Edinburgh Celebrations

We were invited to go to Edinburgh for my future brother-in-law’s 30th birthday celebrations so we booked to fly up and meet them for a few days. For a city break we actually took quite a casual approach, we all booked in to different places for different lengths of time depending on what suited and we had a vague idea of what we wanted to do but the only thing we had specifically planned was the birthday meal and drinks. 

The place we stayed was 24 Royal Terrace which was about a twenty minute walk from the centre but a nicer hotel than we’d normally go for on a city break. We thought the hotel was great, it was an art gallery as well as a hotel, our room was nice and had great views over the gardens. 


Once we dropped our bags we went out for an explore, the weather was gorgeous and we wanted to find a place we could sit in the sun for lunch. We were struggling to find somewhere using google but a bit of a walk around and we found a pub with tables in the sun and a light lunch menu (we knew we were having tapas later so didn’t want anything heavy) and they also had local gin to try. After we’d eaten we went to the Princes Street Gardens as it was so lovely out and it is a beautiful place to have a walk around with views of the castle. It did make me jump when the 1pm cannon went off from the castle! Somebody on the tram into the city warned us they tried to take out tourists but I didn’t think they were serious! 

After exploring we headed back (via the Conan Doyle pub to try more local gin) and got ready for the evening out. We ate at Cafe Andaluz which I’d recommend as we had a great evening but I’ll also give you warning that there are two in Edinburgh with very similar road names so make sure you don’t do what we did and go to the wrong one! After getting to the right place we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, trying all the different food and drink, chatting and laughing and singing happy birthday embarrassingly loudly...

We followed up the night with a pub/bar crawl, trying a couple of places in old town then moving onto new town. A lot of places were much quieter than we expected for a capital city but we came across a great place with live music (Black Rose Tavern). We all had a dance and a sing along, it was a great atmosphere and the musician was brilliant. 

Surprisingly I wasn’t feeling to bad the next morning which was good because we were going to the Edinburgh dungeons. We’d pre booked but had flexi tickets so we could go when it suited. I’ve been before but it was a long time ago so couldn’t really remember any of it. It was fun, the actors do a great job and it was creepy (not massively scary) and gave us plenty of laughs as people in the group got picked on. Think I was the only one not to get picked out! It took most of the morning so we headed straight to lunch at an Italian place where me and Pete shared a calzone. 


We decided to go to Mary King’s Close after but it was fully booked so ended up visiting some of the pubs instead which we enjoyed. The weather was still lovely so it was nice to wander and we got to go in the smallest put in Scotland as well as the oldest in Edinburgh and I tried some of the local beers.

We decided for that evening to join the group for a meal at Rhubarb which was a little way out of the centre. None of us quite knew how amazing this place was going to be - we thought we were going to a fancy restaurant then out after but it ended up being a full evening experience. 


We arrived at a massive Manor House with a long driveway that had peacocks along it in beautiful grounds and were greated at the door. Whilst the full party we arriving we got shown to a private room with a balcony for drinks. The surrounds were amazing and service was spot on. When we were ready we were taken to the dining room which was equally impressive and had a tough time choosing what to have because there were so many things we liked! I went for the three course menu with a leek starter, beef en croute main and crème brûlée dessert. It was all incredible and I was so stuffed by the end! The service continued to be amazing too, there when you needed something but not hovering over. Even though it was a much posher place than we were expecting they never made us feel out of place either. We then finished the evening back in the private room with drinks, pretty much all of us in food comas! Whilst it was more expensive than the places we normally go to we thought the value for money was great and it was worth the treat. 


Next morning we headed to the docks for breakfast and a bit of a walk round before heading back into old town where we had a bit of a wander on the royal mile then finished our trip with a visit to Edinburgh Castle. We pre-booked the day before as it’s slightly cheaper and helps avoid queues. We spent a decent amount of time looking round at the different buildings and exhibits and admiring the views. It’s one we are glad we have done but wouldn’t rush back to. We enjoyed learning about the history and the castle is so intact and well preserved. 


It was a brilliant trip, we love Edinburgh and it was all the more enjoyable for having been there for birthday celebrations.


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