21 photos from a Sunday in Edinburgh.

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Another Sunday, of another month, in another town; I woke up in Edinburgh before the sun has started its journey over the North Sea.

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And so, covered up in all the clothes I could get my hands on (I have found that if there is one thing Aberdeen has over Edinburgh, it is definitely the milder climate… well, at least for winter), I began making my way towards Arthurs Seat. (Guess where the quest of wanting to do that comes from – hello Jennifer!!)
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Things Edinburgh has over Aberdeen tho: EPIC PANORAMIC VIEWS! (The view from Broad Hill is not really the same thing… )

… And a cultural life, and beautiful buildings, and trams… This could take a while.

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Of course, I was on the wrong side of the ol volcano when the sun began to reveal its presence so I made a quick u-turn.
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In one direction I had a pinkish orange sunrise, and behind me a rainbow. Dreamy, huh?! Was very pleased with my decision to be an early bird.

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Afterwards I woke J up in the hostel and we headed out once again in the crispy Edinburgh morning. On the breakfast hunt, ending up at Moon & Hare. You can read the entire list of where we ate in Edinburgh here.
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Continuing through town, we ended up in Dean Village.
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A former village that has now been immersed by the city.
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We ended the evening with vegan pizza and crème brûlée at Nova, before heading to the cinema for Trainspotting 2. J wrote a Facebook status along the lines* of “Pretty fun to watch Trainspotting in Edinburgh, it’s like watching The Goodfellas in New York, Jaws on a boat or La la land in La la land” (*ok that was a complete copy/paste).


More Scotland-related posts:

≥ A weekend with Mum & Dad: Stonehaven and 3 course meals. ||
≥Isle of Skye, Day 1: Fairy pools & Highlanders. ||
≥ Things to do in Aberdeen//Granite City Gems.

Vegan in Edinburgh: What to Eat & Where.

As I type this I am just returned from a weekend in the capital of Scotland. I’ll admit the wallet is a bit thinner, but this vegan belly o’mine has been properly wined and dined ! Below is a list of places where we went for food in one of the UK’s most vegan friendly cities and what I thought of them ↓


img_5965The Auld Hoose
23-25 St Leonard St
Open daily from noon-12:45am
Cuisine: Classic pub grub with vegan options

My thoughts on bringing the BF here “music for him (punk/metal), food for me“. This place claims to have the largest nachos in Edinburgh. We definitely understimated this, ordering a sharing platter for 2with a side of chips. Despite how we were two hangry bastards at the time, there was not really a need for those chips. (That must be a first such a sentence derives from my mouth.)

Atmosphere wise I found it so-so, not really what one has in mind for a place that claims to be punk. HOWEVER it is a dog friendly pub so that automatically makes everything better. Life fact.


The Baked Potato Shop
56 Cockburn St
Open daily from 11am-8pm
Cuisine: Vegetarian with vegan options

If this is not fast food at its finest, then I do not know what is. Located in the heart of old town this wee venue looks like it has remained untouched since its opening in 1983. A small tattie comes at just under a fiver, stuffed with your filling of choice.
Note: No card transactions under £5, however one can get a small tattie with two fillings for £5.70.


Hendersons Salad Table *
94 Hanover Street
Open from 8am Mon-Sat, 10:30am on Sundays
Cuisine: Vegetarian, with vegan options clearly marked

Canteen style vegetarian lunch spot; surprisingly larger than expected with tables moving around quickly (meaning that on a Saturday afternoon it was not a problem to find a table for two). Plentiful of choice and they also do a bunch of meal deals where for just over a tenner one can include either a starter soup or dessert with ones main.


Henderson’s Vegan *
25 Thistle Street
Open for breakfast between 9am-11:30am, evenings reserved for bistro style food

Cuisine: Vegan

This one is literally around the corner (you can even get from one to the other via the back doors/bathrooms) from the former, but specialices since 2015 exclusively in vegan cuisine. This makes it alone in its genre of fine dining for vegans in Edinburgh. I came in for breakfast one frosty Monday morning and was, apart from one rushed kiwi couple, alone. Enjoyed a stack of buckwheat pancakes topped with caramelised pears and coconut cream which were divine. Am really intrigued to visit their bistro one night!


