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Hotel restaurants often run the risk of feeling like just a restaurant in a hotel. They can be a place for business people to have a quick bite to eat whilst working on a presentation. Or a place for tired tourists to fill up after a long day’s sightseeing. In short, restaurants can easily be a secondary focus for a hotel. However, with its inviting atmosphere, brightened by large windows overlooking Charlotte Square, the George Street Bar and Grill utterly dispels any sense of being an afterthought. Located within the Roxburghe Hotel, perhaps better known for its luxury spa, this hotel restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town could have easily established a restaurant for residents and left it at that. However, it’s clear in the passion of the hotel’s general manager, Marcello Ventisei, that this was never going to happen here.

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The soft grey furnishings and cleverly placed tables give the feel of intimate dining, rather than a sizeable hotel restaurant. We were in on a sunny midweek evening, and the restaurant was busy enough to have an atmosphere. The alcoves and split levels, however, comfortably divided the space, cutting through the buzz and providing privacy.

This month the George Street Bar and Grill launched its new summer menu and we were invited to try a few of the dishes on offer. The menu is a mix of comforting classics, including Caesar salad and rib eye steak, and some of Head Chef Andy McRobert’s more innovative creations, such as carrot tarte tatin and mojito mess.

We began with a tian of crab accompanied with avocado purée and crostini. The dish allowed the crab to be the main attraction, with the avocado providing added freshness. A perfect summer starter. Refreshing accompaniment came in the form of a generous Aperol Spritz.

Next on the menu was a dish for the adventurous: butter roasted boudin noir. Reportedly envisaged on an inebriated night out, Andy emphatically described it as ‘not a French black pudding’. In appearance, however, you could be forgiven for making that assumption. Cutting in, the skin gave way a silky smooth texture and rich filling which rendered the table silent in appreciation. Lightness, to counter the richness, was provided by apple purée and sweet mustard reduction. Even if you’re not normally a fan of black pudding I would heartily recommend giving this dish a try. Be prepared, however, for a generous portion.

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There is a notable range of fish dishes on the summer menu. Andy enthused about allowing fresh flavours come through, and it showed in the pan fried fillet of sea trout. This was served with sea buckthorn butter sauce, an unknown flavour to us and our fellow diners. Fortunately, Andy was on hand to explain: sea buckthorn berries are small orange berries many times more acidic than lemons. For this dish the berries were sweetened with Madeira wine to create a reduction, with the resulting sharpness providing a welcome kick to the perfectly cooked fish.

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Finally we reached dessert, my companion’s favourite course. One of the tipsy desserts on offer was apple bavaroise with apple sorbet, apple crisp and a cider jelly. The second option was mojito mess, comprised of crisped sugared mint leaves, golden meringues, rum jelly and lime sorbet. These boozy dishes formed delightful desserts for those who cannot decide between a cocktail and a dessert. And let’s face it, why would you ever want to make that choice? 

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We finished our meal remarkably full and unable to fault any of the food we tried. Our only complaint, if you can call it that, would be the liberal size of the Aperol Spritz. As complaints go, its one we are happy to live with!

The passion Andy demonstrated for food was paralleled by the restaurant’s dedicated customer service. It was clear that the staff go to great lengths to make regulars and newcomers alike feel welcome.

The menu has clearly been developed with care to provide impeccable combinations. Combined with dedicated staff and an enviable location it’s difficult to think of a diner the George Street Bar and Grill wouldn’t please.

Smith & Gertrude

OK, so let’s face it – winter is no longer ‘coming’, it’s here. With wind, rain, tinsel and twinkling fairy lights all over it. Yes, winter and Christmas have come to our fair city and along with it lots of people visiting for vastly over-priced Glühwein. But for those of us who prefer being a little more adventurous, where should we be going? As always, the Edinburgh Editor team have been trying out new places (and some old favourites) and since this is the season of giving, here we give you 7 different places to try!

Smith & Gertrude 

Stockbridge has long needed a bar dedicate to cheese, wine and charcuterie. We didn’t realise this until we went to Smith & Gertrude recently, but we are firm believers now (and not just because we had a couple of large glasses of far too drinkable wine). This latest development avoids a lot of the pretensions we thought it might suffer from and there is a clear dedication to the art of good cheese, meats, wines and company. It’s calm, not rushed and generally rather wonderful – get yourself along!

