EX EDINPLORE YOU BU THE R GUIDRGH E C
ATT ITY’S TO RAC T TIONOP S
LIMBO STAR FLYER FAMILY FUN OYS PET SHOP B 014 TIPS FOR 2 ARKETS MAGICAL M OPPING FESTIVE SH
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winterinedinburgh.com 01/11/2013 15:39
Ne x t to E d i n bu rg h C a s t l e
A Sensational Journey Escape from winter’s chill at The Scotch Whisky Experience, where a sensational journey through a replica distillery and The World’s Largest Collection of Scotch Whisky awaits you. Along the way, our expert guides will unlock the secrets of Scotch Whisky, helping you discover your perfect dram.
Amber Restaurant Our award-winning restaurant ‘Amber’ remains open over the festive period*, oﬀering deliciously seasonal festive fare. Booking strongly advised.
Opening Times 7 days, 10am - 6.30pm (last silver tour 5.00pm) Extended hours over Hogmany. Please check our website for seasonal times, or call us on 0131 220 0441. To book online visit www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk
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*Amber Restaurant closed for dinner 23rd to 26th December, closed all Christmas day, and closed for dinner from 31st December to 2nd January.
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24/10/2013 01/11/201312:11 15:21
There are few cities more glorious in winter than the Scottish capital. An already dramatic skyline simply astonishes when darkness falls early and the lights come on. The temptation is to sit back and admire the scene, but that’s impossible when you scan the programme of events which has been lined up for the coming months. Edinburgh’s official Christmas and Hogmanay organisers have upped the ante for 2013 so that locals and tourists alike can celebrate winter in style. In this guide, we look at everything from the Big Wheel to a Hot Dub Time Machine as the city gets into party mode. As well as the festive goings-on in the centre of town, everywhere from Summerhall to Leith will be buzzing with the spirit of the season.
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FOR WINTEFURTHER R ACT ION fa
ce edinbbuook.com/ rgh @edin burgh
Produced by The List and Marketing Edinburgh
10 THINGS TO DO We pick out some unmissable happenings
HOGMANAY MUSIC Pet Shop Boys prepare to rock us into the New Year
KIDS & FAMILY All the top events for you and your little ones
HOT DUB TIME MACHINE We meet the man behind a time-travelling party
LIMBO The circus phenomenon contorts into town
STAR FLYER & BIG WHEEL How to see the city in all its wintry majesty
CITY CENTRE MAP Helping you find the new locations and star events
EXPLORE EDINBURGH Your one-stop area guide
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24 26 27
Around the City
West End Old Town & Grassmarket
Stockbridge Leith & Broughton Street
EDINBURGH 2014 A tiny taster of exciting events early next year
With Special Thanks to: Published by The List Ltd in conjunction with Marketing Edinburgh Ltd The List Ltd HEAD OFFICE 14 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1TE Tel: 0131 550 3050; list.co.uk
COVER IMAGE © SIMON WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHY
Project Editor: Brian Donaldson Production Manager: Simon Armin Senior Designer: Lucy Munro
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Editorial Assistants: Calum Ralston, Alan Laidlaw Contributors: Brian Donaldson, Malcolm Jack, Francis McLachlan, Anna Millar, David Pollock
Partnership Director: Sheri Friers Digital Director: Simon Dessain Publisher: Robin Hodge
© 2013 The List Ltd All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission in writing of The List Ltd and/or Marketing Edinburgh Ltd. Printed by Acorn Web Offset Ltd.
10 THINGS TO DO
10 Things to d © CHRIS WATT
LIGHT NIGHT The festive period gets into full swing as George Street becomes a sea of stages for a community-led extravaganza of music, singing and dancing. All of which is directed towards the moment when the lights are switched on by cycle legend Sir Chris Hoy. Sun 24 Nov, 2.30pm, free.
Local businesses and attractions have collaborated with artists to design a tree supplied by the Bethany Trust. The results are being displayed across the city, so grab your map from a box office (see our map on page 15) and go hunting for these special trees. From Mon 9 Dec.
The all-contorting, all-sword swallowing circus troupe bring their phenonemal show to the Paradiso Spiegeltent in St Andrew Square. Prepare for jaws to go into dropping mode and minds to be blown. See feature, page 12. Fri 22 Nov–Sat 4 Jan, various times, £10–£45.
Who doesn’t love an effervescent ceilidh to send you swinging towards the bells (and beyond)? A professional caller will get you up off your feet and lead you through some daring dancefloor moves on the Mound Precinct. It also provides a perfect view of the midnight fireworks. Tue 31 Dec, 9pm, £37.
ST ANDREW’S DAY The Grassmarket is set for a feast of culture to truly kick off the winter celebrations: an open-air ceilidh, live music from Dougie MacLean (pictured) and storytelling events are among the highlights to get you feeling a tingle of national pride. Sat 30 Nov, 2pm, free.
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10 THINGS TO DO
do this winter
HOGMANAY STREET PARTY
Kicking off in the Old Town and ending with an astonishing fireworks display, this spectacular event drew a crowd of over 35,000 people last year. Carry a torch for charity (£10) and start the Hogmanay celebrations in style led by Shetland’s Up Helly Aa Vikings. Mon 30 Dec, 7pm, free.
Some 80,000 people from all over this globe will be packed into the streets of our capital for the world’s original and best New Year’s Eve bash. See page 6 for the music that will spectacularly light up Hogmanay, headlined by Edinburgh’s own Django Django. Tue 31 Dec, 9pm, £20.
In the wonderful setting of St Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile, the cathedral choir, augmented by a line-up of superb young soloists, is directed by Michael Harris in another programme to lift the spirits as you head into 2014. Tue 31 Dec, 7.30pm, £16.
© DARREN BARTON
© LLOYD SMITH
© CHRIS WATT
© CHRIS WATT
No Christmas fun is complete without a stroll round a festive market and this year, there’s a Scottish one celebrating seafood and craft beer, a European version promising romance and tradition and a children’s market offering toys galore. See page 17. Fri 22 Nov–Sun 5 Jan, 10am–10pm.
On the opening day of 2014, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay brings you the biggest performance programme outside of the Fringe in some atmospheric venues across the Old Town. Artists and musicians such as Lau (pictured) will get your year off to a cracking start. Wed 1 Jan, noon, free.