Moon & Hare *
167 Bruntsfield Pl
Weekdays 10am-6pm, Weekends 9.30-6pm
Cuisine: Vegan and Gluten Free

Waffles. Vegan Waffles. There was absolutely no doubt what I was having for breakfast the Sunday morning we visited Moon & Hare. With the exception of the choice for dairy milk with your coffee, the menu was exclusively vegan (and gluten free.) Now I have tendencies to not be the biggest fan of how these two tend to get clenched together; I mean, onebeing  a lifestyle, the other a diet, but I suppose it is a winning concept. The only thing I would wish for, seeing as things both vegan + gf can get a little dry, is that the amount of chocolate sauce that was drizzled over the waffles would not have been so spartan.

Other than so, the place is real cosy. Throw up some colourful light bulbs and you got me hooked. The lunch time menu looks well interesting and they also have a little shop within the store, which always is delightful to eye while awaiting your food.


NovaPizza Vegetarian Kitchen
42 Howe Street
Open daily 12:30-9:30pm, closed Tuesdays
Cuisine: Vegetarian with Vegan options

It is not often that one is spoilt by choice as a vegan. In most cases I will have eyed the menu online in advance and know exactly which one (out of the two) meals I want. At N0va I had to ask the waitress for extra time! The pizza is served on a delicious crispy crust, the drinks menu marks out which wines are vegan and they have a whole selection of sweets SFV on their specials list. I had a vegan crème brûlée, which I have wanted to try since the very first time I saw Amélie, and it was pure delicious with a generous amount of lemon zest. This was by far my favourite eatery out of all the food we had this weekend.


*** One thing that confuses me is the choice of mylk used at these places. They have an impressive range of non-dairy milks to choose for your coffees, along with pricy espresso machines, yet these milks used are not well suited for steaming. If one pays near 3 quid for a cuppa coffee would you not expect a  bit better quality? When there are plenty of plant milks good for steaming. (I’m looking at you, Oatly Foamable!) I don’t know, perhaps it is just an extra pet peeve of mine since I serve coffee all day long.

That pretty much summarizes my weekend of Eating in Edinburgh, which is more or less what the getaway ended up being about. As I mentioned before, there are so many places I did not get around to. Only so little time!

Once edited, I will post some photos from the parts of the weekend not revolving around food. (Well, not entirely anyway.) It includes an epic rainbow over Arthurs Seat.

Oh, and don’t forget to follow the blog!

Things to do in Aberdeen//Granite City Gems.

When I first moved to Aberdeen a little over a year ago I examined the internet high and wide to find things to do, places to go, food to eat, you know the drill – I was moving to a town I had never ever visited before. Let alone even heard of! (Well, apart from in a song title by one of my favourite bands!)

So perhaps there are now some fellow expats in this exact situation and by some unknown means the internet has brought you here to find out just exactly what there is to do in Granite City? Well, here are some suggestions from my first year here; which I admit may be very Aberdeen Uni-centered, but that is after all the area where I have been living.


COFFEE/FOOD (VEG FRIENDLY)

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Sunffiti at Books & Beans.


Madame Mew, Aberdeen Market Village
Top notch Thai food; massive portions at bargain prices. I am particularly fond of how the quirky decor makes you feel like you are right there sitting on Khao San Road, whilst being in Granite City. On a side note the Market Village is a pecuilar place to have a wander around and look at stuff… There is indeed a lot of stuff there.

Books & Beans, 22 Belmont St
Who does not like to enjoy their cuppa sqeezed in between old books? Personally, I like to visit this café in the early mornings (when one also gets a discount on hot beverages!!) – the window seats are just perfect for people watching aka one of my favourite pastimes.

Melt, 58 Holburn Street
I literally just found this take away grilled cheese sandwich shop the other day but as it turns out they have a vegan melt available! The news shook my world enough to get a spot on the list. Also it is a locally run business, like-button!


