If you live here in Edinburgh, what makes it special to you? I love that it's like a village. So true! If you're new to Edinburgh, it's accessible, has so many green spaces and so many secrets waiting to be discovered. And don't forget the wonderful people who live here!
Let us rediscover some of the wonderful things that make Edinburgh different. Of course, here at Edinburgh Foody, we spend most of our time thinking about food, so inspired by the team at smart when they asked what I am FOR, we thought that we'd share some of our favourite, not so usual things to do. Here's what we are FOR:
Taking a bike ride along the Water of Leith as wends its way through the city. We love stopping off to see the Anthony Gormley statues on the way. I love the way they stand in quiet contemplation. With all that cycling you're bound to have worked up an appetite. You're spoilt for choice in Leith, something spicy at Mithas? A Michelin starred lunch at the Kitchin? Or a great take out sandwich from the Shore Deli? Make sure you eat well, unfortunately the route's all uphill on the way back.
When was the last time you went ice skating? For the cost of a couple of cups of coffee (top favourite would be Artisan Roast), we can glide across Murrayfield Ice Rink or contemplate taking a course of 6 lessons before the Winter kicks in.
Have you ever visited St Cecilia's Hall? We were amazed to discover that it is the oldest purpose-built concert hall in Scotland, and the second oldest in the British Isles! At its heart is a concert room, surrounded by galleries housing an important collections of historic musical instruments, many of which are still playable. It's just a hop and a skip from there to Blackfriars restaurant, where comforting locally sourced meats, cooked with passion will set you right.
On a fine day, the top of Arthur Seat beckons. Will it share its secrets? I'm amazed at being able to see ripple marks on sedentary rocks – apparently this bit of land used to be near the Equator! When you've had your fill of fresh air, head down to Hemma for a lovely fresh lunch – don't miss the smorgesbord platters.
Will the gory put us off our supper? Not likely. The Surgeons Hall Museum includes all the weird and wonderful equipment that's been used to keep us well in the past. Their current exhibition takes a look at skulls including a forensic reconstruction. Then book a table at Aizle which is close by – there's no traditional menu, and the food is different to anything else in the city.
We love stepping over to Cramond Island, making sure we don't get our feet wet checking the tides before we go to this small island, that once housed defences for the Firth of Forth, it feels rather daring stepping across the causeway. Do drop into the Cramond Brig for a hearty steak lunch or dinner on the way back.
We're all for eating locally. What could be more local than a pig raised at Gorgie City Farm and transformed by Fred Berkmillar at l'Escargot Blanc and Bleu Restaurants. The farm is brimming with fresh ideas for both adults and children.
Remember when a new supper club opened in Edinburgh each month? Whilst many have been and gone, the very first Charlie and Evelyn's supperclub which started back in 2009 is still going strong. Just 8 people are welcomed to specially themed menus - in September it celebrates Scottish Food Fortnight. New comer The Smoked Duck are well worth checking out. All are a great way to try something different, cost is usually around £30.
Visit Mademoiselle Macaron in Grindlay Street where you'll find hot chocolate from Coco of Brunstfield, Steampunk Coffee and Tea from the Tea People (who send 50% of profits to projects in India) and of course, the most glorious macarons of course!