West End boys
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As Pet Shop Boys prepare to usher in the New Year as Hogmanay’s headline act, Malcolm Jack hails the duo’s brilliant career and glittering style
record called Electric could have slotted neatly anywhere into Pet Shop Boys’ 50 million-selling, 31-year career, now spanning 12 albums, each with a trademark oneword title. But, arguably, not since the mid-90s when they helped spearhead dance music’s crossover into the mainstream have Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe sounded so plugged in, so switched on, so recharged and so ready to light it up. Produced by Stuart Price – the man behind clubby reinventions of Madonna and Kylie – Electric nods firmly to the pair’s imperial past, while sounding at once rooted in the present and plotting a path for the future (after 28 years on Parlophone, it marks the duo’s first independent release on their own label x2). Formed in 1981 by then Smash Hits assistant editor Tennant after he met Lowe in an electronics shop on the King’s Road, PSB seemed several steps ahead of the game from day one, shooting to top of both the UK and US charts with their debut single ‘West End Girls’. More hits flowed, from ‘It’s a Sin’ to ‘Always on My Mind’ and ‘Go West’ (how many artists could cover Elvis just as convincingly as they could The Village People?). The duo became defined as much by their archly intelligent synthesisers-and-drum-machines-constructed music as they were by their wilfully contrary commercial image: an outlandish fashion sense and ambiguous sexuality that contrasted with their minimalist artwork and famously passive stage dynamic. In a reference to his default pose, stood stock-still behind a keyboard looking mildly bored, Lowe was once sarcastically described as being ‘possibly more famous for not doing anything than almost anyone else in the history of popular entertainment’. The Boys’ unique place in the pantheon of British pop was enshrined in 2012 with a lap of honour at the London Olympics closing ceremony, as the duo performed ‘West End Girls’ on fluorescent orange rickshaws with matching conical headgear (glitterball hats and backing dancers dressed in suits of brightly coloured boxes are among other PSB stagewear highlights). Electric, meanwhile, enshrines all that remains brilliant about those West End boys. ‘Axis’ is five minutes of pumping Hi-NRG pop, full of brass fanfares and buzz-saw synths, while ‘Love is a Bourgeois Construct’ is comfortably the greatest disco song ever to feature the word ‘schadenfreude’. As they treat themselves to a deserved and visually decadent end-of-year blow-out in Edinburgh (where they will be joined by The 1975, the city’s own Nina Nesbitt and The 10:04’s), electric will hardly cover it. Concert in the Gardens, West Princes Street Gardens, Tue 31 Dec, 9pm, £40 (gardens only). Tickets and event details at edinburghshogmanay.com or 0844 573 8455.
EDINBURGH ROCKS Brian Donaldson finds the cream of Scotland’s new bands doing their thing for Hogmanay Last year’s Mercury Prizenominated Django Django (pictured) are being strongly tipped for the very top. When they are bestriding the globe in years to come, will you be able to look back on 2013’s Hogmanay Street Party and say, ‘I was there’? The country’s current electropop explosion has also been furthered by Chvrches, whose debut release The Bones of What You Believe has been acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. King Creosote AKA Kenny Anderson is the man behind another Scottish music revolution, with his Fence Collective of disparate bands and songwriters. Here, he steps out with his talented crew for a show full of folk-tinged magnificence. We also have the Treacherous Orchestra (an 11-piece that was shortlisted in the Best Group category at this year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards) and Shetland’s Fiddler’s Bid, who have been pioneering traditional music since 1991. Those of a certain vintage should be delighted to hear that The Rezillos will be boisterously leaping around, 37 years after their formation at the height of punk. ■ Street Party, City Centre, Tue 31 Dec, 9pm, £20.
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KIDS & FAMILY EVENTS
Doing it for the kids Brian Donaldson discovers that there’s a feast of events for little ones to enjoy this winter
t is, of course, a massive cliché to say that this time of year is all about the children. But when you look at the amazing array of events laid on for the nippers this Christmas and New Year, you know it’s true. Naturally, Santa is going to be absolutely everywhere. He’ll have a Grotto as part of Edinburgh’s Christmas (Sat 23 Nov–Tue 24 Dec, 11am–7pm) while his Train (Fri 22 Nov–Sun 5 Jan: Sun–Thu, 10am–7pm; Fri & Sat, 10am–8.30pm) will be setting off from beside the Christmas Tree Maze (another innovative new delight for small people, located in East Princes Street Gardens: Fri 22 Nov–Sun 5 Jan: Sun–Thu, 10am–7pm; Fri & Sat, 10am–8.30pm). Mr Claus also finds time to get himself over to Inverleith Park for Challenge Scotland events. The Santa Toddle and Parade (Sun 8 Dec, 1pm) is for the under-6s who are encouraged to dress up as elves as they greet the great man, who will arrive majestically via a horse-pulled open-top carriage. He’ll also have a Grotto here as part of the Edinburgh Christmas Charity Fayre (Sat 7 & Sun 8 Dec, 10am). Challenge Scotland’s programme also has Golden Tinsel Mile Walks (Sun 8 Dec, 11.30am) and the Great Christmas Buggy Run (Sun 8 Dec, 12.15pm).
This year’s Ice Rink (Fri 22 Nov–Sun 5 Jan, 10am) is situated beneath the Big Wheel on East Princes Street Gardens, while the Children’s Market (Fri 22 Nov–Sun 5 Jan, 10am–10pm) on St Andrew Square features wares from Toys Galore. Everyone is welcome to the turning on of the Grassmarket Christmas Lights (Thu 28 Nov, 6.30pm). The National Museum of Scotland is ideal for family gatherings, and children can indulge themselves in the Christmas Crafternoons (Sat 14 & Sun 15 Dec, noon), while local choirs get together for a Christmas Concert (Sun 15 Dec, 1.30pm) and there’s also a Hogmanay Family Ceilidh (Tue 31 Dec, 2pm). Among the planned events at Edinburgh Castle is Dickens Christmas (Sat 21–Tue 24 Dec, various times) in which the author of A Christmas Carol aims to restore some lost festive magic. No Scrooges allowed. As an accompaniment to the Edinburgh Playhouse’s Disney spectacular The Lion King, the City Art Centre is putting on Exploring The Lion King (Mon–Sat, 10am; Sun noon) all the way through to mid-January. See edinburghschristmas.com for more details.
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KIDS & FAMILY EVENTS
Christmas capers with the Santa Toddle and Parade
WHEN FLINN MET RED We mini-profile your lead characters from the two top kids theatre shows at Edinburgh’s Christmas FU FULL NAME: Ca Captain Flinn B BORN: 2 2005 w with the p publication o of first b book, Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs WHO WROTE IT: Giles Andreae with illustrations from Russell Ayto
FAVOURITE COLOUR: Purple FEARS: Big teeth (on dinosaurs)) WHO’S BEHIND THIS STAGE PRODUCTION: Les Petits (from Les Enfants Terribles) ■ Paradiso Spiegeltent, St Andrew Square, Sun 24 Nov–Sun 15 Dec, 11.30am, 1.30pm, £10–£20.
F FULL N NAME: L Little Red R Riding Hood BO BORN: Po Possibly ten tenth-century Fra France, but the first printed version appeared in the 1690s WHO WROTE IT: Charles Perrault produced that first published story
FAVOURITE COLOUR: Red (obviously) FEARS: Big teeth (on grandmas / wolves) WHO’S BEHIND THIS STAGE PRODUCTION: Nonsense Room (Hairy Maclary and Friends) ■ Paradiso Spiegeltent, St Andrew Square, Tue 17 Dec–Sun 5 Jan, 11.30am, 1.30pm, £10–£20.
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HOT DUB TIME MACHINE
Warming up Malcolm Jack hears from the man behind time-travelling party sensation, Hot Dub Time Machine
om Loud’s much raved about, not to mention raved at, Hot Dub Time Machine at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe was ‘truly a life-changing experience’, he admits. So it’s little surprise to hear that the Sydney DJ is bringing his self-styled ‘Best. Party. Ever.’ back to the city for Edinburgh’s other big festival season, with a run of special Christmas events at acclaimed venue, Summerhall. Nor is it surprising to hear that he’s pumped at the prospect. ‘This Christmas season is going to be an awesome end to a very special year for me,’ he enthuses. ‘I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.’ Loud sums up his nostalgia-powered decades and genres-spanning club experience thus: ‘Hot Dub Time Machine is the world’s first time-travelling dance party. We travel back in time and music history to the birth of rock’n’roll, then we dance, sing, yell, rave and hug our way on to 2013. It’s a musical rollercoaster: intense, fun, exhausting and addictive.’
