I recently tried out the new Cosmo restaurant at the Omni and was so blown away by how good it was, I’ve already booked a table for my birthday next month!

Cosmo

Cosmo - Pan Asian and World Banquet Dining, is an all you can eat buffet for cuisines from all over the world including: Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Indian and Italian plus many others. With a station for each country, you could be there for hours sampling everything – I think I’d need several trips just to get around it all! Some areas even have live cooking stations where you can ask for your steak cooked to order or have your favourite seafood cooked in front of you with a marinade of your choice.

The food tastes so fresh and it gave me the chance to try some things I’d never had before, like Kimchi, a Korean fermented cabbage dish.

Afterwards, the deserts sections features a free running chocolate fountain with both milk and white chocolate; fresh exotic fruit (including my favourite: lychees) and endless cakes and puddings. There’s also an ice cream parlour where you are free to choose whichever flavours you wish and top them with a whole range of sauces and sweets – a dream come true for a big kid like me!

Sushi

 

There is such variety here and lots of vegetarian options too. Truly something that everyone will enjoy! Absolutely amazing value for money at £13.99 

Perfect for our guests staying at The Stylish City Break @ Gayfield Apartment as it's just over the road, but the Omni has bus links from all over Edinburgh for those of you staying at our other apartments! Be warned - booking is essential! You can do so online at www.cosmo-restaurants.co.uk or call 0131 557 0808.Monday-Thursday & Sunday; £14.99 Friday-Saturday.

 

Edinburgh city, a strong contestant for years for the best city in UK, with the happiest inhabitants, most culturally vibrant and the best travel location, never sleeps - even in October.

As always,  Edinburgh offers much to its vast student population, great things for the more stable residents as well as showing its best for the families with children as October is also Mid-term break from schools.

October in Edinburgh is especially exciting for families. For the pupils being on holiday, families are forced to think of other forms of entertainment. How about the Scottish International Storytelling Festival? From 18th till 27th October, this years Festival is all about journeys -  with nomads, explorers, pilgrims and voyagers.  Audiences are to be transported by travellers’ tales that span worlds of geography, fiction and landscapes of the heart, the wanderlust of myths, legends and ancient traditions bringing some magic into the city of literature!

For the older kids, and the parents, there is another kind of festival - the Oktoberfest, bringing the best of Bavarian spirit right into Edinburgh. Strange, right? What does an ancient Gaelic nation have to do with Bavarian "high culture"? Well, nothing - it's just that little quirky spark that sets Edinburgh apart, celebrating traditions and the best bits from around the world. Mark it on your calendars, as it definitely will be an event not to be missed - 9th till 13th October!

For art lovers of all ages, the Scottish Parliament is providing a true rare treat - in a first for any Parliament, the Scottish Parliament is set to host a free exhibition of more than forty Andy Warhol works of art exploring the themes of power and politics. The exhibition titled Andy Warhol: Pop, Power and Politics exhibits nearly fifty of Warhol's finest works, supported with workshops where art lovers can learn more about Andy's extraordinary screen printing method. The exhibition coincides the International Legacy Festival of Scot-American Andrew Carnegie, who believed art and culture should be accessible to all. The exhibition is free and running from 5th October till 3rd November - book your tickets now, especially for the workshops!

Ending this wonderfully quirky month is the Beltane Fire Society's Samhuinn Fire Festival on 31st October. A spectacular show made of volunteers who put on the grandest of shows for one night only. And what better place would there be to celebrate Halloween than where the celebration originated. Spooky things are on their way - are you ready for All Hallow's Eve?

The headline translates to "one language is never enough".    

Today when I was walking to a meet in the city, I heard an older gentleman greeting another with “Feasgar math! Ciamar a tha thu?”. I am by no means a proper linguist, but that did not sound like any other greeting I had heard before. The two gentlemen continued their conversation in English, but that phrase stuck in my mind until I got home and got to make some research. After multiple attempts to write phonetically what I had heard, I found out that “feasgar math is Scottish Gaelic for “good day” and ciamar a tha thu is “how are you”. Now, I couldn’t pronounce that to the life of me, but I find it fascinating that an ancient language such as Gaelic, abeit being a minority language, is still spoken and even educated in schools.

 

Scotland is one of the three countries that belong to Gaelic language group. The three Gaelic groups – Irish, Manx and Scottish – are distinct from each other and unfortunately a minority language that in places is facing extinction. A sad example is the Manx Gaelic, where the last native speaker, Ned Maddrell, died in 1974. On a positive note, though, Scotland and Ireland are still undertaking grand measures in keeping the rare language alive. Edinburgh being a wonderful example of this – with opening its first fully Gaelic school; Bun-sgoil Taobh na Páirce, or Parkside Primary School, has a roll of 211, 58 of whom are in Primary One. A further 79 children are in the nursery. There are 30 Gaelic-speaking staff and the curriculum will be taught entirely in the language. The Parkside Primary join other two fully Gaelic language schools in Scotland.

An indigenous language that might be in decline, but recent efforts to revive Gaelic in Scotland seem to be working. The previous Census results recorded an 11% drop in speakers, while the new figures suggest a 1.2% fall from 59,000 to 58,000. The latest results also show a 0.1% increase in Gaelic speakers aged under 20. This increase in interest towards Gaelic and in the numbers of people who regularly speak Scottish Gaelic is encouraging, and communities and the cities are providing more and more opportunities to enjoy events and entertainment in Gaelic. Edinburgh being an exhilarating and culturally very diverse city, with a steeped heritage in Gaelic, it is exciting to see the growth and trust in the origins of the Scottish culture.

Fascinating, don't you think? Slàinte mhor a h-uile là a chi 's nach fhaic!

 

After a string of Hidden Treasures of Edinburgh city, it’s not unwise to have a change of scenery. Especially when considering how much there is to see and do in Scotland, and especially before the winter descends on us, making any form of exploration, well, not impossible but definitely much harder.

