I highly recommend you give it a go!
89 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EE
Tel: 0131 220 1887
Where do you like to go for Sushi in Edinburgh? If you have any recommendations, leave a comment below!
Before I came to the UK, I didn't like sushi. The thought of cold rice wrapped in seaweed just didn't tickle my taste buds. The sushi that I had tried making at home was less than edible, but clearly I wasn't getting it right. Since moving to the UK, I have developed what can only be described as a sushi addiction. I've been on a course to learn how to make sushi and visit sushi restaurants in Edinburgh frequently. One of my favourites is Yes Sushi on Hanover Street.
I would class my discovery of The Dragon Roll as one of the best I have come across. Tempura prawns wrapped in seaweed and rice, with avocado on top. Put simply, it is divine!
Yes Sushi has an extensive menu of Japanese treats. My favourites include sweet and spicy chicken, sweet and spicy salmon, pumpkin croquettes and salmon and avocado maki.
Okay, I'm not going to lie- I've been to Yes Sushi at least three times in the last 6 weeks. There's heaps of things I love about this restaurant- it's central location, clean interior, quick service, reasonable prices and great food. It is my go to restaurant for get-togethers. I think that I could eat there every day and never get sick of it. They also do a sushi buffet which is a very dangerous idea for someone like me who just can't help themselves!
I highly recommend you give it a go!
89 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EE
Tel: 0131 220 1887
Where do you like to go for Sushi in Edinburgh? If you have any recommendations, leave a comment below!
It seems that there is a bit of a rivalry between Edinburgh and Stirling, mostly in the 'my castle is better than your castle' sense. I'm not about to choose sides, but as I've been living in Edinburgh for nearly 4 years, I found it hard to believe that anywhere could beat a castle set on top of an extinct volcano. However, Stirling Castle comes equally as highly recommended to me for its stunning views and slightly more modern- looking architecture. It's only taken me 4 years to get there, but I recently decided to take a look around Stirling Castle. And can I just say, Stirling Castle you are one photogenic beauty.
Now is the perfect time to visit Stirling Castle as they have just opened their first ever Christmas shop (I LOVE CHRISTMAS). The Clan and Craft gift shop on the esplanade has been temporarily renamed Clan and Christmas and transformed into a winter wonderland. The shop offers unique gift ideas, stocking fillers for loved ones and decorations to adorn both the tree and home. Many items are sourced from independent suppliers and producers, so there’s lots of unique gift ideas to help create the perfect Christmas.
The Christmas shop is open until the 31st of December, but you can enjoy Stirling Castle all year round. Not to be outdone by its rival, Edinburgh Castle's Portcullis gift shop has just started stocking a heap of Christmas gift ideas. Scottish themed gifts suitable for the whole family are now available in store. I've got my eye on a hand-knitted and Alpaca snood by Scottish Designer Samantha Holmes, and an awesome espresso cup that reads 'Her Ladyship'.
I'm still not choosing sides as to whether Stirling Castle is better than Edinburgh Castle, they both have unique offerings. I'm from a country where they don't even have castle's, so any castle is magical to me!
Stirling Castle VS Edinburgh Castle- which do you prefer? let me know by leaving a comment below.
For more information about Stirling Castle or Edinburgh Castle and the Christmas gift shops visit
So just in case you've missed the garish decorations of bats and pumpkins, the abundance of ghoulish sweets on sale at the check outs and the huge amount of scary make up tutorials doing the rounds- its Halloween on Friday. I've never really taken part in any of that 'Trick or Treat' stuff, it was just never that big in Australia. Even though I've lived in the UK for 4 years, this will be my first Halloween in the country. I'm getting in the swing of all things spooky by listing my top 3 scary stories that I've been reading in the lead up to Halloween.
The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie
Okay, so Agatha Christie isn't exactly scary but I love the atmosphere this book creates. I first read this novel on my first ever trip around the UK, so it has a special place in my memory. It tells the story of the sinister goings on at The Pale Horse Inn, home to three unusual ladies- a physic, a medium and a witch- and their involvement in the deaths of Father Gorman and Thomasina Tuckerton.