It’s an experience that brings together twisting to ‘Twist and Shout’, doing the running man to New Kids on the Block, and bouncing around to The Proclaimers, all held together with flashy visuals, interactive embellishments and pure personality. You could be forgiven for assuming that a DJ who’s not averse to such student-union quantities of dancefloor cheese might plan to exploit the season’s potential, but Loud offers strong assurances to the contrary. ‘There are always a few twists in a Hot Dub seasonal show, but I can make a solemn promise that there will be no Christmas carols or Yuletide songs in there,’ he insists. ‘Take a break from Christmas schmaltz and get down to some truly great music. Although I may place some mistletoe around. Encouraging festive frolicking on cold Edinburgh evenings sounds like fun.’ Summerhall, Wed 4, Sat 7, Wed 11–Sat 14, Wed 18–Sat 21 Dec, 9.30pm, £12.50. Book 0844 545 8252, edinburghschristmas.com
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SEASONAL DELIGHTS HOGMANAY GALA BALL From £89.00pp Apex Waterloo Place | Apex International
apexhotels.co.uk/edinburgh-christmas T 0845 365 0001
apexhotels.co.uk/lionking T 0845 365 0000
RESTAURANT FESTIVE DINING Lunches from £16.95pp Dinners from £19.95pp
Treat a loved one this Christmas to a LION KING THEATRE PACKAGE at Apex Waterloo Place. Available on selected Friday & Saturday nights. From £264.00 (inclusive of two tickets, one nights’ accommodation, pre-theatre dining & full Scottish breakfast)
Put some colour under the Christmas tree with a Historic Scotland Gift Membership. We’re making history more colourful this Christmas by offering our Gift Memberships with 14 months for the price of 12. Book online at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/giftmember
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STAR FLYER & BIG WHEEL / LIMBO
5 REASONS TO SEE
The contortionist was a body double for Jim Carrey in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Jonathan Nosan is humankindâ€™s answer to the elastic band. He bends backwards, then bends
some more. Thatâ€™s why his stuntman credits also include Big Fish and The Bounty Hunter.
When the sword swallower started, she was the youngest in the world. Heather Holliday got her big break as a high-school intern at the Coney Island Circus Sideshow and was swallowing swords at the age of just 17.
STAR FLYER & BIG WHEEL / LIMBO
The high life This year’s star attractions at Edinburgh’s Christmas promise views like never before, finds Anna Millar
here can surely be fewer bigger or brighter signs that the Christmas jamboree is in town than the arrival of the Big Wheel in East Princes Street Gardens Terrace. It’s as much a part of Edinburgh’s landscape for the festive season as the Castle and Scott Monument, and this year there’s also an innovative spin on the traditional wheel, as an equally awe-inspiring sibling, the Star Flyer, takes up residence only a short walk away, just off St Andrew Square. This year’s attractions are of the ‘less is much, much more’ persuasion, explains Charlie Wood of organisers Underbelly. The Big Wheel itself will be an all-new design for the capital, and moved further along the gardens, away from the Scott Monument and towards the Scottish National Gallery. New enclosed six-seater weatherproof pods will allow riders to enjoy the views from under cover, while an audio voiceover describes the sights around them. ‘The plan is for it to face east to west,’ explains Wood. ‘It will sit side on to the Old Town and offer a major view of the castle.’ The Dutch-made wheel will also be an additional ten metres high, morphing from its previous 32-metre incarnation to 42 metres (the equivalent of eight buses piled on top of each other). And the bling factor comes courtesy of 20,000 lights that adorn it.
Today, the only thing more remarkable than her ability to put away two feet of solid steel is her flameproof skill at eating fire.
Musical director Sxip Shirey, who has worked with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, is big on home-made instruments. His band includes polymba player Mick Stuart: ‘The polymba is 15
‘Edinburgh is a windy city,’ says Wood, ‘especially on Princes Street and especially around Christmas time, so the enclosed pods made sense. Each ride takes nine minutes and when you’re at the top you’ll be able to look all the way over to Fife or simply enjoy an amazing view of the Castle and the Old Town, while enjoying the audio telling you about the city’s history.’ To the south of St Andrew Square, things are bigger still with the addition of the allnew 60-metre Star Flyer, offering 360-degree panoramic views of Edinburgh and beyond. ‘We wanted a move away from the fairground of previous years in Princes Street Gardens and just to have one or two signature rides,’ explains Wood. ‘The Star Flyer is a ride that we’ve had at our festivals on the South Bank in London. It’s very tall and offers an amazing view. Edinburgh is a city of seven hills, with so many different views and a stunning skyline. Hopefully this year’s Big Wheel and Star Flyer attractions sum up an Edinburgh for all, where tourists and locals alike are able to have fun and enjoy the city from many different vantage points.’ To book your slot, call 0844 545 8252 or visit edinburghschristmas.com.
African thumb pianos; he made them himself, including cutting the spring steel.’
The director ditched Shakespeare for circus. ‘I love the theatre, but often I’m really bored,’ says ex-actor Scott Maidment. ‘I wanted to create shows that people who might go to a band or a DJ would like.’
It’s quite simply magic! When these agile acrobats aren’t spinning, dancing, contorting or bending over backwards, they’re disappearing into thin air! (Francis McLachlan) ■ Paradiso Spiegeltent, St Andrew Square, Fri 22 Nov–Sat 4 Jan, various times, £10–£45. To book call 0844 545 8252 or visit edinburghschristmas.com.
MONDAY 30 DECEMBER 2013 – WEDNESDAY 1 JANUARY 2014
For full event details, stage billings and tickets for all events visit the official website
www.edinburghshogmanay.com EH2014 Box Office: 0844 573 8455 / Fringe Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh PRINCIPAL FUNDING PARTNER
MAJOR FUNDING PARTNERS
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Edinburgh’s Christmas are produced by Unique Events LTD and Underbelly ltd on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council
Enjoy Winter in Edinburgh 16
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EDINBURGH’S CHRISTMAS EDINBURGH’S CHRISTMAS Carousel 1.1. Carousel 2. European Christmas 2. European Christmas Market Market 3. Ice Rink 3. Ice Rink 4. Box Office 4.5. Box Big Office Wheel 5.6. Big Wheel Santa’s Grotto 6.7. Santa’s Grotto Christmas Tree Maze 7.8. Christmas Santa TrainTree Maze 8.9. Santa Train George Street - Light Night ParadisoStreet Spiegeltent 9.10.George - Light Night 11.Paradiso Star FlyerSpiegeltent 10. 12.Star Scottish 11. FlyerFood & Drink Market 13.Scottish Children’s Market 12. Food & Drink Market 14. Monument Bar 13. Children’s Market 14. Monument Bar 1.
2.4. 3.5. 4. 5.6. 7.
