Category Archives: trends

EDINBURGH’S HIDDEN GEMS!

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!

HERE ARE MY EDINBURGH HIDDEN GEMS

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

EDINBURGH'S HIDDEN GEMS

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

EDINBURGH'S HIDDEN GEMS

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.

EDINBURGH'S HIDDEN GEMS

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

EDINBURGH'S HIDDEN GEMS

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!

EDINBURGH'S HIDDEN GEMS

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.

EDINBURGH'S HIDDEN GEMS

 

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.

EDINBURGH'S HIDDEN GEMS

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.

EDINBURGH'S HIDDEN GEMS

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!

EDINBURGH'S HIDDEN GEMS

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 Hotels.com, but all views are my own.”

EDINBURGH FOOD STUDIO…KICKSTART IT NOW!

LOVE love love this, only stumbled upon it yesterday whilst perusing Facebook etc but it really caught our eye. We were lucky enough to go to The Scratch Series at the start of this year which took place in Iglu, Edinburgh, run and hosted by Ben Reade and David Crabtree Logan.

Ben Reade has now created the Edinburgh Food Studio with Sashana Souza Zanella. Looking for investment via a Kickstarter campaign you can help to get the Studio up and running. Click the video above to find out more.

Edinburgh Food StudioThe Edinburgh Food Studio is a space dedicated to keeping food interesting. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings they’ll be open for dinner. The dinners will frequently be collaborative ventures with guest chefs, artists and people from diverse disciplines such as ceramics, botany, music, poetry or perfume.

They will host master classes and workshops on culinary techniques such as fermentation, foraging or butchery. These will be supplemented with a program of tastings, small conferences and product-based consultancy.

50% of the profits will go into researching and exploring Scotland’s food: its history, its culture and its future possibilities. They will publish this research on their website: so when you go to the Edinburgh Food Studio, you will enable them to disseminate knowledge.

For more info click HERE

Follow them on Twitter HERE

AUTUMN EATING….WHERE HAS THE SUMMER GONE?

IMG_0032OK, hang on a minute, where did the summer go? Has it actually been? Well, there was that day in July when temperatures peaked at 26.5 in Edinburgh but aside from that it’s not exactly been a scorcher. And now we’re greeting Autumn with a slight chill in the air and thoughts of “should we or should we not flick the central heating switch to ON”…

Apart from the weather the ‘summer’ has been good in terms of eating. Festival madness brought lots of exciting places to eat including a ‘pop-up’ from the Lobster Shack which usually resides in North Berwick. There was a pretty cool Artisan Roast pop-up just off George Square with not only coffee (black OR white, nothing else…) but also the added bonus of Twelve Triangle Doughnuts to boot. We ventured to a new bar/restaurant called Checkpoint which, if our drinks only visit was anything to go by, will hopefully be a great new addition for Edinburgh. Think Amsterdam chic, industrial lighting, shipping container with tables and chairs in, hard to imagine? Go visit.

And there’s plenty of new places to look forward to eating and drinking in too.

The Chophouse in Leith opens this month promising to bring red meat of the highest quality to your mouths.
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British bred beef, butchered and dry-aged in house, cooked over an open flame charcoal grill….mouth watering stuff. From the people who have brought you The Westroom, Sygn and Monteiths we’re sure it will deliver. Mrs M will be popping along early October to check it out.

Brasserie Les Amis on Morrison Street opened a few weeks ago and has already had some great reviews. Bringing ‘the best of French and Scottish cuisine as well as beautiful wines, craft beers and spirits’….definitely one to try.
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Our friends at Alright Treacle have just released their last three dates for suppers in 2015. Yes, sadly AT HQ will be closing at the end of the year as Anna moves on to pastures new.
static1.squarespaceGet your tickets while you can – click HERE to book.

Over the summer we’ve read about these new places too…

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Both based slightly further afield than Edinburgh but not that far! Put them on the To Do List…

The Monkfish Famille have been lucky enough to try out some new places over the summer including The Star at Harome. Regaining it’s Michelin Star in 2015 it’s such a beautiful spot for lunch and a chillax if you’ve got a spare couple of hours. If you like your bread served in a Flat Cap (we were in Yorkshire after all…) then we think you’ll like it.
The Star Inn Harome The Star Inn Harome The Star Inn Harome The Star Inn Harome The Star Inn Harome The Star Inn Harome The Star Inn Harome

So, as usual, there’s been lots of eating by us and plenty of coffees have been slurped to keep us going.

Even though we’re waving the Summer goodbye (kind of), there is plenty to look forward to. We’re already planning a trip here…..

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Sounds very exciting, read The Guardian’s review HERE. We may need to invest in a boat to get there though.

And we’re also going to stop by here…..

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Part of the Tom Lewis Monachyle Mhor group, a budget motel with a great restaurant. Looking forward to trying it out.

