The most wonderful time of the year has arrived once more, where it’s perfectly acceptable to eat mince pies for your breakfast, wear an offensive knitted Rudolph jumper on a Saturday night out and sing along to Mariah Carey at the top of your lungs… agreed?
We all know that Christmas is a time for cheer, being in good spirits, giving to others and generally feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. We also know the festive calendar is outright, the busiest time of the year, with people to see, presents to buy and parties to attend (I mean, it’s a tough number, but someone’s gotta do it, right?)
The air is laden with the subtle smell of pine, mulled cider, crisp cinnamon and a wafting smell of waffles, courtesy of the twinkling German markets.
There is so much to see, that it’s almost a sensory overload! St Andrews Square Ice rink, the Dome’s iconic, beautiful decor inside and out, not to mention the Street of Light, just a few essentials to kick-start the most magical season of them all.
So, if your diary isn’t already full to the brim with magical nights out, boozy work lunches and any excuse for a mulled wine, then here are some events and places you NEED to check out in Edinburgh during the festive. All have something to offer that’s pretty unique, that might just give your usual Christmas routine a run for its money…
1. Street Food Putter Club – Biscuit Factory, Leith
Based in one of the coolest venues in the city, Street Food Putter Club combines street food (from the likes of Burger meats Bun) cocktails, beer, great music and MINI GOLF all under one roof. Yup, that’s right. As far as I’m concerned, they have scored a hole in one with this event! Tickets are £6 pp and dates are available on the 10th and 11th December, starting early afternoon into the small hours.
Not only do you get to star-gaze through a pretty epic telescope, you also get the chance to learn all about the night sky and handle a real METEORITE from space. Pretty cool, huh? The Royal Observatory is well worth a visit, winter skies tend to be perfectly clear, unlike earlier this year, you might get to see a lot more stars (or Santa – if you’re lucky!) Tickets are only £4 each and advanced booking is required. Look out the woolly gloves and hat for this event and plan time for a hot chocolate afterwards to warm you up.
3. Starbucks – Princes St
My favourite spot to gaze at the castle with nothing but a gingerbread latte and good book to keep me company. If you are looking for somewhere central but also to get some ‘me’ time or a little peace and quiet… it’s definitely worth checking out. After you make your way upstairs, make sure you get a good spot next to the big, beautiful windows to strategically plan buying your families presents and watch the crowds pass by below. The Christmas menu and beautiful red cups and decor will have you feeling festive in no time! #thatsnotmyname #theycallmeAshley
4. Sarah Murray Beauty – Leven St
If you are looking for a talented, super lovely beauty team to transform your nails, HD eyebrows or give you that glowing festive facial to name a few – look NO further than Sarah Murray Beauty. The newly decorated Scandinavian styled salon is gorgeous – a perfect, cosy retreat for those cold winter nights. Book in now to get your pamper on for those up and coming parties or for some essential post-Christmas therapy… I PROMISE you’ll love it as much as I do. Did I mention the Blackbird is next door for a post treatment cocktail and bite to eat? #nailedit
Looking for the perfect winter walk? Or if you’re anything like me, wondering where you can make snow angels? In Edinburgh, the Pentlands produces the most snow fall at this time of year and hosts the most spectacular, breathtaking views over our beautiful city. Great for some brisk outdoor exercise… just make sure you take a big old flask of hot chocolate to keep you warm! (Hint of Bailey’s – optional!)
6. Cameo film house – Home St
First opened in 1914, the Cameo boasts that true retro feel, showcasing various alternative films from past to present, included in the line up this year is ‘Meet me in St Louis’ (for those Carrie Bradshaw fans!) Make sure to check this cinema out and keep an eye open for Christmas films popping up to get you in the festive mood. Home Alone double bill anyone? Also hosts a lovely bar for a pre-viewing glass of wine, bottle of beer and to stock up on your snacks.
7. The Voyage of Buck – William St
Newly opened bar brought to you by the owners of Hamilton’s, Treacle and The Blackbird… The Voyage of Buck is my new favourite bar in town. From the bright show-stopping yellow piano outside, to the glass case full of rubber ducks inside, it’s nothing short of brilliant. The cocktails and tunes make a great night out, or in my case on a Friday after work, a perfect night-cap. Atmospheric, cosy and accommodating. The surrounding independent West end shops are filled with fairy lights and festive decor, which even makes the walk to #TVOB feel like Christmas.
The annual Santa fun run is aimed at raising money to grant the wishes of children for ‘When You Wish Upon A Star.’ For £10 entry, you can easily register and gain your very own Santa suit to walk or run your 2.5k while taking in the city views. Just think of all those SANTAS! A great event for a great cause. Get involved on the 11th of December for a guaranteed festive fun day… just about enough walking to burn off that bottle of prosecco afterwards!
So, there you have it! A range of fun, creative, pampering, thirst quenching, star-gazing, film feasting and alcohol fuelled events for the diary.
I think it’s safe to say the festive season is officially underway.