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
I get goose bumps at the mere mention of this book, it still gives me the heebie jeebies even though I've read it a few times. It has perhaps been more popular in recent years after Daniel Radcliffe starred in a movie adaptation that terrified me (as in I had to mute it and cover my eyes for some parts and couldn't sleep afterwards). It has all the factors needed in a good scary story- an English moor, a young sensible hero that doesn't believe in anything supernatural, a scary abandoned house and a now deceased crazy old lady. Trust me it's genius, but you may need to sleep with the lights on afterwards.
Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe
Nothing sums up the perfect scary story for me quite like the poem 'The Raven' by Edgar Allan Poe. I admit, some of his stuff is tough reading, but once you understand it you realise how genius it actually is. Tales of Mystery and Imagination is a collection of some of his best short stories and poems. This edition comes illustrated which for me helps to explain some of the more complicated prose. It is true Victorian horror.
Have you got a favourite scary book that you think I should read on Halloween? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
I wasn't crying in the cinema, honest I wasn't. I just had something in my eye...oh who am I kidding? I was a total blubbering, snivelling mess. Love, Rosie struck a chord with me. I don't know why, our lives have nothing in common, but for some reason I spent an hour and a half smiling when she smiled and crying when she cried. Love, Rosie is quite possibly the best chick flick I've seen in years. It's the kind of film that makes me want to go home, kiss my boyfriend and tell him he's the love of my life.
Love, Rosie is the adaptation of Cecelia Ahern's second novel 'Where Rainbows End'. It tells the story of Rosie and Alex- friends since they were little, but they just can't seem to get it together to actually be together. Life gets in the way and they are constantly missing each other. It's the kind of story where right from the start you want to yell at the screen 'HE'S THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE GOD DAMN IT!!' It's okay, I refrained from doing so in the cinema, but I couldn't help the laughter and the tears.
I was lucky enough to see the film at No1 Magazine's exclusive preview night on Monday. Cecelia Ahern was there in person signing books and smiling into cameras. I tried my best to play it cool when I met her, but how can you, when you think she is a total legend?
About forty or so of Cecelia's other adoring fans, all packed into the Grosvenor Cinema in Glasgow for this exclusive night. No1 Magazine interviewed Cecelia before the film started, and she revealed the following facts about her writing:
1. She writes her novels from January to June, edits them in the Summer and promotes them in the Autumn/ Winter.
2. She can't choose a favourite of her novels, that would be like choosing a favourite child.
3. In her spare time she loves to read Crime fiction.
4. She wrote a short story for the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who called 'The Bog Warrior'. She got the inspiration from a news story she saw where police found a body in a bog.
5. She has an office where she writes from 9.30am-5.30pm every day.
6. She had a short cameo in the film Love, Rosie but it got cut in the final edit.
7. She already has an idea for her next novel but wouldn't reveal what it was (NNNOOOO!! the suspense is too much!!)
The Grosvenor Cinema is Glasgow was the perfect venue for the preview event. Tucked down a cute lane complete with fairy lights draped between the buildings, the Grosvenor Cinema has comfy leather seats and a smaller screen than your typical multi-chain cinema complex. It's the perfect venue for a date, or a get together with the girls. The bar Vodka Wodka is just across the lane and serves a huge amount of girly cocktails.
I recommend you make a night of it- get the girls together, have cocktails and enjoy the best chick flick released in years.
If you've seen Love, Rosie let me know what you thought of the film by leaving a comment below.
One of the many joys in life is shopping for beauty products. Some people hate it, but I'm like a kid in a candy store, picking up everything that catches my eye and opening it, smelling it and testing it. One of my favourite spots for a bit of beauty shopping is All About Eve Boutique on Bruntsfield Place. The boutique is linked to the All About Eve Salon, a true haven for women who like to look their best. All About Eve has a fantastic reputation, and when I first moved to Edinburgh, this salon was recommended to me numerous times. The boutique part of the brand only opened earlier this year but is already a favourite for great brands such as Neom Organics, REN, Miller Harris, Ellis Faas, Lipvoltage, Glam glow and Xen Tan.
A little birdie told me that they had new stock in last week, so I went along for a little bit of a look around and some Christmas wish list compiling.....
All About Eve Salon and Boutique, 118-120 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4ES
Tel: 0131 229 4013 (Boutique)
There is nothing I love more then a cheeky little weekender. Scotland has so many beautiful destinations, perfect for getaways with friends, family or your partner. Not long ago, I made my first venture to West Scotland to the seaside town of Oban.