Find Smith & Gertrude on Twitter

Smith & Gertrude

Herbies – West End

We love the West End village, and of all the places you can get some food there our favourite lunchtime haunt is Herbies. They always have lots of different soup on offer (7 flavours when we were in a few days ago), which range from the traditional to a bit more experimental.

Bread Meats Bread – Lothian Road

Boasting from Glasgow, the Edinburgh joint of this much-loved burger place recently opened. We were invited along to the press night beforehand and greatly enjoyed the samples we were offered. Whilst a lot of burger places look somewhat temporary, there’s permanence and ambition here – the design work is really on point as well. If you’re in town and looking for a burger that’s towards the upper end of the spectrum pop in and try Bread Meats Bread.

Don’t confuse it with Burger Meats Bun (Forth Street) though – they’re totally separate.

Bread Meats Bread

New Chapter

Canonmill’s newest restaurant (taking over from the rather tired Pierre Victoire), New Chapter, is brought to us all by some of the original founders of The Atelier Restaurant. There were a couple of little bits still to be done when we visited [full disclosure, it’s owned by friends of friends], but the food is excellent and very reasonably priced. The current menu includes some delicious duck, vibrant venison and phlipin’ phantastic pheasant.

Find them on Twitter

Burr & Co.

This new addition to the coffee scene is probably best described as 4 Star Hipster. It’s been expertly designed inside and the staff all wear the same denim shirt and brown aprons – like a hipster coffeeshop (or how a hotel designer thinks they look). The coffee is good and their food offering looks delicious – go if you like your coffee shops ‘George Street-ified’.

The Printing Press

Our adventure to The George’s new (standalone) restaurant ended up being a very fish-heavy affair, but with Sunday roasts and steaks also advertised, as well as some more traditional dinner options, we would heartily recommend it for anyone looking for a really good dinner.

Read our full review

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The Dome

Of course no Christmas would be entirely complete without mentioning Christmas-incarnate, The Dome. Much as we disliked them putting up the decorations in October, now that it’s December we would definitely recommend going there for some Christmas spirit!

The Dome Christmas 2014

Scotch Whisky Experience

The street is dark – there are no streetlights on, despite a couple thousand people gathering on the cobbles. Then, following a brief announcement, the street bursts into life with a dazzling display of light and Handel booming out through hidden speakers.

Yes, in one of the most civilised evenings we’ve had in a while, we went to find out about two of this year’s new festive attractions – The Street of Light and Whisky Enlightenment tour at The Scotch Whisky Experience.

Christmas has broken out of the New Town this year with Virgin Money’s Street of Light – a 60,000 light immersive festive sound and colour show that takes up a substantial part of the Royal Mile – and to go alongside it the Scotch Whisky Experience have started a new tour, the Whisky Enlightenment Tour.

The Whisky Enlightenment tour is a great introduction to the world of Scotch Whisky; a short tour that combines beautifully with the Street of Light and introduces you to the world of Scotch Whisky with a whilstle-stop tour and sampling in the collection.

When you arrive at the Experience you are greeted with a smile and hot apple toddy – perfect for coming in from a blustery December night. Then one of the wonderful guides will take you through a brief explanation of the different kinds of whisky – the single malts, singe grain, blended malts, blended whiskies, etc. – the major whisky regions that Scotland is made up of and the predominant flavours that make each area so distinctive. Following on from this you are introduced to the collection and get to stroll through it with some of the highlights being pointed out to you whilst you taste the day’s featured malt with a chocolate truffle on the side (if chocolate and whisky sounds a strange match to you, then let them open a whole new world of deliciousness to you).

Street of Light, Edinburgh

After the tour you are taken down Castle Hill to the high street where the Street of Light will be waiting for you.

Truly the Street of Light is very, very good. Whilst its design could, we feel, have reflected the architecture of the Old Town better for more ‘Edinburgh-ish’ experience, as a festive treat this is a brilliant way to get into the festive spirit with a healthy dose of choral music and a dazzling display of light and technology to make it match the music.

Whether you are visiting the city to soak up the Christmas atmosphere, or you live here all year round, we would recommend the Street of Light to everyone. And if you like your whisky and want to get an introduction to the world of Malt Whisky then the Whisky Enlightenment Tour is a good addition to the evening.

You can book tickets for Street of Light on their website, and the Whisky Enlightenment Tour fits perfectly in the gap between the two Street of Light showings – more information can be found on the Scotch Whisky Experience website.