EDINBURGH’S HOGMANAY Edinburgh’s Hogmanay
EDINBURGH’S HOGMANAY Street Party Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Concert in the Gardens Street Partyon the Mound The Keilidh Concert in Procession the Gardens Torchlight Candlelit Concert The Keilidh on the Mound (St Giles’ Cathedral) Torchlight Procession Scot:Lands Candlelit Concert BoxGiles’ Office (St Cathedral) Scot:Lands Box Office
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES MUSEUMS & GALLERIES 1. 1.Museum of Edinburgh Museum of Edinburgh 2. 2.The Writers’ Museum The Writers’ Museum 3. Museum of Childhood 3. Museum of Childhood 4. The Queen's Gallery The Queen's 5. 4.Portrait Gallery Gallery Portrait Gallery 6. 5.City Art Centre City Art Centre 7. 6.The Fruitmarket Gallery The Fruitmarket Gallery 8. 7.National Gallery Complex National Gallery Complex 9. 8.National Museum of Scotland
National Museum of Scotland
1. VENUES 2. 1. The Scotch Whisky Experience VENUES 2. 1.Scottish Storytelling Centre The Scotch Whisky Experience3. 3. 2.The Queen’sStorytelling Hall Scottish Centre 4. 5. 4. Edinburgh Festival Theatre 3. The Queen’s Hall 6. 5. Edinburgh Playhouse 4. Edinburgh Festival Theatre 6. Corn Exchange Edinburgh 7. 5.The EdinburghPlayhouse Dungeon Corn Exchange 1. 8. 6.Royal Lyceum Theatre TheHall Edinburgh Dungeon 9. 7.Usher 2. Royal Theatre Lyceum Theatre 10.8.Traverse 11.9.King’s Theatre Usher Hall 12.10. Edinburgh TraverseCastle Theatre
11. King’s Theatre 12. Edinburgh Castle
13. The Club 13.Stand The Comedy Stand Comedy Club 14. Stockbridge and 4 and 4 14. Stockbridge Botanical Gardens Botanical Gardens 15. Mary King’s Close 15. Mary King’s Close 16. Leith and the 16. Yacht LeithBritannia and the Royal RoyalEnd Yacht 17. The West andBritannia 17. The Zoo West End 3and Edinburgh 3 Edinburgh 18. Camera Obscura Zoo
18. Camera Obscura
CHURCHES St. Andrew‘s & St George's CHURCHES St.1.John’s Church St. Andrew‘s & St George's St.2.Cuthbert's St. John’s Church St.3.Giles’ Cathedral St. Cuthbert's Greyfriars Kirk 4. St. Giles’ Cathedral St. Mary’s RC Cathedral
Real Scottish Christmas Fair Edinburgh Farmers’ Markets
6. St. Mary’s RC Cathedral MARKETS Ethical Christmas Fair and MARKETS Real Scottish Christmas Fair 1. Ethical Christmas Fair and Edinburgh Farmers’ Markets
Explore Edinburgh Over the following pages, we show you how to make the most of the festive season with highlights from the sea to Southside. Follow us at facebook. g or on Twitter @Edinburgh g for all the latest offers and news com/Edinburgh
FREE CITY E E C NTIR NG! PARKecember 2–28 D 5pm* from
The true test of a city centre’s mettle is that while things can change around it, a real sense of place remains intact. There are very few locations that this is more true than Edinburgh’s middle covering the strips from Princes Street down to Queen Street. Visitors from last year will be amazed at how different it looks while recognising just how welcomingly familiar it all feels. Much of this evolution is down to the expansion of the official Christmas and Hogmanay programmes with St Andrew Square and Princes Street Gardens being particular hubs of excitement (see edinburghschristmas.com for the full story). Chances are this will be the stretch where most of your early (or, let’s face it, last-minute) shopping will occur: Princes Street is a match for any city’s main thoroughfare while St James Centre, with its flagship John Lewis, is well worth visiting. The luxuryladen Multrees Walk spoils us with Harvey Nichols and Louis Vuitton while Thistle Street offers some stylish boutiques. Keep an eye out for those late shopping hours which creep up from 7pm to 9pm on 25 Nov as the Christmas countdown gets serious.
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SHOPPING If you want all your shopping to happen in one handy place, then Jenners (48 Princes Street, houseoffraser.co.uk) or the St James Centre (1 Leith Street, stjamesshopping.com) are the ideal spots. Just off St Andrew Square, Multrees Walk (the-walk.co.uk) provides some of the sleekest retail emporiums in the city while George Street is paradise for designer fans. Those looking for a more independent experience should hunt down Scandi-chic boutique Kakao By K (45 Thistle Street, kakao.co.uk), full of ‘super-feminine’
* Restrictions apply. For full details see essentialedinburgh.co.uk
ERS! FOOD & DRINK OFF
Until the end of January, George Street Bar and Grill (130 George Street, georgestreetbarandgrill.com) offers the Bubbly Brunch: two brunch items and two glasses of Prosecco for £19.95 per couple.
clothes, jewellery and accessories, while fans of music, film, TV box sets and posters should head straight for Fopp (Rose Street, @ FoppEdinburgh). Bonkers (54 Hanover Street, bonkers.uk.com) serves up fun by the cartload with their loveable Jellycats, natty iPod ear buds and owl cushions (we recommend the ‘Hamish’) while ALC (61 Thistle Street, alceshop.com) has a range of clothing but lays its claim as the first Edinburgh store to specialise in women’s denim.
At The Caledonian (Princes Street, thecaledonianedinburgh. com), you can enjoy the St Mary’s School Choir with Afternoon Tea on Thu 5 Dec, 4pm. At The Balmoral Hotel (1 Princes Street, thebalmoralhotel. com) there are various festive dining treats to be had at Hadrian’s Brasserie, their Number One restaurant and Afternoon Tea at Palm Court, while at the Apex (23–25 Waterloo Place), there’s afternoon tea for two in Elliot’s Restaurant. See apexhotels.co.uk/ en/offers for full details.
(99 Hanover Street, 99hanoverstreet. com), which hosts DJs seven nights a week. Down in the New Town, what public houses there are fall into the best categories: the local sort, but with a keen sense of standards, such as the bustling cubby hole, the Star Bar (1 Northumberland Place, thestarbar.org.uk).
Iconic buildings are ten a penny in Edinburgh but dominating the centre is the Scott Monument (Princes Street Gardens East, BARS edinburghmuseums.org.uk). Few cities can lay claim to having a Whether it’s food, drink or shopping, Victorian gothic marvel right in the New Town-style grid is dense the middle of one of its busiest with big chains and mainstream thoroughfares – yet even with operations. Amidst it all there are Edinburgh Castle looming large a few gems though, including nearby and Edinburgh’s busy the high quality basement shopping street just over cocktail snug Bramble the road, nothing can (16a Queen Street, detract from this rather bramblebar.co.uk). are epic monument to There’s the smart the S climbed t o cott Scottish author Sir but affordable Monu reach up me Walter Scott. Open dining and view permost nt’s i ng pl Mon–Sun, 10–4pm (last drinking experience atfor m admission is 3.30pm. the Bon Vivant Up on George Street, (55 Thistle Street, the Assembly Rooms bonvivantedinburgh.co.uk), (assemblyroomsedinburgh.co.uk) is and the trendy 99 Hanover Street
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5 MARKET MARKETS TS EDINBURGH’S SCOTTISH MARKET (St Andrew Square, Fri 22 Nov–Sun 5 Jan, 10am– 10pm) All the best cuisine and beverages which the country has to offer including butteries with a twist and Scottish crafted beer. THE REAL SCOTTISH CHRISTMAS FAIR (Castle Street, Sat 30 Nov–Thu 5 Dec, 10am) Ideal for experienced exhibitors looking to sell Scottish crafts, jewellery, fashion items, food and drink. EUROPEAN CHRISTMAS MARKET (Mound Precinct, East Princes Street Gardens, St Andrew Square, Fri 22 Nov–Sun 5 Jan, 10am–10pm) A traditional yuletide set-up with crafts, art, gift shops and some gastronomic surprises. THE ETHICAL CHRISTMAS FAIR (Castle Street, Sat 7–Sun 15 Dec, 10am) This is the place to head for if you’re keen on fair trade, ethical and environmental businesses. Jewellery, crafts, hats and music will be in abundance. CHILDREN’S MARKET (St Andrew Square, Fri 22 Nov–Sun 5 Jan, 10am–10pm) A magical space of festive shopping including the city’s very own Toys Galore.
