Get­away

The Scot­tish cap­i­tal’s steep, cob­bled streets are lined with tar­tan sou­venir shops and bistros serv­ing fresh North Sea mus­sels, but also in­de­pen­dent galleries, start-up stu­dios and mod­ern wine bars

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - News -

Ed­in­burgh where, We nes­tled visit be­tween the tar­tan sou­venir shops, there’s an abun­dance of in­de­pen­dent galleries, start-up stu­dios and mod­ern wine bars to be ex­plored

THE CITY Ed­in­burgh ex­cels at Christ­mas: a high chance of snow­fall, a tra­di­tional hel­ter-skel­ter and ice skat­ing in St An­drew’s Square, plus the de­lights of Hogmanay on 31 De­cem­ber. It’s all a jolly ex­er­cise in good, old-fash­ioned fun. But while Glas­gow has long been con­sid­ered the big­ger and more bound­ary-push­ing Scot­tish city, creative peo­ple, places and spa­ces have been busy open­ing their doors in Ed­in­burgh. Away from the – al­beit be­guil­ing – down­town trill of bag­pipes, the north­ern quar­ters of New Town and Stock­bridge are low-key but in­creas­ingly en­ter­pris­ing neigh­bour­hoods to wan­der through over a long week­end. ➤

WHERE TO STAY Eden Locke ( 2), a new ‘apartho­tel’, brings the el­e­gant, edgy feel of Lower Man­hat­tan to a tra­di­tional sand­stone Ge­or­gian town­house. De­signed by New York-based prac­tice Gryzwin­ski+pons, it fea­tures a cool café, craft beer and cocktail bar, but the ser­viced stu­dio flats’ fully equipped mar­ble kitchens (stocked with T2 tea, cof­fee and whole­grain Rude Health gra­nola) are a per­fect so­lu­tion if you pre­fer to re­treat and cook your own meals (from £140 per night; lock­e­liv­ing.com). An­other clever con­ver­sion is Dun­stane House ( 3), a Vic­to­rian villa that in­te­rior de­signer Han­nah Lo­han has trans­formed into a chic-but-cosy ho­tel with a mix of con­tem­po­rary and chintz, fea­tur­ing great Bri­tish touches such as Jane Churchill pea­cock wall­pa­per and Orkney tweed chairs (from £174 per night; the­dun­stane.com).

BREAK­FAST AND LUNCH Be­gin Sun­day with an espresso at one of Scot­tish cof­fee sourcer Ar­ti­san Roast’s two cafés (ar­ti­san­roast.co.uk) be­fore head­ing to Stock­bridge farm­ers’ mar­ket for a freshly-baked crois­sant and to choose from all man­ner of lo­cally-pro­duced in­gre­di­ents, from fresh lan­gous­tine to Perthshire leeks or a slab of ewe’s cheese (stock­bridge­mar­ket.com). Ital­ian del­i­catessen Valvona & Crolla, which TV chef Nigella Law­son makes a bee­line for when­ever she’s in town, is a pur­veyor of ev­ery­thing from ar­ti­chokes and cured Mi­lanese salami to hand­made amaretti bis­cuits (valvonacrolla.co.uk). Walk along Ed­in­burgh’s ‘river’, the Wa­ter of Leith, and call in at Quay Com­mons, a new wa­ter­side kitchen cur­ing meats, cook­ing stews and, at this mo­ment, steep­ing home­made panet­tone, ready for Christ­mas (quay­commons.co).