Street of Light, Edinburgh

Stewart Brewing

‘Twas a night in November and delicious smells filled the air. The silence broken by a crunch; a boot tramping on the snow? No, it’s yours truly eating a pretzel. But snacks aside, attention was wrapped, and cringe-worthy Christmas puns were coming to mind as we talked festive boozing. Or should that be how to ‘have a hoppy Christmas?’ (*groans*)

It will surprise no one to hear that Christmas is just around the corner (tourists and visitors are in the city in their droves already), but for this particular Festive Cheer we’re out at Loanhead, more specifically at Stewart Brewing’s brewery finding out about their new festive beers.

Stewart Brewing

We’re big fans of Stewart Brewing – we toured the brewery last year and had a great time at their summer festival – and as their tradition dictates there are Christmas beers to be tried.  This year’s Christmas beers are the Weiss Christmas Blanc and the Weiss Christmas Noire – shockingly one is the ‘white’ and the other ‘black’ beer (who would have seen that coming?). We tried the Blanc on the night and it is delicious (and way too drinkable), flavoured with festive spices and orange notes – a great alternative to heavy winter porters and stouts. We’re yet to try the Noire, but have high hopes (high hops?) for it. Aside from the new beers we were taken on a tour of the Brewery and told about all of the present options you can get the beer lover in your life this Christmas.

The best of these of course (and if anyone fancies buying me a £200 Christmas present, just let me know) is brewing in The Craft Beer Kitchen – Stewart’s ‘brew your own’ experience. Here you get to choose your recipe and flavours, design your labelling, brew and bottle your very own craft beer. Need a way to justify this to yourself? The £185 experience will give you 80 500ml bottles of your very own beer – that’s about £2.31 a bottle. Bargain.

Stewart Brewing

Aside from the biggie and the Christmas Beers, here are our other highlights from the Stewart Brewing present options (you’ll find all of them and more on their website):

  • Beer gift packs! There are three available (Traditionalist, Newbie and Explorer), but The Explorer caught our eye – it includes beers with ‘triple hopped’, ‘packed with new world hops’ and ‘an oxymoronic ale’ in their descriptions, who wouldn’t want that?
  • Growlers filled in their on-site tap room (although why no one thought to rename these beer flagons when we imported the idea from the States is beyond us)
  • Beer merchandise: Stewart rebranded this year and now have the merchandise to prove it. Surely dads across the city would much rather these socks than novelty snowmen this year?

Of course if you’re a beer-lover then there’s no reason not to head out to the brewery to buy yourself a well-earned present. The shop may be small, but will cater for all your beer needs and can be reached by bus, so you can even sample one or three of the beers whilst there. It’s also handily located if you need a recovery beverage after a trip to IKEA…

Want to know more? Visit the Stewart Brewing website for all gifts, gift vouchers and ideas, we highly recommend it (and not just because they fed us beer and pretzels).

Stewart Brewing Christmas photo and Candy Cane photos courtesy of Stewart Brewing, taken by MacNeill Photography

It feels like it has been boarded up for an age, but the renovations are over and The Printing Press is now in operation.

Why the association with printing? Well it’s tenuous at best and to do with two people that used to live at 25 George St and whose descendants went on to found a ‘famous’ publishing house that you would only have heard of if you lived many decades ago. It’s a stretch, but thankfully it hasn’t become a motif, it’s just a name.

Once you are through the revolving door the name is forgotten and you are met with one of Edinburgh’s most elegant interiors. The checkered marble floor (not dissimilar to The Dome’s entrance across the road, or parts of the Cally Hotel, for that matter) gives way to a rich, dark wooden floor of the polished interior – part terrace of a Roman villa, part contemporary restaurant and with a bar and chandeliers that wouldn’t be out of place in the Art Deco era. It may sound an odd combination, but as you can see above the designers have made it work perfectly; it’s welcoming, embracing and luxurious all at the same time.

The Printing Press has some serious pedigree though, it’s the brainchild of Des McDonald (Vintage Salt, Q Grill and Holborn Dining Room to name a few in London) and is part of the multi-million-pound investment currently going into the George Hotel. It will be taking the best of Scotland’s larder throughout the year, and if our dinner is anything to go by, Head Chef Colin Flemming (The Road Hole Restaurant at The Old Course Hotel, St Andrews; Restaurant Martin Wishart) is starting out well.

