I'm Nic from Edinburgh. I've been Qyping since 30-03-2008
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45 Lothian Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1HB
Nice, cosy, with a friendly atmosphere. And the prices are very reasonable too.
I ended up in Negociants a couple of weeks back for my birthday meal, and at £10 for two courses (in the evening) is very reasonable indeed. Now, be warned…unless you’re a rather big fan of rocket and balsamic vinegar (particularly the vinegar), this place may not be your cup o’ tea. I think that virtually everything that’s served in here comes with a good splash of the ol’ balsamic over the top. We didn’t order any desserts on this occasion, however I’m pretty confident that the desserts would have received the same treatment. We’d noticed the trend!
In addition to the more hearty main courses served, Negociants is great for offering lighter bites and snacks too. And there doesn’t seem to be a cut off point until which these are served either - so you could equally pick up a quick snack in the evening too.
My food was lovely, and thankfully, I’m a vinegar fan. For the price, it really is a good deal. Combine that with the relaxed, informal, and comfortable setting, and Negociants is certainly worth a visit.
30 Meadow Place Road, Edinburgh, Scotland EH12 7UQ
This Tesco store is worth every bit of the drive that I have to do to get to it. Despite the fact I have another Supermarket just around the corner from me.
Firstly, this store is open 24 hours - ideal if your life is a bit chaotic and you want to shop whenever the hell you want, not because you’re restricted by opening hours. That’s liberation for you!
Secondly, the shop is well stocked to cover most requirements…you can easily pick up stationery, toys, outdoor goods, kitchen items, home ware, electricals and clothing…all with your weekly food shop.
And finally, the selection of food is excellent! My main reason for shopping here is for the range of 'whole foods’ that they stock in this store - at very very reasonable prices. I’ve never yet found a supermarket which sells such an excellent range of these kind of goods. In fact, I’d head to this store for this alone (and frequently do).
Tesco is incredibly competitive price-wise, and combined with the 'Clubcard Points’ on offer, this is a great incentive to shop here.
Excellent prices, excellent range of products, open 24 hours…plenty of excuses to shop in Tesco Corstorphine.
15 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH2 2EY
This bar is a little too pretentious for my liking.
For a Saturday night, the bar tenders were a little too concerned with spinning and throwing bottles about (clearly trying to impress), and caring little about the fact that the bar was several people deep in queues.
Add to the fact that I nipped out for a cigarette and had my [almost full] pint taken away in my absence. I wasn’t too pleased to say the least!
I don’t think I’m likely to go back.
127-137 High Street, Dunfermline, Scotland KY12 7BE
Well, having spent £50 today, I’ve managed to walk away from Primark with a new coat, two pairs of jeans, two bags, a pair of PJs, some shoes, a pack of three pairs of tights and a pack of hairbands. Where else could you possibly get this much for your money?
I wouldn’t say I was a 'fashionista’ necessarily (well, not totally), but my tastes do change very frequently. So I begrudge forking out a fortune on designer and brand name clothing for something that I’m probably not going to be interested in wearing the following season. Primark suits me perfectly for this reason. Whilst this may go against the 'eco-friendly’ side of my personality [who wishes that my tastes weren’t quite so changeable and disposable], but it’s true. What makes me feel a bit better about this is the fact that Primark now has a new 'ethical’ code of conduct in the supply of their clothing.
Anyway, I digress. There is currently no Primark store in Edinburgh, so I’ll regularly make the trip to Dunfermline specifically for this purpose. It’s a decent sized store - the ground level floor is taken up, for the most part by women’s clothing and homewares (yes, you can pick up a duvet set on the cheap here too), whilst the lower floor is stocked with men’s and children’s clothing.
If you’re of average shoe size (around size 5 for women, as I am), then expect to struggle to buy shoes…I’ve frequently found shoes that I like in the shop, only to pull every single pair off the shelves and find them in just tiny sizes (3 and 4) or in gigantic sizes (for women anyway), in size 7 or 8. They don’t seem to purchase enough stock in the more 'regular’ sizes.
You can also pick up some excellent accessories in the form of jewellery or handbags for very very cheap. And I’ve even been complimented whilst wearing them. Of course, I’m no good at keeping schtum, and instead find myself blurting out “oh, I got that for just £2 in Primark”. I should maybe have just kept quiet about that.
If you’re looking for top quality clothing, then Primark really wouldn’t be your first port of call. But if you’re looking for decent clothing at a price that’s very affordable, then Primark’s definitely worth a look. Of course, the range of goods varies from season to season, so it’s very hit and miss…but keep an eye out and you can pick up some great bargains!
