Miscellaneous

My “great little places” in Edinburgh

Recently I’ve been exploring my new (ish!) city a lot more and today I thought I would share with you my own ‘Top 5 Finds’ since moving to the ‘Burgh locations, inspired by ‘I know this great little place…’ (http://www.greatlittleplace.com/) but not necessarily listed on the website.

1. Khorwa (women’s clothing) – 52 South Clerk Street, EH8 9JB

Khorwa has been one of my favourite clothes shops for a few years now. It stocks a range of cute and quirky womenswear, with a focus on dresses, from little-known but adorable designers such as Tenki. The price range is fairly reasonable – most dresses are around the £25 mark, and they usually have a sale corner as well where you can easily pick up something cute for a tenner. The only downsides to Khorwa are that because it’s a very small, quiet boutique, you can sometimes feel a bit awkward if there’s no one else there, and it doesn’t do a student discount.

2. Drouthy Neebors (pub) – 1-2 West Preston Street, EH8 9PX

I may be a little biased here given that Drouthy’s (as it is colloquially known) is our weekly post-choir-rehearsal pub, but I honestly think it’s a great wee place. For those of you who don’t understand the Scottish lingo, “drouthy neebors” means “thirsty neighbours”, and I’m sure that nobody could ever really go thirsty at Drouthy’s because the drinks are very reasonably priced (£3 for a glass of wine, around £2.20 for a single vodka plus mixer). They do offer a 10% student discount, but it’s elusive: they no longer sell the discount fobs, so you must be with someone who has one already. They offer free food for larger group bookings (i.e. when we descend after choir on a Tuesday night!) but apparently they don’t serve food otherwise, which is a shame because their chips are amazing. All in all, it’s got a lovely, warm atmosphere and the staff are really friendly so despite it being your basic boozer, it’s a great place to unwind.

3. Elephants and Bagels (café) – 37 Marshall Street, EH8 9BJ

Elephants and Bagels is the more renowned Elephant House’s little sister, and as you’ll be able to guess from the name, it specialises in bagels. These bagels come with a huge array of fillings (personally I like pesto, mozzarello, salami and sun-blushed tomato) and bagel types, so it’s pretty easy to find any bagel you fancy here. Alongside bagels they sell soup, small cakes and biscuits and of course, drinks – their mochas and hot chocolates are to die for, although unfortunately the cup sizes are tiny. They offer a 10% student discount when you buy a filled bagel, and a reward card scheme where you get your 10th hot drink free.

4. Medusa (hair salon) – 6/7 Teviot Place, EH1 2QZ/26 Bread Street, EH3 9AF/34 South Clerk Street, EH8 9PS

I chose to get my hair cut at Medusa because I noticed that although it’s a chain of high-end hairdressers, with equally high-end prices (!), the student discount with Snapfax is incredible. You get 40% off your first visit, and then between 20 and 40% off subsequent visits. This brought a £34 haircut down to just over £20 for me – less than I’d be paying in my local salon back at home! They also offer a perk where if it’s your first visit, you’ll get 30% off your next visit if you return to the same stylist. I went to the Teviot Place salon and I intend to go back – my stylist was friendly and understood exactly what I wanted, even talking me through how she would cut it and making suggestions as to the most flattering cut. The service as a whole was excellent – I got a free cup of tea and biscuit within minutes of sitting down, and unlike a lot of hairdressers, there was no irritating chit-chat so I was left to relax as the stylist snipped away.

5. Jordan Valley (food shop) – 8 Nicolson Street, 9DH

Jordan Valley is a very recent addition to my list, as a friend only introduced it to me a couple of weeks ago. It’s hard to explain exactly what it sells, as it’s just so varied – it stocks primarily Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food, but also health food. Most of their stock is vegetarian, and a large proportion is also vegan. As you walk past the shop, you can’t help but notice the hundreds of teas stacked in the window. While Jordan Valley sells a vast amount of tea (tea in every flavour under the sun!), it’s really worth an explore inside as it’s jam-packed with interesting things, from humous in a variety of flavours to quinoa bars to cheap muffins and cakes – I got a chocolate and orange muffin there for only 89p, and it was fantastic: huge, moist and flavoursome. I keep meaning to go back soon to stock up my cupboards with healthy goodies!

Has any else got any hidden gems they would like to share? I’d love to know what your favourite places in your city are, and why!

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