Bread - The Printing Press

When we arrived the bar was pretty busy, but once we had walked through to the restaurant the mood was much more sedate and although seemed quiet to begin with (as you might expect on a wet Wednesday evening) it soon picked up. People who like food are already in the know about this place, always a good sign.

The menu has a full range of classic dishes and options for the more adventurous. Our meal, by sheer accident, ended up very aquatic, but that is not a reflection of the menu in full – it just happened to be what caught our eye. You can see the current menu here. Our starters – Hot Smoked Salmon, and Loch Fyne Diver Scallops – arrived fresh and lip-smackingly good; the salmon served with horseradish potato scones, the scallops on ink barley. The main event again featured fish – the Roast Cod was delicious, the braised lentils it was served on being a particular triumph, whilst the Sea Bass shone on a bed described as ‘sea vegetables’ with blue mussels tucked in throughout.

Scallops - The Printing Press

None of the plates seemed overly large, but we were both very full by the end of main courses and required a short breather before heading in the direction of dessert. Following the trend set by the rest of the menu, there are some classic options here (such as a lemon torte), some distinctly from Scotland (Marmalade Steamed Pudding with Drambuie custard), and others nodding to contemporary trends (salted caramel features) – there’s no disappointing end to the menu here. Both our sweets were heavenly, and well worth the lingering time we took with them – the lemon being tart enough to cut through the tart’s sweetness, the salted caramel balancing sweet and salty beautifully.

Special mention has to go to the waiting staff; they were happy, chatty and enthusiastic – and if it was just because they were told to be then they are excellent actors. Our waiter was happy to make suggestions, offer wine choices, and generally seemed happy with the work he does. In a city that (we often find) struggles to offer waiting staff who give a damn, the service here proves once again how important great service is to a good meal out; hopefully more restaurants will start taking heed of whatever it is that The Printing Press is doing.

Dinner for 2 (exc. drinks) was about £70, although when I asked for the bill I was told “not a chance”, so it is roughly what I would expect from a restaurant like this on George Street – it’s not a chain, a bistro or vying for a Michelin Star any time soon – it sits happily towards the upper end of the spectrum, but not ridiculous for the quality of the food on offer.

Should you go? Yes. Most definitely.

Title image credit: James Nader

Foodies Festival Christmas

If like us you really enjoyed Foodies Festival this summer in Inverlieth Park, then you will be really excited to hear that Foodies Festival is back! Foodies Festival Christmas will be celebrating everything food and drink this Christmas with a show-stopper of a festival that we are very excited to tell you about and to offer you the chance to be there.

On the 13-15th of November Foodies Festival Christmas will be coming to Edinburgh – thankfully indoors this time! The Edinburgh International Conference Centre (or the EICC, if you prefer) will be playing host to a whole range of exciting events, demonstrations, pop-ups and producers all aimed at making your Christmas even more delicious – and here at Edinburgh Editor we have two pairs of tickets to be won!

As well as chefs and the Artisan Christmas Market, we are REALLY excited to see that our friends at Daffy’s and Pickerings will be hosting Christmas Gin Cocktail Masterclasses – yup, you heard us, a CHRISTMAS GIN COCKTAIL MASTERCLASSES!!! – along with beer, wine and champagne experts. Oh, also there will be areas dedicated to cake, which can only be a good thing.

If we haven’t already sold the idea to you, will a list of some of the chefs that will be there help get you excited? Fresh off the press this afternoon, the current line up goes something like this:

Jamie Scott – MasterChef The Professionals Winner 2014
Scott Davies – The Three Chimneys (Michelin starred)
Hardeep Singh Kohli – V Deep
Tony Rodd – MasterChef Finalist 2015
Brian Grigor – Number One at The Balmoral (Michelin starred)
Peter McKenna – The Gannet
Neil Forbes – Cafe St Honore
Mark Greenaway – Restaurant Mark Greenaway
Fraser Allen – The Pompadour
Gordon Craig – The Field
Romy Gill – Romy’s Kitchen
Rosario Sartore – Laconda de Gusti
Three Sisters Bake
Ian Pirrie – Edinburgh School of Food & Wine

If you’re now aching to be there enter our competition below, or you can buy tickets on the Foodies Festival website they’re £13 on the Friday and then £15 on both the Saturday and Sunday.

