Friday, June 2, 2017

This week I was lucky enough to spend an evening at Edinburgh's amazing Hidden Door Festival, which is now in its fourth year. Below are some of my photos - enjoy!

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Old and the New Edinburgh

There is lots of new building going on in Edinburgh, and it has been lovely to see how much care is taken in some of the new builds to retain the historic aspects whilst also modernising and making the spaces more fit for purpose and also more sustainable for the 21st century. 

I was invited to last night's opening of The Lantern Room and the Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh which demonstrated an homage to the historic in lovely new spaces. In particular, 3 Baxter Place was the residence of Robert Stevenson (Robert Lewis Stevenson's grandfather) and the new businesses embrace his legacy of designing historic lighthouses. 3 Baxter Place is the entrance to the lovely Lantern Room bar and restaurant spaces and the 1 Baxter Place entrance has the hotel feel for guests there. Outside there is also an all-year terrace that apparently catches the afternoon sun. 

The bar is well stocked and the bar and restaurant spaces are tastefully decorated, bringing in the nautical and lighthouse themes. The canapés and champagne were delicious, and I particularly enjoyed that Harviouston Brewery led a beer sampling and cheese pairing. The Broken Dial beer worked very well with Parmesan, and I was particularly impressed by the perfect pairing of Old Engine Oil black ale with the sharp Isle of Mull vintage-aged cheddar. Lovely!

I enjoyed a tour of the hotel, especially seeing the front rooms with beautiful tall ceilings. The rooms in the back of the hotel had nice views looking up at Carlton Hill, and some of the king rooms had great private balconies. It was a fun evening and great to learn about Robert Stevenson and how these new businesses had incorporated the history into the beautiful new spaces.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Edinburgh Festival Carnival

In today's wonderful gathering of hundreds of people from around the world, the Edinburgh Festival Carnival was a celebration of music, dance, and culture. Musicians and dance troupes paraded from the Mound to Princes Street Gardens today, and I enjoyed the colours and broad smiles at this family-friendly event. Some photos below!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Best Gelato

Last night while strolling and exploring the streets of Parma, Italy, I saw a large queue coming out of Emilia Cremeria and knew this place would be amazing. Today we came by for the best gelato. I've had a lot of amazing gelato in Italy thus far, but this has been the best so far! 

They have a great selection of flavours, and the shop always has a queue for good reason. I choose 72% Belgian chocolate and pistachio. What makes this place go above and beyond is that they have liquid milk and dark chocolate flowing out of two taps, and they pour a shot of molten chocolate into the bottom of the cone to coat it before they swirl in one flavour and then a second (or third) on top. They care about presentation, and the gelato is the perfect consistency to swirl it into a point on top. The gelato itself was delicious, rich, creamy and decadent. To top it off, rather than the last bites being of airy cone, the lovely molten chocolate puts a perfect finish on this gelato!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Dunnotter Castle

On a windy, cloudy day, we set off for Dunnottar Castle, one of Scotland's most renowned castles for its stunning cliff-side location. From Stonehaven, we enjoyed a beautiful but muddy walk along the cliffs to the castle. The path was quiet and we were some of the only people venturing out for a morning walk, so we were surprised to see hoardes of people at the castle who had taken the easy route and driven. Nevertheless, Dunnottar has an impressive location and  is stunning to see! 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Street of Light

Edinburgh's new Street of Light launched tonight and will be running nightly throughout most of December. I went to tonight's launch night and enjoyed a the light show which was roughly choreographed to match the beautiful choir music. 

I've heard rumours that over 100,000 free tickets have been 'sold', and all of the weekend showings are now sold out but there are still spaces available on the week nights. Showings are at 6:30pm and 8:15pm and were lovely and festive. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Churros at San Gines

San Gines chocolatier is said to have the best churros in Madrid, amidst still competition. On our first morning in Madrid, we eagerly joined the queues and eagerly awaited our churros and café con leche as we were entranced by watching the well oiled machine that is San Gines' efficient staff. It was fun seeing the churros made in the kitchen and looking at the myriad of black and white photos of many famous fans who had had churros here in the business' long history from 1894 to the present day. 

When the churros arrived, I was in second heaven. The churros are light and crispy, and they're the perfect vehicle for the rich dark chocolate. The chocolate is really what makes these churros stand out, as well as the staff and the great ambiance of enjoying time either inside the cafe or at their outside seating. In our four days in Madrid we stopped by three times - it was just that great!