With summer on the horizon we thought we’d review one of Edinburgh’s best ice-cream parlours – Mary’s Milk Bar!
Located on Edinburgh’s Grassmarket with a view of Edinburgh Castle, it’s a great spot to stop and cool down on a warm summer day in the Scottish capital.
Mary’s Milk Bar Ice-Cream Flavours
Their unique range of flavours are so stunning you’ll want to try them all. Some flavours change daily but the unique flavours that were on display when we visited were:
White Chocolate + Basil
Nectarine + Rosemary
Chocolate + Lavender
I decided to try a double scoop cone with a combination of cherry and mascarpone and chocolate and lavender. It was lovely 💖! I liked that the ice cream wasn’t overly sweet and the cherry flavour had actual cherries in it. It’s somewhere I’ll definitely be visiting again.
If you’re in Edinburgh this summer, you need to visit this cute little ice cream shop. The staff are so friendly and it’s honestly some of the best ice cream I’ve had in a long time.
Edinburgh’s new St. James Quarter has been a long time in the making! It’s now ready to open on June 24th, with a variety of 80 different brands and 30 restaurants waiting to introduce us all to some new experiences after lockdown.
Here’s which new stores and places to eat we’re most excited about.
“Bross brings Montreal style bagels packed with NYC deli inspired fillings so the good people of Edinburgh & beyond can FILL YOUR HOLE.”
It’s brilliant to see a local Edinburgh business thrive. Bross Bagels has been a hit since opening their first store in Edinburgh in 2017 with delicious and unique twists on bagel fillings. With lots of flavours to choose from and even giant party bagels for sharing, it’s no wonder they’re so popular. You’ll often find a queue of people waiting outside their Morningside branch. Check out their full menu here.
Everyman are aiming to redefine cinema with some boujee twists on the traditional cinema experience. You can enjoy your movie with a glass of wine and even get pizza and burgers delivered to your seat. We look forward to visiting to see just how much it differs from the regular cinema experience.
The five-star rated SushiSamba will have a prime position as the St. James Centre’s rooftop restaurant, providing great food and stunning views across Edinburgh. The cuisine will be a unique blend of Japanese, Brazillian and Peruvian styles and flavours.
Find yourself regularly heading to Fountainpark’s Tenpin? Lane 7 is providing us with another option. They are the UK’s largest independent bowling and gaming operator and also offer ping-pong, urban golf, 80s style arcade games and karaoke, as well as cocktails and beer pong. You’ll find them on floor 4 of the new St James Centre with 19,000 sq. ft of space.
“So much room for activities!”
5. Bonnie & Wild
Scottish restaurant brand Mac & Wild will be bringing their new concept food hall titled “Bonnie & Wild” to the St. James Quarter right by Lane 7 on the fourth floor. It will consist of restaurant operators as well as fresh and packaged food and drink from artisan butchers, fishmongers, grocers, cheesemongers, chocolatiers, bakeries. It will also host THREE unique bar concepts.
It sounds like the 4th floor will be an interesting place to be.
6. W Luxury Hotel & Roomzzz Apart Hotels
Edinburgh’s new St. James Quarter will host not just one but two luxury hotels! However, they are much more than simply tourist accommodation. SushiSamba’s rooftop restaurant will be a part of W Hotel. The hotels will likely also include leisure activities such as spas for all of your pampering needs.
That’s all that’s on our list for now! What are you most looking forward to? Check out our other articles to discover more things you can get up to in the Scottish capital.
Dishoom Edinburgh is very well known and it’s no surprise. Based on the old Irani cafes of Bombay, the food is pretty unique!
My husband is a big fan and has eaten here lots but somehow neither of us realised Dishoom also have a breakfast menu and oh is it good! Here’s our review of Dishoom Edinburgh’s breakfast and what we tried.
BREAKFAST MENU ITEM: KEEMA PER EEDU (£10.90)
If you order this breakfast dish you better have room! Full of flavour and protein keema per eedu will definitely fill you up. It consists of spicy chicken keema and liver. If you don’t know what that is (I didn’t) just imagine minced beef but chicken and liver flavoured. This makes up most of the bowl and is topped with two runny yolk-fried eggs and sali crisp-chips. But that’s not all, you also get two home-made buns to eat with the dish.
I don’t think I have ever been so full after a breakfast before but it was great. The food was hot, fresh and the flavours well balanced. The runny eggs were cooked to perfection.
DISHOOM EDINBURGH: KEJRIWAL
The next dish we tried from Dishoom’s breakfast menu was Kejriwal which consists of two fried eggs on chilli cheese toast. The toast and eggs were done well and hubby really enjoyed the flavours, again a good balance.
