Travel Notes

An insider’s guide to Edinburgh, with Emma Macdonald

The Tartan Blanket Co. is the result of a dream, hard work and a leap of faith. Founded by husband and wife Emma and Fergus, it was back in 2014 when they decided their next step would be moving back to their roots in Edinburgh. Having a combined background of fashion buying and business, they saw the opportunity to bring a modern take to one of their favourite traditional Scottish products – the tartan blanket. Naturally made from sustainable materials, the story and ethos behind the Tartan Blanket Co. had us at ‘wrapped in warmth, woven in wool…’ 

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Growing up, and now living back in Edinburgh, Emma let us in on her favourite Edinburgh haunts, from where to grab that first early morning coffee to where to stay if you’re on a weekend away. 

Start the day with coffee at The Pantry

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“Every great day starts with brunch, and my favourite place to have it is at The Pantry,” says Emma. “Open since 2012, this spot has been the city’s brunch go-to ever since – The Sunday Times has said that founder Chris’ eggs benedict was reason alone to visit Edinburgh.” That sounds good enough for us.

1 North West Circus Place, Edinburgh

Take a stroll along Portobello Beach

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“My favourite walk is along Portobello Beach, with live folk music at the Daldriada pub afterwards.” An award winning family run bar, the Daldriada is situated right on the beach, providing panoramic views over the Firth of  Forth. Snuggle in and warm your soul by the real fire inside or weather permitting, enjoy a drink in the  cider garden.

Book in for dinner at Borough

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“I’m pretty lucky that my favourite restaurant is on our side of town. Borough’s modern, seasonal Scottish fare makes this our go-to date night.”

This independent restaurant in the heart of Leith in the city uses traditional cooking methods and the best local ingredients. Run by husband and wife team Darren and Aleks Murray, the set menu changes regularly to showcase the very best seasonal produce. A passion for unique and interesting flavours shines through the menu, and we have it on good authority that it’s the atmosphere that makes it.

50-50 Henderson Street, Edinburgh EH6 6DE

Have an after-dinner cocktail at Bramble

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“For an evening drink, I love Bramble, it’s the oldest and best hidden cocktail bar in Edinburgh,” says Emma. This upscale bar serves both classic and contemporary cocktails with a twist, in chic surroundings. Located in a New Town basement, it might not be the easiest to spot, but once you’re through the door you’ll find a cave-like secret bar with an extensive drinks list. Voted one of the best cocktail bars in the world, this is one drinks spot not to be missed.

Bramble Bar & Lounge, 16A Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JE

Stay overnight at Eden Locke

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“I would highly recommend Eden Locke for a peaceful night’s sleep in a beautiful room.” Reimagining the traditionally uninspiring concept of the aparthotel is this design-led delight, located in the heart of the city, conveniently close to Edinburgh Waverley station and in amongst all the top tourist spots that you won’t want to miss. Eden Locke is a beautiful light-filled space, immersing visitors in its neighbourhood, and with thoughtful interiors that highlight the building’s Georgian heritage. The pastel colour rooms are both bold and welcoming, this is definitely more than just a place to rest your head.

Eden Locke, 127 George St, Edinburgh EH2 4JN

Emma Macdonald is co founder of The Tartan Blanket Co.

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