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Mini Mack’s Edinburgh Top Tips: October 2019

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October has arrived and with it comes a noticeable chill in the air and the fiery colours of autumn, not to mention a month of drinks festivals and great shows here in Edinburgh! From Edinburgh Cocktail Week and Oktoberfest to Licence to Thrill: The Music of Bond and the King and I, there’s plenty on for both theatre-goers and foodies alike. The month is then brought to a dramatic close by the annual Samhuinn Fire Festival signalling that winter is truly on its way. Keep scrolling to discover Mini Mack’s Edinburgh Top Tips: October 2019!

What’s on in Edinburgh this October?

Before we delve into our top tips for the month, let’s have a look at what is taking place in Edinburgh this October.

Burke & Hare: The Business of Murder | throughout October, The Edinburgh Dungeons

The Luxury of Time | from 4th October, National Museum of Scotland

Vivaldi – The Four Seasons by Candlelight | 11th October, St Giles’ Cathedral

Edinburgh Cocktail Week | 14th-20th October, Various Locations

The King and I | 17th-26th October, Edinburgh Playhouse

Scottish International Storytelling Festival | 18th-31st October, Various Locations

Licence to Thrill: The Music of Bond | 19th October, Usher Hall

Edinburgh Short Film Festival | from 24th October, The Filmhouse

National Gallery Highlights Tour | 26th October, Scottish National Gallery

Oktoberfest | from 30th October, West Princes Street Gardens

Samhuinn Fire Festival | 31st October, Calton Hill

Photo Credit: Samhuinn Fire Festival

Photo Credit: Samhuinn Fire Festival

Mini Mack’s Edinburgh Top Tips: October 2019

1. Where to Eat…

Edinburgh is blessed with so many fantastic places to dine out, here are just a few of our recommendations for this month.

Roseleaf Bar (23-24 Sandport Place)

You’ll find the Roseleaf Bar hidden away near the Shore in Leith. From its exterior, the Roseleaf looks like a well-maintained traditional pub but as soon as you walk through its doors you’ll get a sense of its quirky character. From its National Geographic menus and quirky decor to its unique offerings such as Pot-Tails (cocktails in teapots), the Roseleaf goes above and beyond simply offering delicious food and drink but a truly unique experience.

In fact, if you join us on one of our Edinburgh tours we’ll treat you to lunch at the Roseleaf Bar.

Timberyard (10 Lady Lawson Street)

Over the years, the family-run business Timberyard has become extremely popular among locals. The restaurant believes in using ingredients supplied by small local suppliers, and as a result, their food is of great quality. Another reason why it’s so charming is the fact that it’s located in an authentic brick warehouse which has been thoughtfully and stylishly renovated creating a beautiful space to enjoy your meal.

Forage & Chatter (1A Alva Street)

Tucked away in Edinburgh's West End, Forage & Chatter specialises in locally sourced Scottish cuisine. As their name suggests, the restaurant uses locally foraged items from Edinburgh as well as local meats and fish to create delicious dishes.

Photo Credit: TImberyard

Photo Credit: TImberyard

2. Must-See Event… Edinburgh Cocktail Week (14th-20th October)

Edinburgh’s hugely popular Cocktail Week is set to return to Festival Square with several new additions such as an enchanted Cocktail Forest themed extension, 19 pop-up bars, live music and a cosy covered outdoor street food area! If that wasn’t exciting enough, the Edinburgh Cocktail Week has expanded to include a second pop-up in the form of ‘Cocktail Domes’ which will sit on the rooftop garden of The Glasshouse Hotel boasting fantastic views of Calton Hill!

Edinburgh Cocktail Week

Edinburgh Cocktail Week

3. Spotlight on… Bruntsfield

Edinburgh is far from being one uniform city, and Bruntsfield is just another one of the city’s unique areas. The village-like neighbourhood is only a short walk from the city centre yet it’s often overlooked by visitors, which means you’ll have the opportunity to experience the village-style suburb as a local. As you enter Bruntsfield you’ll be greeted by a large open stretch of grass known as Bruntsfield Links which is popular with families, dog walkers, and the occasional golfer putting away on the short-hole free public golf course.

Where to shop

One of the great things about shopping in Bruntsfield is most of the shops are concentrated on its high street allowing you to easily pop in and out of shops - especially convenient if the weather isn’t great! For those of you looking to pick up a souvenir or gift, there are several wonderful options like Curiouser, Halibut & Herring, and Rosevear Tea. For the book lovers, we recommend heading along to The Edinburgh Bookshop, who was crowned the Scottish Independent Bookshop of the Year 2014! If you’re looking to pick up a new outfit, there are several options such as Biscuit Clothing and C'est Si Bon.

