Three Days in Paris | The Best Eating, Shopping & Sights

Three Days in Paris | The Best Eating, Shopping & Sights

So I’ve been back from Paris for a week now and I still can’t stop thinking about the dreamy three days I spent there with my friend Maisie. This was probably the least ‘touristy’ holiday I’ve ever had and I felt like I experienced local life as much as was possible in three days. We spent most of our time eating, shopping and going to different exhibitions and found so many gems, so I thought I’d share what we got up to here, ranking the things we did categorically! I’m not going to talk about where we stayed because, honestly, that was probably the worst part of the trip. We stayed in an apartment just outside of Montmartre, the location was fine but not as central to Montmartre as we would have liked, that had no real bed (we slept in a mattress on the floor) and a fridge that either made a loud buzzing noise or leaked. Our accommodation by no means ruined our experience though as we spent barely any time there. So anyway onto the recommendations! Oh and just a heads up, I’m vegan so all the places we ate at are either vegan or vegan friendly.

SHOPPING

     1.Shakespeare & Co

This shopping recommendation is the only one that isn’t fashion-based but it has to be my number one because I loved everything about this bookshop. It’s been a dream of mine to go here for some time as an avid book-lover and it did not disappoint. The location right next to the Seine is dreamy, with second-hand books for sale outside and the interiors are even better- they even have a resident cat! They stamp any books you buy with a ‘Shakespeare & Co’ stamp which was such a nice touch and they also had really beautiful copies of all the books you could conjure up. If you’re a reader, or even if you’re not, you have to go here.

2. Killiwatch 

I found Killiwatch on the premise that it was a vintage clothing store but it’s even better. Not only does it have an amazing, curated selection of vintage clothing but it also stocks clothing by independent Parisian designers. When I visited there was construction work going on inside the store which, I must admit, tarnished the experience a little bit. But not so much as it’s still sat at number 2 on my list purely because the amount and the quality of the clothing in there. I ended up picking a vintage scarf that I’m using as a hair scarf and a jacket by an independent brand, Tinsels, that is 100% linen & cotton- what a dream. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably already seen them but if not I’ve posted a photo of them here.

3. The Frankie Shop

Number three on my list was a close competitor with Killiwatch but I’ve decided to rank it lower because of the price points of The Frankie Shop, which I couldn’t really afford. The Frankie Shop stocks designer clothes plus some of it’s own-brand clothing and 100% of the pieces in there are beautiful. The prices are reasonable (eg. around the €130 mark for a good quality jumper) but were out of my price range on this trip. However I did end up picking up a perfume which has such a unique smell to it for only €35 which was a bit of a bargain. If you have money to spend on good quality, beautifully designed clothes then definitely head to the Frankie Shop but, if not, it’s still worth visiting as it’s a beautiful store.

4. Merci

Merci really does have it all. I would probably design it as a concept store but it has everything from furniture, to clothing to a half cafe/half vintage bookstore. I didn’t buy anything here but it was a lot of fun to walk around and we did sit outside to have one of their homemade lemonades as well.

5. Sézane

Sezane is a French brand that sells clothes for the Parisian woman and everyone who aspires to be like her. The clothing is beautiful, classic and it’s all made sustainably. The Sézane Apartment in Paris is seriously beautifully designed and, with citrus infused water available as you walk in, it’s definitely an enjoyable and relaxed shopping experience. I didn’t buy anything, not because of lack of want but lack of money, but, as they’ve opened their first UK store in London, I definitely hope to in the future. The only think I didn’t enjoy about this shopping experience is the fact that I did think the staff there were a little bit contemptuous, but maybe this was just a bad experience on my behalf.

6. Mona Market

Finally for my shopping recommendations is Mona Market. This is in the same area as The Frankie Shop and Merci and we actually just stumbled across it. It’s a concept store stocking furniture and trinkets that are basically what my interior dreams are made of. It was wicker heaven and I’d honestly trust the visual merchandisers of this store to design my perfect home with no guidance.

SIGHTS

  1. L’Atelier des Lumières

Three Days In Paris | The Best Eating, Shopping & Sights

This is known as Paris’ first digital art museum and it is an incredible experience. Artwork from various different artists, modern and classical, is projected all over the ceilings, walls and floors of a warehouse-like room. It’s a completely immersive experience and something that I’d 100% recommend doing if you’re in Pairs.

