E D I N B U R G H :: Burgers + missed trains + fudge, oh my!


Kings-cross-train-station Edinburgh-Station-roof

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.)
  Gothic-architecture Edinburgh-scenes Edinburg-skyine Nira-Caledonia-hotel

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…;)

Fresh-vanilla-fudge Fudge-Kitchen-fudge

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.

Grassmarket Blue-door

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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  • Rosie R

    I went to the Edinburgh festival last year and we did A LOT of walking! It really is very hilly, but a lovely city. The national gallery is free to get in and worth a visit too, lots of lovely impressionist paintings when I went.

  • http://www.imogenscribbles.blogspot.com Imogen

    Lovely pictures as always, and it looks like you had the perfect set-up for a proposal! I know exactly what you mean about 4 days not being enough, I had just 2 and I’m surprised I managed to fit as much as I did in those days! It’s amazing how much it has to offer :)

    Imogen x

  • http://zoebee.co.uk Zoe

    Ahhh that hotel looks and sounds lovely! Me and my husband are doing a mini road trip this summer, and Edinburgh was one of the places we considered but decided to go to Brighton instead… Definitely thinking of seeing Edinburgh at some point in the future now though!

    Love your photos too, looks like you had a lovely time :)

    Zoe xoxo

  • http://ply.squarespace.com Bethan

    I’m so glad you loved Edinburgh, but then it’s hard not to. I studied there for 7 years and I was so sad to leave. I go back to visit the many friends who are still there a few times a year and it’s always a pleasure.

    I’ve not been to the “new” Mary King’s Close, but when I was a student I worked for the company who used to do the tours there. They didn’t have any of the displays or anything, it was just the raw spaces and a guide with fascinating stories, and it was so atmospheric. They still do history and ghost tours to other vaults in the city, so might be worth doing on your next trip: Mercat Tours is the company.

  • http://theweedreamer.wordpress.com Cat MacEachen

    Hey Rosie, Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your beautiful blog! I have only just joined the blogging band wagon and it’s so lovely to see other blogs that are so pretty and inspiring! I’m so glad you enjoyed Edinburgh (my home town) and massive congrats on your engagement – *highfive* on being a bride to be! :) If you are ever coming back and want some advice on other places to visit feel free to give me a shout and I can make a few suggestions :) All the best – Cat (The Wee Dreamer) xxx

  • http://blueskiesarehereagain.blogspot.com Juliet

    What IS the best fudge you’ve ever tasted? Because Fudge Kitchen’s stuff is certainly the best I’ve ever had, so either it’s a difference of taste or there’s some spectacular fudge out there that I really need to try!

  • http://nicolafaye.blogspot.com Nicola

    Edinburgh looks lovely! I’ve been wanting to go for ages and since reading this I want to go even more.
    It looks like you had a great time :)

    Nicola xx

  • Penny

    Ah, so glad you had a good time in our little city :) Agreed that Mary King’s Close is overrated – I know a few people who have worked there and apparently they’re not too lovely to their staff either, which is always a shame. Next time do the Harry Potter tour of the city instead – The Potter Trail! I highly recommend it – and even people I’ve taken who’re not as obsessed with the books as I am have found it fascinating, so even if Jason doesn’t share your passion he should enjoy it too ;)

  • http://misspond.wordpress.com MissPond

    I love Edinburgh. It’s just the most beautiful city. I’m heading there mid-May for a couple of days, I’m really looking forward to it.
    I’m definitely going to try out your suggestions, although I’m travelling alone so it’ll be a big step to go and eat out alone!
    Glad you had a good trip!
    MissPond x

  • http://thewanderlusthasgotme.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/a-trip-to-san-francisco.html gina
  • http://www.lifethroughathousandstories.blogspot.com Daphne @ Life Through A Thousand Stories

    It’s been 12 years ago since I was in Edinburgh myself, but I remember the fudge very well. It’s not something we have over here in Holland. I took quite a few slices home with me ;-)

  • https://www.shewearsburgundy.blogspot.co.uk Jo

    I’ve adored reading about your scottish adventures :) I spend a lot of time waiting for trains at King’s X to visit my boyfriend and always hear the train to Edinburgh being announced, it sounds like a wonderful trip! I’m going to bear your posts in mind if I ever go back.

    Jo xx

    She Wears Burgundy

  • http://www.justlikeheavenblog.com Kirsty

    I’ve been living in Edinburgh since August and reading your latest posts is making me feel a little guilty that I haven’t explored my new city nearly enough! It might be the wrong way round but I think I’m going to be taking tips from you on where to go haha. Glad you enjoyed it! xx

  • http://whatjessdoesnext.blogspot.com.au Jess

    That fudge looks delicious! Such a shame you didn’t enjoy the Mary King’s Close Tour – I went several years ago and our guide was a middle aged lady who gave lots of history and fun facts. Seems it has all changed a bit!


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