There is something so lovely about having your friends come and stay – showing them the local sights and attractions and catching up over brunches and coffee stops. Last weekend, I had some of the Bristol uni crew come and spend the weekend with me and we managed to see quite a bit of Edinburgh, whilst still having a chance to catch-up and essentially watch the entire season of Queer Eye (an absolute must-watch if you haven’t already seen it!).
I’ve put together a relaxed diary-style itinerary of what we did, which hopefully will be useful for anyone wanting to visit Edinburgh with friends and see the most popular attractions of the city!
After catching up into the early hours of Saturday morning, we had a lazy start to the day. Miraculously, the weather shined for us and after having a chilled breakfast in the flat, we wondered through beautiful Old Town, past the Scottish Parliament to Arthur’s Seat. We took a rather long winded way up to the top but the views from each part of the walk were absolutely stunning.
Feeling a little peckish after a long walk, we headed to the lovely Checkpoint for a late lunch. The service was a little slow but they serve breakfast until 5pm which ticked all our boxes.
Trying to book somewhere for dinner on a Saturday night in central Edinburgh was a lot more challenging then you might think. We tried five different places (!) before settling for Jamie’s Italian in the Assembly Rooms. Wanting to soak up some of the Edinburgh night life, we then headed to Tiger Lily for cocktails- they were ridiculously busy with numerous hen-do’s but we managed to find a seat in a quiet corner (ideal for people watching) and enjoyed a few cocktails dancing along to some old school, feel good tunes.
After a late start, we headed over to Stockbridge Market, which was well and truly bustling at 12 pm. We enjoyed patisseries from one of the food stalls before heading to Cafe Florentine’s, where the service was rather slow to say the least (they did however seem to be very short on staff) but the coffees and hot chocolates were great as always.
We then wondered to Calton Hill in the Edinburgh drizzle and admired the view (minimal walking effort after the previous days climb up Arthur’s Seat).
As the rain seemed to be set for the rest of the day, we headed over to the National Museum of Scotland. They had a very impressive sculpture feature, made entirely of balloons (pictured below). Highlights of the visit included the space display, Dolly the sheep, seeing our equivalent weight to an animal (we are a wild bunch) and the bicycles throughout the ages. There is so much more to see there and it’s completely free to visit- a great stop for a rainy day.
We headed to 5 Guys for a quick and easy dinner. This was my first experience of it and I was quite impressed with the burgers, even if they were a tad greasy. The evening was spent watching Queer Eye- it is such a feel good show and had me giggling from the outset. It also involved a Camembert baked in bread and a glass or two of gin.
Another slow start to the morning (you can see a recurring theme here), we headed to The Pantry, which is one of my favourite brunch places in Edinburgh. They do the most incredible cooked breakfasts- I unfortunately overlooked the fact that they stop serving these breakfasts at 11 so we missed out on these. We did however, have the most incredible waffles with mixed berry compote and cream. One hundred percentage indulgent but so worth it and a lovely way to celebrate the last day of our mini-break uni reunion!
We then headed to Edinburgh New Town which is excellent for shopping and is a great way of avoiding those April showers. We stopped into Burr and Co for lunch- another coffee shop favourite and enjoyed a salted caramel hot chocolate with a toastie.
Half of the group left early afternoon and then rest headed over to Panda and Sons. This place is incredible! Disguised as a barbershop, this cocktail bar is the thing of dreams. The cocktails are quirky and tasty, and priced fairly reasonably (we had one out of a hat which was just amazing) and the atmosphere was so laid back and relaxed. An absolute must-visit with a group of friends or family.
We had the loveliest weekend together and it was nice to make some new memories together and spend some proper quality time catching up. I still have a disposable camera waiting to be developed, so very much excited to see what gems might have been captured there! All in all it was a great weekend and Edinburgh really is a great place for catch ups and sightseeing- it has so much on offer. Definitely book that ticket if you are thinking of visiting!