edinburgh city break blog review 2016After shirking all responsibility and spending the first late afternoon/evening in the confines of the beautiful Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, it was time to venture out into the beautiful Scottish capital just before midday after a rather indulgent breakfast (see previous post).  Coats, umbrellas and greedy appetites firmly in place, we headed out in search of culture, kilts and cafés!  
mimis bakery mars krispie cake

Edinburgh Mimi's Bakehouse blog review
Edinburgh Mimi's Bakehouse cake review
Edinburgh Mimi's Bakehouse review 2016Okay, who's bright idea was it to wear heeled boots?  I've battled miles of cobbled roads, woods, icy conditions and everything else under the sun (or lack thereof) in heels, however the steady stretch of the Royal Mile proved to be a challenge!  Though having said that, it does kind of cover the whole 'working out while travelling' dilemma.  Anyway, just before flying into Edinburgh, I did a quick sweep of some online reviews and stumbled across the suggestion of visiting Mimi's Bakehouse.  The bakery has three stores located in Leith, Corstorphine and Old Town.  Visiting the latter was probably the best thing I've done in my entire life.  Seriously.  What's on the menu?  Mars Bar krispie cakes, enormous brownies smothered in melted Snickers and cupcakes resembling heaven in baking paper casings.  Mmm...

Mimi's Little Bakehouse - Old Town
250 Canongate 
travel blogger scotland edinburgh
british female travel blogger 2016
english luxury travel blogger 2016
the royal mile signage edinburghAfter indulging in a slice of Mars Bar Krispie Cake the size of my face, I realised we were just moments away from Holyrood Palace (The Palace of Holyrood House), the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland.  It had been right at the top of my travel hitlist for visiting Edinburgh and so realising it was just a stone's throw away was a lovely surprise!      
things to do in edinburgh holyrood palace
Holyrood Palace travel blog review
english travel blogger in scotlandTickets purchased, audio guide collected and gift shop accidentally entered before even entering the palace, it was time to discover the Queen's official residence in Scotland!  If you're as fascinated as myself by historic buildings and the lives of those gone before us, Holyrood Palace is certainly worth visiting.  Sadly, like most grand places of interest, no photography is allowed within.  However I can say with total honesty that both The State Apartments and Mary Queen of Scots' Chambers are more than enough to entertain you without the clickety-click of your camera - she says through gritted teeth...
Holyrood Palace courtyard grass photography
uk lifestyle and travel female blogger
Holyrood Palace Abbey ruins photography
Holyrood Palace Abbey ruins travel photography
A highlight of visiting Holyrood Palace is undoubtedly the ruins of the Abbey which are located in the stunning setting of Arthur's Seat (main peak of Edinburgh's group of hills).  Ordinarily I can be found impatiently tapping my foot with my camera poised in the air as I await a 'clean shot'.  However on this occasion, the visitor wearing the dashing red rucksack was more than welcome to hang around, as he helped emphasise the spectacular height of the Abbey.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I like anything that compares and ultimately dwarfs us.  The ruins were huge, the 822ft hill nearby was even bigger, and the two combined served as a beautiful reminder of just how small we - and our troubles - actually are.
reasons to visit holyrood palace
Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh review
hard rock cafe edinburgh blog review 2016
hard rock cafe edinburgh original burgerWe ended our final night in Edinburgh with a delicious dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe - the fourth restaurant from the chain to tick off my list!  Keeping in mind I'm a list-making-fanatic, this is probably my favourite one to keep.  I've been ticking off the cities ever since creating the burger-focussed goal of visiting as many Hard Rock Cafe chain destinations as possible a while ago in Barcelona.  Though yes, there have been times I've groaned dramatically on the flight home as I learn I was really near one of their locations without realising.  Reason enough to return to a city?  Yes.  Though it's not just the delicious - and refreshingly predictable when in a new place - food that has me jotting down their addresses, but also the ambience.  As always, it was loud and bursting with energy!

Psst!  For all the Under 25s visiting Edinburgh - bring ID with you, or else you have to stand far away from the bar.  It will also help solve the discussion at front of house as to whether you're even over 18.  Yeah, not my finest moment...

Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh
20 George Street
edinburgh by night photography
waldorf astoria the caledonian by night
waldorf astoria edinburgh the caledonian entrance
edinburgh cityscape travel photography
mimi's bakehouse old town royal mile
We skipped dessert, knowing we'd picked up a couple of extra cakes from Mimi's Bakehouse earlier in the day and stashed them away in the hotel room for later.  The extra time enabled a peaceful evening walk (10 mins) from the Hard Rock Cafe back to The Caledonian.  I would suggest the city is at its most beautiful come the evening; the colours of the buildings seem far more dramatic and on this particular night, the sky seemed almost midnight blue.  It genuinely felt as though the city was putting on a farewell show in a bid to make a lasting impression - though isn't that always the case?
waldorf moments edinburgh the caledonian
edinburgh castle room view the caledonian
View of Edinburgh Castle from the hotel room (fifth floor) 
I'm amazed it's taken me this long to visit Scotland's capital, though it was certainly worth the wait - at the very least for the spectacular nighttime view of Edinburgh Castle from the hotel room!  Sweet dreams?  Definitely.

With love,

Gabrielle x