EXCURSIONS

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From my post on the Winter Gardens.


Footdee
At the end of the Esplanade lies Footdee, or Fittie, a old little fishing village with tonnes, I repeat TONNES, of quirkly cute things to rest your eyes on.

David Welch Winter Gardens, Duthie Park
I love these indoors gardens (+ the fact that there is no entry fee!!!) – perfect for the Scottish winters that are far from tropical.

St Machar’s Cathedral/Seaton Park/Brig o’Balgownie
Grab a take away coffee at Grub or Kilau (only two places to serve decent coffee around the campus area), continue up to St Machar’s Cathedral to admire the beutiful stone work interiors before walking through Seaton Park to reach Brig o’Balgownie – one of the oldest bridges in town, if I remember correctly. If you are feeling extra energized on this day (or the weather is clear) why not continue down along the beach and visit Footdee at the same time.


SHOPS

Grampian Health Store, 32-34 Market Street
I definitely have a thing for health stores, I just love the scents that greet you once you enter. This is where I go for my tubs of nutritional yeast, dairy free ice-creams and kilos of nut butter. Prices are generally better than at the health food chains + one just feels better supporting independent shops. And as a bonus the staff are lovely!


DRINKING

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An afternoon at Slains.

Under the Hammer, 11 N Silver Street
A friend of mine recommended this place not too long ago, saying it is a great cosy place to go and without annoying blokes trying to chat you up. Winning! I am also a big fan of the vodka-bottles-turned-candlesticks; only downside would be that it gets a bit loud as the evening progresses due to the stone vault it is in.

CASC, 7 Stirling St
CASC stands for (and specialize in) Cigars, Ales, Scotch and Coffee and they sure know their trade! J loves to come here because of his cigar interest (they have a whole humidor room filled to the brim with wooden cigar boxes) while I just dig their wide selection of world wide as well as local beers and the fact that they make coffee like it was science class.

Slains Castle, 14-18 Belmont Street
This place located right in the city centre feels like stepping into the living room of the Addams family. To reach the lavatories one goes through “hidden bookshelf doors”; quite different from your average pub experience!


I’m still to try out Bonobo, which is -currently- open only on Saturdays, as well as Long Dog Café and recently established Mad Penguin that have been rumored to make a peanut butter and chocolate sorbet (I mean you had me at peanut!!). I expect to explore a whole lot of new places now that I have moved to the other side of the town too.

Are you a fellow Aberdonian, and if so – do you have some epic suggestions to be added to this list?

One year. Three homes.

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This is where we live now. Our third home in 9 months.

Although it is only on the other side of town, everything is so brand new. In a thrilling way. Getting to know a new neighbourhood; the distance in minutes to the supermarket, which coffeeshops serve soy milk, memorizing the order of bridge-pub-post office on my way home, passing the bored-looking siberian husky surveying the street from his window; all whilst Aberdeen is dressed in a fine suit of autumny bright yellow.

The walk to the café in the morning has increased to the double and perhaps I ought to start taking the bus, but at the same time I feel too impatient to stand still and wait for the timetable to decrease so I rather walk. Me and my audiobooks, playing through J’s headphones that I nick from him each morning (eventhough I know he hates it when I do as he thinks I am too reckless to be trusted with any set of headphones.)

So far, so good.

Skye ⇒ Glenfinnan ⇒ Glencoe ⇒ Aberdeen.

dsc_0414dsc_0415dsc_0423dsc_0425When we woke up on Friday the weather was gloomy. I would almost say FINALLY, because the show we had witnessed the days prior just did not feel like the ~authentic~ Scotland – plus, don’t the landscapes look way cooler with those dark clouds hovering over them? I think YES. The greens greener and the blues bluer.
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It was time to hit the road again, this time driving down to Glencoe. So rather than leaving Skye the same way we arrived, via the bridge i.e., we wanted to take the ferry over to the mainland. We were lucky though, had it not been for a bus that had cancelled its spot on the ferry we would have to wait about 4hrs for the next available slot. So → piece of advice if you want to cross the water by ferry, call to book in advance!
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By mere coincidence, we crossed this church in Glenfinnan, tried the door and it was open. And empty. You could only hear the wind travelling through the stone walls.
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The interiors were really quite stunning.