Where to eat

Bruntsfield is blessed with a terrific selection of great eateries, artisan coffee shops, cocktail bars, and traditional pubs, so no matter what time of day you visit you’ll be well taken care of. If you’re starting your day off in Bruntsfield, head along to Artisan Roast (who roast their coffee twice a week in Edinburgh) or Project Coffee for a dose of caffeine. Then why not nip into La Barantine for indulgent breakfast pastry. As for lunch and dinner, you’ll be spoilt rotten for choice as the neighbourhood is famed for its foodie scene. Local favourites include Chophouse, Montpeliers, and Three Birds.

What to do

Bruntsfield is by no means the largest village-size neighbourhood in Edinburgh however it’s still a very pleasant place to spend an afternoon. Once you’ve finished browsing through its independent stores and enjoying what local eateries have to offer, we’d recommend heading along to the aforementioned Bruntsfield links, a wonderful patch of greenery with views of Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat in the distance, for a stroll and perhaps even a game of short-hole golf?

Photo Credit: Kim Traynor

Photo Credit: Kim Traynor

It sounds like it’s going to be quite a month! If you’d like to discover Edinburgh with our local lads, Rowan & Andy, we have a range of fantastic private mini car tours.

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Mini Mack tours offer a range of private Mini car tours in and around the heart of Edinburgh. It’s a great way to pack a lot into one day and see sights that most visitors (and even locals) have never seen. From private city tours to Whisky n’ Cheese tours to a day trip to St Andrews, there’s something for everyone!

Click here to find out more - we can’t wait to meet you!

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Mini Mack’s Edinburgh Top Tips: September 2019

Photo Credit: Edinburgh Riding of the Marches

Photo Credit: Edinburgh Riding of the Marches

The arrival of September means the fun and mayhem of August is over for another year. Whether you’re sighing with relief or missing the buzz, Edinburgh never fails to deliver and there are still plenty of things to look forward to in the month of September. If you’re in Edinburgh on the 15th September, don’t forget to head to the Royal Mile to experience the Riding of the Marches. The Colony of Artists will also return this month with a whopping 66 artists taking part in 40 venues in Abbeyhill. Lastly, finish the month with a peek behind doors which are normally closed to the public during Doors Open Days! Keep scrolling to discover Mini Mack’s Edinburgh Top Tips: September 2019!

What’s on in Edinburgh this September?

Before we delve into our top tips for the month, let’s have a look at what is taking place in Edinburgh this September.

Castle Street Autumn Fair | 2nd-8th September, Castle Street

Sing-A-Long The Greatest Showman | 6th September, Edinburgh Playhouse

Jupiter at Dusk | 12th September, Jupiter Artland

Ocean Film Festival | 14th September, Festival Theatre

Collective Play | 14th-16th September, Calton Hill

Celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival | 14th September, St Cecilia's Hall

Edinburgh Riding of the Marches | 15th September, Royal Mile

Colony of Artists | 21st-22nd September, Abbeyhill Colonies

Doors Open Days | 28th-29th September, Various Locations

Photo Credit: Jupiter Artland

Photo Credit: Jupiter Artland

Mini Mack’s Edinburgh Top Tips: September 2019

1. Where to Eat…

Edinburgh is blessed with so many fantastic places to dine out, here are just a few of our recommendations for this month.

Victor Hugo Delicatessen (104 George Street)

Many Edinburgh locals will be familiar with the Marchmont institution Victor Hugo Deli. After 50 years, Victor Hugo Deli has expanded to Edinburgh’s New Town but is still serving up their French café classics and brewing their own speciality roast. A great place to nip into for a coffee or lunch.

Noto (47a Thistle Street)

Noto is the latest addition to Edinburgh’s thriving foodie scene. The restaurant is the second venture of the award-winning chef behind the popular restaurant Aizle. Noto is inspired by chef-owner, Stuart’s, time working in New York and has a focus on Asian cuisine with local Scottish produce at its heart. 

The Haggis Box

If you’re visiting Scotland for the first time, you’ll most likely be eager and intrigued to try haggis! If you’re looking for a restaurant, Howies is a great, central location to try haggis but if you’re out exploring the city and in need of a quick bite, head to the Haggis Box. The takeaway offers classic haggis (as well as veggie alternatives), neeps and tatties. For most of the year, you’ll find the Haggis Box at the police box at the bottom of Victoria Street, however, for the summer months they’ve popped up at the Old Tolbooth Market (179A Canongate). We’d recommend checking their Facebook page to keep up to date.