32 Trinity CR, Edinburgh, Scotland EH5 3EE
I’d give this place 5 stars if I was rating it on its view. It’s lovely to sit there and look out over the water. And the pub itself looks beautifully quaint sitting on the waterfront.
But the food? Well to be honest, the least said about it, the better. So I’ll keep this brief. Greasy, overcooked, microwave style and completely unappetising. To be honest, I’d sooner eat in a fast food joint - the food would probably make Michelin star quality by comparison. And I HATE fast food.
To add to my overall distaste for the place, we were shoved out into the conservatory since we had a child with us. Now when I say 'conservatory’...you’re probably thinking warm, cosy, luxury…? Try cold, bare, lacking in soul and personality. They may as well have stuck us into a garden shed for all of the character this place possessed. A lick of paint, and some decent furnishings and decoration wouldn’t go amiss. And since we were the only people in there, our voices were virtually echoing around the place.
This pub 'could’ be great. It certainly needs to up the ante with its food several notches first, and it most definitely needs to fix the conservatory area. For a pub looking so full of character from the outside, I felt like we were entering some inversely opposite parallel universe as soon as we walked into the place!
2 Warriston's Close, High Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1PG
I can’t comment on the tours run at Mary King’s Close (since I’ve never actually done one), however I have actually spent the night down there (I’m hardcore!!). Yes, an overnight vigil down the Close.
I’m a bit of a fan of the paranormal, so Mary King’s Close seemed the ideal location for a spot of ghost hunting. And yes, it was certainly interesting!
It’s dark, a bit damp, dusty, a bit eery (so if you’re put off by that kind of thing, then this really isn’t the place for you). But it’s well worth a visit if you’re interested in finding out more about Edinburgh’s past. The history behind Mary King’s Close is fascinating, but you’re better off going along and getting the spiel from those who know the full story behind it.
'Annie’s Room’ is a room supposedly haunted by the ghost of a young child, and there’s a bit of a shrine dedicated to her where people leave her toys to play with. There’s the 'plague room’ which, to be honest I found rather creepy…nothing to do with being down there in the pitch black with only an EMF meter and a digital thermometer for company - but it was more to do with the life-like figures positioned around the room which looked incredibly sinister in the dark.
'Andrew Chesney’s House’, when I visited was out of bounds to the public (due to the arsenic in the wallpaper), however I got to spend some time in here and experienced some rather strange occurrences. This was the only place in the Close where I did experience anything unusual. I think that this room may now be open to the public, and if this is the case, I’d definitely recommend a visit.
I’ve never experienced the 'costumed tour guides’, having not done the tour itself. However, this for me, would tarnish the experience slightly. I’m not so interested in reenactments and the 'jumper ooters’ which a lot of the Edinburgh tours seem popular for. I’m more interested in the locations themselves and their history.
Mary King’s Close is an excellent location, packed with stories and history, and well worth a visit if you’re interested in that particular kind of thing.
2 Camphill Avenue, Glasgow, Scotland G41 3AY
I ended up here rather unexpectedly after a walk around the local park. A pub was in sight, so the temptation of a quick pint post-walk proved too much of a lure.
I’m glad we did however. An order of a pint quickly extended to a lunch order too, and the food was delicious! The nachos we ordered as a starter weren’t of your 'bag’ variety. These nachos were homemade and delicious. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been served homemade nachos before, so this was a treat. I ordered vegetarian haggis as a main course (a favourite of mine), and I’d most definitely eat this again - haggis with buttery mash and swede accompanied by seasonal veg, and topped with a whisky cream sauce and sauteed leeks. Mmmmm.
The bar area itself felt fresh, modern and comfortable. A small conservatory area extended the bar area well, and there was a limited amount of outdoor seating too (although watch out for the wasps!).
Expect good food and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. This place is definitely worth a visit!
Dunbar, Scotland EH42 1SA
Well, having spent a weekend here, I’d definitely go back. However for a five star site? Well, it’s not quite as luxurious as I’d expected.
On arrival, everything appeared to work out well. We’d been allocated a tent pitch which was absolutely tiny. Nowhere near big enough to pitch the monster of a tent that I own. However a quick call to the office meant we were allocated a new pitch…a huge one! So, complete with electric hook up and all…we were happy. In fact, I’d go so far as to say we’d been offered the best (and biggest) pitch on the site. Yes, we were very happy!
