Archive for January, 2010

If you are thinking of going away for Valentine’s day consider visiting Edinburgh. 

Steeped in history the city boasts breathtaking art in its many galleries, beautiful winter walks on Arthur’s Seat and the Pentland Hills, and some of the best restaurants in the UK. 

Arthur's Seat

…And we think our stylish apartment  is the perfect place to stay.  Close to the city centre, it boasts great views of Arthur’s seat and has beautifully presented rooms, equipped to the highest of standards. 

If Love Fables & Mysteries are your kind of thing, visit the Roxy Art House  from 24th to 27th of February for poetry, drama and music.

For more information about what’s on in Edinburgh during February visit our calendar  here. Highlights include Arthur Miller’s “The Price” at the Lyceum Theatre, The Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the Festival Theatre, The Sound of Music at the Playhouse, a figure drawing class with artist Claudia Petretti, The Scottish National Orchestra performing Tristan and Isolde at the Usher Hall, the Edinburgh Quartet at the Queen’s Hall, comedian Dave Gorman and Ballet Rambert.


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Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat are perhaps the greatest leisure asset that Edinburgh possesses. Such a resource is pretty unique within a big city  – and they’re  only a few minutes walk from the apartment


Walk to the top of Arthur’s Seat –  why not take a picnic and possibly a kite!  The extinct volcano that forms Arthur’s Seat affords a superb panoramic view  (http://www.panoguide.com/gallery/1154/view_pp/?w=1280&h=770) from it’s peak of 251m – the city – Edinburgh Castle, Scott’s Monument, Murrayfield, Calton Hill, the Firth of Forth with the 2 Forth Bridges and its islands – Cramond Island, Incholm, the Isle of May. Follow the coastline from the docks at Leith to the seafront at Portobello to Musselbrugh and then along to the sandy beaches of  Gullane and beyond towards North Berwick. Then turn south west towards the Pentland hills – a fabulous area for walks, cycling, skiing, even paragliding just outside the city. You could try being there for sunrise or sunset.

Guided walk  Every Wednesday afternoon the park ranger service offers a free guided walk around Arthur’s Seat starting at 1pm. Advance telephone booking is required.

Bouldering  the area contains some fantastic rock faces – notably around Salisbury Crags – where climbing clubs often practice their skills. Bouldering is free climbing that tends to traverse the rock face. Climbing skills are tested but the climber does not climb to a dangerous height. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rA2g-vHk9g&feature=related 

Cycling. The park is encircled by a road that provides a great circuit for a bike. Three times around would be a very good work out with a good mixture of climbing, flat and downhill. For more variety the cyclist can include a loop following the “Innocent Railway” bicycle track to Duddingston village around Duddingston Loch and then back up past Duddingston Kirk on the south side of Arthur’s Seat.

Duddingston Loch behind Arthur's Seat

Birdwatching. 3 lochs in the Park area provide a great attraction for water birds. You could see anything from swans and ducks to hawks that can often be seen hovering over the heathy areas typically hunting rabbits. Join in with an RSPB bird watching event in the park.

Running. Holyrood park has been the venue for the World cross country running championships and hosts running events each year. The runner has a great choice of routes and terrain. Whether running on paths around the periphery or choosing to test himself on the steep ascents of Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat.

Sledging  in snowy weather there is endless fun to be had on the slopes of Arthur’s seat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oJ68VRijc4&feature=related

You’d be amazed at the capers people get up to on Arthur’s seat. See some of their contributions on Youtube:







Sword fighting!


Have you done anything on Arthur’s seat you’d like to tell us about? – We’d love to hear from you!

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Having loved the city of Edinburgh for many years, we are always eager for people to have a happy stay when they come to our apartment

Our visitors are sure of a lovely welcome from Diane who greets them on arrival, and we give our attention to the details – beautifully presented rooms;  fluffy towels; a well equipped kitchen; a starter pack  of drinks and  Scottish shortbread on arrival;  guide books and Edinburgh maps; a selection of literature with Edinburgh and Scottish themes; a good selection of dvds; free postcards with the view from the apartment; a high chair and a cot available; a yoga mat; internet on request;  toys and games for toddlers to adults …its the little things that we hope make all the difference….

…And it makes it all worthwhile when we hear how happy people have been during their stay.  So if you are thinking of booking the apartment we thought you might want to hear some of the things people have said about www.edinburghselfcatering.org.

“All I can say is that you have a wonderful apartment! “

“…My party and I were very pleased with the welcome, layout and presentation…”

“As for the views, they were stunning….”



“I see only one big mistake our stay was too short. I hope I’ll come back next year…”

“The flat was lovely and clean and the info left was brill!”

“..Thank you very much for letting us use your lovely apartment – it was ideal for our family…”

“..The apartment was perfect and Diane was very helpful and friendly…”  

“So much better than being cramped up in a hotel!  You have a beautiful place.  Thanks again..”

“..We enjoyed our stay and the accommodation was great.  It was also a great location for us to travel to and from the city..”

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Sandy Bells Pub and Folk Music venue

A quick visit to the apartment enabled me last night to visit Sandy Bell’s. This small bar amazingly hosts Folk music every night. The musicians are just a part of the ambience – not expecting or seeking huge applause – but dedicated to what they are doing. Each night there is a different band. I heard a line up of Fiddle, Flute, Box accordeon, Uillean pipes, and bouzouki.