2. ‘Les Magasins Des Petits Exploratuers’ Exhibition at the Quai Branly Museum

This exhibition is all about the post-colonial idea of ‘the other’ and after studying this in depth during my first year of university I found it so interesting. It looked at literature, film and other ways in which the Western world has presented the Eastern world as ‘other’, especially for children, and the effect this has had. Whether you’ve heard of this concept before or not it’s a really educational and interesting exhibition. Plus the exteriors of the Quai Branly are incredible as they have planted an immense amount of greenery all around the museum.

3. The Louvre

A visit to the Louvre was probably the most ‘tourist-y’ thing we did and the best thing about it for me was the architecture of the Louvre itself, as I’m not a big fan of classical art. I’m glad I went but the tickets were pricey so unless you’re particularly interested in classical art or you’d like to see what the pyramids look like from the inside, I wouldn’t insist that you go to the Louvre.

FOOD

  1. Brassiere 2eme Art (Janine Loves Sundays)

Three Days in Paris | A Mini Guide

Three Days in Paris | A Mini GuideI’d heard amazing things about this little vegan cafe and was highly anticipating eating there and it did not disappoint one bit. Everything from the aesthetic to the food was incredible! It had a typical French cafe feel and we sat outside in the sunshine to eat. I went for the Nutella waffles with a vanilla milkshake which completely satisfied my sweet tooth and Maisie had the pizza, which I also had a slice of and I can quite confidently say that it was the nicest vegan pizza/cheese I’ve tried. It’s also super close to lots of the shops I talk about (Killiwatch, Sezane and more) so it’s the perfect place to eat lunch in between shops.

2. Le Pain Quotidien

Three Days in Paris | The Best Eating, Shopping & Sights

I’m told that this is a chain that has branches in London too but this little bakery/cafe felt so very Parisian. Plus they have great vegan options! They have branches all over Paris but we stumbled across the one in Montmartre for some afternoon fuel in the form of cake. I had their vegan blueberry muffin which was delicious.

        3. Hank Burger

Three Days in Paris | The Best Eating, Shopping & Sights

This vegan burger place is really relaxed, kind of like a nicer version of a fast food place and fairly affordable. The vegan burger I had was really good and they even had vegan mayo on tap (I’m not a big mayonnaise fan but if you are this is probably a good place for you). They also have a bakery and I sampled one of their cookies which was also delicious.

        4. Cook n’ Saj

Three Days in Paris | The Best Eating, Shopping & Sights

This little cafe serves middle eastern food, has great interiors and very friendly staff. Maisie and I both had falafel wraps which were really nice and filling. It was really chilled out in the cafe itself and this is a great place to go if you’re looking for a guaranteed good meal in the middle or at the end of a busy day.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed this post and have found some useful recommendations. I created my own Google Map for our trip with all the places we visited and some others that we didn’t quite make it to, which also might come in handy for you if you’re visiting Paris too. You can take a look at it here. Let me know in the comments if you’ve been to Paris before and if you have any other recommendations, as I’m looking for any excuse to go back, or let me know, if you do end up going to any of these places, what you think of them!

A Summer Type Of Girl

A Summer Type Of Girl

It really feels like the end of summer now. As much as I’ve tried to drag it out, it’s now usually necessary to wear a jacket when leaving the house and I have no more trips booked. But I can’t really complain, I’ve had so much fun and made so many memories this summer and I’m glad I’ve made the most of what is my penultimate ‘official summer holiday’ as a student. I’ve also been working quite a lot and making some money, most of which I’ve spent on decorating my second year university room. Anyway, I wanted to write this post to commemorate and look back on this summer and talk about why the summer months really are my favourite part of the year.

As a January baby, you might not expect me to be such a summer lover, but I am renowned for always wanting what I can’t have. I do love Christmas but apart from that, the winter months just don’t do it for me. So many people talk about how much they love winter fashion, and I must admit I am getting very excited about buying some new knitwear, but, generally, in the UK it’s too cold to wear anything remotely stylish and so I end up wearing the same outfit with the same ugly coat all the time. The thought of snuggling up by the fire in a blanket with a book also appeals to me but honestly this actually happens to me three times at a push and most of my experiences of winter involve waiting for the bus in the freezing cold/rain and dreading leaving my bed in the morning. But enough of my complaining about the winter, let me tell you about why I love summer so much, and why this summer was one of the best.