In Gaelic, 'Oban' means 'little Bay' which for me just sums up its cute vibe. It's like something straight from a Nicholas Sparks novel, only with less heart wrenching drama. We arrived on a customary bleak Scottish day, when the wind was howling through the bay and most of the locals were safely indoors. We checked in to the Alltavona Guest House on the Corran Esplanade- conveniently just down the road from Oban's Chocolate Company... coincidence, I promise.
If there's one thing Oban does well, it's seafood. My favourite food of all time is Fish and Chips, so I consider myself a bit of an expert in that field. Over the course of the weekend, I ate A LOT of seafood. Traditional fish and chips, prawns, crabs, and my first ever taste of lobster. My favourite spot was the seafood shack that was on the pier-front next to the Ferry Terminal.
After consuming such a ridiculous amount of food, I had to do something to work off all of those calories. McCaigs Tower was the perfect challenge. The Tower, on the hillside behind the main town centre, was built over a 5 year period from 1895. It was supposed to be finished off as an enclosed art gallery, but like some Scottish landmarks (*cough* National Monument of Scotland *cough*) it was never finished. It's a steep uphill walk to the Tower, but the views across Oban Bay are beautiful.
After so much exercise, I needed a drink so I headed to the Oban Distillery which has the most adorable frontage I've seen on a distillery. If whisky is your thing then you can even go for a guided tour of the distillery including some taste testing at the end.
I feel like the road to Oban is the real Scotland. The scenery was constantly changing and simply beautiful. Glens, mountains and lochs all passed by, each more beautiful than the last. It took us 4 hours to drive to Oban from Edinburgh, mostly because we kept having to stop to admire how beautiful Scotland is.
Looking for an excuse to get the girls together for a much needed Girls Night Out? Well, consider me the Fairy Godmother of good nights out. Cocktails in the City is returning to Edinburgh next Thursday the 23rd of October and I'm inviting you!
Held in the BEAUTIFUL Mansfield Traquair building, the event promises to be Edinburgh greatest cocktail party with food, drinks, music and fun. To be honest, they had me at Cocktails......
Fifteen of Edinburgh swankiest, trendiest and best bars will be giving one-to-one tuition on the art of drink making, and of course there will be the obligatory taste testing to follow.
Bars taking part in the event include Harvey Nichols, Panda & Sons, Heads and Tales, G&V Royal Mile Hotel, Sygn, 56 North, Chaophraya, Gusto Bar and Restaurant, The Voodoo Rooms, The Priory Bar and Restaurant, Bar Kohl, Juniper Bar, The Blackbird and Hamilton’s.
My cocktail making skills are definitely below standard, so I'm looking forward to seeing some live demonstrations from the true masters of cocktail making.
With so much choice, I don't know how you're going to decide which cocktails to try, which is why I highly recommend that you bring your friends- all of them. Tickets are £10 (plus booking fee) and are still available via the Cocktails in the City website here. Trust me, you'll be kicking yourself if you miss this. See you at the Bar!
Cocktails in the City
23rd of October 2014, 18.00-23.00
Mansfield Traquair, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB
If you have a favourite cocktail bar in Edinburgh that you can recommend, get in touch and leave a comment below.
A few weeks ago some of Edinburgh's most beautiful buildings opened their doors to visitors to take a sneak peak behind their stunning facades. I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to libraries, so when I heard that The Playfair Library in Edinburgh's Old College was open, I was there straight away.
See the beauty of the building for yourself below.
Warm toasty fires, knit jumpers, duvet days and hot chocolate- I've always loved winter. When I was growing up, it was more the idea of winter I liked as it never really got cold enough in Queensland for it to ever really be classed as 'winter'. I once bought a knit snow hat that I knew I would never actually need, and sat defiantly on the back patio in the middle of ‘winter’ in the hope that it would get cold enough to justify my purchase. It never did.
So you can imagine my excitement when weeks before I moved to the UK, they experienced the coldest and snowiest winter they’d had in years- I was beside myself. I went shopping for my first ever pair of snow boots, which was a difficult find in tropical Queensland in the lead up to the summer season. I purchased a trendy black and white fur lined pair for an extortionate amount of money and wore them around the house with the air conditioning turned down to near freezing to ‘wear them in’. Yes, my winter obsession got that pathetic.
