This past weekend we packed Cruzy’s stuff in his mini bag and hoped in the car on our way to Edinburgh. Even though Christmas is more than a month away, the festive vibes are all over the atmosphere and with the Edinburgh Christmas Market having its debut it was impossible not to pay a visit to the capital!
We started our request to early Christmas celebrations by taking a closer look to one of my favourite areas, the West End. This year the shops have teamed up and are celebrating together offering pop up events and master classes. I wandered around browsing the window shops until Steven got bored and so we decided to have a glass of wine (or two) to warm our hearts. Did I mention it was freezing cold?
Thankful for my mittens, extra layers of clothing and new Oxford shoes, that kept me warm and comfortable during the whole day, I asked Steven if we could also have something to eat as the colder weather makes me hungry for most of the time. And so he took me to Le Di-Vin, a sophisticated wine bar that is perfect for wine lovers and for those looking for something light to eat.
The interior of Le Di-Vin takes you back to France of the 19th century – wooden tables, hundreds bottles of white, red and rose wine on the bar and a huge paint wall, featuring the important men of Edinburgh, surrounding the entrance, are just a few of the features. We sat in the tall tables area next to the window,which gave us a great view of the bar and very impressive wine display. Our smiley waiter brought us the menu and explained the wine list before we placed our order that was a selection of different wines and a few nibbles. Soon he came back with four glasses of wine for each, a cheese and salami board for Steven and a fish selection platter with salad for me. There was a specific order that we should follow when drinking our wine and that is from the lightest to the strongest. First went down the Kleinkloof a South African Chenin Blanc, second the Rioja Blanco a Spanish Viura with a hint of tropical fruit richness followed by the Vina Ochagavia Reserva, a Chilean Chardonnay full of delicate fruit and oak notes, that was SO GOOD it should be forbidden!
It took us some time to finish our glasses and delicious platters, (besides why rush when being in such a lovely place?) before our waiter surprised us with a last round of glasses. This time it was a glass of Casa Lapostolle, a Chilean Carmenere for Steven and a glass of Hunters, a New Zealand Pinot that left a bright, pure brambly aromas on my palate. Of course it was too much of a temptation not to try each others wine, but in all honesty, any glass of wine in Le Di-Vin tastes insanely good!
Content and warmed up we headed to George street, another one of my favourite streets to visit when in the capital. It has all the brands I love and they had the prettiest window shops which made my heart melt!
We had a wee stop at Anthropologie, every time I step into this store I want to buy everything, it is an interior designer’s heaven and since we are in the process of buying a house I keep an eye on anything that will make my house feel like home. And certainly Anthropologie has everything I desire and even more!
Then it was Joules (how convenient that both stores are located the one next to the other!), that has the best scarves that I’d so much like to find under the Christmas tree this year. Wrapped up in colourful, floral paper if possible please!
I’ve picked a few of my favourites in case you are in search of something stylish that can keep you warm and cosy at the same time::
Visiting the Christmas market was high on my list this weekend, as I feel it is one of the greatest joys of the pre-Christmas built up madness. By the time we had done all our window shopping the sky was dark and the lights of the Christmas market were lighting the entire city centre. Smells of freshly baked waffles and chocolate churros filled the place, and we went for a stroll, looking for early Christmas gifts to buy and any interesting shows to watch. One of the things that was even higher on my list was to drink the best and most aromatic mulled wine, and so we sampled from two different places, until we found our favourite stall.
I love the Christmas market because people are passionate for their products, let that be food, drinks or wooden ornaments and toys. They are being ready for this time of the year by building up their stock during the past months before setting up their beautiful stall and sharing their artfully arranged produce to the public. Everytime I visit the market, I feel the same respect and love for these people. People are encouraged to try samples of the food, and smell the candles and coffee beans before choosing, which puts a personal touch towards each gift. We left with a happy heart and warm hearts, but before getting back home we popped in il Calice a bar on our way. It’s a new one as we have never seen it before and the manager told me that the chef is from Venice, so as soon as I heard this I was sold. We sat in a lovely table observing people passing by the busy pavements, chatting about Venice and our trip there before we were presented to our order, a chicken salad for me, a hearty chicken roast with vegetables for Steven and wine to wash everything down.
I found myself enjoying listening to the uplifting music, talking to my love and enjoying such a lovely meal it made me feel full but when I say full I don’t mean in the stomach but in my soul. My salad was light and tasty, exactly what I was looking for after a day of drinking and eating let’s face it, not the healthiest of food. Steven said that his chicken was delicious and it is the kind of dish he would eat at his mum’s, hearty and mouth-watering!
I always knew that Edinburgh is a great place for foodies, but visiting all these spots in one day I am totally convinced now! If you are looking for 5 things to do this weekend in Edinburgh then here are my suggestions:
-Go shopping at the West End.
-Sample the wine list at Le Di-Vin.
-Have some spontaneous window shopping at George street.
-Enjoy the Christmas market.
-Eat at il Calice and talk to the manager, he is the friendliest Italian ever!
Let me know how it goes 🙂