 

Ancient burgh of Stirlingshire, Stirling was granted status of city during Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002. As a border city Stirling serves as the gateway between the Scottish Highlands and Lowlands, evidenced by the peeking Ben Vorlich and Ben Ledi to the northwest of the city. Stirlingshire has a formidable array of legends and sights to take in, not least the legends of William Wallace (probably made most famous with the Mel Gibson film – you know the one – Braveheart) and city has honoured this rich history not least with the Wallace monument, but also with the numerous pubs, restaurants, inns and other that bear the Wallace name.

 

The hills that surround Stirling, the river that runs through the winding roads are all what make Stirling unique place to visit. The Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 was one of the battles of that took place during the Wars of Scottish Independence, and proved to be a shattering defeat for the English. Iconised by the poet Blind Harry, the William Wallace legend was born some two hundred years after the events of the Battle. Whereas there is proof for William Wallace the landowner having been a key figure in the Wars Scottish of Independence and that Wallace was hung, drawn and quartered. The tales written by Blind Harry were to entertain the court of James IV, and undoubtedly were a blend of fact and fiction. The Wallace monument is where you can discover the true story of Wallace, as it is known it today. And while you’re at it, spend a day at the Stirling Castle, one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally in Scotland and the Castle where Robert the Bruce was crowned kin of Scots on 1306. Bruce reigned from Stirling Castle until his death in 1329, after having led his people against War of Independence against England.

 

As pedestrian friendly city centre is ideal for a day stroll on your way to one or other of the canonical establishments of Scotland’s rather tumultuous past. The Church of the Holy Rude, second oldest building in Stirling after the Castle, was established 1129. Stirling Castle, the Church of Holy Rude and the general surrounding area were all settings for much of Scotland’s history, especially the tempestuous times of 15th, 16th and 17th century when Scotland saw a great success of Queens and Kings. Stirling Castle was also where King James I was educated, and where he authorised the translation of the Bible.

Being a popular stopping place for those on their way either to the Highlands or the Lowlands, Stirling is definitely not a city to be missed. Just walking through the Old Town you can experience Scottish architecture at its most traditional – crow-stepped gables, carved mottoes on the facades, many-paned windows and turret stairs. Explore the closes and vennels between the buildings for unexpected views of the city. Make sure you look out for the purple plaques, which tell the story of individual buildings.

 

My personal reasons for enjoying Stirling are much more mundane than the gory history of battles or even William Wallace. For a student, Stirling offers one of the best Publishing Masters courses in UK, as well as being the host to Bloody Scotland – Scottish International Crime Writing Festival, which sees a string of events with the best of English, Scottish and international crime literature. A true testament to the fact of crime literature being the most popular genre in Scotland among readers. And what is more, having a massive history in being part of setting for many a-film, fact that is for a film buff like myself makes the 50 minute train ride from Edinburgh worth it.

 

After six years of construction, numerous promises and extended periods of exhausting inconvenience, grumbling commuters, loss of business in the areas and overall dissatisfaction of Edinburghians, finally the tram line, operating between York PLace in New Town and Edinburgh Airport, is nearing the finishing line and is set to start running May 2014. But what is better - Haymarket (Dalry Road to Manor Place) is set to reopen to traffic around 12 October and Shandwick Place crescents to open around 19 October!

Unbelievable!

The ability to arrive to the Haymarket station and actually get to where you need to go with the constant construction related noise pollution, the muddy up-turned streets and, if you drive, being able to navigate straight to the city centre rather than finding winding alternative routes seems like an unlikely novelty.

Laura Jones, a regular Haymarket station commuter, exhales a sigh of relief and snort of contention. Laura speaks of the craziness that was contagious among pedestrians and frustrated drivers alike, the irregularity and pure hazardness of public transport and the general constant congestion of roads that had her opt for using Waverley station - even though Waverley station was further away from home. It was just easier and more pleasant way to walk. Laura, effectively pointing out, traffic is never easy anywhere in the city, but at least from the pedestrian point of view, having Haymarket and Shandwick open for traffic and pedestrians again will just enable faster, easier and less dangeours commute for all involved.

The small business owners, inhabitants of the two respective areas and the influx of tourists and other visitors to Edinburgh are embracing the news perhaps with a little scepticism but nonetheless eagerly happy to claim back the streets!

Just yesterday I was walking down Dalkeith Road to meet some guests at the lovely Gatekeeprs Cottage @ Blacket Estate, when I realised how interested I was in everything I saw. Hosting a hoard of independent shops and intriguing looking cafes, bars and hideaways, I got home and brushed up on my Newington knowledge.

First of all, mere twenty minutes’ walk from the Royal Mile and Princes Street the lovely area of Newington has much more to discover than first meets the eye. Initially over crowded, the area was able to come to bloom after the erection of North Bridge in 1772 and the subsequent migration of residents to the North, to the now known New Town of Edinburgh city. The highly commercial streets of Minto and Dalkeith offer everything for the residents, without having to venture to the actual city centre. Adjoining Newington are the areas of the Meadows and Holyrood Park, and what is more - Newington is enriched by the large, beautiful Georgian townhouses that used to house doctors, lawyers and the like.

Newington has become very popular with students, professionals and families alike, due to its proximity to University of Edinburgh’s main campuses and its ideal location just close enough to city centre without being in the middle of it. The Blacket district in 1972 became the first part of the City of Edinburgh to be designated a conservation area. The unified architecturally impressive stone villas and terraces, spaciously constructed amongst generous and lavish trees and gardens. Newington offers quick access to the Royal Mile, the Pentlands, Portobello alike, enabling the perfect experience when visiting Edinburgh. And Holyrood, which includes the access to Arthur’s Seat, the Scottish Parliament and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. A quick, easy bus access is also available to the eminent Rosslyn Chapel. Finally finished with its renovation, the Chapel is once again ready to impress the many mystery seekers. And as you’re there, you might as well pay a visit to the nearby Temple village, where the headquarters of the mysterious Knights Templar are – the secret society that is said to be behind many of the mysteries surrounding Rosslyn Chapel itself.

