Edinburgh, the home of Haggis, Whisky (no, not the office dog) and the Loch Ness Monster. What better way to spend the lead up to Christmas than enjoying all the sights and foodie delights Edinburgh has to offer by fully immersing ourselves in everything festive.

Wandering the streets, we quickly learnt that we’d never be short of places to pick from, and thanks to fellow Jellybean Liv, I had ‘Liv’s List’ of recommendations which meant we’d have the pick of the bunch.

Day 1:

Cafe Cockburn: Known for its delicious cuisine and great atmosphere, this cosy little bistro was a short walk from the hotel. Flagging from our 4am start, we were certainly in-need of some food. Sat in the window, with a view of the high-street and a cuppa in hand, we enjoyed a cheese and bacon panni with a dusting of herbs on top, giving this classic fave an entirely different taste. Happily, full, we paid the bill and set off in search of adventure.

The Christmas Market: Anyone who knows me, knows when there’s a waffle in sight, I’ll be the first in line – and of course the seasonal Christmas markets delivered the goods. Picking an absolute winner in my opinion, we went for a hot fluffy buttermilk waffle, served with hot melted Belgian chocolate, and strawberries on the side (to be healthy). With copious amounts of chocolate, the kind that forces your mouth shut, we practically inhaled it. A great end to a brilliant afternoon.

Mother India’s Café: Craving something homely for dinner, we referred to ‘Liv’s List’ and with one option a clear winner, we headed to Mother India’s Café. An informal Indian restaurant, the menu offered an Indian twist on tapas, so we picked a few standout dishes to share:

  • Chicken Saag – Chicken on the bone with spinach
  • Butter Chicken – Chicken cooked in a buttery sauce with almonds
  • Lamb Karahi – Lamb cooked in a thick curry sauce
  • Rice, garlic and buttery naan – delicious!

A few drinks at the hotel bar later, we had admittedly set the bar high for our first day, but tomorrow was full of endless possibilities.

Day 2

Brunch & Supper: A new dawn, a new day full of food. A cold and sunny start, we set out in search of something warming. A short walk away in Edinburgh’s old town, we came across Brunch & Supper. Tapping into the increasingly popular ‘Brunch’ trend this relaxing and quirky restaurant was an ideal foodie find. We first ordered a reliable favourite, porridge with golden syrup and an array of different berries. Our second choice, French Toast with lavish amounts of syrup and bacon to top it off – Bon Appétit!

Wings: A morning of walking and sightseeing meant hunger strikes again. If you’re a fan of chicken, wings in particular, a recommendation high on the ‘Liv’s List’ was ‘Wings’. You’re probably thinking the same thing we did, a whole restaurant dedicated to chicken wings, surely not? Well, it is in fact the first and only chicken wing place in Edinburgh. Dedicating itself to a multitude of flavour options, is has a heat scale ranging from 0 upwards for this real modern American classic. The idea is simple, pick your flavour and your wings come bathed in it, we went for:

  • Sad Cheese – Blue Cheese
  • Push It – Salt ‘N’ Pepper
  • The Adirondack – Hot Sweet Buffalo (only a 3 on the heat scale but extremely spicy)

Amarone: We found the best way to explore the city was by foot, and as we did so we came across an abundance of different places we wanted to try, which naturally resulted in a pretty lengthy list. Amarone, an attractive Italian restaurant both inside and out, was situated in the New Town of Edinburgh. We both ordered a pretty sizeable pizza, which we just about managed to polish off between the 2 of us. Delicious, and exactly what we were in need of – Ero una pizza!

The Dome: A popular and stylish building – with its Corinthian columns decorated to perfection in bright red and white Christmas lights, The Dome is a fine dining restaurant with an open bar area to enjoy after dinner cocktails. Entering the lobby, we walked towards the gorgeous Dome room, where a beautiful Christmas tree took pride of place in the middle of the bar whilst we sat and enjoyed a couple of drinks in the luxury of one of Edinburgh’s finest restaurants.

A nightcap later, we were done for the day – onwards to day three.

Day 3:

Deacons House Café: Hankering for a cooked breakfast we stopped in at ‘Deacons House Café’, a cosy artisan style café with traditional furnishings. We were seated straight away and ordered our drinks and enjoyed eggs on toast, topped with bacon. A hidden gem at the end of a small historical alleyway.

Wildwood: A bright and airy restaurant, Wildwood offers Mediterranean cuisine. We decided on an early dinner in a bid to do some evening exploring. This modern establishment has a menu full of our favourites, we had the rack of BBQ baby Ribs and the Buttermilk chicken burger with chips on the side – they are classics for a reason!

Coro The Chocolate Café: In need of a sweet treat, a chocolate fix was in order and as two self-confessed chocoholics, we agreed to share half a waffle with melted white chocolate, Oreo biscuits and Oreo ice cream – no healthy option necessary.   

Day 4 (Final Day):

City Café Edinburgh: With our fourth and final long day ahead of us we wanted to start the morning right, so after another check of ‘Liv’s List’ we headed to the ‘City Café’ – a cool 1980’s style bar that replicates an American diner. We sat in a booth and reflected on what had been another successful trip. We ordered 2 large cups of tea and waffles, again (no judging!). One with syrup and fruit and the other, syrup and bacon – this true Edinburgh favourite certainly didn’t disappoint.

Alas, another city ticked off the bucket list – Edinburgh has endless amounts of great places to eat and drink, as well as local Scottish produce of the highest quality. One last wander through the streets, each one more beautiful than the last, we knew a return visit to explore all the untried restaurants this city has to offer was a must – I cannae wait to go back!