It was that evening when we attempted to enter the female toilets that we encountered our first trauma however. For a £5 deposit, we’d been given a toilet and shower room key…but we couldn’t get it to turn in the female toilet lock. Now, after consuming muchos cider (a welcome reward after having spent multiple hours pitching the huge tent and luxury furnishings which we’d strapped to the roof of the car), we really COULDN’T cross our legs until the following morning until the office opened again to resolve our key issue. However it turned perfectly within the mens’ toilets…so into the mens’ we plodded. We were caught out whilst trying to escape when a bloke tried to enter, however he took it in good humour and we escaped unscathed. We later figured out that the key DID work in the womens’ toilets, however a certain insert/pull/turn knack was required. Ahem.
After a rainy night, and a couple of kids who’d decided an early morning trip to the football pitch was in order, we acquired a set of VERY muddy clothes. Okay, so this is where we tested out the laundry room. Insert money. Done. Turn the dial to the correct setting. Ermmmm…nothing. The machine didn’t switch on, and our clothes were locked into the machine. A two hour wait for the 'technician’ (who didn’t seem to have a clue) to arrive and try to fix the problem ensued. And if it weren’t for the fact that another guest who’d come into the laundry room to wash his dishes hadn’t suggested kicking the machine a few times, we could well have spent the entire afternoon in there too (as if wasting a whole morning in there wasn’t enough). Technical business, eh? We were later advised that there was a better quality laundry room at the entrance to the site…but this information was given a little too late.
Oh, and I should maybe mention the fact that the hairdryer in the womens’ toilets decided not to work anymore after the very first day. Five star luxury, indeed.
The on-site shop was very well equipped however. I was very impressed by this. It wasn’t your bog standard camp site shop…it was large, well stocked, and perfect for picking up those essentials that you’d missed.
The family entertainment lounge was mediocre to say the least. We didn’t venture into here of an evening - however there was entertainment provided over the weekend. But the layout and decor felt bland, uninspired, and not all that welcoming. This was a bit of a disappointment as the building looked very appealing from the outside. It had a bit of a school dinner hall type atmosphere. The camp site became deserted of an evening however, so we can only assume that the evening entertainment made up for this - everybody seemed to venture along there. The fact that you had to pay extra to go into the entertainment complex of an evening was rather disappointing however. We’d have hoped that our site fees and passes would have covered this.
Hot water in the showers was plentiful, and the toilet block was kept well maintained.
Thurston Manor is a friendly, family run holiday park, and is definitely worth a visit, however I wouldn’t give it the five stars that it’s been allocated. For that rating, I’d expect the facilities (such as the washing machines and hair dryers) to actually work. The staff were very amenable however, and the layout of the site was ideal, so I’d still very happily go back.
49 Rose Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH2 2NH
An excellent little bar to add to the 'rock bar’ scene in Edinburgh.
Despite the short time that it’s been open, it certainly does seem to have pulled in a few of the older punters on the 'scene’ as regulars - which is no mean feat. It’s certainly not an easy task to get folk to change their regular hangout!
If you’re hoping for a seat, you really do need to get there early on in the night as this place really does get busy. There’s a little bit of outdoor seating available during the day if you’re lucky enough to catch Edinburgh when it’s sunny and were hoping to make the most of the rays.
Oh, and as a piece of advice…avoid the shooters. Especially the absinthe one. Evil. I need say no more. I managed to lose an hour of my night after drinking one of these last time.
31 Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1DH
I organised a work’s Christmas party here a few years back based on a recommendation. It had to be worth a try! They were amenable enough to let us book the whole restaurant out (always a prerequisite for our office parties), so the organisation kicked off superbly!
But what about the food? Well, the meat eaters in the group seemed relatively contented with what they were served (although the profuse amount of alcohol in circulation may have had something to do with this). But the vegetarians amongst us most certainly weren’t happy. The food was bland, tasteless, the pasta had that microwaved 'rubbery’ texture (yum) and we were generally unhappy with what we’d been served. And for the record, I was sober that night (curse of the antibiotics, but a blessing due to the fact I got to snigger at all of the latecomers in work the next day, heads on their desks, and sheepish glances as they weren’t sure 'quite’ what they needed to be embarrassed about or apologising for).
The ambience was…well…bright. And I’m talking about the lighting. Too bright in fact. Glaringly bright spotlights over-emphasise the white walls and to me, the place just lacked character. I much prefer a subdued and dimly lit restaurant.
The service was rather frosty - I guess this matches the white walls and lighting however. Admittedly, we did stay late and the staff were probably hoping to have escaped home, but the service had been like this from the beginning.
I’ve been to worse restaurants, but for the price, I expected a lot more. I wouldn’t go back. Mediocre food, a lack of atmosphere and average service…it doesn’t really fill me with enthusiasm unfortunately.