Photo Credit: Noto, Edinburgh

Photo Credit: Noto, Edinburgh

2. Must-See Event… Doors Open Days (28th-29th September)

Doors Open Days is back! For those of you who haven’t heard of Doors Open Days, it’s Scotland’s largest free festival which celebrates heritage and the built environment. In other words, it allows the public a chance to peek inside over a thousand venues across the country throughout September, many of which remain closed to the public for the rest of the year. There are plenty of participating Edinburgh venues to choose from but be quick as all the venues are free, yet some are ticketed (with limited numbers). We’ve chosen a few of our top picks to share with you, including the Burns Monument, Princess Street Gardens Gardeners’ Cottage, Dean Private Gardens, Drumsheugh Baths Club, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, and John Knox House.

Dean Gardens

Dean Gardens

3. Spotlight on… Stockbridge

Stockbridge is a firm favourite amongst many locals and visitors. The village-like neighbourhood is only a short walk from Princess Street yet has managed to foster many endearing qualities reminiscent of a countryside village. From local speciality stores such as a fishmonger, cheesemonger, and florists, to community events such as the Stockbridge weekly market and the annual Stockbridge Duck Race, Stockbridge has a wonderful community spirit.

Where to shop

One of the first streets you’ll come across when walking from Princess Street to Stockbridge is St Stephen Street. This unsuspecting street is a haven for independent stores and the perfect place to visit if you’re looking to treat yourself or in search of a present. Be sure to check out Golden Hare Books, The Method, and Space at Seventeen (a brilliant pop-up space). Next, Raeburn Place is Stockbridge’s main street, and you’ll find a wonderful range of stores, from foodie favourites like IJ Mellis the Cheesemonger and Herbie of Edinburgh to unique gift shops like Caoba and An Independent Zebra. Not to mention numerous charity shops, if you enjoy second-hand shopping.

Where to eat

When we say you’ll be spoilt for choice in Stockbridge, we’re not exaggerating. The neighbourhood is bursting full of excellent places to enjoy coffee, lunch, or dinner. To name a few, Smith & Gertrude are famed for their wines, cheeses and charcuteries; Cowan & Sons is a popular spot to enjoy a casual lunch; Nok’s Kitchen has glowing reviews for their Thai food; and the Scran and Scallie is the popular venture by Michelin Star chef Tom Kitchin. For those with a sweet tooth, head to the Pastry Section, La Barantine, or Soderberg.  

What to do

One of the loveliest things you can do in Stockbridge is to simply explore it on foot. As well as streets lined with elegant Georgian homes and the extremely picturesque Circus Lane, the Water of Leith also flows through the charming neighbourhood and makes for a lovely walk along to either Dean Village or Canonmills and the Royal Botanic Gardens. As previously mentioned, the Stockbridge Market is popular amongst locals and is well-worth a visit if you happen to be in Stockbridge on a Sunday.

IJ Mellis & Circus Lane

IJ Mellis & Circus Lane

It sounds like it’s going to be quite a month! If you’d like to discover Edinburgh with our local lads, Rowan & Andy, we have a range of fantastic private mini car tours.

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Mini Mack tours offer a range of private Mini car tours in and around the heart of Edinburgh. It’s a great way to pack a lot into one day and see sights that most visitors (and even locals) have never seen. From private city tours to Whisky n’ Cheese tours to a day trip to St Andrews, there’s something for everyone!

Click here to find out more - we can’t wait to meet you!

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Mini Mack’s Edinburgh Top Tips: August 2019

Edinburgh Festival Fringe.jpg

August has arrived and that means the biggest art festival in the world, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is here! With thousands of shows, exhibitions, and performances to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for entertainment during your visit to Edinburgh. As well as the Edinburgh Festival, the city’s reputation as the City of Festivals comes into its own and you can look forward to the Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh Foodies Festival, and Edinburgh International Book Festival. If that wasn’t enough the fantastic Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo is back, and the month of August comes to an exciting close with the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert! So, continue scrolling to discover Mini Mack’s Edinburgh Top Tips: August 2019!

What’s on in Edinburgh this August?

Before we delve into our top tips for the month, let’s have a look at what is taking place in Edinburgh this August.

Edinburgh Art Festival | throughout August, Various Locations

Edinburgh Festival Fringe | throughout August, Various Locations

Edinburgh International Festival | throughout August, Various Locations

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo | throughout August, Edinburgh Castle

Aberdeen Standard Investments Festival Opening Event | 3rd August, Festival Square

Summer Sessions in Princes Street Gardens | from 7th August, Princes Street Gardens

Forth On The Fringe | from 9th-10th August, Edinburgh Playhouse

Edinburgh International Book Festival | 10th-26th August, Charlotte Square

Fair & Ethical Trade on the Fringe | 12th-18th August, Castle Street

Edinburgh TV Festival | 21st – 23rd August, EICC

Virgin Money Festival Fireworks Concert | 26th August, West Princes Street Gardens

Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo

Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo

Mini Mack’s Edinburgh Top Tips: August 2019

1. Where to Eat…

Edinburgh is blessed with so many fantastic places to dine out, here are just a few of our recommendations for this month.

