Tales from Auld Reekie

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I’m back from Edinburgh after a gorgeous weekend! The weather was cracking – well, on Saturday and Sunday at least. Monday wasn’t so great, what with the cloudy skies and the blustery weather that’s typical of Auld Reekie (that’s Scots for ‘Old Smoky’, after the many smoke-spouting chimneys it once sported) at any time of year.

I love the Scottish capital and visit it often, but this weekend was definitely one of those trips that really reminded me of how we’re so lucky in Britain not to have travel too far from our doorsteps to enjoy great short breaks. Most of Saturday was spent wandering around the Royal Mile – already so busy and it’s still months until the Fringe! – and scouring the Edinburgh Farmers Market. This has to be one of the most scenic farmers markets in the country, with Edinburgh Castle in stunning view behind the array of stalls.

I also spent some time in the Grassmarket – an area that’s best avoided by the fainthearted due to its popularity with noisy hen and stag parties, although its new pedestrianised look has really transformed it. There’s a shop here called Armstrongs that sells the best vintage stuff, and a French restaurant called Petit Paris that’s an old favourite of mine too. I also ate in a restaurant on Rose Street called the Mussel Inn, which is amazing if you love seafood as much as I do!

But probably the highlight of the whole weekend was going to see a preview of Hoors by Gregory Burke at the Traverse Theatre on Sunday. I caught Burke’s Olivier Award-winning Black Watch at the Barbican in London last year and was totally floored by it so I was really excited about his new play. The subject matter is completely different – a man dies on his stag night in Amsterdam and his detached fiancé tries to deal with the fallout – and it’s fantastically funny, so I really hope it gets good reviews following its official premiere tonight.

So that’s one May Bank Holiday weekend over, and one more to go… I’m still a little unsure of what exactly I’m doing. So far, it’s down to catching the last weekend of the Brighton Fringe or staying with a friend in Newcastle. Who knows, maybe I’ll go to Gloucestershire to catch cheese-rolling in action! There’s plenty of time to decide yet…

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