Edinburgh. What can I say about this gorgeous city? I’m a little bit speechless. Beautiful buildings seeping with history, an impressive old castle perched high on the hill overlooking the town’s folk as it has done for hundreds of years; Wide, well-kept streets, and contemporary structures linking ‘New Town’. Edinburgh is a pleasurable escape from London where the people are friendly and everything seems just a little bit less expensive!
Stay at the lovely King James (Thistle) Hotel – it’s right in the city-centre where you can walk to clubs, restaurants, the famous Old Town, contemporary New Town (lined with the usual high street favourites like Top Shop, Monsoon and M&S) and of course… shopping malls.
The Thistle Hotel is located next to The Saint James Mall. A sign outside dates the precinct back to 1770, however the present shopping area is nothing short of modern, and boasts a range of local shops offering chic fashions for all ages at more affordable prices. Whether you’re keen to stock up on seasonal basics, hats or accessories, this is an ideal spot to start.
Ask for directions through this mall towards Harvey Nichols, the first Scottish store of the group which opened in 2002. The complex is five glorious stories located on the eastern end of St Andrews Square. From the street level (where shoppers can browse the likes of Mulberry, Pandora, Armani and other designer stores should a ‘splurge’ be in order) to the very top of the complex, a plethora of shopping delights await. Weary feet can rest on the top floor – the best kept secret in town – a luxurious dining, coffee and cocktail area aptly named Forth Floor Brasserie, surrounded by sweeping views of the historical city, mountains and a magical body of water known as the Firth of Forth (hence the name of the brasserie is not a spelling mistake, but a play on words referencing the view). There is even a level outside the restaurant where, if asked politely, the staff will let tourists sneak out to take a few happy-snaps of Edinburgh city.
Probably my favourite of the stores in this precinct was Mulberry, and am love with their colours and styles this season.
From the New Town malls and high street to the inevitable stroll along the cobblestoned path of The Royal Mile towards Edinburgh Castle, stop in at a quaint little store, Ness, located at two points along the road (and . I quite liked the bright pink, purple and tartan themed bags, boots and accessories. Keep an eye out for the second of these stores on the way up the hill towards the castle. Turn left and follow the winding road and stairs down towards another old area that locals encouraged us to seek out, called Grassmarket. More wonky old streets, dated buildings and windy stairs opened up to a row of restaurants and pubs as well as a few eclectic and ‘one off’ clothing stores stocking everything from street-wear to formal wear and sexy chiffon gowns resembling ensembles once seen on Sex in the City.
Edinburgh is a city not to be missed if you’re in the UK, and while soaking up the historical atmosphere during a city-break here, you can certainly enjoy some retail therapy at the same time.
Check in: The Thistle
Chill Out: The very glamorous bar at Hotel Missoni for it’s sexy decor and delicious cocktails, or The Walkabout Bar for its large, clean spaces, Aussie themes, live sport broadcasts, music and decently priced food and drink deals.
Get Around: Stay in the City and walk. The people are friendly so simply ask where they recommend you hang out.