I guess I always associate summer with time off, time off from education that is. Summer is the time when I can do all the things that make me feel like myself and this always leaves me feeling so reinvigorated. It’s also associated with travelling, which is one of my favourite things to do, and, this one’s not always a given in the UK, sunny weather, which is inarguably better than cold weather and I refuse to dispute this with anyone. My happiest place is probably lying on a  beach in a bikini with a book and I don’t think there’s a time when I feel more relaxed than this. Summer for me isn’t an excuse to be lazy though. Despite taking time off education, I always make the most of summer to allow me to be creative, travel and really make the most of the free time I have to spend with friends and family. I think pretty much all my favourite memories have been made in summer and I was worried that this year because I have been working pretty much full-time that this wouldn’t be the case, and summer just wouldn’t be as good. But, as much as working has exhausted me, it has by no means ruined my summer and this one has still been one of the best ever. I think this proves that it’s not just the time off that makes summer so great for me, it’s the ease that comes along with it, whether that’s simple dressing, spontaneous plans or the fact that I find it so much easier to be happy when I’m woken up through the sun shining through the gaps in my blinds.

This summer I have travelled more than ever before. I feel so unbelievably lucky to have been to so many incredible places and if you’d like to hear more about them in detail then head to the travel section of my blog here to catch up on travel guides and my travels documented on 35mm film. I thought in this post what I would do is share some of my favourite memories from this summer, home and away, so I can always remember to be grateful for everything the past few months have had in store for me.

The start of summer for me feels like my holiday in Corfu with my sister and my mum- this was the ultimate girly, relaxing holiday from spending our days by the pool to our nights on the balcony in our pyjamas dancing to terrible ABBA tribute bands. I was still in the midst of my exams at this point but managed to really put them to one side and enjoy this holiday, which was so important for me in my process of remembering that academic excellence is not the be all and end all of life.

When my exams were over I headed to Parklife Festival, which, as a weekend, is one of my favourite memories from summer. I met up with new and old friends and danced the weekend away and I still have the remains of glitter dotted in and amongst my belongings to prove it. Parklife is also an amazing memory for me because I remember every single bit of it because I was more or less sober for the whole weekend! I’ve talked about this briefly before but as someone who deals with anxiety and chronic stomach issues, me+alcohol = bad news, so to be able to enjoy this festival without feeling judged sober was a big feat for me.

Then came a period of about a month that I spent at home and at work and enjoyed the UK’s glorious heatwave. My favourite memories from this period mostly took place in beer garden’s with friends and also in the garden soaking up the sun (and attempting and mostly failing to put up a paddling pool) with Sam. This is what I mean about summer weather making seeing friends so much easier and spontaneous! Everyone wants to go out in the sun when it’s there so everyone generally does.

A Summer Type Of Girl

The main event of July was my trip to Barcelona, a city I absolutely fell in love with and an AIRBNB that was my dream home for when I’m a 20-something. I fell in love with the city, the people and, more than anything, THE FOOD. Oh the food. I will never stop talking about those vegan Nutella donuts. I consider booking a flight over there almost daily just to grace my mouth one more time with those heavenly creations.

The first week of August for me was spent in Bath with Sam’s family, a beautiful city and a really relaxing trip, proving that you don’t need to go abroad to escape everyday life. Note to self: must go on more UK-based holidays. I came back to a week home alone as my family flew out to Fuerteventura a week earlier than Sam and I so I could get some shifts in at work but it seemed like no time until I joined them out there. This felt like a quintessential family holiday for me, with all the good bits and the bad…but mostly good. I got through three books (relaxing holidays like this are always an excuse for me to read as much as possible) and spent some quality time with my family and Sam and also ate a lot (that’s definitely a theme of this summer).

A Summer Type Of Girl

I got back from Fuerteventura and within less than a week I was in Paris, on my final trip of the summer with one of my closest friends, Maisie! I’ve been to Paris before 4 years ago but I fell in love with it even more this time. There is a mini guide to Paris coming your way very soon so I won’t go into it too much but let’s just say that Paris truly has my heart.

