BLOGMAS DAY 11
I took my boyfriend to Edinburgh for the weekend, for a combined birthday and Christmas present. For the first time ever, I chose to look at Air BnBs instead of hotels. I was surprised at how many results came up! I ended up choosing a beautiful apartment in one of Edinburgh’s Georgian crescents, in Stockbridge. The apartment was based on the ground floor (YAY – no stairs to crawl up after a long day) with a bedroom, bathroom and a living space with a built-in kitchen. Everything was so beautifully put together, it seemed like a lot of thought went into the apartment decor, it felt so luxurious. Despite the high ceilings, we were able to keep cosy with the fireplace in the living room. They even left us some prosecco, whisky, and gin along with tea, coffee, and milk which was so generous! There was also a little hamper in the bathroom full of skincare bits and toiletries, another lovely touch!
We were a 10-15 minute walk away from the city centre which was perfect for getting back home with lots of shopping bags when it was freezing cold outside! The area was very peaceful and quiet which was perfect to come back to after a long day spent amongst the heaving crowds in the city. On our walk, we had to cross a bridge that had such a pretty view of the river beneath it.
On the way into town, there was a gorgeous little Patisserie that caught my eye, called Patisserie Florentin. Pop in if you ever get the chance, the interior design is super quirky and cosy, a really lovely place to stop by. They do the BEST smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels (ask for it with avocado too!)
On George Street, there were a few stalls were selling handmade gifts and confectionary. There were beautiful festive designs projected onto buildings. It was so colourful and vibrant. We thought these were the only festivities to be expected from Edinburgh but we were so wrong…
We carried on exploring and happened to stumble upon the biggest Christmas market either of us has ever seen. It was so big there were even multiple levels of it! There were hundreds of little stalls selling gifts, in the traditional Santa’s grotto-type wooden huts. You can see Edinburgh castle lit up in the background!
There seemed to be lots of stalls dotted around, selling lanterns and candles which were all handmade and unique. They would make brilliant gifts for family and friends over the Christmas holidays. The tealight holders in the photo below looked fantastic. They had unique designs carved onto the outside of the holders so that when a candle was placed inside, the design would be projected onto the space around it!
The lanterns also looked incredible when it was dark outside, they were all clustered together and looked so effective! Again, these were all handmade and ready to give as gifts!
These origami-style star lights were so beautiful to look at. They were selling all kinds of patterns and sizes and different shapes, there was something for everyone! I would’ve loved this kind of thing as a kid!
My favourite stall to look at was the hand-carved wooden candle holders (bottom left- as you can see I was trying to find an excuse to stay here all night). There were miniature woodland scenes carved into some and moons and stars in others. I had never seen anything like this before!
There were the usual Christmas market stalls selling hundreds of kitsch decorations, which made it feel that little bit more festive. There were tiny bearded Santas and tartan covered reindeer, if you can imagine it, it’s probably sold somewhere in the depths of the market!
Of course, there was plenty to eat and drink. There were stalls selling German hotdogs and other delicacies, chocolate covered marshmallows (you’ll understand why my love for these is so strong if you click here) There were huge colourful mountains of different flavours of fudge, Belgian hot chocolate with your choice of syrup, crepes with all kinds of toppings available…the list is endless. There was also a bar built for the occasion, similar to the one I described in my post about Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland, it was full of antique mirrors and candles and was so relaxing and warm to walk into away from the bustling crowds outside in the cold.
There was also a HUGE Big Wheel and some teacup rides, a helter skelter, flying chairs and a gentle rollercoaster for the little ones! The lights and music from all of the rides made it feel so much more festive and lively regardless of some of the terrified screams from a rather menacing looking star flyer (bottom left).
We dedicated one day to exploring the streets closer to the castle. There were quirky little gift shops and bars but to my delight, there was an entire shop dedicated to Harry Potter merchandise. I was in Hogwarts heaven… apologies if Harry Potter isn’t for you, however in the words of JK Rowling “I don’t think everyone should believe in magic, but I’m not sure I would trust anyone who doesn’t”.
We were going to go on a tour of the castle, however, it cost £17 just to go inside, so we stuck to just admiring it from the outside. By the time we got there it was already dark, however, it was so beautifully lit up that it was still just as amazing to take it all in when stood in front of it. The view from on top of the hill was stunning, the lights from the city lit the way for miles. I’m usually not one for scenic views, but this was breathtaking (photos don’t do it justice)
If you get the chance, go to Edinburgh in December, as the whole city is so festive and lively. There’s something for everyone! I would suggest wrapping up VERY warm as it is absolutely freezing there! I’m sure it’s still just as beautiful to visit during the summer, however, we will definitely be returning to the Christmas market. Let me know if any of you have visited, or are hoping to visit Edinburgh before Christmas, I would love to hear what you got up to and what you thought about it!