I'm Liz Gill from Edinburgh. I've been Qyping since 23-11-2009
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Liz Gill's Qype profile
56-58 St Mary's Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1SX
Firstly, the service. In my experience the wait-staff are super awesome -- obviously there's some rigorous staff training because they all have *impeccable* manners, and personally I think the service approach is more like a big hotel (Balmoral or similar) than a restaurant of this type usually has. It's above and beyond, really great. I mean, they always make sure you have a replenished water jug on the table, you're never sat for too long with empty plates cluttered in front of you, and if you have questions about what's vegan, what contains nuts or anything else dietary, they *never* have to say 'oh wait, let me check' -- they are extremely knowledgeable about every single dish, all the wines... I genuinely have no idea how anyone can fault the service. What?!?!
Obviously, carnivores (yay, dead animal flesh and pus! Woo!) will be disappointed here, but for vegans the choice is AMAZING. Seriously -- it's not just pasta with olive oil or a baked potato like we're used to. There are actually starters and desserts that vegans can eat! And wines that vegans can drink! The dishes are all creative and original and delicious. In other restaurants I'm sometimes a bit apprehensive about trying new things, but at Bann's I will try anything they put on the menu with total confidence, because I know it is guaranteed to be delicious.
Literally my only fault with this place is that they could change the menu a bit more often. But then... my veggie partner was DISTRAUGHT when they took the chocolate souffle off the menu for a while, so maybe the old favourites stick around due to popular demand!
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE -- if you haven't yet, go there now!
23c Dundas street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH3 6QQ
I lived in a Merchant property for a year, June to June. At the end of October, the boiler packed up and the hot water stopped working. Merchant sent in a few different tradesmen to look at it, all of whom sent for 'a part' which every time mysteriously disappeared and had to be re-ordered (which of course took weeks), then failed to solve the problem. For a while, the boiler broke down entirely and for two weeks IN FEBRUARY we were entirely without heating or hot water. In all, we were without hot water for over SEVEN MONTHS. In April, I finally lost my temper with one of the tradesmen Merchant sent round, and demanded to know what the heck the problem was. He confessed to me that Merchant had told his team that they should patch up the problem as best they could but not do anything too drastic, as they (Merchant) wanted to wait until we moved out in June to replace the boiler! They had known FOR SEVEN MONTHS that the boiler needed to be replaced and for seven months they deliberately left us without hot water, and sometimes, heating.
After hearing this from the tradesman I immediately complained to Merchant. They did apologise, and replaced the boiler, but by this time there were only a handful of weeks left on our lease, so we did not exactly feel the benefit. By way of apology, Merchant offered to meet with us in the flat, and we were told the director of the company would attend this meeting. However, the director SAT OUTSIDE IN HIS CAR and sent one of the letting agents to talk to us. This letting agent -- utterly shockingly -- told us that the boiler had not been fixed for so long because '[the admin lady] is terminally ill.' He genuinely blamed one of their members of staff for not sorting the problem out 'because she was terminally ill.' We were flabbergasted.
At this same meeting, the letting agent assessed the property and assured us that we would receive our deposit on the property back in full, minus a £50 charge for cleaning. However, unsurprisingly, we were charged over £100 for 'cleaning' of a flat which we had cleaned so well on moving out that you could have eaten your dinner off the floors. We complained again but I was told my a receptionist over the phone that the letting agent would never have quoted us £50, and we were clearly lying.
NEVER LET FROM THESE PEOPLE. EVER.
40a Queensferry Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH2 4RA
I went to Bar Roma for the first time a couple of weekends ago as a group of friends and I were in the area and unable to get a seat at Zizzi's or Pizza Express -- we had never tried this place before and (honestly -- sorry!) didn't really like the look of it, decor etc, but it was any port in a storm... we were hungry!
Anyway, our first impressions couldn't have been more wrong. Yes, the decor isn't everyone's cup of tea, but we were actually sat next to a huge mural that proved to be the talking-point of the night, so I can't complain too much! And everything else was great. We were assigned a specific waiter which is always nice -- he was very friendly and attentive, but not too attentive. We were given several different tables to choose from, even though it was a Saturday and quite busy, which was appreciated. The menu was very extensive with a great selection for veggies, and the food was all utterly delicious. The portions, if anything, are a bit too much, but that's hardly a major complaint! The food arrived surprisingly quickly given how busy it was and we had a great time. The price was pretty reasonable, too. I'd definitely recommend, and go back, any time.
45 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1BS
Yay! A new vintage shop in Edinburgh! I was so excited to go and visit the Frayed Hem, and I was not disappointed. It fits beautifully on Cockburn Street and is so pretty with its hand painted sign. Inside, more awesome: a great selection of clothing and accessories with a good-sized men's section, which is often not the case. It's decorated very nicely and laid out well -- you don't find yourself falling over displays or other customers as you can sometimes in other Edinburgh vintage places like Armstrongs. And the lady who was behind the counter when I went in -- I think her name is Nina -- was very pleasant, too... a very stylish girl for a start, super friendly and helpful. I think The Frayed Hem is going to be a regular haunt!
38 Comely Bank, Edinburgh, Scotland EH4 1AG
I live not far from this Waitrose and totally love it. Thanks to their new Waitrose essentials range it is now possible to buy affordable groceries there, and I do so pretty often. It's the best supermarket in my neck of the woods I think -- if you want anything off-the-wall, they are pretty much guaranteed to have it. For example, I was recently looking for edible gold leaf to decorate a cake, and I was assured by fellow cake-decorating friends that I'd need a specialist cake shop for that. I popped into Waitrose and had a look just in case, and they had it! That hasn't been my only eureka! moment, either!