So yeah this summer has been pretty amazing to say the least. And not just because of the places I’ve been but because of the people I’ve spent it with (sorry for the cringe). During the academic year I am a hectic mess so I am so grateful to have these summer months not only because of the weather but because it reminds me how important spending time with the people in my life really is. But I’m still going to try and stay positive for the autumn/winter months, however hard that might be for me. Not to wish my life away but I feel like I’m already making plans and counting down the days for summer 2019, I just can’t help it!

A Summer Type Of Girl

A Summer Type of Girl

A Summer Type Of Girl

A Summer Type Of Girl

A Summer Type Of Girl

A Summer Type Of GirlA Summer Type of Girl

Dress- Mango

Necklace- ASOS

Shoes- Topshop

Bag- Zara

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

This outfit is probably my favourite out of all of the outfits I wore in Corfu so I’m really excited to finally share it on my blog. Sorry if you feel as though I’m dragging the holiday content on a little bit but I’ve had a busy few weeks since I got back and so didn’t have time to share the blog posts all at once but I do want to share all of the blog posts I planned because I like how the photos have come out for the most part! But I promise there’s only one more week of content from Corfu coming up. Although, I have just booked a trip to Barcelona in 3 weeks so there will be more holiday content before you know it.

Anyway, as mentioned this happens to be one of my favourite outfits I wore in Corfu and I’m so happy with how the photos have come out. I was actually expecting this to be my least favourite outfit from the trip seeing as it’s the most basic, just a t-shirt and a skirt. But maybe that’s just what I feel most myself in? I’m also a big fan of colour co-ordination, as you might be able to tell from past outfits I have shared, and baby blue is one of my favourite colours to wear so it’s unsurprising how much I love it.

I think the main reason I’m so happy with these photos is the location. Luckily, the hotel we stayed in in Corfu (Gretocel Eva Palace) was so beautiful and had a pastel colour palette of dreams. This particular location was on my route from the beach to my hotel room every day and I was eyeing it up for a while before I took these photos here. Pinky/peachy walls, which are a common feature of Corfu’s architecture, along with white railing, wicker chairs and a bit of greenery are my idea of an aesthetic dream and made me feel like I was on the French Riviera during the 1950s. The setting actually feels reminiscent of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is The Night which, although I personally think is painful plot-wise, provides some beautiful imagery of the south of France in the 1920s.

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Speaking of France, you may have noticed the slogan on my top, of which I have dedicated this blog post to, is in French. It’s one I picked up from & Other Stories, as you might have seen in my blog post on the new bits in my wardrobe, that I was immediately attracted to because I am always a lover of white T-shirts, anything baby blue and the French language. I obviously had to google translate the writing in the changing rooms to ensure it didn’t say something like ‘Pizza is life’ and was pretty pleased to find out it translated to ‘Sunset Boulevard’ as I think that’s pretty non-offensive and maybe even a little bit cool? The French language has always been something I’ve wanted to learn as I’m fascinated by it and the culture of France, you might even call me a Francophile! Although my GCSE in French put me off a little bit (2 hours straight weekly of copying from a textbook and equally painstakingly boring tasks was far from enjoyable), it’s always been a goal of mine to have a decent understanding of the language. Not only is the language in itself beautifully romantic (a cliche but one that holds lots of truth) but I would love to live in France one day, not forever but for a few months or a year or so and so obviously knowing the language would be necessary. Apart from said GCSE French and inevitably failed attempts to complete DuoLingo, my French language skills don’t go very far. Maybe (hopefully) this will be the year when I take this goal of mine a little bit more seriously and attend some real-life classes or something like that. Let me know if you’ve ever learnt a language independently or in an unconventional way (i.e. not as part of your full-time education) and if you have any tips for doing so as I’d love to hear them!

France seems like such an inspiring place to be creatively and I think spending an extended period of time there, namely in Paris, would be so good for me. It’s something I really hope I’m able to do when I finish university. I have considered a year abroad but if I was to live there I’d want to dedicate most of my time to being creative in ways that don’t involve my degree so I’ve ruled that out. But I hope I’m able to live out this dream one day, learning the language would certainly be a good start!