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What we were really looking for in Glenfinnan was this viaduct though — RECOGNIZE IT ANYONE??
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As it turned out we probably did not choose the best viewpoint viaduct-wise, but nonetheless we chose the one with fewer tourists – and that’s always something!
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Really we were meant to spend one night in Glencoe before driving back home on the Saturday, but after trying just about every road + friendly passer-by’s we simply could NOT find our hostel. Nor did we have any number to call for directions.

J jokingly said “maybe we should just drive back to Aberdeen”.
Me, longing for a cooked meal and a warm shower, took that joke a bit too seriously and we were soon on our way back to Aberdeenshire.


More posts from our road trip: 
→ Aberdeen ⇒ Inverness.
→ Inverness ⇒ Fort Augustus ⇒ Eilean Donan
→ Isle of Skye, Day 1: Fairy pools & Highlanders.
→ Isle of Skye, Day 2: The Old Man of Storr & black sand dunes.

Isle of Skye, Day 2: The Old Man of Storr & black sand dunes.

DSC_0319DSC_0232DSC_0237In the car again (which, yes, I guess is pretty mandatory seeing as this IS the documentation of a road trip) we headed towards Portree, on the coffee hunt. (The instant stuff often found in hostels does not count/deserve to be titled “coffee”, in my humble opinion…)
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After the mornings first cuppa, we had a peek at the harbour and nicked some wild blackberries.
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But the real destination for the morning was the Old Man of Storr; the large pinnacle you can see to the right.
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The views from the hike up the hill were just stunning. Look at all that blue!
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Voila! We did not make it all the way to the top; instead we laid down in the grass for a while, seeking shelter from the light winds and just enjoyed the landscape.

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The rest of the afternoon we drove around the northern part of the isle, had coffee under sizzling sun in Dunvegan before driving back towards “our” part of the isle.
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Final stop before dinner was Talisker Bay. 
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I was well intrigued by the black (???) sand dunes.
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We ended the evening with a meal and a pint at The Old Inn in Carbost; they even had a vegan curry!!! (That I downed in like 7 minutes tops. So hungry from all the fresh air!)


More posts from our road trip:
→ Aberdeen ⇒ Inverness.
→ Inverness ⇒ Fort Augustus ⇒ Eilean Donan
→ Isle of Skye, Day 1: Fairy pools & Highlanders.

Isle of Skye, Day 1: Fairy pools & Highlanders.

DSC_0125Once on Skye, we (lol, rather I*) decided that we should ∼SEIZE THE DAY∼ before checking into our hostel of the evening. So off to the Fairy Pools we went.
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Clearly that was by no means an original idea, as we were seemingly joined by the rest of Scotland’s tourists… Oh well!

{Also note the difference of the sky here! One direction vs the other.}
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We stated that the pools looked way cooler on pinterest… (possibly reached a lower score because of the crowd of tourists there.)
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On the way back however, we encountered these fellas. Highland cows! SO HAIRY! SO CUTE!
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They weren’t really up for posing though… *given the cold shoulder*
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Our hostel for the following days was probably one of the best ones I ever stayed. The Skyewalker Hostel.

Not ONLY because no one loves a pun more than I (and this place that’s pretty much themed on one?! DREAMY!), but it was also by far the most well-equipped one I have ever been to. Plenty of kitchen utensils, music instruments, books and *drum-roll*… trust-worthy showers!
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To top things off, they also had this massive ball of a glasshouse out in the garden. Imagine lying there on a starry night. Safe from the mosquitoes. :’)
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The kitchen wall had a slogan suitable for this blog – or what do you say? 😉


More from our road trip: 
→ Aberdeen ⇒ Inverness.
→ Inverness ⇒ Fort Augustus ⇒ Eilean Donan