What if I said to you that you were getting on a flight, and for 48 hours your clothes would be free of weetabix, you wouldn’t have to lay a hand on a single nappy, and your ears would be free of the whimsical tunes of Moana and Frozen. It gets better, what if I told you a guaranteed lie in was on the horizon? Actual uninterrupted sleep and no thrown dummies for two. whole. nights. This is like parent dirty talk! Well I think I nailed it with the birthday present this year for Meg, because for her birthday weekend we left Ivy in the capable hands of my in-laws and spent a child-free weekend in Edinburgh.
I love life as a family, and frankly a trip as a three is exactly how I’d want it every time. But I also know how easy it is to get caught up in the monotony of life’s chores and work, and not focus any time on your better half. So that’s exactly what I wanted to do. Roll on the land of haggis, battered mars bars and ridiculously stunning scenery.
Despite only being an hour’s flight from Edinburgh, in our 27 years on this planet, Meg and I have never been – and having now only experienced a small portion of it, I cannot believe that’s the case, because we’ll certainly be back.
I’ll try and keep this post more of a memory for us and not too much of a tourist board promotion for Edinburgh, but the food and drink was incredible, and there’s a lot to be said about drinking when you don’t have to consider entertaining your child on a hangover the next day, so I will be blowing some smoke up Edinburgh’s arse and some of the places we ate and drank.
Getting our zoo on!
Despite spending the whole time telling each other “Ivy would love this”, “Oh my God, how much would Ivy love that park”, “we need to come back with Ivy” etc. We really enjoyed the zoo, and deep down were grateful we didn’t have a child to carry/push/pull/drag around the zoo that turned out to be on one big hill. Seeing the faces of wheezing mum and dads as they got dragged to the penguins was a familiar site, so we’ll aim for a flatter zoo as a family. Well worth a trip though; book tickets before you go – we went on a Friday and it was still busy, and don’t miss the Panda!
Drink, eat, sleep, repeat.
Where do you go when you don’t know the area or where to eat? Trip Advisor of course. Food and drink are the most important items on the agenda for us, wherever we go. We’re only ever a missed meal away from a tantrum, and yes that’s me not Ivy. So we took some recommendations from friends, and did some of our own research.
Urban Angel on Hanover Street was highly rated and now we know why. Walk along on your phone and you’d miss it. What can only be described as a hipster cafe but without the moody moustache possessing, matcha tea drinking millennial behind the bar. A small waiting time stood between us and one of the best breakfasts we’ve had in a long time. All I’ll say is their bacon portions would’ve kept King Henry 8th happy and if you don’t swing that way, whether you’re veggie or just looking for Instagram friendly food, you can fill your boots with the smashed avocado dishes and juices on offer.
Bryant and Mack
It became a bit of a running theme that the good places to eat and drink weren’t immediately obvious, and without a bit of research we probably never would have found this cocktail bar. Bryant and Mack, a speakeasy bar, located just off Rose St. looks nothing more than a worse for wear door and some shifty looking windows, but trust me in having the confidence to walk into this ominous looking place (or behind your mrs as I did). Low lit, with cocktails that’ll blow your socks off. Badly timed that we missed the live music just as we were walking out the door, but one to absolutely add to the list. We just picked off the menu, but an American lady picked the brain of the barman for the duration of us being there and he seemed to know his cocktail related ‘stuff’. We got lucky with a table, but I recommend booking, it’s only a small place and proved to be popular from 9pm onwards.
Going the Royal Mile
For street entertainment, food and whisky shops, this seemed to be the place to go. With the castle at the top of the Royal Mile, you can get a lot done here. In this situation pictures are probably better than words.
We found a couple of great bars, including the Albanach. Now I don’t ‘do’ whisky, but if I did I think this is where I’d go, with a 4 page menu front to back of whisky choices, you could easily leave worse for wear.
I would like to say I was joking when I said “there’s nothing at the end of that road” to find out the next day it was the bloody castle. Under the advice of a few people, we didn’t actually go in, but the views surrounding the castle were amazing and well worth the trek. I say trek now, and will hold my hands up that I took us the long way, but the Royal Mile entrance is the best route. If you were to go in, by the looks of the queues I recommend booking in advance.
There was only one way I was dragging her up that hill!
Edinburgh’s a beautiful place, people are friendly and what became really clear was it felt like a safe place to be, something I feel is often overlooked! We liked it that much that we might even make the several hour drive next time we visit … might.