Five Things I Got Up To in Edinburgh

My other half Sam and I went up to Edinburgh for 5 days last week, for his sisters wedding. We were also excited to explore the city! Here's what we got up to. 

 1. Explored
To be honest, we're not really 'touristy' people. Me and Sam aren't the biggest fans of crowds or queuing, but we do love to explore. Whilst some people would definitely have the likes of Edinburgh Castle on their must-see list, we were quite happy spending our days ambling around, taking photos, people watching, window shopping (and a little actual shopping...the bank was broken!) and seeing what the local bars and restaurants had to offer.

2. Gin at the FringeIt was just a coincidence that the wedding we were going to Scotland for coincided with the Fringe. I must admit I was disappointed about this. I love to take photos and Edinburgh is such a beautiful city, but because there was so many people and it was near enough wall to wall red tents with pop-up stalls etc, I couldn't really take many. So I put my camera away, kicked back and enjoyed the Fringe. Namely, the multiple pop up bars there were. I thoroughly enjoyed Edinburgh Gin, I have to say. When the weather was nice, it was so lovely to sit and have a mid-afternoon drink whilst watching the street performers and the buzz of people.

3. Cocktails at Mono
Looking out the window, the view seems more fitting for Paris than Edinburgh. The stylish Mono is on a busy street in Edinburgh's Old Town, so it was surprising how calm and quiet it was inside. There’s an open kitchen restaurant downstairs, but the bar upstairs was the perfect spot to escape from the bustle of the Fringe Festival. Sam and I called in for a couple of cocktails* before heading off to see Frankie Boyle at The Playhouse. They had a healthy selection to choose from, although Mathias, who was front of house, did tell us that we’re welcome to ask for any cocktail we fancied; if he had the ingredients, he’d make it, he said. From the menu, I opted for a High Ball (photographed): Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky, teapot bitters and ginger ale. It was very pleasant, bitter and gingery (surprising, that, isn’t it?) Sam opted for the fruitier Daiquiri, with pineapple, citrus, and Havana rum. I obviously had to try some, and it was delicious and creamy. I wanted something lighter for my next drink so I went for “the one with Prosecco in” (I'm so sophisticated, I know), otherwise known as a French 75, a mix of Tanqueray gin, prosecco and citrus.  I’d never had it before, but this is definitely up my alley, it was subtly sweet and very light and refreshing. 
Mono itself is beautiful, a really stunning interior with a very sophisticated vibe. Going on appearance alone, I was surprised to see that the most expensive cocktail on the menu was only £10. Down South, in my favourite Cuban themed bar, a standard Mojito is £8 alone. Overall, a very pleasant hours stop, we could very easily have spent the evening there had we not had a show booked. If you're heading near the area, I highly recommend Mono. 

4. Seeing Frankie Boyle at the Edinburgh Playhouse
This was very spontaneous, but definitely one of the highlights of our days out in Edinburgh. On our first day out in town, I remembered seeing on the billboard outside the Playhouse that one of mine and Sam's favourite comedians, Frankie Boyle, was playing there during the time we were there. I didn't think much of it, assuming it'd be sold out. The next day, when me and Sam were talking about going out that evening, I quickly took a peek online, to see there was still a handful of tickets still available for that evenings show. So, I booked them! It was such a good evening and, as usual, Frankie was hilarious. 

5. Edinburgh Dungeons
This is probably the most 'touristy' thing we did, but we don't regret it at all. I personally am a huge fan of horror and gore, so I couldn't miss a chance to visit the Edinburgh Dungeons. Sam and I booked a pre-bookable time slot, but we arrived early, so joined the queue outside. There was quite a long queue already, including a school trip. Cheekily, I nipped to the front - on the premise of double checking that we were in the right place for a pre-booked tour - and mentioned that there were only two of us. Carrie, on the door, got the gist and offered to come and get us when there was room on the next tour. Within two minutes, she was back, and managed to fit us in on the tour that was going in right then! So our dungeon journey was off to a good start with excellent customer service! And it was uphill from there. It was scary and funny all at once, and each show was better than the last, with the climax being the Drop Dead: Drop Ride, where you're strapped in to a seat, hoisted up to meet the executioner, who tells you your sentence before promptly 'executing' you, and dropping you back to the ground in a second. It's so exhilarating and leaves you on an adrenaline high ready to stumble around the mirror labyrinth into the gift shop.

When I got back home and started to work on this blog post and put what we did into words, it sounds like we didn't really do that much? But our days were packed. We were up early, out the door, then out 'til late. We even had reservations for cocktails at The Black Pig and Oyster which we were really looking forward to, but we didn't make it (because we got the wrong bus, ended up on the wrong side of the city, and had to check into the hotel where the wedding was being held that afternoon).  Edinburgh has so much to offer, I know I'd go again. Have you ever been? Is it on your travel wish list? 

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*Complimentary in return for review 
PS Sorry about the crazy fonts in this post. I have no idea why it's happening, I've spent the best part of an hour trying to fix it! 

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