There’s never a dull moment when it comes to food. Enjoy your Autumn eating and let us know where you stumble upon too, just in case we haven’t been already…

 

EDINBURGH DINING SUMMER 2015

Edinburgh dining summer 2015photo credit: Ben Carpenter

At the turn of the year we were inundated with ‘food trend’ articles, what we should and shouldn’t be eating, what’s cool to eat this year, what isn’t, where we should be seen drinking the latest artisan gin and which artisan tonic we should be mixing it with.

Food trends and predictions come at us from every direction, some are informative, some make us think, some are intriguing and some make us book the next big thing pronto in case we’re ‘missing out’ .

Thanks to Burger Meats Bun

There are more independent burger joints springing up every week, craft beer is still on the rise, Mexican tacos are making a comeback, in fact they’re already back. ‘Ugly’ vegetables such as celeriac and kohlrabi are becoming ‘cheffy’, bone broth is the latest on trend ingredient, big named chefs are opening more casual and fast food outlets, and if your venison hasn’t been smoked then why are you eating it?

Want broccoflower (broccoli crossed with cauliflower)? You can have it! Want more condiments? You may have them! The idea of more ‘on table’ accessories to customize your meal is about to hit the UK, big time. Good old salt and pepper, and red and brown sauce are about to be joined by mustards, dips, dressings, purees, flavoured salts and seasonings. You will be spoilt for choice.

So, are you bothered if you’re on trend or not when it comes to food and drink? Well, to a certain extent you should be as these trends will have an impact on your Edinburgh dining opportunities for the rest of this year, and next year, and the year after that. We have already witnessed the street food revolution in our capital city and this will continue to thrive during the summer months in particular when more of us will attempt to dine al fresco in between the rain showers.

edinburgh diningLondon ‘pop-up with a Scottish twist’ Dram & Smoke will be setting up shop during the festival. Expect scran, bevvy and general ‘flumgummerie’* gin cocktails, single malts, and a weird and wonderful location. Edinburgh based Jelly & Gin will continue to present us with exciting dining experiences, if you managed to get along to ‘Watch & Wolf’ late last year you will know what to expect. Eating isn’t enough any more, multi sensory gastronomy is where it’s at.

© 2015 Jacek Hübner (www.jacekhubner.com)The Secret Herb Garden is hosting a series of ‘full moon’ dinners that continue until late October. You can enjoy foraged, fresh and local produce matched with natural wines in their beautiful glasshouses under the light of a full moon. Now that’s something you can’t do every day.

Timberyard continues to be an absolute must visit for locals and tourists alike. With an 8 course tasting menu featuring delights such as smoked beef, sea buckthorn, artichoke, truffle, mallard, wild leek, smoked lobster, elderberry, spelt, they are producing some amazing dishes and are really ahead of the game when it comes to Edinburgh dining. And don’t just visit for the food either, while you’re there you can enjoy some of the finest cocktails in town in an urban warehouse that wouldn’t be out of place in Shoreditch, East London.

There is no doubt that many of these trends come north following success in London but that’s OK, as long as we get them eventually. London is a food and drink hub with a huge population who continually demand more so they tend to develop the trends that we then find out about.

When the trends head north they tend to be exclusive, in a kind of secret society type way, you think you’re the only one who knows about something when in reality you’re not. But that doesn’t matter, you should just feel lucky that we are enjoying a buzzing food scene, with so much choice it’s hard to know where to go first. Make a ‘to do’ list, tick it off, then make another one because one thing you can be certain of is that there will be more new and exciting places to eat and drink next month that you didn’t know about.

We can guide you in your choices sure, but don’t let us tell you what’s hot and what’s not. Get out there and make your own minds up. Remember, you, the customer set the trends, not the food critics or the journalists or the food bloggers or me.

*hijinks, tomfoolery, antics, you get the gist

THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN FOR THE JULY 2015 EDITION OF ION MAGAZINE.

An abbreviated version can be found online HERE

FARM TO TABLE

farm to table

We’re delighted to be able to introduce a guest blog post this week written for us by Chet Sharma, of TRULY Experiences. Chet has previously worked in the kitchens of L’Enclume, Mugaritz and Le Manoir aux’Quat Saisons.

Here’s what he has to say on the subject of….

Farm to Table

The past decade has seen a push from chefs, the media and aristocratic foodies alike for more sustainably sourced food, preferably coming from local producers and vendors. I should know – I’m one of them. Having been involved in setting up Britain’s largest restaurant farm, I take every opportunity to champion the ‘farm-to-table’ movement.

And, on the surface, it’s working. Just pay a visit to one of the numerous food and farmers’ markets to see this revolution in effect. As we speak, crowds are flocking in the thousands to buy the season’s finest broad beans, peas and asparagus. It’s easy to conclude that the years of campaigning for more sustainably sourced ingredients have produced lasting change. Continue reading