Food aside, there were plenty of lovely little shops to keep me and all of my money occupied. This is what I enjoyed across the weekend:
Miro's Cantina Mexicana
God I love mexican food. The lack of it in Newcastle is one of my major gripes with the city. A very small amount of research informed me that Edinburgh was awash with Mexican options and Miro's Cantina Mexicana seemed like one of the best. Tucked away on the otherwise rather touristy Rose Street, the dining room is tiny about 7 or 8 tables. We settled down after the train with some margaritas and homemade corn chips, and amazing guac, salsa and some spicy creamy dip that I don't remember the name of.
The mains were authentic mexican dishes, I had slow cooked lamb with honey and lots of chipotles and smashed green chilli potatoes and the OH had a smokey pork and black bean stew served with traditional rice. All very, very good and under £25 a head.
The Lucky Liquor Co
This was such a find. Earlier in the day we'd been coming back up from Stockbridge and had seen a huge sign saying LIQUOR in the window, which for obvious reasons caught my eye. Later that night after our lovely meal at Ondine, we went in search of cocktails. I'd found somewhere called Bramble but was put off by the dubious r'n'b but fortunately The Lucky Liquor Co as I found out it was called was just down the street.
It was a smart room, with a throw back style, black and white check floor and white wash walls. I seriously loved it, exactly the sort of neighbourhood style cocktail bar you'd want to find yourself in at the end of the night. There was a hazy romantic old time vibe about it.
We stayed until it closed and let the barman choose our drinks. The menu was short and interesting, with none of the usual suspects, we had a range of whisky and gin cocktails plus a lush beer from Partizan brewing who I definitely want to find out more about. None too expensive either, most of the cocktails came in around the £7 mark which is always nice to see. I really loved it, did I mention that?
The Hanging Bat
The next day, after the effects of Lucky Liquor Co it is safe to say I was not feeling good. What would make me feel better in this situation? Seriously good beer and smoked meat clearly. The Hanging Bat is good for both of these. Some of the decor was a little too knowing and there was some seriously awful art on the walls, but on the whole a really nice room to pass the afternoon. There was plenty of cask and keg options from well known and little known breweries (Kernel, Redchurch, Toccalmatto some of my faves), they also did their own brewing and had their own smoker. It really was all of my favourite things.
The food hit the spot; burnt end beans, pulled pork mac n cheese, chilli dog, reuben were all top, I was sort of disappointed with the chicken wings which I'm pretty sure had the spicy instead of BBQ coating I'd asked for and were a bit acidic for my tastes. Lots of smokey goodness on the whole though.
In between all the eating we did find time to do a small amount of shopping. In and around the Grassmarket area there are lots of lovely design, book, art style shops. My picks from these are as follows, and they're all within about 100 metres of each other.
Golden Hare Books; Just a gorgeous little book shop, with a lovely children's section and many design and cook books.
The Red Door Gallery; Prints, design items, card, jewellery and all sorts of other nice things. I eyed up this smart print but didn't commit.
Analogue Books; Honestly this shop was so nice I wanted to do a small cry. Fanzines, magazines were the predominant thing but also some design and style books. They also had an amazing selection of food magazines from across the world and now I have no money left. The OH was pleased because they had lots of the Cafe Royal fanzine style books in which he'd been after for a while.
Hannah Zakari; Just next door to Analogue Books this was mainly a jewellery shop, which isn't something I am particularly in to, at all, but what did catch my eye was a shopper bag which I literally had to buy. Twin peaks themed things will always be a winner.
As it's only an 1.5 hours away, on what has to be one of the nicest stretches of train line in the country, if not Europe, I'm already planning my next trip up.