EDINBURGH'S HIDDEN GEMSThat is the question…. as we’re rolling into Autumn already I’m wondering where the year has gone. I’ve spent little time writing anything for my own blog but have written plenty of stuff for others. That’s kinda caused me to fall out of love with Mymonkfish dot com which I’m a little sad about.

This year has found me taking a million photos of food and posting them to Instagram (occasionally…). I’ve eaten a lot of food and drunk quite a lot of coffee. I’m always talking about food – where’s the next big thing, what’s opening this week, what’s closed last week, where are you eating this weekend. Have you been anywhere new recently, was it good, what did you like, what should I order….blah blah blah.

This little blog of mine started as a hobby. It quickly grew into more than that and it eventually enabled me to give up the 9-5 life and leave a world I was never really that comfortable in.  It’s allowed me to be my own boss, have a freelance career, balance work and life, and family, and friends. It’s allowed me to study and qualify as a nutrition coach (YAY, shout out to the BTN Academey), it’s allowed me to take a step back and live life to the full all day every day. I’m forever banging on at people about making the most of life, getting on with it, taking risks and maximising opportunities. Live your life before it’s too late.

So this post, only my third of 2019, will either be the start of a new chapter for or it might not be. But I’m not going to make that decision right now. I’m going to enjoy my life. And I’m going to eat the finest food I can, when I can.

In the meantime I’ll hop back on here when I feel like it but mostly you’ll find me posting pictures HERE. Where I don’t have to actually talk about them that much, just add a few filters and get a bit fancy pants with editing, add a few trendy hashtags and then I’m done. I can finish my flat white and get on with my day.

And do you know what prompted me to write this? A conversation with a friend of mine this week who has made the biggest decision of their life to date. And it’s absolutely the right thing for them to do. And I’m delighted that I’ve been on a a journey with them and maybe influenced them a bit along the way.

What’s right for me right now is to sign off from this post, and grab a flat white and a HUGE piece of carrot cake at the Pastry Section in Stockbridge.

Over and out xx


Edinburgh’s hidden gems…

EDINBURGH'S HIDDEN GEMSLove Edinburgh? Almost every day I feel like I’m on holiday in our beautiful city even though I’ve lived here for eons. I know I’m lucky. Edinburgh must be one of the best places to live, not just for its history and culture (hello festival time!) but for me, its because its food and drink scene which is unbelievably good. And it’s getting better all the time.

I would never have started this blog if I didn’t live in Edinburgh. Every day there are new things to find, new places to go, new tastes to try and plenty of coffee to keep you going! So I thought it was about time to share ‘Edinburgh’s hidden gems’ (where I like to hang)…of which there are many. Hopefully I can tell you how to immerse yourself inside the real guts of Edinburgh by staying off the beaten track and away from the tourist hot spots. I’ve collaborated on this post  with hotels in Edinburgh and have kindly agreed to divulge some super secret stuff so if you’re visiting Edinburgh soon take the list below with you. You can thank me later (and tag me on Instagram?).

All of my recommends are wallet friendly and all of them are within walking distance if you’re staying pretty central. Even if you’re not then a bus or a tram will get you there!


1.TWELVE TRIANGLES – for flat whites, pastries, cardamom buns and sourdough to take home, toast, and serve with lashings of butter!


2. BEARDED BAKER – for great coffee, doughnuts and smashed avo.


3. GOLDEN HARE BOOKS – for perfectly curated books, a great kids section, and events/book readings. You won’t leave empty handed.

4. THE PANTRY STOCKBRIDGE – the ONLY weekend brunch spot, always a queue, get there early as you can’t book tables.


5. UMI – forget that chain that’s on the tip of your tongue…UMI has the best ramen in town bar none!


6. DOVECOT STUDIOS – for a spot of design culture. Showing great exhibitions (currently Orla Kiely, A Life in Pattern….coming soon Grayson Perry) and it used to house a Victorian Swimming Pool! Pop into the cafe because it’s run by The Pantry (see No. 4 above) Win Win!


7. MILKMAN – another great coffee spot, perfect outside seating to watch the world go by just off the madness of the Royal Mile. Order an oat milk iced latte and enjoy the people watching.



8. FRUITMARKET – a gallery, cafe and shop, which curates some fabulous design books and gifts. If you’re looking for a present you’ll find it here.

9. AIZLE – bag a table here (you’ll need to forward plan) for one of the most under-rated restaurants in town. A firm favourite for treat night.

10. THE PITT MARKET – hop on a bus down Leith Walk and head to Pitt Street where every weekend you’ll find a street food market that wouldn’t look out of place in Dalston. The right amount of traders, beer, seating and live music. It’s THE place to hang out at the weekend.

11. BUFF – got time for some pampering while you’re in town? Head to BUFF nail bar on Market Street for the finest nail art in Edinburgh.


12. BROCHAN – a hop, skip and a jump across the meadows will bring you to Brochan where porridge bowls are served all day. Dairy free, made with love, and the prettiest ‘instagram-able’ porridge in town.