CENTROTRE A classy Georgian experience as Italian food is handled with style. 103 George Street, centotre.com THE SPICE PAVILION A warm welcome and sophisticated dining experience guaranteed at this New Town Indian. 3a1 Dundas Street, thespicepavilion.com CALISTOGA Specialising in American meals with fabulous wines. 70 Rose Street North Lane, calistoga.co.uk RESTAURANT MARK GREENAWAY A stylish interior is matched by contemporary food. 69 North Castle Street, markgreenaway.com
looking absolutely fabulous after its much-heralded revamp. This 18th century building has long known how to put on popular events, and it does little to disappoint this season with two weekends jam-packed with a Christmas Craft Fair (Sat 23 & Sun 24 Nov, Sat 7 & Sun 8 Dec), which promises a stonking 120 exhibitors. Those looking to bring the New Year in with style can opt for the Assembly Rooms Hogmanay Event (Tue 31 Dec), with a ceilidh and some Motown magic up for grabs.
Also along George Street lives The Dome (thedomeedinburgh.com), a popular and busy dining choice with a traditionally Scottish menu, housed in a grand former bank building. The east end of George Street has St Andrew Square, a focal point of Edinburgh’s Christmas with the Star Flyer, Paradiso Spiegeltent, Carousel and Monument Bar all making this a real hive of activity. In 2014, it will be transformed by Bruce Munro’s Field of Light (see page 30).
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The West End Village is one of Edinburgh’s best kept secrets, a glorious network of Georgian streets in the western New Town. Tucked away just behind Shandwick Place, the West End Village is home to the very best contemporary independent retailers in the city. At the very heart of the village lie both William Street and Stafford Street, where the colourful, stylish boutiques and some much-loved pubs and bars combine to create a bohemian feel to this part of Edinburgh. A focal point of the area will be the new Haymarket Station complex which will change the lives of many commuters.
SHOPPING The heart of West End shopping pumps along in two busy streets: William Street and Stafford Street. This cobbled oasis of independent retailers and stylish boutiques
features Studio One (10 Stafford Street, studio-one.co.uk) with its classy home accessories, lighting, photo frames and wooden animals, women’s independent fashion shop Arkangel & Felon (4 William Street, arkangelandfelon.com),
and Remus (16b Stafford Street, remusinteriors.com), interior design pioneers and purveyors of homebased curiosities.
BARS Whigham’s Wine Cellars (13 Hope Street, whighams.com) is a classy joint with its candle-happy basement surroundings which throws up some jazz jam sessions and wine tasting nights. Over at The Melville (19–25 William Street, themelvillebar.com), they’ve had a successful reboot with its vibrant atmosphere appealing to a wider crowd. Intriguingly kitted-out inside with a green ladder and various types of clogs, The Fountain
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ERS! FOOD & DRINK OFF
➜ One Square
At steak restaurant Kyloe (1–3 Rutland Street, 229 3402, kyloerestaurant.com), they have festive lunch (£28) and dinner (£35) menus from Thu 28 Nov–Mon 23 Dec with their Christmas Cracker lunch (£23) and dinners (£28) happening throughout December (Mon– Wed). At the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Modern Two (75 Belford Road, nationalgalleries.org), is putting on a two-course lunch with wine, and a ticket to its Fergusson Exhibition from Sat 30 Nov–Fri 31 Jan, £20 per person. At Cafés Modern One & Two there is the Winter Warmer Cream Tea Special available until the end of January, at £5.50 per person. The Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa has some top festive dining at One Square (1 Festival Square, onesquareedinburgh.co.uk) available between Mon 9 Dec and Christmas Eve, featuring a two-course lunch for £22 and a three-course dinner for £28. And at the Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor (Grosvenor Street, 3.hilton. com), there are Christmas Party Nights throughout December, plus a Christmas Day Carvery with a visit from Santa and a Hogmanay Ball.
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(131 Dundee Street, thefountainbar. co.uk) can get busy-busy but little detracts from its happy vibe, while Lebowskis (18 Morrison Street, lebowskis.co.uk) is a slave to the film from which it takes a name but you can happily ignore the movie references and still have a fun time.
RESTAURANTS CHINA TOWN Various menus are on offer in this splendid Chinese while help is at hand if you need a quick lesson in chopstick-usage. 3 Atholl Place, chinatownedinburgh. com
SPECIAL PLACES Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (75 Belford Road, nationalgalleries.org) is one of the jewels in the National Galleries crown, topped off rather nicely by Charles Jencks’ Landform Ueda sculpture, which won the Gulbenkian Prize in 2004. On show til next May are some fabulous recent additions to the National Galleries collection, including prints by Picasso, Hockney and Cézanne. The UK’s first Guerlain Spa, at The Caledonian (Princes Street), a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, follows the philosophy of luxury, innovation and sheer indulgence. As the festive season is upon us, now is the perfect time to treat yourself to the Twinkle Twinkle package including a manicure, pedicure and glass of champagne for £69 from Fri 15 Nov until Tue 31 Dec (see thecaledonianedinburgh.com/ guerlain-spa/overview guerlain spa/overview for details).
SYGN A treat for burger and cocktail fans, with a private area if you want to host your own bash. 15 Charlotte Lane, sygn.co.uk GHILLIE DHU A rustic, folky vibe permeates this impressive interior and its towering burgers and spiced-up haggis are a must. 2 Rutland Place, ghillie-dhu.co.uk KASTURI A contemporary look but traditional Indian menu with an eye fixed firmly on delicious ingredients. 35–37 Shandwick Place, kasturi-ed. co.uk THE HUXLEY A primelocation, thoroughly modern bar restaurant with a bright frontage and stylish interior. 1 Rutland Street, thehuxley. co.uk
Old Town & Grassmarket
St Giles’ Cathedral
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It could be argued that the Old Town and Grassmarket need an ti guide id all ll tto th l i th tit ((and d quality) lit ) entire themselves, given the quantity of attractions it houses. There are the blockbuster hits, of course, such as Edinburgh Castle, St Giles’ Cathedral, the Scottish Parliament, Dynamic Earth and the National Museum of Scotland. But while many of the zone’s delights may be more low-key, they’re just as important to the character of this most historical of areas. Full of renowned pubs and restaurants, artistic endeavours, and streets, alcoves and alleyways dripping in history (horrible and otherwise), the evocative Old Town and Grassmarket are there to be explored and enjoyed.
SHOPPING While the city centre Christmas shopping experience might not be to everyone’s taste, there are some other very different purchase opportunities out there. At Riddle’s Court on the Lawnmarket, they have
Festive Shopping Nights (Tue 19–Fri 22 Nov) while the Grassmarket is home to a Festive Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 23 Nov–28 Dec while their non-festive markets kick off on 4 Jan. And the Grassmarket Hogmanay Market occurs between Sat 28 Dec–Thu 2 Jan.
Mimi’s Picnic Parlourr (250 Canongate, mimisbakehouse.com) is the new wing of Leith cake shop Mimi’s Bakehouse, while Avalanche (5 Grassmarket, avalancherecords. co.uk), is a popular old-fashioned record store. Victoria Street is the place to go for more quirky retail opportunities such as IJ Mellis cheesemongers (mellischeese.co.uk) while Demijohn (demijohn.co.uk) provides liquid deli delights.