After all the hiking, exploring, climbing and sightseeing hunger would be the top most sensation, I would assume. Some tips on the best Newington has to offer, but for those who wish to be spoiled during their trip as well as for those wanting to have a quiet night in and cooking their own meal. To start with, if you wish to get some of the best ingredients, you do not have to wander all the way to the Castle Street Market in Edinburgh city – instead, with Earthy Foods on Ratcliffe Terrace you can explore “a celebration of the best and tastiest local, seasonal and organic produce” to be found. Between the three stores Earthy Food has, they sell food and drink from over 100 local producers, as well as supporting artisan producers, fair-trade growers and co-operatives from further afield. What could be a better guarantee for the best?

Unsurprisingly Newington is also home to some of the best eateries in the city. And to start with, the descriptions flying about in consideration of Celadon Thai Restaurant on Causewayside is the "top notch" place to eat with an "entirely faultless" service, delicious authentic food and good value. Absolutely delish! And for a dining experience to remember, the charming little family oriented Café Cassis on Salisbury Road is sure to please even the pickiest culinarist! And for the meat lovers out there – I’ve been told the best steaks are served at Los Argentinos; with more of a cafe vibe than a restaurant, this is a relaxing place to grab an authentic starter, an excellent steak and all in excellent tasty and plenty to money value you’ve never seen before (well, in Edinburgh). Argentinian Steak is what this place is all about, yes there are Grilled Chicken and Fish options on the menu, but the steak is the real speciality. Mouth waters just thinking of the scrumptious portions of outstanding food… I believe it's food-o'clock now!

Làmh fhada is cead a sìneadh!

The time of the year has come, when the weather proves to be even more precarious than normally – that half of the year when any type of weather phenomenon could take place. Such as today; sunshine, rain, sunshine, heavy rain, sunshine and wind wind wind.Courtesy of Annu Oksman

That does not stop the locals nor the tourists from venturing to the great city of Edinburgh, ready to experience and explore. A great opportunity to get to know the city better is the upcoming Doors Open Day weekend on 28 and 29th September! Organised by the Cockburn Association, the Doors Open day weekend provides something for everyone – architectural discoveries, educational heritage encounters as well as the best of the cultural opportunities – and what is more, admission to all buildings is FREE!

A city of contradictions not just by its weather, but also through its never-ending possibilities of discoveries and experiences, the metropolitan hub with a village feel that enchants as much as infuriates. Much of the city’s deep rooted intellectual and cultural heritage is played down by the down-to-earthness and approachability of the locals. Not a day goes by that an expat like myself will find herself in midst of light hearted banter and off the cuff quips about the tram works or the upcoming referendum the same as the stranger on the street would be talking to a close friend. 

 

City built in three levels allows you to ceaselessly find new routes to your already established haunts, the hidden wynds, closes, paths and staircases ensure you get your daily cardio as much as find endless amounts of hidden treasures. 

Courtesy of Manuel Bukovics

How about wandering down to Leith Shore for some of the best home-made food in the lovely Granary? On the way there, why not stop by one the Swedish (oh yes, with meatballs and smörgåsbord and all!); Sofi’s, Boda or Joseph Pearce’s.intellectual and cultural heritage is played down by the down-to-earthness and approachability of the locals. 

Have a quick snack at the Spoon or a heftier meal at the Mosque Kitchen, neither too far from the Pleasance Cabaret Bar before you mosey on to one of the well-kept secrets of the local student hoard. The wonderful underground pop up events, such as the Wordy Thursdays, an open mic night by Soap Box that is sure to have your linguistic senses tingling! Or the ever so quirky and wonderful Neu! Reekie! that surely is unbeatable when it comes to fusion nights.quips about the tram works or the upcoming referendum the same as the stranger on the street would be talking to a close friend.

Courtesy of Melissa McGinnis

Being relatively new to the city, I Still get to enjoy the walk about and sudden realisation I’ve stumbled on a way I have never been on before, found a nook I have not yet explored or sat down for my drink and a meal somewhere I haven’t tried out before, or warmed myself up with a snifter of whiskey I haven’t tasted before. Although, bit by bit, the homey feel of Edinburgh has even the most curious explorers set in their ways – and more often than not, I will opt for the Last Drop on Grassmarket for my drink, more times than I care to admit settling for that smooth taste of Dalwhinnie, or go for a meal at the Caley Sample Room. I’m a creature of habit, even in exciting Edinburgh.

I think I’m here to stay. Royalty and grungy underground scene in the same city, what more can you ask for?

 

 

The festival season may be over, and what a season it was! With over 400 guests staying with the Edinburgh Address, we can say it has been a wonderful season for us as well!

The city was filled with street arts of all kind – some of our personal favourites were the pop up bands and random body contortionists that filled the Royal Mile! Our guests staying at The Penthouse @ The Royal Mile must’ve had a great view. There was at least one particularly talented guitarist, who seemed to have made the entrance gates to the Penthouse apartment his hang out spot, as he was there every time I went to the apartment – and boy, was he good!

But not to fear! Edinburgh is a city that never sleeps, and the coming months are bound to provide our local dwellers and faraway guests with more than plenty to do! To start off, in September, there are some rare treats in store! For example, just a week away is the
Portobello Open Door day – on the 8th September, Portobello is hosting a Village Show in Rosefield Park with plenty of competitions, games, displays music and refreshments. And that nicely coincides with some of our special offers - such as the lovely The Gatekeepers Cottage @ Blacket Estate, Classic Marchmont Charm @ The Meadows or Apartment Castle Terrace @ 9A – all offering 10% off during September!