When I eventually touched down in Edinburgh, the snow was ankle deep and still falling. I felt like I was in a snow globe that was constantly being upturned. I dragged my 30 kilo suitcase through the snow to try and find my hotel and remember arriving with the cheesiest grin plastered on my face. I thought it was magical.
So, now that winter is coming (yippee!), I thought I would share some snow lessons I learnt that very first winter.
Snow boots bought in Queensland are useless in real British snow. Said boots have now been collecting dust in my cupboard for 4 years.
Don’t bother looking fashionable in the snow. Yes, in your head you may want to look like Claudia Schiffer in a snow suit, but in reality you are going to look like Bridget Jones masquerading as the Abominable Snowman.
Snow is best enjoyed indoors. It’s warm, dry and you can feel toes. A blizzard isn’t as fun as it sounds, and is better appreciated when you are reclining on your sofa in your slippers and onsie.
Snow is dangerous! The term ‘like Bambi on ice’ was never more fitting then when used to describe my first few weeks in real snow.
It is possible to get frozen toes even when wearing tights, socks, snow socks, fur lined snow boots and having small heated pads in your boots. True story.
Snow is best enjoyed first thing in the morning when it has just fallen and no one else has walked on it- trust me, there’s something magical about being the first to walk on fresh snow.
It’s okay at 24 years old to squeal like a child when you see it’s snowing outside.
Snow is romantic. All bad points aside, there is something beautiful about clinging to your partner’s arm and hoping like hell you don’t slip on the ice and take you both down.
Since that first beautiful winter when I arrived, the snow fall has been pretty disappointing. My snow gear has been gathering dust in my cupboard. But, with only 72 days until Christmas (yes, I used the ‘c’ word in October), I've got my fingers crossed for an extra snowy winter this year.
Let me know what you're looking forward to most this winter by leaving a comment below.
Feeling a little bit lost about what to do this weekend in Edinburgh? It's okay, I've got you sorted!
1. Check out Epitome's new Autumn/ Winter Collection
In my book, a little retail therapy is the perfect way to start off the weekend. This week, I went along to Epitome's Autumn/ Winter launch night and got a sneaky peak at their new stock. I was in heaven! I'm loving the Cameron Taylor cashmere- the perfect purchase for those cold nights.
Epitome, 35 Dundas St, Edinburgh, EH3 6QQ www.epitome-of-edinburgh.com
2. Oktoberfest in Princes Street Gardens
It's Oktoberfest time of year again! Dust off your German beer wench costume and get braiding. The sound of clinking beer glasses, laughter and German Oompa bands will be echoing through Princes Street Gardens this weekend. I went along last year and can safely say it was a total blast. Enjoy beer, sausages, fries and gingerbread in authentic German beer hall style.
3. Try Edinburgh's newest Gourmet Burger restaurant Just Burgers and Beers
My boyfriend and I had lunch here last week. It's the perfect place to enjoy a weekend catch up with friends. The burgers all have entertaining names (Carlos Santana, Man VS Burger, The Anna Nicole Smith, Brinner etc) and they have an extensive craft and imported beer selection. It also has the added bonus of being on the Royal Mile, next to St Giles' Cathedral. Even though I went last week, I'm tempted to venture back just so I can try their Rocky Road cheesecake that I missed out on last week because my burger was so huge I couldn't eat any more.
Just Burgers and Beers, 192a High Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, www.justburgersandbeers.co.uk
4. JustBe Botanicals Pop Up shop in White Stuff
Head along to White Stuff on George Street this Sunday to check out these natural and handmade beauty products from JustBe Botanicals. Not only are the products award winning, but they're also made in Scotland. Shop cleansers, toners, candles, body butters, massage oils and their new blends of relaxing teas. I'll be heading along to get a head start on my Christmas shopping.
5. Coffee at Ricks
There's nothing I love more then a perfect coffee, and who knew Ricks did them so well? Stop by for a bit of rejuvenation in a cup. Their flat white is fantastic- just saying. They are the perfect spot for a mid-shopping session break.