BARS You might only be familiar with their beer’s brash image, but the Edinburgh bar owned by Scots brewing success story BrewDog (143 Cowgate, brewdog.com) is a
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The Royal McGregor (154 High Street, royalmcgregor. co.uk) is offering a Christmas menu and whisky tasting for £15–£35 between Mon 2–Tue 24 Dec while The Surgeon’s Hall (Nicolson Street) invites you to personalise your Christmas party. See surgeonshall.com/our-services/ christmas.aspx for full details. The Whiski Rooms (4, 6 & 7 North Bank Street, whiskirooms.co.uk) have an array of tasting sessions through the season for gin, chocolate and whisky, plus you could get ahead of the crowd to book up your Burns Night Supper on Sat 25 Jan. Broadsheet Bistro (12–26 St Giles Street, frasershospitality.com) has Christmas lunches at £29.95 and dinners at £34.95 including arrival drink and four-course meal and at Gran Caffè in the Signet Library (Parliament Square, thesignetlibrary.co.uk/ gran-caffe), you can get the Winter Warmer Cream Tea Special until the end of January, at £5.50 per person.
busy and welcoming joint in the heart of the city which offers real passion for their beer alongside a cheap but good-quality pizza menu. The Brass Monkey (14 Drummond Street, 556 1961) is a cult favourite (so culty it’s doesn’t need a website!) not least for a cosy backroom where it shows films. The pub now called The Holyrood 9a (9a Holyrood Road, theholyrood.co.uk) has gone through various incarnations but has surely now settled on the ideal formula of quality beer and gourmet burgers. Just along the road is Hemma (73 Holyrood Road, bodabar. com/hemma), which is ideal for anything from a quiet drink in sleek surroundings to a big party on the mezzanine floor. The name is Swedish for ‘at home’, just in case you were wondering.
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES At the Museum of Edinburgh (142 Canongate, edinburghmuseums.org.uk), come and learn more about your city with Foundation Edinburgh. A film shown in a blacked-out theatre, it takes the city’s story from pre-history right up to the present day. Up at the other
GHOSTLY GOINGS-ON The Christmas ghost story is a long-standing seasonal staple, so why not get your socks scared off with some ghoulish delights. The not very nice spirits of Christmas past are preparing to haunt your dreams at the Edinburgh Dungeon (thedungeons.com/edinburgh) on Market Street while you can meet up with the spectral likes of Mary King’s Daughter, The Poet or The Foul Clenger
Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
end of the Royal Mile lives Camera Obscura and World of Illusions (549 Castlehill, camera-obscura. co.uk) with five floors of interactive fun such as the magic gallery and rooftop experience. For fans of a dram, the Scotch Whisky Experience (354 Castlehill, scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk) has a 25th Anniversary Distillers’ Fair (Sun 29 Dec, noon; Mon 30 Dec, 6pm) with distillers from across the country meeting up to exchange some secrets of the heavenly spirit. down at the Real Mary King’s Close (realmarykingsclose. com) throughout the season. And over at Parliament Square, the City of the Dead Tours (cityofthedeadtours.com) will have you screaming all the way into 2014.
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RESTAURANTS ONDINE From crab to clams, and scallops to spoots, this intoxicating fish restaurant does the lot. 2 George IV Bridge, ondinerestaurant.co.uk PETIT PARIS A little taste of France here in this authentic venue as classic dishes (and an extensive wine list) dominate. 38–40 Grassmarket, petitparisrestaurant.co.uk
For art lovers lovers, the Fruitmarket Gallery (45 Market Street, fruitmarket.co.uk) is one of the finest and most innovative small galleries in the country and as part of their Louise Bourgeois exhibition, they bring us Wee Small Hours (Fri 29 Nov, 10pm) with lullabies, live drawing, screenings, refreshments and comfy rest areas all through the night. The event ends with a morning reading, coffee and croissants. Dovecot Studios (10 Infirmary Street, dovecotstudios.com) is a century-old tapestry studio with exhibition space, a shop and café and Talbot Rice (Old College, South Bridge, ed.ac.uk/about/ museums-galleries/talbot-rice) features distinctive programmes of Scottish and international artists. At the other end of the scale, The Queen’s Gallery (royalcollection. org.uk) at Palace of Holyroodhouse hosts a programme of changing exhibitions from the Royal Collection.
LITERARY HAUNTS Many areas can lay some claim to being the most literary part of Edinburgh, but the iconic Old Town might well have the strongest case.
The Scottish Storytelling Centre (43–45 High Street, tracscotland.org) is here, a vibrant hub of creativity which is keeping the song and story flame thoroughly alive during the festive season with some top-notch events. Among the highlights are The Jataka Tales of the Buddha’s Past Lives (Sat 23 Nov, 7pm), A Harvest of Songs from the Greig-Duncan folk song collection (Sat 30 Nov, 7.30pm) while the centre also hosts a St Andrew’s Day-based ceilidh (Tue 26 Nov, 2pm). Just across the road is the worldrenowned Canongate (14 High Street, canongate.tv) who have published everything from a Booker winner to the Bible while further down the street is the Scottish Poetry Library (5 Crichton’s Close, scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk), an adventurous haven of all things verse-related. Much of Book Week Scotland is happening around these parts, with spoken word and slam poetry merging at The Bongo Club (66 Cowgate, Sat 30 Nov, 7pm, thebongoclub.co.uk) in the Dead Poets Slam. Kirsty Gunn is at the Central Library (7–9 George IV Bridge, Thu 28 Nov, 7pm, edinburgh.
MOTHER INDIA’S CAFÉ An inventive tapas-style approach to Indian cuisine has proved a winner since opening here five years ago. 3–5 Infirmary Street, motherindia.co.uk DAVID BANN For fans of vegetarian fine dining, Bann’s is still the go-to venue. 56–58 St Mary’s Street, davidbann. com THE GRAIN STORE Mindful of tourists as well as serious diners, this Scottish restaurant has created ingenious mains topped off with some decadent desserts. 30 Victoria Street, grainstore-restaurant.co.uk
gov.uk/libraries) to discuss her novel The Big Music and there’s more literary open mic doings at The Tun (4 Jackson’s Entry, Sat 30 Nov, 6pm) with an evening of shared stories from the LGBT community in Speak Out. There are second-hand bookshops by the yard on West Port, just off the Grassmarket, but if pushed we’d pick the lively, coffee shop-inclusive Pulp Fiction (41–43 Bread Street, pulp-books.co.uk) as a favourite. And it’s hard to recommend the smart, design-focused bookshop Analogue (39 Candlemaker Row, analoguebooks.co.uk) highly enough. winterinedinburgh.com
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RESTAURANTS BEIRUT As the city’s first Lebanese restaurant, this charismatic and reasonablypriced venue offers delicious Middle Eastern dishes. 24 Nicolson Square, beirutrestaurant.co.uk FIELD An excellent menu provides fine Scottish cuisine at less than sky-high prices. 41 West Nicolson Street, fieldrestaurant.co.uk KALPNA A vegetarian restaurant which dispels all the myths about Indian food and serves up one imaginative dish after another. 2–3 St Patrick’s Square, kalpnarestaurant.com
The area of the city which houses the majority of Edinburgh’s student populace, the Southside is a mecca for culture lovers and architecture buffs. Stretching up Lothian Road, a bird’s eye view will show that it’s dominated by the vast green space of The Meadows. Just off it is the Quartermile with cafes, a gym and beauty salon plus plush office space and accommodation. The Southside is also home to some wonderful cultural mythology: a couple of cafés lay claim to being the venue where JK Rowling scribbled the first Harry Potter book and the boys from Nirvana made their mark here before they became world-famous.
