Edinburgh Food Guide

Having almost reached the end of my four years in this beautiful city (cry), it’s fair to say I’ve been lucky enough to sample an array of Edinburgh’s culinary offerings. And let me tell you, it really does have a plethora of options. Romantic dinner for two… hungover brunch with the girls… and everything in between, you’re guaranteed to stumble across numerous options on your journey from Marchmont to New Town. Adopting the very much appropriate ‘sharing is caring’ motto, I thought it would only be fair to divulge some of the best picks. Whether your parents are coming up for the weekend and you’d like them to think you haven’t spent your entire year en route from the JMCC to Why Not… or you’re coming to the end of your Edinburgh Uni venture and you simply MUST sample every brunch spot on offer before you leave… OR you’re considering coming to study here and you’re looking for that final bit of persuasion… I’ve got your back. Get your bucket list at the ready.


The Birchwood


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Great Places to See: Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is an important part of the city. It played a key role in its history and contributes so much to the local economy. The students call the city their home where they spend most of their leisure time. In this blog post I plan to share my favorite places that are well worth a visit and bring a person closer to Edinburgh.

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Carbon Masters Alumni Conference

alumniconference14 alumniconference36alumniconference43 For the first time since the the start of the programme, the Msc in Carbon Management had an Alumni Conference to gather all current and past students for a weekend of carbon discussions, updates on the work of alumni and networking among the different cohorts. From the 6th to the 8th of june, people traveled from all over the world to meet other alumni and to exchange their experience now working on different carbon related fields.

The event started with a wine reception to welcome the alumni who used to be based at the Business School for their course. After a couple of speeches and a warm welcome from Dave Reay, the programme director, people started catching up with classmates and meeting alumni from different years while enjoying delicious foods and a glass of wine.alumniconference51

For saturday, the second day of the conference, we had a series of panels where alumni shared their experience after studying the Msc in Carbon Management. It was held at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI), current house for Carbon Management students. They talked about sustainability in business, about the financial aspects of renewable energy, about smart cities and energy efficiency, and a panel about very interesting research that has come out of the programme. The day came to an end with a very heartfelt speech from the man who has seen six generations go through this programme, Dave Reay.

alumniconference68The third and final day of the event was a casual BBQ that provided a more relaxed atmosphere for the alumni to socialize and keep networking. The event had over 60 alumni attending, the collaboration of Business and Geosciences schools. We consider the event was quite a success and we are happy of having helped the unite the carbon family that are all of the alumni.




You can follow the Twitter feed of the conference with the hashtag #CarbonWeekend2014.

All images courtesy of Marco Moras

IEMA Workshops

As current students of the Msc in Carbon Management, we have been given a student membership to the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA). Being a member gives you access to a lot of information and documentation, invitations to interesting events and training sessions, and professional recognition when looking for a job. That is how recently I got to take part in one of their Climate Change & Energy Position Statement Workshops.

This workshop is an opportunity to influence IEMA’s policy calls for Government and wider policy makers. It is also an opportunity to collaborate with and to learn from peers and colleagues active in this important area of practice. Climate change requires action and leadership at all levels and environment and sustainability professionals make a vital contribution within businesses, organisations and communities. IEMA is committed to support its members in leading the way on climate change and sustainability.

During this session, a mix of student and professionals got a chance to discuss which IEMA actions can be improved or changed to help its members in their projects. Being a student, this gave me the chance to interact with professionals with very different points of view on current policies and opportunity areas for policy improvements. To the rest of the students, I definitely encourage you to take advantage of this membership and engage with the events that IEMA is constantly organising. Being part of the IEMA network is an opportunity that should not be wasted.

That time I wore a kilt

A Finnish, a German and a Mexican walk into a kilt shop and no, this is not the start of a joke. A couple of months ago, the Msc in Carbon Management got the chance to spend a lovely Christmas dinner with classmates, teachers and staff of the programme. The food was great, the music was really good and I’m sure we all had a lot of fun. But for me, one of the things that I will remember the most about that night is the fact that I got to wear a kilt for the first time. The dress code for the event was black tie and one of our classmates found a very convenient deal to rent the whole Scottish outfit from a local store. So, a group decided to give kilts a try, have a much more Scottish night and give the girls a lovely surprise.

Carbon Management Masters Students in Kilts
Carbon Management Masters Students in Kilts

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Food for a Fiver

As we all probably know by this point, the student lifestyle requires a very thorough financial analysis to be able to make it through the month on a budget. And having been a student dependent on scholarships most of his life, I have learned a few tricks on how to make 50 pence feel like a whole pound. This post is dedicated to a small cafe on Nicholson Street called The Bean Scene. Continue reading “Food for a Fiver”

If You Want Change, Be the Change: GeoSciencers Clean Up Cramond Island

A few weeks ago I took a trip to see a landmark of Edinburgh: Cramond Island, an island reached from the northern tip of the city that you can walk to during the low tide of the day.  The island is rather small and easy to walk through in an hour or so.  I enjoyed my

exploration of the land and taking in the glorious views of Edinburgh’s coast, but was slightly shocked and dismayed to see a good amount of litter on the island.

The walk to the island at low tide.
The walk to the island at low tide.

In some spots there were lines of broken beer bottles because it seems people can take the initiative to bring bottles of beer to an island, but feel it’s too much effort to carry the empty bottles back and, to add insult to injury, break the bottles to not only cause litter but also danger.  Clearly I was annoyed.  At this juncture I could have just taken this as a testament of humanity’s carelessness, silently judged the litterers, and walked away, but then I realized actually something can be done about this.  I have at my fingertips a whole program of people who care about this land!  A Facebook invite within my GeoSciences program later, I had a group of people ready to go to the island and pick up trash for a day. Continue reading “If You Want Change, Be the Change: GeoSciencers Clean Up Cramond Island”

Haggis and ceilidh

In Scotland, Burns Night is a special occasion when the work and life of poet Robert Burns is celebrated with a nice supper that takes place close to the poet’s birthday, January 25th. At least that’s what it is supposed to be. For most of the students at least (especially foreign ones) this is the perfect occasion to dip into the Scottish culture with haggis and try some ceilidh dancing. For those still not very familiar with the Scottish ways, I will not go into much detail on the description of the delicacy that is Haggis. I will only say that the taste is very pleasant and, putting aside the ingredient list, it is something that is definitely worth a try… at least I liked it. And for the vegetarian ones, do not worry… veggie options are usually available.

Learning to Ceilidh Dance
Learning to Ceilidh Dance by Marco Moras

Moving on to the next topic, a Ceilidh is a traditional Gaelic social gathering that involves folk music and lots of dancing. This kind of dancing requires a certain amount of coordination with the rest of the people, the ability to jump and turn continuously, and at least some awareness of how much space you need to move.

Regardless of how much you lack of the items in the previous list, venturing on to the dance floor is something you have to do. Having next to you someone who knows what he/she is doing will definitely help. If not, instructions are usually given by the band for those of use whose dance moves are more of the club variety. Eventually you’ll understand enough to be able to follow the more noticeable movements and bump less frequently into the rest of the people. I promise you will have a good time.

Gordon Tartan
Gordon Tartan modelled by Mr. Eadie

The whole experience is really enjoyable, with people laughing at how complicated the dance looks and how fun it is to do. I must say it is quite tiring and drinking lots of liquids is probably a good idea. But in general do give yourself the chance to experience some true Scottish culture and dance the stress off… and maybe wear a kilt.

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