Also, in September there is the Moon Festival at the Edinburgh Zoo, where to celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival, the Zoo will hold a special evening event where you can join them by moon light, and get a rather different experience in the Zoo itself! And as a special treat for those in search for rarities; Edinburgh Antiques and Collectors Fair is on 14th and 15th September, hosting to 300 exhibitors offering ceramics, glass, jewellery, paintings, furniture, silver, treen, vintage & retro clothing and much more

And for October Edinburgh hosts yet another festival, this time wholly dedicated to the tradition of storytelling that is deep within the Celtic culture. As the description already says; “Be Courtesy of Scottish International Storytelling Festivaltransported by Travellers’ Tales that span worlds of geography, fiction and landscapes of the heart. The 2013 edition of the world’s leading storytelling festival traverses time and space celebrating the myths and legends carried through wanderlust.” The Scottish International Storytelling Festival is bound to be filled with surprises!

To finish off October then is the time of Samhuinn, the end of summer (from "Sain" meaning summer and "fuin" meaning "ending). Much of the nation’s vast history involves the supernatural, with women accused of witchery being burned, with Shakespeare’s’ imagination of the witches in Macbeth. Feast of spirits of the dead, when they would return to earth engaging in wicked practices, scary haunting and other general mayhem, the villagers were known to lit bonfires as much to keep the sprites away as to ensure the return of the sun in the following spring. Guising was the norm, and witches with blackened faces, with broomsticks and cloaks, would run around the streets, knocking on doors to tell stories or jokes before receiving nuts, apples and sweets. It was even customary to leave an empty seat and plate of dinner at the dinner table for those departed, as the hour before midnight was believed to be the hour of return. Far from the modern day chimaera of guises and candy begging with no shtick performed. I prefer the olden ways.

Courtesy of Beltane SocietyThis year Edinburgh once again celebrates the Samhuinn in style – the Beltane Fire Society’s Samhuinn Fire Festival topping the cake. Beltane – “bright fire” – has been historically celebrated in various forms across Ireland, Scotland and Man as the star of summer celebration, and in Edinburgh on August 31, the Beltane Fire Society hosts the amazing Fire Festival, starting at 9pm with procession from the Castle Hill, where everyone can join, in costumes or not, with a mere donation.

The excitement of discovery never ends in Edinburgh!

The modern face of Edinburgh city – or so they say, as in all honesty, modern is only referring to the things you can do and what and where you shop, not the actual part of town. New Town is as rich in history and culture as the rest of the city - built in stages between 1765 and around 1850, and still retains the most of the original neo-classical and Georgian architecture. The Old and New Towns were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

 

 

In 1766 a design competition was held to find a suitably modern layout for the new suburb that originally spanned from Princes Street down to Queen Street, joining the crossing Hanover, Frederick and Charlotte Streets. The competition was, rather surprisingly, won by 26 year old James Craig, who, following the natural contours of the land, proposed a simple axial grid, with a principal thoroughfare along the ridge linking two garden squares. A nice contrast to the jumbled old cobble street and alleys (or “closes”) or the Old Town, especially with the stipulations of unity (such as how the wrought iron façade details must be painted black) and the communal gardens in the squares between houses. Small patches of respite amidst of the city’s hastiness.

The names of the streets speak for themselves; named after the King and his wife, St. Andrew's Square and St. George's Square were the names chosen to represent the union of Scotland and England, and this idea was continued with the smaller Thistle Street (for Scotland's national emblem) between George Street and Queen Street, and Rose Street (for England's emblem) between George Street and Princes Street. The three streets completing the grid, Castle, Frederick and Hanover Streets, were named for the view of the castle, King George's father Frederick and the name of the royal family. Inventive, don’t you think?

What is more, the New Town is home to some of the greatest Edinburgh galleries, such as the National Gallery of Scotland, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery as well as being sprinkled with dozens upon dozens of unique smaller galleries of contemporary local artists. There is more than you can imagine to discover; personal favourite would be the Castle Fine Art gallery on Multrees Walk. Castle Fine Art is known for its rare discoveries that include the renowned Alexander Millar and the occasional exhibition of either Keith Richards or Bob Dylan, to name but a few.

And that reminds me – Multrees Walk. One of the more high-class streets in Edinburgh, located just off St. Andrew Square, Multrees is home to such exclusive shops as Calvin Klein, Harvey Nichols, Mulberry, Louis Vuitton and Swarovski as well as a few lovely cafes, such as one of the two famous Valvona & Crolla deli’s, with unmistakable style of cooking that derives from recipes handed down s over the years from the owners’ families in central and southern Italy and all prepared from the very produce they sell in their own shops.

Another rare gem we would like to recommend for the drama lovers out there, is the Hill Street Solo Theatre – tucked away down a minor street this venue is easy to miss, but the Hill Street Solo Theatre has been in nonstop action since 34 years now, and is one main stay of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival! Focusing on those artists out there that are interested in developing their solo performance work as well as offering workshops and talks of solo theatre, with extensive performance schedule, we would highly recommend spending a night cultured in this unusual jewel!

For a bite to eat, how about starting with the Urban Angel on Hanover Street. Their ethos of providing natural, season, fresh and as local as possible, mainly organic, daily changing inventive menus is what draws in loyal client base that would in a heartbeat recommend the wide range of deliciousness. 

An up-and–coming area of Broughton Street is just down from St. James’ Shopping Centre, and for those looking for rare treats and unique shops and places to eat, you would fare well acquainting yourself with the offerings of Broughton. On Broughton Street you would do well to check out the Basement Bar, a fun place and even the staff states that “you won’t find friendlier staff, better tunes or a bigger collection of Hawaiian shirts anywhere in Edinburgh, so what are you waiting for?”, and we are bound to agree. Also, while you’re at Broughton and get peckish, try out the Bonsai Japanese Bar Bistro – amazing choice of sushi and other dishes that will leave you wanting more even after you’ve stuffed yourself silly! Another fine choice is Treacle, with a sophisticated vintage interior and a fair trade menu that reflects the season you could not choose a better place for your lunch/dinner and/or a drink whilst exploring the Street!

