No trip to Scotland would be complete without a day trip to Edinburgh, one of my favourite cities.
Though I missed out on the festival this year, there was still plenty to do and see – and having made a resolution to take more photos I can include here on the blog, I thought it would be fun to document our day out with the camera. As you’ll see I’ve had mixed success, but I’m getting better!
We started out with coffee and delicious cinnamon buns at Peter’s Yard, a Scandinavian-style cafe near the university area of the city, which is great for people-watching and also happens to sell the best crispbread ever.
The next stop was the recently refurbished National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street. Including everything from science to nature, world cultures to Scottish history, this incredibly comphrehensive museum is a great place to explore, and really does have something for everyone – from elephants and flying fish to maps of the stars! Recently we were also lucky enough to be treated to a tasty afternoon tea up in the top floor restaurant, which has beautiful views of Edinburgh’s spires and rooftops.
Whenever I come to Edinburgh, I always enjoy visiting the Fruitmarket, a small but beautifully-formed contemporary art gallery with a great exhibitions programme and a tiny cafe.
On this visit, we spent ages browsing in the lovely bookshop, which has a great selection of contemporary art and art theory books, as well as such delights as Gemma Correll greetings cards, zines by local artists, polaroid cameras, picture books and Tunnock’s teacake badges, before taking a look at their current exhibition – a solo exhibition of work by Ingrid Calame, which had been part of this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival.
Across the road we took a peep at one of this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival commissions – Martin Creed’s Work No. 1059 which has transformed the Scotsman’s Steps. (I didn’t take any pictures of this one for some reason, but you can see some images here).
As evening approached, we thought about going to one of our favourite Edinburgh bars, Ecco Vino on Cockburn Street, but instead ended up going to see a film before ending the day with a meal at Seadogs, a new discovery.
This laid-back restaurant on Rose Street specialises in (you guessed it) fish and seafood, and also has several sister venues close by – the original Dogs restaurant serving up hearty gastropub fare, Dogs Amore (Italian food) and Underdogs (a basement bar). I ate moule frites followed by this rather epic (if badly photographed) syrup sponge pudding to share. What better end to a delightful Edinburgh day?
The map at the top of this post is a detail from artist J. Maizlish’s beautiful map, Sites of the Edinburgh Art Festival 2011, which was also one of this year’s festival commissions. You can download a copy of the map here, or see the original in Edinburgh at the Ingleby Gallery