SHOPPING It might be small, but The Wee Boulangerie (67 Clerk Street, theweeboulangerie.co.uk) is fast gaining a reputation as one of the finest artisan baker’s and pastry shops in the entire city, while those with a sweet tooth will not be able to resist being drawn towards
The Chocolate Tree (123 Bruntsfield Place, the-chocolate-tree. co.uk), well-known for its organic, bean-to bar speciality chocolate.
BARS The trend for craft brewing and real ale bars has hit Edinburgh in a big way, and none is more committed
than The Hanging Bat (133 Lothian Road, thehangingbat. com), which sells six cask, 14 keg and many bottled lines. The Southern Bar (22–26 South Clerk Street, thesouthern. co.uk) has been given a smart makeover, with an extensive craft beer selection to go with the equally varied burger menu.
SPECIAL PLACES Word Power Books (43–45 West Nicolson Street, word-power.co.uk) is a shop with a heart and conscience and runs the Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair. If you are looking for cultural venues that pretty much cover the gamut of artistic endeavours, then Summerhall (1 Summerhall, summerhall.co.uk), positively thrives all year-round while the Festival Theatre (13–29 Nicolson Street, edtheatres.com/ festival) is an Edinburgh institution. And The Meadows is one of Edinburgh’s most iconic parks, perfect for a romantic wintery stroll.
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MUSIC + FILM x DRAMA = FUN Usher Hall
THE BOOTLEG BEATLES A leading light for great writing, the Traverse Theatre (10 Cambridge Street, traverse.co.uk) has long played a key role in Scotland’s drama scene, celebrating everyone from established names to emerging writers. Try and catch Ciara (Tue 3–Sat 21 Dec, 7.30pm, matinee Sat 2.30pm). Royal Lyceum Theatre (30b Grindlay Street, lyceum.org.uk) has established itself as a go-to venue for quality plays, and their festive offering is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (Thu 28 Nov–Sat 4 Jan, times vary). There really is nothing quite like the panto at the King’s Theatre (2 Leven Street, edtheatres. com/kings) and Peter Pan (Sat 30 Nov–Sun 19 Jan, times vary) is this year’s show, while at the revamped Usher Hall (Lothian Road, usherhall. co.uk), there’s the RSNO’s Nutcracker (Fri 6 Dec, 7.30pm). Among the highlights at The Queen’s Hall (85–89 Clerk Street, thequeenshall.net) are An Evening of Music with Alexander McCall Smith (Tue 10 Dec, 7.30pm) and Dunedin Consort giving us Handel’s ‘Messiah’ (Fri 20 Dec, 7.30pm). Adding to the sense that Lothian Road is an up and coming area is the presence of The Picture House (31 Lothian Road, mamacolive. com/thepicturehouse), one of the best mid to large-scale gig venues in the city. Among those adding to the seasonal fun are Travis (Sun 17 Nov), Basement Jaxx (Mon 2 Dec) and Tenacious D (Sun 15 Dec). Film fans have the esteemed Filmhouse (88 Lothian Road, filmhousecinema.com) blazing the trail for arthouse movies while just up the road is the Cameo (38 Home Street, picturehouses. co.uk) which continues to merge the indie cutting edge with more mainstream fare.
THE SIXTEEN at Christmas
CHRISTMAS WITH THE RAT PACK Live from Las Vegas
THE SCOTTISH FIDDLE ORCHESTRA For info and to book usherhall.co.uk | 0131 228 1155
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PING ON This long-standing and popular Chinese restaurant does the simple things very, very well indeed. 26–32 Deanhaugh Street, pingonrestaurant.co.uk THE PANTRY Quirky decor and finesse on the plate provides a fresh new addition into the area’s eateries. 1–2 North West Circus Place, thepantryedinburgh.co.uk EARTHY It may be a relative rarity, but seasonal, organic wholefood market / café experiences don’t come much better than this. 1–6 Canonmills Bridge, earthy.uk.com
I calls It ll iitself lf a village ill and dS Stockbridge kb id certainly i l h has all ll the h charm and attractiveness of a comforting community. Young professionals and decades-long residents co-mingle in this delightful pocket at the bottom of the New Town, which stretches all the way to the plush realm of the Botanic Gardens. The Water of Leith makes its way through this area which also houses the ancient water mills of Dean Village. Charity shops, independent retailers and a wide range of restaurants, cafés and bars give this area such a strong character.
promise of tranquil sanctuary sealed through reflexology, head massage and microdermabrasion.
Bastion of old-school vinyl record shopping Voxbox Music (21 St Stephen Street, voxboxmusic. BARS co.uk) is a relatively recent addition to the area, as too is Dick’s (3 Two Michelin-starred chefs bring you North West Circus Place, the ‘public house with dining’ ethos dicks-edinburgh.co.uk), of The Scran & Scallie a bonanza of specialist (1 Comely Bank Road, In 2009, was clothing, accessories scranandscallie.com), Stockbridge for and homewares. which pretty much gives shortlisted ‘GREAT Floatarium the ‘gastro-pub’ a good RHOOD name. Cocktails are the Spa (29 North NEIGHBOU EAR’ OF THE Y my of thing at The Last Word West Circus Place, by the Academ edinburghfloatarium. Saloon (44 St Stephen Urbanis co.uk) is a more familiar Street, lastwordsaloon.com), site to long-standing a low-lit refuge from the crazy Stocky-watchers with its world outside, allowing you to dig
in to unusual mixers such as chilli jam and thyme-infused honey.
SPECIAL PLACES If the conditions are right, there really is nowhere quite like the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (20a Inverleith Row, rbge.org.uk) to enjoy a leisurely walk or have your eyes opened to the joys of nature. This year, you have a chance to Meet Santa at the Botanics (Fri 13–Tue 24 Dec, 10.30am) featuring storytelling and, yes, some presents. Stockbridge Market (Saunders Street / Kerr Street, stockbridgemarket.com) is a focal point for residents and outsiders with a feast of artisan breads, soap, gourmet dog treats, French cheeses, a wide range of olives, Tweed Valley organics and, honestly, much much more. The history of Dean Village (edinburgh-stockbridge.com/deanvillage) can be traced back to the early 12th century and its deep valley is a riot of stone carvings, waters and ancient buildings.
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(23–24 Sandport Place, roseleaf. co.uk) might be the only place in town to serve a cocktail in a china pot, while up town, the vivid interior of Treacle Bar (39–41 Broughton Street, treacleedinburgh.co.uk) is matched by its joie de vivre attitude to food and drink.
Leith & Broughton Street
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As far as iconic areas go, they don’t come more legendary than Leith and Broughton Street. A wholesale regeneration hasn’t robbed Leith of its earthy qualities and many different people now enjoy the various delights on offer. With its I Heart Leith celebrity banners, curio shops and diverse range of cafés, restaurants and bars, a stroll up Leith Walk is a day out in itself. Much artistic, educational and social endeavours take place in Out of the Blue Drill Hall while Leith Links is home to football and festivals. Broughton Street is the gateway between the New Town and the city centre and offers an adventure of old-school pubs, contemporary delis, hair salons, fashion designers, natural food shops and purveyors of chocolate.
SHOPPING An institution among book lovers for almost 60 years, McNaughtan’s Bookshop (3a & 4a Haddington Place, mcnaughtansbookshop. com) is ideal whether you’re on the look-out for a special present or fancy a rummage. There are some great clothes and interiors shops around Broughton Street like the wonderfully unique Life Story (53 London Street, lifestoryshop.com), while a little further off the beaten track is 70s-style retro interiors
store Junkadelic (274 Leith Walk, junkadelic.co.uk).