Anyway I thought everything in these photos came together quite nicely, from the French slogan tee with the Riviera esq location, to the vintage style sunglasses and skirt with the old-fashioned feel colours and style of this part of the hotel. I’m now off to play, if you can call it that, on DuoLingo in hopes of fulfilling my Parisian dreams!

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Top- & Other Stories

Skirt- Topshop (it’s now £15 in the sale!)

Bag- Zara

Sunglasses- Primark (similar here)

Shoes- New Look (old)

 

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The Best Holiday Reads

The Best Holiday Reads

I’m back with a bit of a different post today, although it is the type of post that I was planning on writing a lot about on my blog, a post about books. As I’ve just been on holiday (did I mention that I went to Corfu?) and it’s summer holiday season, I thought I would create a post with my holiday reading recommendations. I don’t know about you, but when I go on a beach/pool holiday, I spend 80% of my time during the day reading (the other 20% is spent eating and sleeping) and so I’m always prepared with lots of books. I find it a little bit scary taking books on holiday because I’m always worried that I won’t like a book but will have to carry on reading it or, even worse, won’t have anything to read at all. If you feel the same way, this post might be useful in providing you some trustworthy recommendations so you’re not left in this position. My recommendations are split up into three sections, each with some books that I’ve already read. I hope you find this post helpful and be sure to let me know if you’d like to hear more about my opinion on any of the books or, if you live near me, if you’d like to borrow one of the books from me! Here are my categories…

1. The Page-Turner

This category is probably the one that most people’s holiday book of choice falls into. Page-turners are easy-going, addictive and offer some serious escapism, which is perfect for a relaxing holiday where you’re going to be spending a lot of time reading. I always bring book like this on holiday with me because I tend to read more ‘serious’ and ‘literary’ books throughout the year. I’m very aware that this sounds snobby but I can assure you it’s not at all. I HATE book snobbery and people who refuse to consider any book as worthy if it hasn’t been nominated for a Man Booker or was published post-20th century because I think, not only is this attitude offensive to those who read these books and, in many ways, inherently classist, but there’s nothing wrong with reading a book purely for entertainment purposes and nothing else. Plus, these books are often interesting analytically and contextually because of their genre. Anyway, that was quite a tangent. But yes, I always read a book like this on holiday because I do tend to reach for more literary books throughout the year because they’re usually the ones that have been on my reading list for the longest and I’m really eager to read and because my reading time is limited during the year, I really have to narrow down my choices. Anyway, here are some of my favourite page-turners to devour on holiday this year:

My Number One Choice- The Millennium Series by Stieg Larsson 

This series is better known as the one that starts with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. This trilogy is often hailed as the biggest page-turner and if you read it, you’ll find out why. I won’t even try and explain the plot because it’s beyond complicated but they are crime novels and they are so gripping. They’re also pretty long so are perfect for your holiday as they will take you a while to get through if you’re just reading a chapter every night. I’m currently half way through the last novel and am thoroughly enjoying it as a form of escapism (along with my other favourite escapist activity, Love Island). A fourth book has recently been added to the series written by a different author, as Larsson died before the books were published. I don’t really know how I feel about that and whether I read it or not will depend on how much of a cliff-hanger the ending of the third novel is.

Other Page-Turners I Like (Perhaps More Literary Than I Previously Mentioned)-

  • The Power by Naomi Alderman
  • Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
  • 1984 by George Orwell

2. The Classic Novel That You’ve Never Got Round To Reading

As mentioned, a holiday is a time where lots of reading can be done quickly. So it makes sense to read that book that you’ve always wanted to read but have been putting off due to something like it’s length. You might think that a classic book is a little bit of a heavy choice for a relaxing holiday but I can guarantee that you’ll enjoy it a lot more if you read it all in one go, rather than over a month or so at home, so a holiday is the perfect chance to do so.

My Number One Choice- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’m choosing this purely because it’s my favourite classic book and I’ve read it on holiday a few times before. There are many more chunkier books that perhaps might be a better choice for your holiday but this one is short and sweet and will certainly allow for other holiday reads if the thought of taking just one classic on holiday scares you.