13. CENTURY GENERAL STORE – more coffee (do you need any more?) and fab weekend brunch. Situated in Abbey Hill in the East End of town you’re a stones throw from Arthur’s Seat so fuel up and get ready to climb!

14. STOCKBRIDGE MARKET – Sunday only so plan your weekend around it. Great street food including the awesome gyoza from HARAJUKU kitchen, coffee from STEAMPUNK or the BEARDED BAKER, and you can pick up some local produce to take home – jams, chutneys, cheese, smoked salmon, gin, cheese, bakery items and more!

15. TING THAI CARAVAN – Thai street food at it’s best. Cash only. Grab a box of noodles and head to the Meadows for a picnic if you can’t get a table. There’s usually a queue out the door.

16. SUMMERHALL –  a venue in it’s own right but it hosts plenty of festival shows and events too. With it’s own ‘pub’ in the courtyard you could spend a few hours here and even visit the Pickerings Gin distillery which is based here too.

17. STEAMPUNK (North Berwick) – if you’ve got time hop on a train at Waverly and take the 25 minute journey to North Berwick. A fab seaside town with an amazing local community, a great High Street and a visit isn’t complete without a coffee and cake at Steampunk. Sit outside on long benches and soak up the sun!

EDINBURGH'S HIDDEN GEMSNB…this is North Berwick harbour and not another coffee photo…of which I have many…#addict

18. 27 ELLIOTTS – lemony fried eggs on sourdough with greens, need I say more?! Jess Dennison opened up her wee cafe last year and is also the author of Salad Days. It’s a beautiful space and worth spending an hour of your time for sure.


19. BROSS BAGELS – no list would be complete without mentioning Bross Bagels! Leith, West End, and Portobello would be poorer places without these bagel joints. I’ll leave it there. Head STRAIGHT TO INSTAGRAM to see what I’m talking about then get yourself there, pronto!


I love prime numbers so i’m going to leave it there at n-n-n-n-nineteen. I think that is more than enough to be going on with. In fact, looks like you’ll just have to come back for another visit soon. ENJOY!


The spending money was gifted by, but all views are my own.”


The Bonnie Badger in a nutshell

Bonnie BadgerThe latest opening from chef Tom Kitchin of The Kitchin, Castle Terrace and Scran & Scallie. The Bonnie Badger is his first opening outside of Edinburgh in the beautiful village of Gullane, East Lothian – home to golf, seaside towns, and glorious sandy beaches. Previously the Golf Inn, the building has been lovingly restored and brought back to life. The restaurant with rooms has brought with it excellent cooking and the level of service expected from the acclaimed chef.

Who’s cooking?

Matthew Budge, previously of Dakota. He spent six months working within the Kitchin Group before the Bonnie Badger opened, where he now heads up the kitchen. Also in the team are pastry chefs from Castle Terrace and The Kitchin.

What’s the vibe?

Open plan and a double-height ceiling with original exposed beams make the dining room a fabulous space. With seating on the ground floor and at a mezzanine level there’s a buzzy feel akin to one of Tom’s city restaurants. …….


Bonnie Badger
Bonnie Badger

The Bonnie Badger, Main Street, Gullane, EH31 2AB

Photography thanks to The Bonnie Badger.


Cosmo Edinburgh, we’re coming for you!

COSMO EDINBURGHWhen you’re offered all you can eat within seconds of your front door what’s a girl gotta do….the fam were super excited at the prospect so off we went to hit up Cosmo Edinburgh which quite literally is ‘on our doorstep’.

The excitement of an all you can eat buffet was twofold. For Mini, he just couldn’t believe that you can keep going back for more, and more. For me, I just couldn’t believe he could eat that many gyozas in one day.


Cosmo, otherwise known as a Pan Asian restaurant and in some quarters (google), the ‘World Buffet restaurant’ has a great selection of cooking stations from quite literally, all over the world. What soon becomes apparent when entering Cosmo is that mostly people are here to eat Chinese food, Japanese Teppanyaki and an indian buffet spread. Continue reading


Hawksmoor Edinburgh

In a nutshell

Renowned steak restaurant, Hawksmoor has thrown open its doors in Scotland’s capital city in a Grade-A listed building. The former banking hall, which has been closed off to the public for decades, has been refurbished to celebrate the building’s original features.

What’s the vibe?

Expect spectacular, original art deco interiors – vintage furniture, light fittings and ironmongery have been sourced from all over the world in order to create an incredible dining room.

hawksmoor edinburgh

What’s the food like at Hawksmoor Edinburgh?

Like all Hawksmoors before it (there are several in London and Manchester) the kitchen team source the finest ingredients and produce they can. Here, of course, they make the most of Scotland’s impeccably rich larder.

Seafood comes from around the Scottish coast and beef from grass-fed native breed cattle, both north and south of the border. There are much smaller suppliers reflected on the menu, too, including sourdough from a local Edinburgh bakery.

Hand-dived scallops


Hawksmoor Edinburgh
23 West Register Street, Edinburgh EH2 2AA