BARS You don’t have to look far to find a great pub in Leith and one recent opening is well worth flagging up: The Vintage (60 Henderson Street, thevintageleith.co.uk) is a classy but informal rising star of the drink scene, offering great brunch menus alongside an impressive beer selection. An idiosyncratic and compact pub, The Roseleaf
Standing proud as one of the best points from which to see the city below, the Nelson Monument (Calton Hill, edinburghmuseums.org. uk) offers up some of Edinburgh’s most impressive vistas. The Royal Yacht Britannia (Ocean Drive, royalyachtbritannia.co.uk) is the former floating home of the Windsors, and offers great insight into the voyages and life that it played host to, with self-guided audio tours to educate and a Tea Room to replenish. And if you have a few hours to kill, the walkway along the Water of Leith (waterofleith.org.uk/walkway) is one of the city’s most iconic walks.
RESTAURANTS MITHAS A fine dining Indian restaurant with few rivals in the city, this offers an original and irresistible menu. 7 Dock Place, mithas.co.uk THE KITCHIN A Michelinstarred treat awaits your palate in this converted whisky bonded warehouse. 78 Commercial Quay, thekitchin. com SMOKE STACK Superior steaks, burgers, fish, sandwiches and salads are order of the day in this ever-popular North American eaterie. 53–55 Broughton Street, smokestack.org.uk
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Around the City
RESTAURANTS BIA BISTROT An excellent brasserie with sumptuous attention to detail, matching each meal with the perfect drink accompaniment. 19 Colinton Road, biabistrot.co.uk ST JOHNS CURRY CLUB An under-appreciated gem of Indian cuisine, the mixed sabzi tikka pasanda is to die for. 100 St John’s Road, stjohnscurryclub.co.uk NONNA’S KITCHEN A familyrun Italian giving the traditional a firm twist with its specials list particularly impressive. 45 Morningside Road, nonnaskitchen.co.uk
Penguins doing their thing at Edinburgh Zoo
There are plenty people who live in any of the areas previously explored who might just fancy doing a bit of wandering around Edinburgh (and slightly beyond). Exciting sights are plentiful to behold once you step outside the heart of town, from Edinburgh Zoo to Portobello Beach and Dalkeith to South Queensferry.
PUBS 1360 was the year in which The Sheep Heid (43–45 The Causeway, thesheepheidedinburgh.co.uk) first opened and still retains its country pub feel: plus it has Scotland’s oldest surviving skittle alley. The Blue Goose Country Pub (27 Lanark Road, thebluegoosecountrypub.co.uk) offers some excellent views from comfy armchairs and has a quirky interior. Open to everyone (including your pooch), The Espy (62–64 Bath Street, 669 0082) has an antipodean feel and is bolstered by an area for DJ and film nights.
CHURCH SERVICES For those looking to celebrate the season in traditional style, there are plenty options for carols and calm.
The historical setting of St Giles’ Cathedral (High Street, stgilescathedral.org.uk) is a wonderful way to ease your way through the festive season as they put on H Lessons and Carols on bike a op on a Sun 22 Dec and the St John’s Scottish parts nd see som o e you n f Edinburgh Watchnight Service on Episcopal ever k ne existe Christmas Eve. Further Church (Princes d with w afield, Polwarth Parish Street, stjohnsLE TO EDIN UR Church (36–38 Polwarth edinburgh.org.uk) (letour- BURGH edinbu Terrace, polwarth.org. provides a peaceful rgh.com ) uk) houses the 50-strong haven with their Cadenza amateur mixed Midnight Service (Tue voice choir (Sat 14 Dec, 7.30pm). 24 Dec, 11.15pm). There’s a roster of weekend worship, music and meditations services at St AULD HOOSES Andrew’s & St George’s West Church (13–17 George Street, The last private owner of standrewsandstgeorges.org.uk), Lauriston Castle (2a Cramond including Carols at Six (Fri 20 Dec, Road South, Davidson’s Mains, 6pm) and the Watchnight Service (Tue edinburghmuseums.org.uk) left 24 Dec, 11.30pm). in 1926 and a trip there really is St Cuthbert’s Church (5 Lothian like stepping back in time. Over Road, st-cuthberts.net) injects some at Hopetoun House (South festive flavour with people’s favourite Queensferry, hopetoun.co.uk), there’s the Scottish Sinfonia Concert (Sun a feast of events including the ever24 Nov, 7.45pm) and Gustav Holst’s popular Christmas Shopping Fair (Fri largest orchestral suite ‘The Planets’. 15–Sun 17 Nov, 10am).
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Come face-to-face with over 500 years of history this Winter Open daily
Dating from 1446, Rosslyn Chapel took over 40 years to complete. The beauty of its setting and the mysterious symbolism of its ornate stonework have inspired, intrigued and attracted visitors ever since.
Last admission 30 mins before closing
Rosslyn Chapel Chapel Loan Roslin EH25 9PU Tel 0131 440 2159 Just seven miles from Edinburgh city centre and easily accessible by taxi or bus.
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Back to the future The excitement in Edinburgh just keeps on coming. Here are a few highlights for early 2014 PHOTO © ROYAL NATIONAL THEATRE & BRINKHOFF MÖGENBURG
© BRUCE MUNRO STUDIO
FIELD OF LIGHT
Using 6000 acrylic tubes containing optical fibres, designer Bruce Munro has created a work that illuminates its natural surroundings with a spectrum of colour. He came up with the concept while travelling through Australia’s Red Desert, and the piece has previously appeared at such diverse locations as Cornwall’s Eden Project and Harvey Nichols in London. ■ St Andrew Square, Mon 3 Feb–Sun 27 Apr, fieldoflight.co.uk
The National Theatre production of Michael Morpurgo’s epic tale of a young man and his beloved horse arrives in Edinburgh with expectations as high as they can go. Life-sized puppets of galloping horses, stirring music and perfect storytelling are the ingredients that have made this tale of courage, loyalty and friendship a universal hit. ■ Festival Theatre, Wed 22 Jan–Sat 15 Feb, edtheatres.com/warhorse © PALEOART.COM
MAMMOTHS OF THE ICE AGE
SIX NATIONS RUGBY
Created by The Field Museum in Chicago and making its UK debut here, this spectacular interactive exhibition takes us millions of years back in time to the age of the woolly mammoth. Meet Lyuba, an astonishingly detailed replica of a 42,000-year-old baby mammoth and learn why humans have been so fascinated by these creatures. ■ National Museum of Scotland, Fri 24 Jan–Sun 20 Apr, nms.ac.uk
After finishing third in 2013’s Six Nations, behind Wales and England, Scotland will be looking to consolidate and perhaps even improve on that position. There are just two games on home turf this year: the Calcutta Cup clash with England coming up in February, and a battle with the wooden spoonclutching French ahead in March. ■ Murrayfield Stadium, Sat 8 Feb, Sat 8 Mar, scottishrugby.org
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EDINBURGH GETS HOT THIS CHRISTMAS!
A THRILLING NEW
CUS-CABARET E X TRAV Daily Telegraph AGANZA’
★★★★★ ‘SENSATION AL…
DON’T MISS IT’
★★★★ ‘GRABS YOU B Y THE
SEAT OF YOUR PA NTS!’
‘SEXY AND SENSATIONAL... YOU CAN’T TAKE
YOUR EYES OFF IT ’
THE SHOW SO HOT, MADONNA SAW IT TWICE. 22 NOVEMBER - 4 JANUARY ST ANDREW SQUARE LIMBOTHESHOW.COM Presented by Underbelly Productions, Strut & Fret Production House and Southbank Centre
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