Another place for a good night out, we would recommend is the Fingers Piano Bar on Frederick Street. Although it does get extremely busy on weekends, even weekdays can provide you with a treat of piano players who truly know their trade, while you enjoy that excellent drink. All in all, great atmosphere and worth the crowds, if you’re in that kind of a mood. Reviews might be more than mixed, but try out for yourself, don’t believe all that hearsay, we say!

And if you’re looking for something really special, it is the Voodoo Rooms you want. Hidden away on West Register Street the Voodoo Rooms offer an award winning bar, with specialty rums, tequilas and amazing cocktails, and food served daily! But preposterously fine drinks are not the best part – the best part are the live shows that the Voodoo Rooms host, not just for the Fringe, nono – but throughout the year! The Voodoo Rooms aims to provide an electrifying eclectic and exotic range of music, cabaret, exhibitions, screenings and much more to ensure that you shall return, over and over again. And by the way, our staff party there just recently was a blast, great wine for good value and a show for a donation price that we know from experience the Voodoo Rooms are recommendable for that night out – fantabuloustic!

Does dusky purple lights that cast romantic shadows on the walls, jazz-centric music and fine dining sound like just the night for you? Then for a little bit of extra glamour, the Jam House is an experience not to pass. Superb! And for wine connoisseurs there is the treat of Whighams Wine Cellar on Hope Street by Charlotte Square, which has become a leading wine bar and restaurant in Edinburgh, frequented by local dwellers and visitors alike.

It’s not all about party-all-night and eat-yourself-silly, now, is it? Some of the finest views you can have of the city is up from Calton Hill. Climb up any time of the day to enjoy the sunrise or sunset over Edinburgh city centre on one side, Leith on the other and the rest of Edinburgh spreading in all directions – you can even see the ocean from up the Hill! The many monuments up on the Hill provide a rest after the climb, and especially the Athens’ Pantheon, which was built as a memorial to the Napoleonic Wars, is known for many locals and readers for a place to sit and take in the day, read a book or enjoy your picnic – if you get up on the monument itself that is!

The elegant, spacious housing that was to be the answer to the overcrowding of Old Town has proven to be a gem for The Edinburgh Address as well – we are proud to have not one, not two and not even three apartments in the area, but all together we have four gorgeous apartments in the midst of the New Town grandeur.

The two grand apartments we proudly represent are the New Town Chic @ Northumberland Street and New Town Boutique @ Northumberland Street. Conveniently right by each other, the two apartments are perfect for a larger group (can sleep all together eight) or two smaller groups (each sleeps four) when looking for a bit of luxury where to rest after a day of exploration, hill climbing, fabulous dining followed by wine, cocktails and a show or a few. Both of the apartments are ideally located in Edinburgh’s prestigious and central New Town and are in an excellent position from which to explore Edinburgh, being less than 10 minutes’ walk from both Princes Street, with its city centre shopping and the delightful Stockbridge Area. And you’re in for a treat, as with both of these apartments we currently have special offers, which you would be wise to take a use of!

What more is there to say? New Town has magic, hidden treasures in all its little alleys, nooks and crannies, and you never know – if you venture all the way down to Young Street, you will get a glimpse of the sordid night life of one of Scotland’s most well-known literary characters; Ian Rankin’s Rebus is known to frequent the Oxford Bar in Rankin’s novels. Why not become part of that fictional atmosphere, and make it a one-night reality?

Stockbridge from http://www.blaircadell.com/

Stockbridge is one of those worlds within a larger world, just down from the hub of city centre Edinburgh. Stockbridge is a hidden store of delightful treasures for the vintage shopper. Also, Stockbridge is the host for some of the best earning charity shops in the UK.

St Stephen's Church stands as guard for the eastern side entrance to the Stockbridge area. The church stands the eastern end of St Stephen Street, a characterful curving Georgian street of inhabited basement flats with ground floors accommodating a series of antique shops, bars and offices. A small spur on its north side, St Stephen Place, lead to the old Stockbridge Market, of which the original entrance archway still stands.

Although Stockbridge may boast on its vintage atmosphere, it does celebrate its quirky sides too – probably most notably in the form of its community festival that hosts the Stockbridge Duck Race, which raises money for local charities.

To north through the St. Bernard’s Row through another Georgian cul-de-sac, just a walking distance away is the Royal Botanic Garden - great for that leisurely afternoon wander. Another fine way to spend a day among the plants, flowers, great coffee and exotic herbaceous peace. And entrance to the gardens is absolutely free!

And now for the best part – food! Start off, let’s talk about the Antiquary – perhaps not the oldest surviving bars in Stockbridge but definitely already a legend, and one that serves a full all-in breakfast also on Sundays! And who wouldn’t love getting a full fry up with toast, orange juice, coffee and more, all for a flat price, and all prepared with top quality locally produced ingredients?

A wonderful little Italian themed café, Sprio Deli, is the place to go for that afternoon snack and your revitalising coffee burst. Sprio isn’t just an Italian-themed café, it’s one which reflects the sights and smells of the country, from the cool, brightly-designed furniture to the action-packed fumetti adorning the walls and a range of imported Italian sweets, magazines and dry goods.

An honourable mention this time goes to the Stockbridge Restaurant, a family-run restaurant that amazes in its care for detail, its mouth-wateringly inventive menu and a space, where you can enjoy a relaxed, unpretentious dining experience. You can tell a lot of thought and skill is going into the cooking of Head Chef Jason, and his partner Jane is putting a lot of care into the running of this wonderful gem.

An alternative for your choice of dinner could very well be the Café Fish, with its simple philosophy of 100% fresh produce that’s simply cooked, menus in line with what the markets were selling on any particular day, complemented with wines matched to the menu structure, and sensibly priced! With the best seafood in the world often found off the coasts of Scotland, it is no wonder that there is an abundance of seafood restaurants.

For more down-to-earth dining experience, Cambridge Bar would be the one to aim for; a hearty, good bar centrally located but nestled away from all the shoppers on George/Princes Streets. 

