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Winter Walks around the Dean Estate

Sunday, 15 January 2017


Back in August 2015 I attended a very insightful talk by Christopher Fleet and Daniel McCannell about their book Mapping Edinburgh at the Edinburgh Book Festival.  Edinburgh has such a rich history - for example, the entire area we live in is a conservation area and every street has a fascinating history.

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Loch Venachar

Saturday, 7 January 2017


After a quiet New Year's Day at home and around our neighbourhood, we ventured on day trip to the Trossachs the following day. I know the areas around Stirlingshire and Forth Valley through work so we thought we'd try and do something near there - on cue Ed found Venachar Lochside.

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Sunny Day in St. Monans

Sunday, 1 January 2017


We've been having a rather low key Christmas period to recover from a roller-coaster 2016. The day after boxing day got us wanting a little change of scenery and we went on an impromptu drive to the fishing village of St. Monan's in East Neuk. We knew nothing about St. Monan's and yet it was one of the loveliest little places we've visited in a while. And with a great wee restaurant too!

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Kaiseki in Kyoto

Saturday, 31 December 2016


One of our favourite dining experiences in Japan was Kaiseki - traditional Japanese haute cuisine. Kaiseki of tends to be quite expensive and as we'd already indulged in a number of 'experience' meals, it wasn't on the cards. That was until we walked around Gion, worked up a massive appetite and decided on impulse that we would after all try it the multi-course meal. Kaiseki restaurants in Gion, we were informed, can seem a bit impenetrable due to Japanese only menus and a sometimes cool attitude towards foreigners. Gion Karyo, we read was not only more relaxed but also (by Kaiseki standards) more affordable.

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Dishoom Edinburgh

Thursday, 29 December 2016


Given my background, I'm not a big fan of Indian restaurants in the UK as they very rarely replicate good wholesome Indian food.  Dishoom is different - it is authentic and not in a tourist trappy way and is a big hit with a lot of my London mates.  I was absolutely delighted when I heard that Dishoom was coming to Edinburgh and a blogger event (thanks Jen at LUX) meant I got to sample some of its delights before the crowds hit. That said, I've been back at Dishoom almost twice weekly with the family or friends and thought I'd share my 'insights'!

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Flying Through Edinburgh

Monday, 19 December 2016


Until very recently, I was flying in and out of Edinburgh Airport more often than I'd have liked (especially when it wasn't on holiday.) I believe in making the most of every situation and I'd worked a certain shopping (including window version) drill for airport sanity. Edinburgh Airport has an excellent array of shops all offering at least 20% off on retail prices so shopping is quite satisfying. So, when I was asked if I'd help showcase Edinburgh airport's offerings for the holiday and gifting season, I happily obliged - I'd already had a list at my fingertips!

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Havana - A Photo Essay

Monday, 12 December 2016


Back in June we ventured out to Cuba - a country at the cusp of significant change. The Rolling Stones had performed earlier in the year and Chanel showcased their 16/17 cruise collection. The first cruise ship (in over five decades) arrived from the USA just a couple of weeks before we got there. However, the average Cuban is rather cynical about all this change. Now with Fidel Castro's death, I wonder if more genuine change is afoot. Here is a selection of some of my favourite Havana snapshots to help with that reflection...

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Lunch at Badger & Co, Edinburgh

Sunday, 20 November 2016



I recently had the pleasure of being invited to Badger & Co for a meal. A short walk home, we opted for a leisurely Sunday lunch to check out the restaurant's offerings. Having walked past the establishment several times, I expected it to be a dark speakeasy style place. and not especially family friendly. I was pleasantly surprised.

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Edinburgh Food Studio

Sunday, 24 July 2016


Edinburgh is an exciting place - and especially so if you're a foodie. Innovative restaurants with curious new dining concepts are spawning all the time. I read about the Edinburgh Food Studio a couple of weeks ago during my weekend newspaper round-up and it sounded interesting enough that my friends Emma R and Emma B from Edinburgh Feasts and Edin Bug were happy to go along and check it out. 

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Berlin -Part 1

Tuesday, 17 May 2016


Berlin is a gentle giant with a dark past. It is remarkably quiet (i.e. in decibels) compared to the likes of London or Paris and vast - very vast. It is edgy yet mature and I was amazed by how polite Berliners were (even if one of them tried to con me!).

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Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Tuesday, 3 May 2016


We've been hoping to visit Lindisfarne (of Lindisfarne Gospels fame and an important place for Celtic Christianity) for a long while but the weather, tides and our diaries just didn't seem to work in sync. The glorious weather (by Northern standards anyway) over the Easter bank holiday weekend gave us the perfect opportunity to explore the Holy Island. We studied the tide tables which provided us with a good window to explore the island - this is very important unless you don't mind being stranded for hours.

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Gozo and Comino

Sunday, 3 April 2016


Gozo means 'joy' in castilian and I can think of many reasons why the island's Spanish invaders thought it was a joyful place. A short sail from the Maltese mainland, Gozo is the second largest island within the archipelago. It is smaller and sleepier - both of which adds to its charm. Comino is a tiny island near Gozo and is surrounded by stunningly turquoise waters and worth visiting en-route to or on the way back from Gozo.
 

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