BREAKFAST MENU ITEM:BUN MASKA (£3.70)
Lastly we had Bun Maska, a soft bun that comes with a tall glass of sweet chai tea. It’s eaten by dipping the bun in the tea and then taking a bite. Both of us really enjoyed this one and it only cost £3.70. I highly recommend it.
DRINKS:GINGER, LEMON & HONEY TEA (£2.90)
For £2.90 you can get a full pot of tea. There wasn’t anything different about this tea from any other but it arrived hot, the lemon was a refreshing palette cleanser, and I really enjoyed it.
Overall, I highly recommend the breakfast menu at Dishoom Edinburgh. The dishes were flavourful, unique and well put together. All of the food was fresh and hot. The service provided was superb and the staff were friendly and polite. We’ll definitely be returning in the future.
Wandering through Edinburgh’s Morningside on a Saturday afternoon, we found everywhere to be full. Until we were lucky enough to stumble up this hidden gem, Marie Delices Creperie & Tea Room. A traditional French creperie and tea room specialising in breton crepes and galettes.
We’d never heard of or tried a galette before coming here but we were glad that we did. You might be wondering what a galette is exactly? According to Google it’s a French term that describes “various types of flat, round, or freeform crusty cakes”.
I chose the salmon and cheese galette while hubby chose one with hummus, onion, olive and avocado. Both were delicious. The salmon and cheese with the sour cream went so well together. For drinks we ordered a simple chamomile tea and water. They arrived quickly and the staff were very friendly and talkative.
Overall, I think we both fell in love with this place. The decor was adorable and it has a calm atmosphere. We will definitely be returning for more.
I love small cafes and patisseries, they are so cozy! We recently decided to stop at Karine Deli & Cafe in Edinburgh’s Morningside, in the mood to snack on something sweet and get out of the cold.
Arriving at 4pm, we didn’t realise Karine closes at 4:30. Despite it being 30 minutes until close, the staff were very welcoming and genuinely happy to serve us. Of course, we made sure we were out before closing time and tidied up after ourselves.
Cakes & Drinks
Choosing our drinks, I went for a simple tea while the hubby chose a latte. It was then time for one of the things Karine is most known for – the cakes / sweets! We ordered a burnt basque cheesecake and raspberry meringue which arrived with a side of cream, both were so good! However, between the two, we recommend the cheesecake the most. It wasn’t overly sweet and well balanced. 🍰
Karine is also full of unique French products. There were lots of wines, spreads, and so much cheeeese. A great place to buy some condiments for Christmas!
Looking at the displays it was clear that there’s usually a lot more pastries and desserts available earlier in the day. So I’d definitely recommend going before the afternoon if you want to browse the full selection of what Karine has to offer. We will definitely be back to try even more goodies! 🙂 You can also see more of what they have to offer on their website at http://karinedeli.com/.
Tattu Restaurant Edinburgh. When we heard that this stunningly decorated restaurant was coming to Scotland’s capital, we just knew we had to try it. A restaurant filled with cherry-blossoms, gold details, and lanterns – would the food live up to its beauty? 🌸
I’m going to start off by saying the starters were incredible! We went for the Chilli Salt Baby Squid and Chicken Truffle Shumai Dim Sum. Both were very fresh and bursting with flavour. I’d go as far as saying it’s the best calamari I’ve had. The Shumai Dim Sum were soft, delicious, and complimented well by the soy sauce.
With the starters setting the bar high, we expected the mains to be even better. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
We went for the Vegetarian Chicken Black Bean Dish and the Wok Fried Angry Bird. The Wok Fried Angry Bird was cooked well, a thin chewy batter with a soft chicken underneath. However, given the name, we expected it to have more spice and there wasn’t much “anger” in this dish. In the vegetarian chicken dish, the black bean sauce was extremely salty and overpowering. Due to this, I ended up only eating the chicken and leaving the veg which was saturated in it.
Overall, pretty underwhelming especially for the price and there wasn’t much to say about the presentation either.
For drinks hubby chose his go to glass of coke and I went for the sweet skullduggery drink (non-alcoholic), which is flavoured with kiwi, blueberry and apple. It was nice, sweet and very aesthetic but slightly on the small side.
Tattu Restaurant Edinburgh Desserts
We didn’t have dessert on this occasion but aim to try it in the future. From what we could see the desserts looked good and were beautifully presented, so that may increase our rating later on.
Overall we felt disappointed. If you were going to eat here I’d highly recommend getting a range of starters and then going straight to the dessert. The mains just don’t seem worth it. Despite elegant decor, the music and close together tables created an atmosphere that felt more like the VIP area of a nightclub than a high end restaurant. Service however was good and the staff kept a positive attitude despite a very busy restaurant.