For those who prefer to eat at the comfort of their own homes but yearn for some night time entertainment, how about the Bailie Bar a great pub for all age groups if you are looking for a relaxed drink with friends. The Thistle Street Bar is another must-do for a night out, a place where the atmosphere is cool and the selection of drinks is extensive. The Thistle has a good selection of every kind of alcohol, beer, wine and pitchers of mixed cocktails to cater for every taste. A true hidden treasure, waiting to be found.

And if you are not convinced by our opinion alone, the Scotsman and rest of UK do agree!

Of course, when you want to have the best of Stockbridge, why not do it in luxury and book one of our gorgeous ideally located apartments?

Stockbridge Grandeur @ Carlton Street is right at Stockbridge, just around the corner from the best of the best: less than five minute walk from the Stockbridge Market, five minute walk from the Stockbridge Restaurant and Sprio, six minutes from the Antiquary Bar, just over ten minutes from the Royal Botanic Garden and for the good measure mere twenty minute stroll from Princes Street! You couldn’t have a better location for your stay!

If you’re travelling in a bigger group, our two lovely apartments New Town Chic @ Northumberland Street and New Town Boutique @ Northumberland Street are just on the top of entrance to the Stockbridge. Together these two apartments hold eight people, or individually each flat is suitable for up to four. Just ten minute walk from Stockbridge and all the goodness it entails, less than ten minutes from Princes Street and mere six minute walk from Thistle Street!

Some Edinburgh Addresses near Stockbridge

Our Castle Terrace 9A apartment is available and you could not find a better accommodation for your stay in Edinburgh!9-castle-terrace-5

With breath-taking views of the Edinburgh Castle, Castle Terrace is ideally located a walking distance away from the shopping of Princes Street, the restaurants of George Street, the ambience of Grassmarket and buzz of the Royal Mile. Each of the main areas of Edinburgh ensure that you will never find yourself without entertainment, food or a good drink in many of the venues just minutes away from the front door. 

Just as an example, the Michelin star adorned restaurant, aptly named Castle Terrace, is just a few doors away - and culinary exquisiteness is guaranteed. And for those seeking for more old style atmosphere, any of the pubs on the Royal Mile or Grassmarket offer fantastic, home-made classics from fish and chips to steak and ale pie. We highly recommend the World's End on Royal Mile and the Fiddler's Arms on Grassmarket. Also, George Street with all its fantastic shopping opportunities and its fabulous culinary scene are a walking distance away, same with the quirky Rose Street. And you would do well to get up early on Saturday to get the best of the Edinburgh Farmers Market, which is on every Saturday and is on the same street with the apartment is!

Also, just to top things up, do a last minute booking for our gorgeous Castle Terrace 9A apartment now and get 10% off you booking!

The affluent residential area of Marchmont is ideally located for anyone visiting Edinburgh. Roughly a mile’s walk away from the Old City, right by the Meadows and Bruntsfield parks and a walking distance away from Morningside, the area is ideally located for all the best of Edinburgh.

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Almost exclusively four storey Victorian and Edwardian era houses create an impressive walk ways around the streets, giving the area that familiar feel of Edinburgh being lost in era long gone. Especially when you discover the B-listed mosaic Warrender Swimming Baths, originally opened in 1887 that was restored back in 2005. For the literature buffs, if not already familiar, the area is also home to Ian Rankins’ famed character John Rebus, and was also the area where Muriel Spark grew up, went to school and based many of her stories upon.

The best of the city being available is not all that Marchmont has to offer, as the area itself boasts loads of wonderful little gems. The amiable Looking Glass Books, which is just a walking distance away, on Simpson Loan by Quartermile. This ‘booktique’ café boasts its own lively literary scene with regular events and author talks, together with enabling caffeine addiction. Perfect for bookworms and coffee enthusiasts. Another wonderful place to have your afternoon pick-me-up or your day-after remedy is the Pastures, on Marchmont Crescent. Considered the focal point for the local community definitely encouraged are the Friday nights, where the owners Jane and Stan stage a range of fun events such as ‘come-dine-with-us’ and ‘grub ‘n’ games’, featuring a continental-style dinner and plenty of laughs (BYOB is encouraged, which is another rare perk). 

For a bit of a wander about, the Morningside area is not too far and is yet another great location for some alternative shopping and some lovely cafes, lunch nooks and ice cream crannies. The city centre is not far away either, and Grassmarket and Princes Street are both a bus ride away only, and both offer a wide array of entertainment, living history and caters for some of the best in arts and culinary scene.

On top of all the best at the area, The Edinburgh Address is proud to have not one but two wonderful apartments just around the corner from Marchmont. The Classic Marchmont Charm and the Marchmont Main Door apartments are both ideally located in a calm residential area, with lovely cafes and shops just around the corner. For ideal breakfast why not try the Empire café, on Strathearn Road, and bask in its pleasant and reliable, a small, sunny café atmosphere, which also provides all the usual café items cheaply and well, such as fresh croissants and orange juice in the morning, strong coffee, milkshakes and a good range of sandwiches and paninis.

For a hearty brunch, Freemans is just down the road from the apartments, on Spottiswoode Road, from the chic rustic, vintage interior to the perfectly brewed coffees, this is a most welcome addition to the Marchmont neighbourhood. Although, many have claimed Toast to be the best place to have brunch in Edinburgh, so there you have it, more than plenty of wonderful choices! Another lovely one that is good to note is the new-comer to the lovely Marchmont village, The Insitute on Roseneath Street, but definitely go for the waffles!

Marchmont is definitely a place to keep your keen eyes on as we are excitedly browsing through all the old and new well-kept secrets of the area – join us, won’t you?For a good lunch, with proper unpretentious Italian food with no fuss and the best pizza in Scotland, give café Artista, on Marchmont Crescent, a try -  it really feels more like being in Continental Europe than Edinburgh, and is a hidden treat in Marchmont! For special afternoon delight, do drop by The Chocolate Tree on Bruntsfield Place – who proudly, and without unnecessary boast, house a world of organic chocolate delight in their café and shop both, a place where people can meet, take time out and indulge the individuality of chocolate delights in a welcoming surrounding.

