stories from Setarra’s most recent happenings, and I just love to read it! It’s the sort of blog you’ll want to start reading right from the beginning, so make sure you’ve got a cup of tea at the ready, ‘kay?
Favourite post of the past month? Ball Game at The Nationals Park (because the photos make me want to hop on a plane to the US right this second!)

Cocktails and Caroline
I’ve had so much fun living vicariously through Caroline again this month! Seriously, her blog (and life!) are just so fabulous! In April Caroline’s been travelling to fun places (Disneyland!) eating in awesome restaurants (Scallop sliders in Cartizze!) and made the most *incredible* Cinderella cake you ever did see! Cocktails and Caroline is fast becoming my ‘where next to dine out’ guidebook, and I love it so!
Favourite post of the past month? Fasta- The Fresh and Fast Pasta Bar! (because it gave me pasta cravings like you would *not* believe.)

She & Wild
Bex’ blog is one I’ve really loved reading this month. Not just skimming through, or looking at the photographs, but actually reading her beautiful writing and appreciating how amazing blogs are in the way they allow us to connect with people we’ve never met before. I love her honest and candid Bex’ blog is especially. And her post on homemade maple syrup? Well, it just about had my licking the computer screen, let me tell you!
Favourite post of the past month? Maple syrup + more of home. (because is there anything in the world more awesome than tapping maple trees to make homemade maple syrup? No, there is not.)

Made Up of Little Things
Rachael was one of the very first bloggers I ever made friends with in this lovely little community, and so her beautiful blog is very dear to my heart. She’s not long had a baby (an unbelievably gorgeous one at that!) and shares stories of her life as a mother, home-builder, dog-walker-in-chief, and beauty-product-enthusiast on her lovely blog. One to read (and fall in love with) from the very first post!
Favourite post of the past month? A Day in Harrogate (because those photos of Forrest stole my heart. Rachael makes the cutest babies.)

Daydreams of Summertime
I’ve been so glad to have the chance to get to know Sarah and her lovely blog over the past month. It’s the nicest read- full of stories of Sarah’s recent goings on, beautiful photographs, and travel posts. I just love it! It’s the sort of blog I return to time and again- it’s honest, and beautiful, and draws you in from the very first post. One I’m certain you’ll really enjoy getting to know.
Favourite post of the past month? A road trip through the Scottish Highlands (because Sarah’s photographs and the scenery are both so beautiful)

All About The Girl
Caroline is a girl after my own heart. She’s a brogue lover. A Breton stripe obsessive. A Pinterestaholic. We’re basically the same person (except that she’s blonde and fabulous, of course.)! All About the Girl is fashion and beauty focused, with beautiful outfit ideas and a fabulous ‘Trend on trial’ that sees Caroline testing out high fashion beauty trends and making them work for her. It’s always such a lovely read, and Caroline herself is even lovelier!
Favourite post of the past month? Lemon and blueberry layer cake (because it looked SO delicious!)

This Particular
Ala’s blog is dreamy. Her photographs are gorgeous, writing is gorgeous, heck, even Ala herself is gorgeous! Can you tell I love it? ;) This Particular is just full of fun lifestyle posts- from posts about a traditional Polish Easter, to delicious sounding recipes and happy ‘life lately’ type updates. It’s exactly the sort of blog I end up reading on a daily basis! You are going to LOVE it! (Oh, and Ala is the sweetest. Just FYI!)
Favourite post of the past month? A Polish Easter (because that iced babka looks *too* good!)

Gin and Ginger
Gin and Ginger is a blog I’ve read for quite some time now! It’s a lifestyle blog, and a lovely one at that! Charlotte shares snippets of her life on her lovely blog, from stories of her recent adventures (she just took a tour round Coronation Street! My Grandma would’ve been so envious!) to where to get really great BBQ food in her home city, and writes some thought-provoking posts about equality and women’s rights. Such a great read!
Favourite post of the past month? We are the reckless, We are the wild youth (because there are some seriously great restaurant recommendations in that post that I think you should know about!)

More wonderful blogs to add to your reading list! ::
Lou Lou in Paris

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Read from the beginning >