Tattu Restaurant Edinburgh Rating
2.5 Scottish unicorns out of 5. 🦄🦄🦄
Looking for another unique location to eat out in Edinburgh? Check out our review of Dishoom Edinburgh at St. Andrew’s Square.
If you’re looking for a fun-filled day out in Edinburgh, then Camera Obscura World of Illusions located just by Edinburgh Castle is a great place to go. Camera Obscura is brilliant for children but also has activities enjoyable for all ages. As a group of 20-somethings we also had a great time!
Here are a few of the things that you can see at Camera Obscura:
Looking rather innocent at first with its pretty colours and lights, the vortex will have your head spinning! It really messes with your senses and it’s so much fun trying to get to the other end.
2. Mirrors & The Mirror Maze
You’ll find lots of mirrors at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, both inside and out! Great if you want to take some unique selfies. There’s also a mirror maze where you’ll have to try very hard to use your senses and get to the other end.
3. Become A Salad
Yep! There’s an illusion where you can actually have your friend/partner’s head on a plate.
4. Thermal Cameras
You’ll also get the rare opportunity to see yourself on a thermal camera. Apparently it once helped save a life!
5. The Rooftop
From Camera Obscura’s rooftop you’ll get beautiful views across the city including Princes Street, The Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. We went on a dark October evening and the city was so pretty all lit up.
Camera Obscura Tickets and Discounts
Overall, there’s a lot to see and do and this list doesn’t even cover all of it! There are 3 floors of illusions to see in total and to keep the element of surprise we haven’t included all of them here.
Tickets are affordably priced and the added discounts for other attractions make it easy to make a day out of it. You can get 10% off at some local restaurants and 25% off the Edinburgh Dungeon if you visit on the same day.
Looking for more fun things to do on a day out in Edinburgh? Why not resurrect The Dark Lord at The Department of Magic.
Mercat Tours have been showing people Edinburgh’s most interesting sites for 35 years. Their award-winning, 5-star rated walking tours are a great way to get to know the city. They also have exclusive access to the Blair Street Underground Vaults!
For transparency reasons, I must mention that I do work here. However, I’m not obligated to write this blog and genuinely think the tours are great. As part of my induction training I got to go on almost all of them. So with that said here are my favourites!
Why is Doomed, Dead, & Buried my favourite Mercat ghost tour? Because of the Canongate Kirkyard of course! Several notable figures with intriguing stories buried here including Adam Smith, David Riccio (assistant and friend of Mary Queen of Scots), and an ex-lover of Robert Burns. However, aside from the incredible history there are also some much darker tales to be told and when better to hear them than in the dead of night, with only a cloaked figure and torch light to guide you?
Unfortunately, due to CV-19 this tour isn’t running at the moment but it’s definitely one of my favourites. After a visit to the dark and mysterious 18th-century Blair Street Underground Vaults, you’ll join your storyteller and the rest of the tour group in Mercat’s Megget’s Cellar. There you’ll have a dram of whisky (or a soft-drink if you’d prefer) and hear some more gruesome stories, including that of the notorious serial killers Burke and Hare. Mercat Tours even have a death mask of Burke’s face taken after his death, creepy but fascinating!
There’s so much to see on this tour and you’ll learn a lot. As an Outlander fan, I especially enjoyed hearing about Bonnie Prince Charlie, it seems he was just as obnoxious in real life as he was in the series. There was also a lot of focus on the life of Mary Queen of Scots. I finished the tour not only with a lot more appreciation for all that Mary Queen of Scots went through, but also for Edinburgh as a whole.
Even if you’re already from Scotland the tour is very eye-opening and entertaining.
The Historic Underground tour is brilliant. There is so much history to be discovered in the centuries old Blair Street Underground Vaults – from an abandoned tavern and illegal whisky distilling, to people living there. The stories will truly fascinate you and you can even see some of the artefacts that continue to be uncovered to this day! Some of my favourites are the old shoes which you can see in the discovery room and oyster shells, which were a common bar snack back in the “Auld Reekie” days.
This is a seasonal tour and oh my goodness, I love it! The tour, which usually runs in February, is an anti-valentines tour. Telling hilarious stories from Edinburgh’s past, including that of a local tree-lover, it’s a brilliant gals day out. This tour also finishes in Mercat’s Megget’s Cellar with some champagne and chocolate hearts, perfect.
Overall, there’s a lot of tours to choose from. If you live in Edinburgh I’d recommend trying a tour at least once, you can view all Mercat has to offer here. The team have taken a lot of care to have CV-19 procedures in place and to make sure everyone is safe on tour. 😊
With trick-or-treating and partying off the menu this Halloween – we opted to celebrate a little differently, by trying one of Edinburgh’s many escape rooms. With strong Harry Potter vibes, The Department of Magic Escape Room felt like the perfect place!