The not-so-well kept secret of the Edinburgh festivals is the assortment of spectacles the Free Fringe offers. It can be daunting to keep up with booking tickets and running from show to show – so why not let yourself be drawn to whatever sparks your fancy. Get lost on the streets of Edinburgh and become mesmerized by the array of talented street artists, get invited to free shows by the cast members looking to break it into the biz, or get inspired by last minute deals that are filling Edinburgh’s venues and bars alike!

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A last minute cancellation for a lodging in Edinburgh during the busiest time of year could be just the deal you've been looking for, for that spur of a moment trip! Understandably, the prices in many places have shot up for the festivals, therefore the Edinburgh Address’ special deal could be just the way to get in the middle of the buzz and be ideally located for the best deals both for Edinburgh Fringe and Edinburgh Free Fringe!

 

 

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Edinburgh is a unique city with an atmosphere that brings together past and present in a beautiful mix. Every month, Edinburgh's atmosphere reaches a new level with every park and cobbled street brimming with life. If you visit Edinburgh you will feel that fantastic wanderlust and explore the city. Yet, after a long day of exploring you might need a beautiful base to relax and treat yourself. We have selected some of the most beautiful homes to enjoy this Cultural City.


 

The Edinburgh Mews @ Randolph Lane

Sleeps 6 - Bedrooms 3 - Bathrooms 2

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Quartermile Luxe @ The Meadows

Sleeps 6 - Bedrooms 3 - Bathrooms 2

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The New Town Idyll @ Dublin Street

Sleeps 6 - Bedrooms 3 - Bathrooms 3

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The Victorian Townhouse @ Stockbridge

Sleeps 8 - Bedrooms 4 - Bathrooms 2

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Did you think there were only 4 best homes in Edinburgh? We have more in our beautiful collection!

Book Direct to make the most of your Edinburgh experience.

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A New Edinburgh Address!

We are thrilled to introduce The Penthouse @ The Royal Mile.  With unbeatable location, top specifications and great views, it is certainly one of our most fabulous properties!

And whats more, it is available for this August and Festival fun!  But hurry we have already had a booking within hours of listing it.

Dining Near The Penthouse @ The Royal Mile

There are so many places to eat out near this apartment... and we have just secured a 25% food discount for a fantastic nearby restaurant for all our lovely guests. Book any of our apartments and take advantage of this offer from August 1st.  Call our office on 0131 629 8347 to find out more.

Restaurants such as The Tower, Angels with Bagpipes, Ondines, Zizi's and Wedgwood are but a stroll away.

More about the location of The Penthouse @ The Royal Mile

The apartment is situated on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s oldest thoroughfare stretching from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace. The property is located approximately half way between the castle and the palace. No 126 spans Stevenlaw’s Close named after Steven Law, a supporter of Mary Queen of Scots during the Scottish Civil War of 1571-1573. Bonnie Prince Charlie also worshipped at the Roman Catholic Chapel here.

Other famous residents of Stevenlaw’s Close include:- James Wilson (aka “daft Jamie”), a victim of the famous West Port murderers Burke and Hare who killed to supply cadavers to Dr Robert Knox for dissection in his anatomical lectures. James was a well known figure in the town and his murder and recognition led to the eventual downfall of Burke and Hare. Also, Allan Masterton, the composer of the music for many of Robert Burn’s songs.

There is a wealth of Edinburgh street life right on the doorstep. The street outside is closed to traffic and one can expect to see pipers, jugglers, musicians and street actors throughout the year. Edinburgh Fringe headquarters is right downstairs so festival visitors can be in a prime position in the queue for booking shows and tickets. 

Want to know more about the Royal Mile and Edinburgh's history when on your holiday?

Thats easy... book one of our interesting and entertaining walking tours and get door to door service and your own tailored tour!

Edinburgh Summer Festivals

Every season in Edinburgh is a reason to be jolly. Edinburgh is the host of twelve major festivals and a whole bundle of smaller ones throughout the year, which is yet another reason why Edinburgh city is one of the most exciting places to be any time of the year - presenting an unforgettable mix of cultural experiences in an iconic and beautiful city. There is no better setting for festivals to take place than the medieval silhouette the city provides (Old Town has been growing from 1074 onwards, whereas New Town has been expanding since 1759). Artists from around the globe migrate to Edinburgh throughout the year to sprinkle on their own inimitability into the flux of creativity when inhabiting every theatre, every venue, every courtyard, every park and every nook and cranny of the city.

Throughout the year, Edinburgh caters to every cultural taste and niche, from young to the older and from the more serious to young at heart alike. As Edinburgh enters end of July and August, the city spouts festivals from left and right – and there is surely something for everyone.

Starting of the summer culture festivals is the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival (19-28 July). There  will be great nights out at Festival Theatre, party atmospheres at the Spiegeltent, top performers playing at the Queen’s Hall, a cool new modern jazz club at 3 Bristo Place, a traditional haven at the Royal Overseas League, an all day Festival club at the Tron Kirk. All that jazz has city jiving straight to the string of international festivals.

Edinburgh Fringe (2-26 August 2013) offers a myriad of emotions and experiences, with over 2000 shows to choose from, there is something for everyone. Just last year, Edinburgh Fringe convinced the world of its status of being the largest arts festival in the world - the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012 closed with 42,096 performances of 2,695 shows. There are thousands of shows up for booking with reasonable prices as well as a whole selection of free events to entice the last minute arrivals and those out on a prowl for the next new big thing.