Be There – our ticket competition

If you want to be in with a chance of winning yourself tickets then we have 2 pairs of day passes to give away – simply enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Ts&Cs:

1. There are 2 (two) prizes – each comprising of 1 (one) pair of day passes for a day of the winner’s choice.

2. Competition is open until the 5th of November at 11:59pm

3. Winners will be drawn and contacted on the 6th and will be required to respond within 48 hours of receiving the email, otherwise a new winner will be drawn.

4. Prizes are being supplied and fulfilled by Lanyard PR, Edinburgh Editor and its staff take no responsibility for the prize.

Restaurant Festival

There’s something about the idea behind This is Edinburgh’s Restaurant Festival that is immensely appealing to us. I’m not 100% what it is exactly, but I’m pretty sure the amazing food on offer might well be a contributing factor…

Edinburgh has in recent years really upped its game when it comes to bars and restaurants. We’ve seen a massive proliferation in good places to eat and drink, and not just at the very top of the spectrum (although four Michelin Star restaurants in a city our size is quite impressive).

It’s this range of really good restaurants that Restaurant Festival – 8th to the 18th of October – celebrates. Although not in its first year, this festival has a new feel to it with an excellent line up of events going on (full details – thisisedinburgh.com ) and a fantastic selection of restaurants offering set lunch and dinner menus.

Lunch & Dinner

The best part about the festival, is doubtlessly the set menus at restaurants across the city. With Lunch for £15 and dinner for £25, it’s an absolute bargain – these restaurants just don’t do these sorts of dinners normally. High on our list to try are: Fishers in the City, Hadrian’s Brasserie at the Balmoral, Contini Cannonball, Restaurant Mark Greenaway, Hotel du Vin, and One Square, amongst many, many others.

The Menus

Events

Events at this year’s festival include:

  • Chef’s Table (fancy your dinner cooked by Mark Greenaway, Craig Hart and Paul Wedgwood?)
  • A film night – the iconic Chocolat with a three course dinner at Harvey Nichols
  • A beer and food matching dinner with Fallen Brewery

#EatOutEdin

Finally, This Is Edinburgh are getting to share their favourite dishes around the city so everywhere can take part in the celebration – just tag them with #EatOutEdin on Twitter or Instagram! Here’s the gallery so far.

You can find out all about Restaurant Festival on the This is Edinburgh website.

Image courtesy This is Edinburgh

Illegal Jacks

The kitchen is a pit” and “Between Kickstarter and my life savings, hopefully it will be enough” don’t sound overly promising as a start for a business, yet these are the words of the man sitting opposite me whose business is – I don’t think it is unfair to say – one of the most anticipated openings in the Edinburgh food scene this year. The man is Jack Muir and we’re talking about Illegal Jacks.

We’re sitting in Castello Coffee – last seen in Part II of our coffee guide – early in the summer talking about everything from how Jack got from being a lecturer in Glasgow to opening a TexMex restaurant in Edinburgh, to trying to get a date out of him for the opening. Along the way we talked beer, hot sauce, Colorado and, of course, that Kickstarter campaign. It’s too much to include here, but it’s a pretty remarkable story that, at its essence, revolves around good food, the trials and tribulations of opening and running a business, and Twitter. We’ll talk about the food in a post next week.

First things first though – ILLEGAL JACKS (mark II) IS OPEN!!! Visit 44 St Patrick’s Square for more.

Chilli & Dips Illegal Jacks

The new venue – which of course comes after the highly publicised closure of the original venue on Lothian Road – is in another part of town, it’s smaller, but importantly is going to be a lot more suited to the job. It’s in ‘student land’ up in St Patricks Square – sandwiched in an area between South Clerk Street and George Square – and instead of being a “failed Pizza Hut” (Jack’s words) it was an indian restaurant. It’s much smaller than Lothian Road (which presents its own challenges, especially in the kitchen) but the new 40-seater restaurant is almost ready to go. Having some money behind the project and prior knowledge gained with Illegal Jack’s 1 has made some big differences though: “first time round we had to take what we would get” but this time there’s a professional designer involved and the venue was chosen by simply pounding the pavements.

We can’t talk about Illegal Jacks coming back without some mention of the demise of the original, but it’s the community the old place built up that is more important to the likely success of the new Illegal Jack’s. “It was the 4th largest trending topic in the UK the night Jack closed” says a lot for it, before you even get to the press coverage it received.

