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.

BEST FOR BREAKFAST / BRUNCH:

The Birchwood

the-birchwood-148

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Scottish Parliament Cross-Party Groups

One of the great things about studying in the School of GeoSciences post-graduate programmes at the University of Edinburgh is the university’s very close proximity to policy-makers whose own work is often informed by our programmes’ research and teaching. The Scottish Parliament operates a wide variety of Cross-Party Groups, which are forums for its elected members to interact with leaders of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the general public on matters of public interest. Several of the groups are dedicated to topical areas of concern to us in GeoSciences; these include food, renewable energy, animal welfare, crofting, oil and gas, among many others.

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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”

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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