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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hotel Indigo/Edinburgh Neighborhood Guide


SEE: Give the Scottish National Portrait Gallery just 40 minutes and come face to face with some famous folks. Their “Fur Coat an' Nae Knickers” self-guided tour celebrates the vibrant diversity of seven Scots and one royal wannabe. The cast of characters include royals like Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Victoria to the creator of Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie and the beloved poet Robert Burns in addition to the Big Yin – comedian Billy Connolly.                                                        
DO: Take home a unique souvenir by attending a one day course at the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School.  Located a short walk away from the hotel at 7 Queen St the school invites children, ages nine and above to families and adults to discover culinary techniques that include  baking, creating curries or working with fresh local shellfish and seafood. Check their website for cooking demonstrations with noted chefs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
TASTE: Not a member of the Single Malt Whisky Society? Do not water down your whisky with disappointed tears.  Non members can enjoy the nectar of Scottish and international distillery gods’ single casks and innovative Scottish fare at the SMWS’ dining room on 28 Queen St for lunch and dinner. Chef James Freeman’s menus feature a French flair with regional ingredients. A wild salmon filet with crab cannolli and coastal greens remains a popular year-round entree.
DRINK: When looking for a pub experience with more substance than glitz head to the Basement Bar on Broughton St. Malt whiskies range from smoky Islay drams to gently spiced Lowland and fruity Speysides.   Caribbean rums and American bourbons are well represented.  Sip around the world with bottled beers of Mexico, Germany, and the Czech Republic and of course the UK.  Draught beers include Belhaven Best, Scotland’s renowned brown beer and the raspberry infused Bacchus Frambiose.
BUY: Books provide the backbone of Edinburgh through its annual International Book Festival held at nearby Charlotte Sq every August and numerous bookshops found in New Town. Open the door to the Broughton Street Book Shop at number 44 and the intoxicating aroma of old paper, dust and ink grab the soul.  Shelves, edging up to the high ceilings, are filled with classics, old and new, and everything in between. Literary memories await here.

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