The company is built on Twitter“, Jack tells me, the near-instant nature of Twitter allowing a community to build up and allow Jack’s to do everything from table reservations (he pulled out his phone to show me a couple of the photos of table reservation signs, with names, Twitter handles and even a picture of the ‘suspicious hippo’) to helping out other people in the city by crowdsourcing information for a friend about malware, of all things – the touch that perhaps offers Illegal Jack’s something more than most other eateries in town: a very human feel.

Carnitas Burrito Illegal Jacks

When Jack went on local TV earlier this year there was a lot of chatter online. Then came the announcement that so many wanted – Illegal Jack’s was attempting a comeback, and there was a Kickstarter campaign – JackStarter – to get it there. It was an ambitious target of £75,000, but there was a trick waiting in the wings – Edinburgh’s best known crime writer, Ian Rankin, reading a eulogy for Jack, standing in the graveyard of St Cuthbert’s Church, virtually in burrito-hurling distance from the old location.

We were talking in the pub, you need a video for Kickstarter, and the idea of the eulogy came up” but how did they get Rankin involved? Twitter, of course. “He’d been a customer since 2010 and likes a big burrito” so they Tweeted to ask – not really expecting a reply. “We didn’t hear anything, and then we got a response and he said yes… we held off a few weeks but then went for it.” Rankin, busy again by this point, only had a few spare hours, so Jack turned to Twitter again to source people “handy with a camera” from that the Jackaholic list and from there it was born.

The rest is pretty much history now: the campaign reached its target and work began on the new site a few weeks later. In fact it did more than reach its £75,000, its 1,030 backers pledged a total of £80,359. It’s a pretty incredible achievement, but again the personal touch comes through when Jack talks about it – there’s a list of names in his notepad, and Jack can tell you who each of them is. “It’s going to be a challenge” Jack says to fulfilling the commitments to those who pledged to the campaign, but I suspect one that will be met with great gusto.

Guacamole Illegal Jacks

With the new Illegal Jacks nearing opening, things like logistics for deliveries are really shaping up – “we don’t have room to hold stock, so it’s been a case of asking all the suppliers ‘can you deliver before 9?’ and if they can’t we can’t use them“. The menu, too is being finalised, a third of which will still be vegetarian – “almost the same as before. 2 sizes of burritos, 8 fillings, it’s all fresh because all we have is fridges“- he’s hoping that they can get some great local beers in, but the idea of a hot sauce menu (a passion, picked up like the burritos, from spending time in Colorado) is also one floating just below the surface.

Coming to the end of our chat I asked about opening up. Whilst most places try for a soft launch, Illegal Jacks has an army of Tweeting fans waiting, is opening up just as the largest arts festival in the world opens on its doorstop and will be pretty much straight into Freshers Week afterwards – it seemed only fair to ask how he felt about it. A look of  mock abstract terror cross his face: “Potentially pandemonium on a whole new level” is the frank and honest answer I get back and I suspect the jovial terror is a thin mask for something a lot more real.

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My next day off is Christmas Eve, and I’m looking forward to it already“, I’m told not entirely flippantly, but you can tell that under the levels of stress, trepidation and pressure that he’s excited: “the main thing is to make people happy.” We can’t really ask for more, can we?

Illegal Jacks is at St Patricks Square – go stuff your face with a burrito! You can follow Illegal Jacks on Twitter as well.

Rugby World Cup Watching Edinburgh

Are you a big rugby fan? Have you been excited for the greatest world cup in the… er… world, being on home soil? Here at Edinburgh Editor HQ we’ve been getting very exciting and with the 2015 RWC now here we thought we’d let you know about 15 pubs in Edinburgh where you can watch the action unfold.

1. Ghillie Dhu

Ghillie Dhu

Big screens in every corner, this is a well known hangout for any sort of rugby (whoever you’re supporting!). Definitely will have atmosphere for the big games.

2. Malones

Edinburgh’s biggest Irish bar is always great for atmosphere when rugby is on. Expect BIG crowds here for Scotland and Ireland games.

3. The Three Sisters

(Had to be at Number 3, really didn’t it?) It’s not where we normally go on the Cowgate, but it’ll have a lot of atmosphere, especially during Scotland matches.

4. Clerks

The Southside’s favourite sports bar, Clerks has always got a couple of options for great beer to go along with your rugby viewing. Always a good shout.