Ricks, 55a Frederick St, Edinburgh, EH2 1LH, www.ricksedinburgh.co.uk
Brussels. Bruxelles. Brussel. No matter how you spell it, this city often gets overlooked by holiday makers. It's never the top of anyone's holiday list. Ever. It wasn't particularly the top of my list, and yet that's where I found myself for my birthday weekend.
Brussels is a city of contrasts, it's shy but with a boisterous beer culture, French but just a little bit English, sophisticated but a little bit nerdy. And yet, they all seem to blend seamlessly into a distinctly Belgian culture. I can't help but feel like Agatha Christie's famous Belgian Detective Hercule Poirot sums up the Belgian persona into one neat little package.
The thing that baffled me most about Brussels is how different every street is. One moment you could be walking down a distinctly Parisian street complete with French shutters and hanging flowers, but when you turn onto the next street you are in a trendy Dutch art district. This makes Brussels the perfect destination for idle street wandering. They are also firm believers in Al fresco dining and street food, adding to the relaxed atmosphere of their city centre.
As our trip was a long weekend, we knew we had to cram as much sightseeing in as we could. Thankfully, Brussels is extremely easy to navigate. Their metro and tramway are efficient (I'd expect nothing less from the Belgians) and relatively cheap. The city centre is easy enough to walk around without the need for public transport.
Our first day was spent slightly out of the city centre at their famous Atomnium, a large silver structure that looks like (yep you guessed it) atoms. It's nice to look at from the outside but not worth the entry price, or the wait to go up in the lift. Next door is Mini Europe which is a small park with miniature replicas of famous European landmarks. Expect to see the Eiffel Tower, the Houses of Parliament, the Berlin Wall, Leaning Tower of Pisa and many more. The park comes with an English guide that tells you some fascinating facts about each landmark and the country they come from.
The real heart of Brussels is the Grand Place (or Grote Markt) in the city centre. This is where tourists and Belgians descend for festivals and events, including the famous flower carpet every August. On the weekend we visited, the square was hosting a beer festival. The cobblestone square is enclosed by some impressive historical buildings including the Town Hall. Take one of the many side streets off from the square and you'll find an abundance of chocolate shops, beer shops and tourist traps. I can safely say I've never seen so many shops promoting gluttony in the one area.
The food in Belgium was one of my favourite things. I love chocolate, waffles and fries- three things the Belgians are well known for. It would be easy for any tourist to overindulge on a weekend in Brussels. The selection of waffles baffled me the most, as they had just about every combination of toppings you could possibly imagine, all on display in windows to tempt people like me who have no self-control when it comes to waffles.
In the Grand Place, you'll find the Museum of the city of Brussels which is an interesting insight into the making of the city. At the top of this free museum is a room dedicated to the funny little statue of a peeing boy that Brussels is famous for. They have a whole room filled with the costumes that Mannekin Pis has been dressed in over the years. It's like walking into Barbie's wardrobe, as in his time Mannekin Pis has been everything from an astronaut to a surfer. The Mannekin Pis statue itself is not far from the Grand Place but is hard to get up close to due to the tourists, so I recommend seeing it in the museum instead.
The highlight of my trip to Brussels was The Royal Palace. I have a bit of an obsession with all things royal, so this was top of my list to see. The Belgian Royal family has had a bit of an exciting history, and for a few weeks in the summer each year the Palace is open to the public. I've visited a lot of palaces on my trips around Europe, and this palace is pretty impressive. From the manicured front garden, to the marble staircases and gold chandeliers, the palace is stunning. Exhibits within the palace show the history of the Royal family and Belgium. The most stunning room is the ballroom which has more chandeliers then I could count.
If modern history is a bit more your scene, then I recommend a visit to the Parliamentarium, the home of the European Union. The display is free and comes with an audio guide that takes you through the interactive displays about the history of Europe and the formation of the European Union. The Parliamentarium is close to Parc du Cinquantenaire which is worth a visit on a sunny day for a bit of solace from the tourist crowds.
Even after my trip to Brussels, I'm still confused about how I feel about the city. It has so many contrasts and quirks that make it endearing but still a little unassuming. I soaked up the Belgian atmosphere, ate a ridiculous amount of chocolate and waffles, drank some beer and met some Storm Troopers (random I know, but this is Belgium!). All in all, it was the perfect birthday weekend.
If you would like to find out a bit more about me and the story behind my blog, then head to the About Me page.