WINE AND DINE Wine bar Smith & Gertrude re­cently opened be­hind a navy-painted façade in Stock­bridge vil­lage of­fer­ing ‘wine, cheese and com­pany’ – a glass of Cata­lan cava and a bowl of Mar­cona al­monds is a good way to see in the early evening (smithandgertrude.com). Try Tim­ber­yard for din­ner: the for­mer Vic­to­rian the­atre props ware­house (and tim­ber yard), now run by An­drew and Lisa Rad­ford and their fam­ily, is warmed by wood-burn­ing stoves. The cou­ple cook clever com­bi­na­tions such as cod, coastal herbs and white as­para­gus, or buck­wheat, raspberry and crème fraîche pud­ding (tim­ber­yard.co). Sim­i­larly sea­sonal and in­ven­tive is the menu at The Gar­dener’s Cot­tage, an 1836 lodge in Royal Ter­race Gar­dens where guests sit along com­mu­nal ta­bles in a white­washed din­ing space (the­gar­den­er­scot­tage.co). Wild­card: for an off-the-wall din­ner, head up to Old Town and check out The Witch­ery, a fa­mously gothic ban­quet­ing room (the­witch­ery.com).

ARTS AND CUL­TURE In Ed­in­burgh, you can see mod­ern mak­ers, mid-cen­tury art and Ge­or­gian splendour, all in a week­end: Cus­tom Lane is a de­sign stu­dio that holds reg­u­lar exhibitions and open days. Just Shapes, an ex­hi­bi­tion/work­shop hosted with de­sign brand Tom Pi­geon, runs un­til 21 Jan­uary. Plus: the café’s cakes, made by ve­gan com­pany Grams, are a de­light (cus­tom­lane.co). Visit the Scot­tish Na­tional Gallery of Mod­ern Art to see ‘A New Era: Scot­tish Mod­ern Art 1900-1950’, then wan­der the land­scaped gar­dens to spot works by Rachel Whiteread and Bar­bara Hep­worth (na­tion­al­gal­leries.org). The Ge­or­gian House ( 1) is a typ­i­cal 18th-cen­tury Robert Adams town­house, re­stored to show­case the orig­i­nal own­ers’ art and fur­nish­ings (nts.org.uk).

SHOP Both New Town and Stock­bridge are ex­cel­lent for home­ware hunt­ing. ‘If you like an old-fash­ioned Aladdin’s Cave, this is for you,’ says Uni­corn An­tiques of its emporium in a for­mer dairy on Dun­das Street. They are not wrong – from old Mu­rano glass chan­de­liers to sal­vaged tres­tle ta­bles, door knobs and the odd kilt, so long as an item is ‘old, cu­ri­ous or use­ful’, they’ll stock it (uni­cor­nan­tiques.co.uk). For colour­ful clothes and table­ware by in­de­pen­dent mak­ers, visit Dick’s (dicks-ed­in­burgh.co.uk). Just around the cor­ner at Pad Life­style’s airy store ( 5), big-name de­sign­ers sit be­side in­de­pen­dent ar­ti­sans, such as young Scot­tish painter Hatti Pat­tis­son’s tex­tiles (padlifestyle.com). Buy a big bunch of Scot­tish blooms (in­clud­ing this­tles, veron­ica and seed­heads) and bars by Ed­in­burgh choco­latiers Coco wrapped in graphic papers in florist Nar­cis­sus (nar­cis­sus­flow­ers.co.uk), and jump­suits or Ja­panese ce­ram­ics at Bis­cuit ( bis­cuit. cloth­ing).

ESCAPE THE CITY A stride up the an­cient (dor­mant!) volcano of Arthur’s Seat ( 4) – about two hours’ round trip – is the way Ed­in­burghi­ans have blown away the cob­webs for cen­turies. Or take a 30-minute train along the coast to the sandy beaches and fresh lob­ster shacks of North Ber­wick. Ideally, plan a day trip around a se­cret cinema or pop-up din­ner hosted by cook and pho­tog­ra­pher Amanda Far­nese Heath in a walled gar­den or ware­house (for events and dates, visit the­mad­march­hare.com). Plan­ning ahead? Head to the sculp­ture park, par­tic­u­larly land­scape ar­chi­tect Charles Jencks’ con­toured lawn and lakes, at Jupiter Art­land – so-called for its out-of-town lo­ca­tion in Ed­in­burgh’s ‘or­bit’ – when it re­opens in May ( jupit­er­art­land.org).

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