5. Queens Arms

Queens Arms

Escape the George Street bars and head to Frederick Street for a decent selection of beers and screens that are big enough to actually see the action on across people’s heads.

6. Teuchters (Leith)

One of our favourite Leith haunts, Teuchters always has rugby matches on in the main bar – indoor space is at a premium though, be warned!

7. The Beehive

One of the calmer Grassmarket pubs will be coming to life during the RWC – expect it to be very busy!

8.  The Murrayfield Hotel

This is Scottish Rugby’s liquid home – across the road from Murrayfield stadium you will be guaranteed to be amongst rugby fans (most of whom will doubtlessly be giving a blow-by-blow account of how they would do better).

9. Teuchters (West End)

Teuchters West End

William Street is the place to be for an ‘old man pub’ to watch rugby in. There isn’t a whole lot of space here either so make sure you get there early for Scotland games.

10. Hamiltons

This is one of our favourite haunts in Stockbridge – it’s got TVs on multiple walls, so everyone will be able to see the action.

11. Southside Social

The first social enterprise pub in the city is showing lots of matches over the coming weeks and as all profits are going back in to the local community it’s well worth a try! (See what we did there?)

12. The Granary

Like your rugby with a view of the water at the same time? Head down to this Leith hangout for many like-minded rugbyshirt-clad friends.

13. The Other Place

The best place for watching rugby in Canonmills? Quite possibly. Also with delicious food there is good options for a half time snack – which is clearly very important.

14. Cambridge Bar

Tucked away between George and Queens Streets, the Cambridge Bar is great for watching rugby and always has a great match day atmosphere.

15. Pretty much everywhere on Rose Street

Think Rose Street has been missed out on this list? That’s because almost every pub on the street will be showing matches!

Arthur's Seat

Have you noticed that all of a sudden it’s not quite so warm the second you step out of the sun? Have you seen a couple of leaves starting their journey from the sky to the gutter? The summer madness is over and now it’s clear that Autumn is making its way into our lives. Here at Edinburgh Editor HQ though we believe that there’s no point in crying over spilt leaves or summers that never were – we are getting out and about, tying up our laces and slipping on the boots, attempting to get in some exercise after festival excesses before the day light evades us.

In celebration of all the beautiful places you can go for a stroll in Edinburgh we thought we’d start with 8 walks you should do this Autumn:

1. Arthur’s Seat

Edinburgh from Arthurs Seat

You can of course do this walk all year round, but there are very few places that you can see the city changing so dramatically as you can from the lofty peak of Arthur’s Seat. Whether you go right to the top or simply go along the crags, it’s worth taking time to stop and look across our fair city and much further beyond.

2. The Water of Leith

Dean Village

Having lived near its banks in a couple of locations we can heartily recommend the Water of Leith as somewhere to walk. You can go all the way from Balerno to Leith, or simply pick and choose sections along the way. Each area is different, and the stories that unfold as you move in and out of each area will leave you hungry for more.

3. Cramond Island/River Almond

Going to the west of the city? Why not explore the River Almond and/or Cramond Island. You can walk all the way from Cramond Village to Kirkliston along the banks of the river, or go the other way and explore the remains of Cramond Island’s World War II gun emplacements (remember to check the tides and stay safe – the causeway is submerged by high tide).

4. Royal Botanic Gardens

If you want to take a break from the city but not really leave it behind, take a stroll down to the Botanics. Whether it’s a peaceful stroll around the Chinese Hillside or a clamber in the Rock Garden, the RBGE (or just ‘the Botanics’) is one of the most peaceful places to walk in the city.

5. Dalmeny Estate

Dalmeny House

We don’t tend to think of country estates being within city limits, but between Barnton and South Queensferry there are two. The Dalmeny Estate covers the coastal side and you can enter by the Cramond Brig, South Queensferry, or several points in between. It’s got woodland, solid paths, a beach, and more besides, well worth exploring.

6. Union Canal

The snake of water that links Edinburgh to Glasgow (via a little aerial acrobatics in Falkirk) is another great hidden gem of the city. You can join it at the canal basin in Fountainbridge, or anywhere along its banks. We suggest taking a walk out to Ratho if you’re feeling energetic, it’s about 8 miles.

7. Blackford Hill

One of the seven hills of Edinburgh, Blackford Hill is home to the Royal Observatory but also offers brilliant panoramic views of the city. If you want to turn it into a longer walk, why not add in sections of the Hermitage of Braid walk along with it?