I had such a nice, relaxing Saturday that I just have to share it with you. There was a few things I needed to do for work (perfect excuse to get some me-time) and since the sun was out and I had my camera with me it quickly turned into a photo tour of the Old Town…Matthew took Lana swimming so they were enjoying themselves as well!
I took the bus into town and got off at the Royal Mile. I walked past Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe that is open all year round – don’t think I’d like to work there though as I feel it would ruin the real Christmas a little bit…
Some very Scottish and British Christmas decorations to be bought there!
I walked up the Royal Mile that wasn’t too crowded yet – leaving the house at 10am (!) proved to be a good decision!
This is the City Chambers where we were going later that day…
I had to run an errand in the Grassmarket and couldn’t resist taking a photo of one of my favourite views in Edinburgh. (That damn white van wouldn’t move.)
I popped into the very popular (those arrows are to show people how to queue!) Mary’s Milk Bar where you can sample the most exciting gelatos and sweets. It’s decorated with vintage furniture and there’s even an functioning 60-year old milkshake machine. Very cool.
When I stepped closer I caught the reflection of the castle in the shop window and out came the camera again!
Once inside the ice cream in the middle made my heart skip a few beats…salty liquorice ice cream!! I asked the shop owner Mary if it was popular and she said not so much, but that she liked it. It was a bit too early for ice cream – but will be back as soon as I can!
Instead of ice cream I walked over to Hula Juice Cafe to finally try their…
…acai smoothie bowl. Very nice and refreshing – and even nicer to sit there and enjoy it without trying to restrain an inquisitive toddler! Bliss.
I couldn’t walk up Victoria street without taking a photo – it’s just one of those streets.
As it was nice and bright I went up to the terrace above Victoria Street to take a few more photos. Had I been there with the buggy that wouldn’t have happened so I was snapping away like no tomorrow 🙂
For once Warriston’s Close was empty so that I could get a people-free photo, yay!
In Finland it’s tradition to bake gingerbread cookies for Christmas, and as it’s the perfect activity to do with kids I really want to do that with Lana (although I already know she’ll probably be more interested in eating the dough, just like her mum haha). So my next stop was John Lewis to buy some cutters – and for some reason I took a photo of these baubles.
There was a shipment of Scandinavian and Finnish Christmas foods to Nordic Affär a while back, but I should’ve known it was all gone already. The owner said there will be another one this week so will need to hurry when it arrives. I did buy a gingerbread cookie spice mix and some Finnish mustard though!
I’d been walking for hours so wanted to get the bus home to go for a run (yeah right like that was going to happen), but as the bus wasn’t due for another 20 minutes I decided to walk – and on the way I sneaked into one of my favourite Edinburgh shops, Life Story, for a wee browse. I bought a little something I’m very excited about: an origami kit. I’m finally going to give it a go, canny wait!
With aching feet (I never get sore feet, so it means I must’ve walked quite a bit!) I reached our house, and since I had my camera I took a photo of it too. This house was built in 1890, which isn’t even that old on an Edinburgh-scale. That bottom flat is ours – although still keep forgetting that we actually own it!
Once home I didn’t have much time to get ready for our Lanaless evening, but we somehow made it to the City Chambers in time. Unfortunately this is the only photo of my outfit – that pose doesn’t do me any favours and my face just looks odd…I mean what’s up with my cheeks?! Looks like I’ve applied blusher in a really strange way, hmm…
So why were we at the City Chambers? Well as some of you might know it was the 99th Finnish Independence Day on the 6th of December, and to celebrate it the Lord Provost of Edinburgh invited members of the Scottish-Finnish society for an Independence Day reception in the European room. If you look closely that’s actually me chatting to him behind all the other Finns 🙂 We also chatted to a lovely older Finnish lady from Helsinki who has lived in Scotland for 45 years, and another older man who had a lot of interesting football information and thought Finns are anti-social and boring haha.
There are twelve floors in that magnificent building, so the staircase was pretty amazing!
I’ve been wanting to try El Cartel for some Mexican food, but they only take reservations in the restaurant on the night so it was a gamble that we lost as we would’ve had to wait for 2,5 hours for a table! I really liked the vibe so will have to try after the holidays again.
Not having a table reserved anywhere on a Saturday just before Christmas proved to be a bad idea, and after having popped into many places without success we just stayed in the last one and had drinks a the bar hoping there would be a table soon. The place was Ninja Kitchen that serves Asian street food – but it turned out to be a huge mistake as they messed up our order and served us pork dumplings instead of corn ones…And I took a bite. Yup. Not cool! They took the starters off the bill but I felt like that wasn’t enough, so I complained today again as I wanted to make sure the manager knows what happened so she or he can make sure it doesn’t happen again. They owned up to it and invited me for (a vegetarian) lunch whenever suits me, so I think they handled it quite well. That’s me looking angry after having eaten pork…Again my face looks really weird!
After dinner we went to a newly opened cocktail bar tucked away in an alleyway called Bryant&Mack Private Detectives. This “private investigation agency” is officially now my favourite Edinburgh bar!
There’s a bit of a theme going with the menus being given to you in shabby envelopes with ‘confidential’ written on them. The business cards come in a tiny little envelope with ‘case closed’ written on them. A themed bar can easily be a bit cheesy or too quirky, but Bryant&Mack have managed to get it just right. It was quite easy to pretend that we were in a little dimly lit bar somewhere in a foggy 1920s Edinburgh. Very classy and very cool.
Oh and let’s not forget about the cocktails! They were innovative and made with such love and care that I was glad that the only seats available when we turned up were the bar stools. Just so I could watch these guys at work. We chatted a bit to the owners, and can’t remember if it was Bryant or Mack, but one of them is going to be a father this week! After two delicious drinks at 9.30pm we decided that it was time to call it a day, so us boring parents showed the future dad what life is soon going to be like and got a taxi home!
Best Saturday I’ve had in a while 🙂
x Nina x
PS. There’s still time to enter the jewellery competition I told you about a while back!