Edinburgh Foodies Festival (2nd-4th August, Inverleith Park)

Here’s one for the foodies! The popular Edinburgh Foodies Festival is back, where you can watch top chefs cooking live on stage, enjoy live music, try delicious street food from around the world, and much more. The Foodies Festival is on for three days in Inverleith Park, click here for more info.

Festival Pop-ups (Various Locations)

As you walk about the city during August, you’ll notice in certain areas, like George Square and Bristo Square, a small cluster of street food pop-ups have arrived to ensure you don’t go hungry between festival shows. From the Pizza Geeks’ legendary pizzas to the ShrimpWreck’s tasty seafood, there’s plenty to try out!

The Free Company (Cockdurno Farmhouse, Balerno)

Established in 2017, The Free Company are based at Cockdurno Farm and believe in the reinvigoration of forgotten rural communities and spaces. For a few months of the year, the Free Company fling their doors open for their hugely popular seasonal series. Tickets are currently available to their 'Summer Series', where you can expect a four-course meal based on the bounties of the Scottish Summer, using locally grown produce.

Photo Credit: The Free Company

Photo Credit: The Free Company

2. Must-See Event… Edinburgh International book festival (10th-26th august)

Set up in 1983, the Edinburgh International Book Festival started as a relatively small affair and has grown to become one of the key events in August’s festival season. Based in Charlotte Square, the event has over 900 exciting events lined up. Visitors can expect various ‘Meet the Author’ events, the Baillie Gifford Children's Programme, and lively debates. Click here for the full programme.

The Book Festival Village / Photo Credit: Edinburgh International Book Festival

The Book Festival Village / Photo Credit: Edinburgh International Book Festival

3. Spotlight on… The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (2nd-26th August)

Normally, we take a moment to shine a light on one of Edinburgh’s fabulous areas, but with the Festival season upon us, we thought it only right to dedicate this month’s spotlight to the Fringe Festival. In just a few days, the world’s largest arts festival will descend on the Scottish capital, bringing with it a plethora of comedians, actors, and heaps of creativity. There are so many ways to take part, from booking a ticket to see a must-see show or spontaneously attending the Free Fringe, to waking down the Royal Mile and watching various street performers. There isn’t a dull moment during the Festival! However, the sheer scale of events can make it overwhelming for both newcomers and experienced fans. To help you navigate the Fringe Festival, we’ve selected a few must-see shows to give you a taste of what’s on offer.

Family Shows

Comedy Shows

Theatre Shows

Lastly, don’t forget about the Aberdeen Standard Investments Opening Event (3rd August, free) which marks the start of the Edinburgh Festival and the Virgin Money Festival Fireworks Concert which brings the Festival to an exciting close (26th August, from £15).

It sounds like it’s going to be quite a month! If you’d like to discover Edinburgh with our local lads, Rowan & Andy, we have a range of fantastic private mini car tours.

Mini+Mack+Tours.jpg

Mini Mack tours offer a range of private Mini car tours in and around the heart of Edinburgh. It’s a great way to pack a lot into one day and see sights that most visitors (and even locals) have never seen. From private city tours to Whisky n’ Cheese tours to a day trip to St Andrews, there’s something for everyone!

Click here to find out more - we can’t wait to meet you!

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smallcarBIGCITY meets BIGGERCARsmallercity

The great thing about the tourism industry, especially within a niche market is the level of enthusiasm and general openness we have received within the industry since starting the Mini Mack Tours.  smallcarBIGCITY (a classic car hire and tour company based in London) certainly falls into that bracket and warmly welcomed when they reached out to us to say they would be in Edinburgh for the weekend.  When I say they, it was Tony Grant (Head Gasket of smallcar) and his lovely wife Julia who made the trip up North to check us Edinburgers out.  

Taking a slight detour from the normal route, we started off with a wee walk along Portobello promenade which is based in the East of Edinburgh, right on the Firth of Forth.  True to a typical early March day, it was fricking freezing, but nice for our new friends to see something new and to my mind the beach is an under used asset for visitors of Edinburgh as a whole. From there we ventured off to our first 3 stops on the regular tour showcasing the hidden delights of our beautiful city.   Since we have only been running our tours for 10 months it was great to hear from another fellow professional, their thoughts and opinions as to the locations and experience our tour offers, as well as get a few pointers and tips for future tours.    

If you are ever in London, you need to check these guys out  www.smallcarbigcity.com   With a fleet of beautiful classic minis, their tours will take you on experiences based on the Beatles, the Italian Job, treasure hunts, team building events as well as quick private tours around the parts of the city most people don't get to see - a bit like us :)   Meeting your so called 'competitors' has been a pleasure as well as an education in making sure our customers have the best time while visiting their chosen city. After all, this is the reason why we do it!

 

 

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