At this escape room, you get to decide which side you’re on. If you consider yourself a Gryffindor, for example, then you may want to play the Prophecies Quest. In this game, you aim to defeat the Dark Lord. But if you’re more Slytherin, then you may want to play the Dark Lord Resurrection Quest. After all, where’s the fun in being good all the time?
We opted for Dark Lord Resurrection as what better year to summon a dark overlord than 2020?! 🧛🏻♂️
Here’s How It Went
After waiting at the meeting point, we were soon greeted by a wizard who helped us navigate our way past some muggles (his words not ours) and onto the escape room. We stopped briefly in a waiting area while our wizard sanitised the room, which was reassuring. We were then surprised when he re-appeared in a mask and cloak and asked in a very deep voice if we were “ready to resurrect the Dark Lord”? To which of course we both said yes!
Upon entering there were several different stations where puzzles needed to be solved to win the game. Unfortunately, I have no photos for this part as that would give too much away! Clues were hidden throughout the room, and we had to solve various riddles. A timer placed on the wall counts down so you know exactly how much time you have. For Dark Lord Resurrection it’s 50 minutes.
Normally, your witch or wizard would be in the room with you but on this occasion we were given occasional prompts over a speaker. We managed to solve three of the several puzzles, unfortunately not enough to win. However, this was our first ever escape room and we still had a great time! Would I do it again? Definitely!
The Department of Magic Escape Room Prices
I believe if we had a larger group we likely could have beaten it. Pricing is as follows:
3 for £55
4 for £60
5 for £70
Essentially, the bigger your group the better the price per person and it’s easier to win. There are a lot of escape rooms in Edinburgh and after this experience, I’ll definitely be trying more!
Hula Juice Bar and Healthy Eatery is one of those places that I keep coming back to. With two locations in Edinburgh, one at Fountainbridge, and another near Victoria Street – I’m very lucky to live near one and work near the other.
They also have a great selection of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options and all of their food and coffee is sourced locally.
Hula does some incredible smoothie bowls which come beautifully presented. This is the Acai Bowl priced at £7.65 with;
“A frozen base of organic acai berry, strawberry, banana, blueberry and coconut. Topped with granola, goji berries, banana, chia seeds, cacao nibs, blueberries and coconut shavings.”
It’s bursting with berry flavour, the portion is well-sized, and I was definitely full afterward. Something I love about Hula is that I never have to feel guilty for eating there because it’s healthy! Although, they do have a great selection of cakes too if you’ve got room for it.
We’ve had a few different lunches at Hula including, the Sriracha Chicken Wrap (£6.95), Teriyaki Jackfruit & Kimchi bowl (£8.25), and Harissa Chicken Sourdough Sandwich (£6.95). My favourite out of all of them? The wrap. It was perfectly toasted, light, and gently flavoured, with a teeny kick of spice. Hula’s side salads are also always fresh with a yummy dressing.
The harissa sandwich is very similar in taste to the wrap and the sourdough was soft, and crisp – but it was a bit fragile and crumbly, making for a difficult eating experience. In terms of the teriyaki bowl – all of the ingredients were so fresh, but we just felt like it needed more of a kick.
However, if you’re someone who prefers natural, clean flavours, then you’d probably enjoy it, and I think that’s what Hula is all about natural, fresh, healthy food that’s good for you!
Hula has a great range of smoothies, and I’ve yet to try all of them.
So far, my favourite is the Blue Hawaiian made with strawberry, blueberry, banana and apple. It’s sweet and is a berry lover’s dream. The Betty Ford is also nice, not quite as sweet as the Hawaiian, and mostly strawberry flavoured with a hint of banana. Smoothies are priced at £3.95 for a small, £4.95 for a large.
You can also choose to add one of Hula’s organic boosters, such as multivitamins and antioxidants, for 85p.
Hula do milkshakes as well! Hubby went for the Nutty Professor, made with peanut butter and banana. It was thick and smooth and overall very tasty.
When it comes to their hot drinks, Hula also have a brilliant range. The menu is divided into coffee and not-coffee for those that are caffeine sensitive. I chose the cinnamon latte, it was deep and rich, with earthy undertones. Plus, it was nice to know the beans were roasted locally in Edinburgh. I think now, more than ever, we need to support our local businesses.
I’d recommend trying Hula at least once, especially their breakfast menu and smoothies. Portion sizes are good and fairly priced. To some, £3.95 may seem steep for a smoothie, but not when you consider the ingredients that go into them, plus they taste fantastic!