Along with Fringe, the Edinburgh International Book Festival (10-26 August 2013) is proudly standing by as the largest public celebration of the written word in the world. With over 800 authors in over 700 events, it is a title Edinburgh International Book Festival has truly earned. There is no better place for a bibliophile to be wooed with the uniqueness of the written word from around the globe, or for a budding writer to make their connections and discoveries and to be inspired for that next great novel.

The Edinburgh International Festival (9 August – 1 September 2013) brings another aspect to the festive summer time of Edinburgh, with its eclectic listing of the very best in international opera, theatre, music and dance. More niche than Fringe (which has a little everything for everyone), the Edinburgh International Festival brings the best of opera, theatre and music scene into Edinburgh, to be celebrated and awed in equal amounts.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo (2-24 August 2013) is a remarkable outdoor event, set to the breath-taking backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, and bringing together tattoos from around the world. Edinburgh Castle esplanade is turned into a spectacular stage, hosting the tattoo where the castle and viewers become part of the experience. And while the commentator - the Voice of the Castle - brings the audience together, cheering individually for their countries four corners of the globe but united in an international fraternity, the Edinburgh city is faded into the dusk accompanied by the sounds of the cheers.

Edinburgh Art Festival (1 August – 1 September 2013) brings the best in contemporary arts together for a month long festival in the heart of Scottish summer. Some of the most important movements and artists of modern art are showcasing their talents in either exhibitions or commissioned works accompanied with various events throughout the art festival.

Edinburgh MELA (31 August – 1 September 2013) brings the Edinburgh summer festival season to a well-deserved end. For two days only Edinburgh MELA brings to the city a flow of world music, food, dance and fashion. Challenging the senses and daring to try new, MELA is Scotland’s largest international celebration of diversity.

Edinburgh provides throughout the year events and festivals, and you never know what unexpected, spur of a moment street art you encounter while browsing through the city on your way to your booked events. Edinburgh festival season is a like a honey for bear of diversity of artists all from musicians, dancers, cartoonists, caricaturists, painters, singers, to name but a few, all flock to the city to take part, to contribute and to experience some of the hype of what is Edinburgh Festivals.

 

 - Written by Aija Oksman -

Do you know that we have separate apartments to let in the same building?

These properties are ideal for groups who would like extra space and privacy whilst not compromising on location or local amenities.  They may even give extra facilities such as a garden or parking that is only available with one apartment but as a group booking you can share! 

Plus you will get our great Edinburgh Address service throughout.  Don’t forget that through the Edinburgh Address you can book extras such as our private chef or door-to-door Edinburgh walking tours – again great for that group trip!

Special Offer at our apartments in the New Town

northumberland street 1The Grand Townhouse on Northumberland Street where New Town Chic and New Town Boutique are located  

Book and Stay in New Town Boutique and New Town Chic for the same dates over June, July and September and get 25% off New Town Boutique! 

Quote Newtown in the promos field when booking New Town Boutique. Min stay 3 nights**

Based within the lower floor of a grand New Town house and newly refurbished to a high standard; these one bedroom apartments are literally next door to each other.  They sleep 8 in total and each kitchen sits 4 comfortably.  They really are in an excellent position from which to explore Edinburgh, being less than 10 mins walk from both Princes Street.  Perfect for smaller families or couples.

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9 castle terrace 5If you are a bigger group, consider booking our Castle Terrace and Castle Terrace Garden together to give sleep 16 in total!  Five star accommodation right in the city centre with amazing views of Edinburgh Castle.  These apartments are very popular with families attending weddings or larger groups on a city break.

23b drumsheugh gardens 53Or how about our fabulous  Drumsheugh Gardens and Studio?    Drumsheugh is a spacious 3 bedroom property  (sleeps 6) and the studio is a cleverly designed self contained  property (sleeps 2). The 3 bed has one parking space and the  garden would be available to both apartments in a group  booking. Drumsheugh Gardens is a highly sought after street in the West End, just minutes walk from the city centre and of  course The West End could be described as a village itself with everything you need on your doorstep.

Need more beds?  You could also book Lyndoch Place, together with Drumsheugh Gardens as this apartment is just round the corner and would give the bonus of extra parking in its garage and lovely views across the forth – and goes without saying yet more wonderful accommodation.

 

**Terms and Conditions for New Town Apartments Special Offer.  Both apartments must be booked together at same time and for same dates.  For a stay in June, July and September 2013 Only.  Min stay 3 nights.  Usual booking terms apply.

 

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June has started off so sunny and we are keeping our fingers, toes and everything else crossed that this continues.   

In honour of the beautiful weather, here are our top ten things to do in Edinburgh when it’s sunny (in no particular order!)

Enjoy a BBQ on the meadows

Take a Train to North Berwick

Walk round the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens

Take a walk up Arthur’s seat

Boat trip on the Maid of the Forth

Explore The Hermitage

Sit in Princes Street Gardens 

Stroll up the Royal Mile

Take a walk along Portobello beach with an ice cream in hand then stop off at The Beach House cafe for further refreshments!

Have fun at The Annual Edinburgh festival!

 

Do let us know your favourite things to do in Edinburgh when the sun shines!  

We are lucky to have the lovely Rutland Square Gardens just outside our office (pictured above) and have been enjoying sunny lunches outside - come join us any time.

It’s the first Deal of the Day for June and it’s a great one!

Book a June stay in with us in one of the following apartments and get the last night of your stay absolutely free!

Marchmont Main Door @ Spottiswoode Road

The City Retreat @ Merchiston Park

Sunny Haven @ The Meadows

Or

New Town Boutique @ Northumberland Street

Call us on 0131 629 8347 for more details.

T&C Only applicable for stays of 3 nights or more.

 

We’re on the lookout for some great new properties, especially ones with 3 or more bedrooms, to add to our books.

Our beautiful apartments range from accommodation perfect for families to luxurious city centre boutique chic. We strive to offer exceptionally high standards of accommodation and client service. If you’re looking to rent out your Edinburgh property or know anyone else who is please get in touch.

Contact us via email or call 0131 629 8347

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