Other Classic Novels I Like:

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • Lolita by Vladamir Nabokov
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

3. The Non-Fiction Book That Makes You Think

Once again, this sounds a bit heavy for a holiday. But these are the types of books that need to be gobbled up in one go in order for them to have their full effect. Putting them down and coming back to them just won’t make you think as much as reading them in the space of a few days will. Plus, reading a book like this might be something you’ve been putting off so this is a good time to pack it in your suitcase, leaving you with no other choice than to read it.

My Number One Choice- Sapiens by Yual Noah Harari

I read this book on holiday last year and it’s honestly so brilliant. It’s a reflection on the history of the entire world. Educational and thoughtful, it is the ultimate book to make you think. If you read this on holiday, you will come back home feeling differently about the world and knowing more about it than you did before. I’m looking forward to reading the second instalment to this book on holiday this year!

Other Non-Fiction Books To Make You Think:

  • The Anxiety Solution by Chloe Brotheridge
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Women & Power by Mary Beard
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
  • A Room Of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
  • Revolution by Russell Brand

I hope you’ve found some reading inspiration for any upcoming holidays in this post! All of the books I’ve mentioned I have read and can thoroughly recommend but do do some extra research on any of the ones that I haven’t explained if they sound like they interest you. Happy holidays and happy reading!

Three Days In Edinburgh (A Mini Guide)

At the end of March, Sam and I spent 3 days in Edinburgh as part of my birthday present and I absolutely adored the city. So, I want to share with you the places we stayed, ate, shopped and everything else that we got up to! This post is coming to you a month after the trip because I was originally planning on doing this post with the photos I took on my film camera during the trip however that roll of film unfortunately came back blank (*sob*) due to issues with my camera. So instead, I’m including this video from the trip of some clips that I took on my camera whilst I was there and have put together. I hope this video makes up for the lost photos, despite the combination of quality that isn’t the best and my shaky hand,and that you find some recommendations from this post if you’re planning a trip to Edinburgh- I’d thoroughly suggest going!

Where We Stayed

Hotel Motel One Edinburgh-Royal: This hotel was in the perfect location. Sam actually picked the hotel and he couldn’t have done a better job. It was right in between Princes Street and the Royal Mile, the areas of Edinburgh where we spent most of our time. We didn’t eat at the hotel as we wanted to make the most of some of the amazing restaurants in Edinburgh (as you’ll see in the next section) but the rooms were really clean and comfortable and we had a great view of Princes Street and the Scott Monument, which was lovely (FYI, though, you do have to request a room with a view).

Where We Ate

Loudons: We stopped here for brunch when we first arrived and WOW did it make a good first impression. I had the most incredible vegan pancakes I’ve ever had covered in chocolate sauce which I’m still thinking about a month later. It was the furthest restaurant from the centre out of all the ones we went to but it was SO worth a little bit of an extra walk. FYI: They cater for meat-eaters, veggies and vegans- something that is necessary for Sam and I as he eats meat and I am vegan, so this applies for most of the cafes and restaurants we visited.

Illegal Jacks: After an early morning and a long day on our first night, we turned to Deliveroo and ordered from this Mexican. It’s similar to Barburitto but they provide a lot more veggie/vegan options including vegan cheese and vegan ‘mince’. It was really satisfying and affordable (although they did mess up my order a little bit, which was a bit of a shame!)

Pumpkin Brown: This was the only totally vegan place that we ate at and it was so good. They aim to provide healthier options which Sam and I were both craving after eating so much ‘junk food’ the day before. We both had their acai bowl which was absolutely delicious and so well-presented!

Dishoom: Don’t even get me started on this restaurant. I wouldn’t stop talking about it for weeks after returning home. It’s serves food originating from Bombay, so is basically a very specific type of Indian. I’m not one for Indian food- it’s probably my least favourite type of cuisine- but the food here was unique to anything I’ve ever tasted and our waitress, Louise, was incredibly helpful. They have a few locations around the UK, mostly in London obviously, and I can’t recommend trying it out enough if you get the chance to do so.

Hendersons: This vegetarian cafe has various locations around Edinburgh. I tried it out for some breakfast, picking up a vegan hot cross bun, which was delicious. We then headed back there later in the day to share a vegan brownie which wasn’t the best- it tasted a little bit too much like it was trying to be healthy, which is just not what I was in the mood for. However, I would have really liked to try out more of the food and I definitely think it’s worth a visit for veggies.