The musicians were  very approachable – I asked Cathy, the fiddler for advice about sources of music for my own playing. She was very keen to suggest players that I might listen to in order to pick up repertoire and the style of playing which can’t really be effectively shown in notes on a page of music.

Some suggestions she  made were Scottish Fiddler Alisdair Fraser who plays with Cellist Natalie Haas, Shetland fiddlers Aly Bain and Chris Stout, Irish fiddler Martin Hayes with Guitarist Dennis Cahill,  Accordionist Andy Cutting, and Guitarist Martin Simpson.

Music at Sandy Bells starts from about 9pm every night.

Why not make this a part of your stay in Edinburgh!

Sandy Bells is in situated in the University area of  Edinburgh Old Town, very near to the Museum of Scotland. 

Thanks to all at Sandy Bells for a great evening!

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If you want a real treat in February, come to Edinburgh and see Connie Fisher as Maria in the world’s best-loved musical, THE SOUND OF MUSIC.  Performances are being held at the Edinburgh Playhouse from 19th January until 20th of February.

This rather lavish and highly acclaimed production, direct from the London Palladium, tells the story of the Von Trapp family’s flight across the mountains and works its magic once again, for young and old alike.

With its unforgettable score that includes some of the most memorable songs ever performed on the musical stage including My Favorite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, , and of course the glorious title song The Sound of Music, it’s the perfect family treat.

For all your accomodation needs when in Edinburgh visit www.edinburghselfcatering.org. Find a link to the Playhouse on the Edinburgh Activities page.


Centrally located stylish apartment available at http://www.edinburghselfcatering.org



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If you are visiting Edinburgh for Burns Night take a look at our accommodation available at www.edinburghselfcatering.org.

 Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert and it would make a perfect end to a Burn’s Night celebration meal.  It also has the added bonus of including my favourite whisky in the ingredients list! 

A traditional way to serve cranachan is to bring the ingredients to the table in separate dishes, and then each person can assemble their dessert to taste.

….And as someone with a weakness for puddings I can say that cranachan is incredibly rich and totally delicious!  But if you would like to opt for a slightly lighter version you can substitute some of the cream for natural yoghurt!


250ml/½ pint fresh double cream
1 tbsp thick heather honey.
1 generous tbsp of Talisker whisky
1 heaped tbsp of toasted porridge oats
2 punnets raspberries



  1. Toast the oats in a frying pan being careful not to burn
  2. Whisk the cream together with the honey and whisky
  3. Fold in the toasted oatmeal
  4. Pile together with fresh raspberries and serve.


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Burns Night is celebrated every year on January 25, and marks the birthday of the 18th century Scottish poet Robert Burns.  Burns Night 2010 is the 251st anniversary of the poet’s birth.


My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.




Burns Night celebrations typically include poetry recitation, bagpipe music, singing, traditional ceilidh dancing, whisky drinking, and a dinner featuring none other than haggis.

The Burns Supper is an institution of Scottish life and is very much a night to celebrate the life and works of the national Bard. Suppers can range from an informal gathering of friends to a huge, formal dinner full of pomp and circumstance.

If you are thinking of visiting Edinburgh on Burns Night, it is a good idea to book your accommodation in advance, as the city gets very busy with the celebrations.  For the perfect stylish, centrally located self-catering apartment with space for up to 6 people, visit www.edinburghselfcatering.org for more information.


Centrally located stylish apartment available at http://www.edinburghselfcatering.org

In Edinburgh there is no shortage of things to do throughout the year.  For more details of whats on now click here.

….And if you are thinking of celebrating Burns Night 2010 in Edinburgh there is no shortage of places to celebrate.  Here’s a sample of what’s on…

Supper with Burns at The Tass

A seasonal favourite – an alternative Burns supper at Edinburgh’s famous Burns pub, hosted by storytellers David Campbell, Donald Smith and Linda Bandelier. Book early to avoid disappointment!

Mon Jan 25 and Tue Jan 26 2010 – 7pm (2hrs), £17

Tass Bar, 1 High Street, Edinburgh Lothian EH1 1SR


Oor Rabbie

Join Foolish Notion for the perfect introduction (or refresher!) to the life and work of Robert Burns.  With live music, lots of participation and a witty storytelling style, discover the history of Scotland’s famous bard through his best-known work – including Tam O’Shanter, Tae a Mouse and Address to a Haggis.

Fri 22 Jan (7pm) & Sat 23 Jan (2.30pm), Age 8-adult, £8/£6, Family ticket £24 (4 people) at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh Lothian EH1 1SR

Hopscotch Theatre: Tam O’Shanter – Sunday 24th January  at 12:45 & 14:45
Duration: 30 mins
Cost: Free
Suitable for: Everybody
Venue: Hawthornden Court
Join the slightly tipsy Tam as he bravely mounts his trusty grey mare Meg and sets off into the heart of a raging storm to confront the deil himsel! Hopscotch Theatre presents this entertaining production of Burns’ epic tale.

Burns Night Supper at the Whiski Bar & Restaurant 

Go to the Whiski bar for a memorable Burns Night Supper to celebrate our national poet Robert Burns whose message of friendship and Auld Lang Syne lives on. FOOTSTOMPING – traditional Scottish fiddle band will be playing live in the bar to celebrate all things Scottish and ensure the night goes with a bang …

Sunday 24th Jan – live music from 9:00PM, Monday 25th Jan – live music from 9:00PM

£19.95 from 6PM

WHISKI Bar & Restaurant, 119 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SG Edinburgh EH1 1SG

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