On a night in December when the weather outside was frightful, I was delighted to be welcomed to the Scotch Whisky Experience, along with a group of travel bloggers for the Edinburgh Travel TweetUp (#EdinTravTweetUp). The team there made us all very welcome, and had a few surprises for us as they prepared for the Year of Food and Drink.
I’m excited to see that the Granturismo Project being undertaken by Lara Dunston and Terry Carter will culminate in the two globe-trotting travel writers spending two weeks in Edinburgh in January 2011. They’ve chosen a great property in Edinburgh’s historic New Town to base their stay.
Over the course of the last year, it’s been entertaining to dip in and out of their posts to see what their latest adventure or discovery has been as they make their way slowly around the Globe, staying in vacation rental homes in each of their destinations. Self-catering holiday property stays are favoured by more and more travellers who like the options to eat out or eat in, get up late, or get up early – in short to enjoy freedom to relax and enjoy slowing down and remembering to savour cultural and local highlights wherever they choose to spend their precious days away from normal routine.
I look forward to seeing what culinary discoveries they make when exploring Edinburgh – they’ll be able to buy a great range of Scotland’s best produce at the weekly Edinburgh Farmers’ Market, and I’m sure they’ll be sampling haggis, whisky and shortbread. A personal favourite would also be a trip to Clark’s Fishmongers in Musselburgh. Where else in Edinburgh do you think we should recommend they visit to source local delicacies?
One of the first things that you will want to do on arrival at Craigwell Cottage is to make sure that you have arranged sufficient supplies to cater for your immediate needs. We do leave small supplies of tea, coffee, salt, pepper, sugar for you, but if you have a requirement for us to do some shopping ready for your arrival we’d be happy to provide this service for you. We will charge any groceries purchased at cost, with a small charge of £5 for the service. Please contact us by e-mail if you would like to discuss your requirements.
There are a couple of local convenience stores within walking distance of Craigwell Cottage which are useful for immediate needs such as bread and milk. You’ll find Canongate Stores by crossing Calton Road, going up Campbells Close opposite Nether Craigwell, and turning right when you reach the Royal Mile. Crossing over the Royal Mile and taking one of the closes opposite will bring you to Holyrood Road where there is a small branch of Tesco Express, open long hours, for most everyday needs.
For wonderful Scottish speciality foods and treats to take home, pop in to see Beth and Fiona at Cranachan and Crowdie (pictured above) at their shop in the Canongate. They’ll make you very welcome and may have samples to taste too.
For a traditional afternoon tea, pop in to Clarinda’s Tea Room (where Campbell’s Close meets the Royal Mile) – they open early in the morning for cooked breakfasts and you won’t be able to resist going back later in the day for reasonably priced lunches or delicious home baking and pots of tea.
The nearest Marks and Spencer Simply Food store is in Waverley Station, which is a short walk up Calton Road. You’ll find the entrance to Waverley Station on the left side of Calton Road and a footbridge takes you to Platform 2 where the Marks and Spencer Simply Food Store is located.
There is a large branch of Marks and Spencer at 54 Princes Street where you’ll find a food hall in the basement.
There is a Sainsbury’s Central situated on St Andrews Square, which you’ll find immediately behind Jenners the famous Princes Street Store.
The food hall in Jenners is worth a visit too – you’ll find speciality foods and whiskies there. The Edinburgh Evening News Article comparing up-market food shopping in Edinburgh gives a comparison between Jenners, Harvey Nichols, Marks and Spencer and Waitrose. Finding this reminded me that there is a food department in Harvey Nichols but to date I’ve not managed to add this particular store to my list of shopping experiences.
We’ve also explored the area around the top of Easter Road to find more local stores within a short walk from Craigwell Cottage. I’d definitely recommend the bakery and cafe called The Manna House which you can find at No 22-24 Easter Road. A wonderful patisserie and bakery shop with croissants, cakes, scones, speciality breads. Definitely worth a quick early-morning stroll there to find breakfast. If you read the Guardian Review of this local treasure, you will be drooling already! The locals rate it highly too – another rave review to read.
If you’ve come by car to stay at Craigwell Cottage there’s a large Sainsbury’s Store at the Meadowbank Retail Park if you want to do a supermarket shop to stock up.
For our weekend visitors, you’ll be delighted to know that there are several weekend markets around the city. The Edinburgh Farmers’ Market is at Castle Terrace every Saturday from 9 am till around 2 pm – graze on fine local foods or bring delicious flavours of Scotland back to prepare at Craigwell Cottage. In Stockbridge on a Sunday, the Stockbridge Market is a lovely place to stock up with delights for your evening meal or even souvenirs to take back from your trip. Wander along there after a trip to the Royal Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, or follow the Water of Leith Walkway from the Gallery of Modern Art One/Two for a Sunday treat.
Updated March 2015