Urban Angel: This cafe is located near Princes Street and I had some delicious soup and a smoothie here on our last day. Although the food was good and the interiors are nice and cozy, I do remember this being *slightly* overpriced compared to some of the other places we ate at. Plus, I think the breakfast options looked better than the lunch so maybe stop here for breakfast if you do at all.

What We Did

Sights and Museums:

Edinburgh Castle: This was the first place we went when we arrived in Edinburgh, after eating obviously, and it’s kind of something you just have to do when you visit. If you’re interested in Scottish history you’ll probably find it really interesting but, to be honest, it didn’t blow me away, especially considering that our tickets combined cost almost £40. However the views are really amazing from the castle and it’s nice to walk round and, like I said, something I feel like you almost have to do on your inaugural visit to Edinburgh.

Calton Hill: We didn’t quite make it up Arthur’s Seat, due to time and weather constraints. So, instead, we opted for Calton Hill, which still provides a really beautiful view of Edinburgh and is really easy to walk to and ‘climb’ (I put climb in inverted commas because there really isn’t any climbing involved).

Scottish National Gallery: I actually headed here alone because Sam wasn’t feeling well and I really enjoyed it. I, unfortunately, often feel very unable to appreciate art as much as some other people and so I’m always sceptical about art museums. But this one had some really beautiful pieces as well as incredible interior design, which I very much am able to appreciate.

Camera Obscura: We weren’t sure whether we were going to enjoy visiting this museum of optical illusions but, personally, I thought it was so much fun! It provided lots of funny moments (like the mirror maze and the moment when a man put his middle finger up at the street cameras they have installed for museum-goers to see). And there were also really interesting parts, such as a ‘virtual’ tour of Edinburgh through the mirror the museum has on a pole out of its roof- I’ve explained that terribly but I would recommend it, especially if you’re trying to escape the rain like we were.

The Writer’s Museum: As a lover of literature, I was a little bit underwhelmed by this. It was kind of just celebrating three Scottish authors, which I guess I should have guessed would have been the case from its name, but I was hoping it would have been more of a celebration of Scottish literature in general. It was still really interesting though and would be especially so if you are interested in the authors it is commemorating.

Shopping:

Jenners: Jenners is a huge department store on Princes Street that looks really beautiful from the outside, which is what led us to go inside. If you’ve got a lot of money to spend, this is the place for you. If not, just do what I did and browse all the designer clothes like you can afford them and enjoy wandering around.

Anthropolige: This was the first time I’d ever been to an Anthropologie store as they don’t have any near where I live and it was a beautiful experience. They have such an amazing accumulation of things and I ended up picking up a sausage-dog printed tea-towel for my brother’s birthday present. If you haven’t been to Anthropologie before and are in Edinburgh, definitely go in, their price-range is really wide and there’s something for everyone and even if you don’t want to buy anything, I could have spent hours just browsing the store (to Sam’s annoyance).

PI-KU COLLECTIVE: This tiny little shop sells an extremely curated selection of truly amazing second-hand clothing. I visited after reading about it on Liv Purvis’ guide to Edinburgh. I could have tried on everything in the shop but we unfortunately didn’t have time for that and the clothes I did try on didn’t fit. But if I ever go to Edinburgh I’ll definitely go back because it really was an amazing curation of clothing.

Armstrong’s: This was hands down the best vintage shop I’ve ever been in. We spent ages in here (sorry Sam) and I could have bought much more than I did. I ended up buying a pair of Yves Saint Laurent jeans for £20 (!!!) which I featured in my post about the stigma surrounding blogging.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about what I got up to in Edinburgh and that it’s encouraged you to book a trip to Edinburgh! It’s one of my favourite cities I’ve ever been to and I’m hoping to back in the near future, maybe to the Edinburgh Fringe this time. Let me know in the comments if you have any other recommendations for Edinburgh, have been to any of the places I went or have any questions about them!

If you’d like to see what I wore in Edinburgh you can click here for day one or here for day three (the outfit from the 2nd day didn’t quite make it to the blog).