Also, I'm still surprised sometimes by how affordable they actually are -- it depends what you're buying, but mostly they're OK... and if you do pay a bit more, you get a bit more in terms of quality. I should also mention the Comely Bank branch's utterly lovely staff. They are always ready to help, they are very highly trained and super polite, and they actually want to have a wee bit banter with you -- it's like going into a small local business, it's lovely. Particular shout-outs go to till staff Philip -- who is always super-friendly and ready to converse, as well as very careful -- and Ross, who is just a young Saturday boy (I think?), but very polite and helpful. Also Euan who works on the shop floor has helped me pick out a nice wine a time or two and is also lovely. Thanks guys!
1a Brougham Place, Edinburgh, Scotland EH3 9HW
25-11-2009 (updated on 10-03-2011)
I went to RH&B for my second tattoo, only a small one -- I was with two friends, a bloke and a girl, also being tattooed. My female friend was having two large tattoos done on her feet so all in all we were there for several hours. We were all tattooed by the same tattooist, Sarah, who was lovely -- we had a great chat with her and she didn't seem fazed by the fact that we all came along together/were hanging around for ages etc. Her tattoos were all really beautifully done, we were all chuffed with them, and the price was great too -- Sarah had also squeezed us in at v short notice which was great of her.
HOWEVER, when we came back upstairs to reception to pay/buy Tattoo Goo, it was a different story!! Two of the guys who worked there -- both tattooists I think though one was obviously on reception duty that day -- were REALLY unpleasant and sexist to my female friend and I. They were having a great chat with our male friend but whenever we spoke or tried to join in we were subjected to sexist crap from them. We were told we looked really tired from being tattooed and we obviously "couldn't take it" because we were women; they seemed to have some in-joke they kept referring to whenever we spoke, too. They also proceeded to explain tattoo aftercare to us literally in words of one syllable even though we told them we'd both been tattooed before and knew what to do. They were incredibly patronising and rude.
I'm really torn because I now want further tattoos and don't know whether to go back to RH&B or not. Sarah was fab, the studio is really clean and pleasant to be in and the tattoos she did for all of us kick ass. But I really don't want to be subjected to crap from the male tattooists again. It sucks!!
41 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH2 1EP
I'm glad other people have had less-than-good experiences with Eteaket. I'd never been before but it was my birthday (a big birthday), and I fancied going for afternoon tea somewhere cool with a bunch of mates. Since we all work, it would have to be a Saturday, so I called up to make a booking.
I was told that they don't take bookings on weekends. This may be because they are always crazily busy (the main reason I have never gone in before -- every time I've fancied it, the place as been packed), so they don't need to... but I was really disappointed. The woman on the phone asked about the size of my group (8 people -- and at £12 a head for afternoon tea we'd have spent a hell of a lot in their establishment), and then basically told me that we didn't stand a chance. "It's first come first served" was the message I was given. However, she then suggested we make the trip anyway, "just in case"!! Come on -- you either want my business, or you don't!
My advice? Pay the wee bit extra and have afternoon tea somewhere where the establishment takes a wee bit more care over customer's needs. The Balmoral, for example, do fabulous afternoon tea, are always happy to take bookings regardless of the day and would never say something like "it's first come first served" to a customer. I think Eteaket just blew any chances they had with this tea lover.
55A Frederick Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH2 1LH
Went to Rick's for the first time with an informal works night out recently and was really pleasantly surprised. We went for dinner on a Friday night and were seated in the conservatory at the back of the restaurant (there were 6 of us and we booked ahead), which is a bit quieter than the front but still lively and pleasant. We were treated fabulously by our waiter who was super-polite and very attentive all evening in spite of the fact that the place got really very busy. We all ordered main courses which were a little on the small side but absolutely gorgeous, really well cooked. Also had puddings which were to die for and totally decent value for money.
At the end of the meal we got the bill and were horrified to see that the 2-4-1 deal on meals does not apply on Fridays as we had been told. However, when we explained to the waiter he agreed to knock £40 off the bill! We were really chuffed with the service and treatment we received, the food was great, cocktails were fab (and come on? You want a really good cocktail, you have to pay six quid) and we all left very happy. I came away thinking it would be a great place to bring guests and I'll definitely be back.
43 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9DB
The best bookshop in Edinburgh, hands down. A fabulous selection of all sorts of stuff with a focus on Scottish lit and Scottish interest, politics and environment. Great poetry section -- best I've seen in any of the indie bookshops -- and lots of unusual stuff you won't find anywhere else. If you're hunting high and low for an obscure book, chances are they have it. They also have loads of cool gift-type things like calendars, notebooks, nick nacks -- a small but decent selection of zines and smaller publications too. Go there. Support them!
33 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9BE
City Restaurant holds a fond place in my heart -- the best sit-in chippy I've found in Edinburgh with a great selection of... everything you could want from a greasy spoon, really! The breakfasts are HUGE and great value for money -- you can change the selection and swap your haggis for mushrooms if you can't handle it first thing in the morning, or whatever -- there's also a veggie option. Then there's the usual "+chips" options with everything from fish to haggis to deep fried pizza. However, you can also get more 'normal' stuff like a HUGE plate of pasta, a healthy baked potato with a big choice of fillings, a salad or a filled roll. The atmosphere is quite nice though very informal -- great for people watching as you really get all sorts in there. Best thing about it is the service though -- the place is INCREDIBLY busy but the lovely waitresses (who are mostly Polish but all with very good English and always a big smile) are always happy to help and very friendly -- service is amazingly quick too. Good prices, and they stay open late. Love it!