Tag Archives: edinburgh

20th anniversary – photos of Edinburgh through the lens of an iPhone 4S

I only just realised that I have lived in Edinburgh for almost exactly 20 years. Although I have travelled all over the world and visited some great places, I always love coming home to this unique vibrant city that feels like a town.

Here are some photos of Edinburgh to celebrate my 20th Anniversary.

Every year at Christmas the city turn Princes Street gardens into “Winter Wonderland”. Here you will see a fairground, German market, stalls and bars. It’s a great place to wrap up warm as the sun goes down and your breath fogs the air in front of you.

Edinburgh has great beaches. You might want to stroll along the promenade you try kite surfing in the rough waters of the Firth of Forth.

The castle towers above the city like a sentinel. After 20 years in the city I still often dive for cover when they fire the cannon every day at one o’clock.

Princes Street is the main thoroughfare, framed by shops on one side and the gardens on the other. The Scott Monument creates a breathtaking focal point for photographers.

Arthur’s seat is a mountain in the middle of the city. From certain angles you cannot see the buildings of Edinburgh at all. It feels as if you are deep within the rugged countryside of the highlands.

You should never miss a train in Edinburgh. They set the clock on the Balmoral Hotel tower several minutes fast. You might find yourself rushing but you will always make it as a result.

The tram workings have blighted the city for over 5 years but we are finally getting there. St. Andrew Square looks very pretty again now that the diggers and drills have moved on.

Edinburgh is an connected series of smaller villages. Visit Portobello, Musselburgh, Granton and experience different textures of Edinburgh life.

Your turn: I’d love to see some of your pictures of Edinburgh. What is your favourite view, or street, monument or building. Please leave a comment here or post a link to your own photos.

Review of Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Restaurant Edinburgh

Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Restaurant in Edinburgh is a great place for a celebratory meal. I was with the guys from marketing agency Tayburn and the reason for celebration was we had won the Best B2C Marketing category at the Digital Marketing Awards. This was for our “Next Level” campaign which featured Dragon’s Den star, Duncan Bannatyne.

Review of Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Restaurant Edinburgh
View of the restaurant and the bar beyond

The restaurant is a great place to people watch. They dress up to come here and we passed some very glamorous ladies sipping champagne at the bar. Once seated the small army of waiters attended to our every need.

Review of Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Restaurant Edinburgh
A great bottle of red wine

The Sommelier was on hand to give us wine advice and we chose an excellent red called Meerlust. The bottle appeared very quickly allowing us to savour the deep flavours as we looked at the menu.

Review of Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Restaurant Edinburgh
Rabbit starter

For starter I had:

Confit of rabbit with smoked pistachio, last summer’s preserved cherries and spiced orange loaf

Lovely moist meat, nuttiness and a little surprise from the cherries. The spicy bread was very interesting and good at mopping up the rabbit confit.

Review of Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Restaurant Edinburgh
Duck main course

And for the main course:

Roast breast of Mallard duck with turnip fondant, glazed baby vegetables, vanilla and parsnip puree, mulled wine jelly

Moist and perfectly cooked duck with that exquisite jelly and the beautiful crispy veg.

Both dishes were perfectly presented – what I like to call “Masterchef Food“.

Time was pressing so we skipped dessert and went straight to coffee, reminiscing about our days on the road with the Dragon.

Over to you: Thanks for reading my review of Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Restaurant Edinburgh? Please share you own reviews of this great establishment. Click below where it says “Leave a reply”.

One question I’d like an answer to after the Edinburgh trams disaster

Edinburgh is such a beautiful city. But every day as I walk up from Waverley Station I see the on-street building site that has tainted that beauty for so many years. The council started tearing the roads up in 2008. They erected signs telling us that the trams would be “taking us to the shops in 2011”.
Edinburgh Trams Disaster

Well here we are in 2012 and there are two more years of construction pain before the trams start running. The tram units themselves wait sadly unloved and without passengers in their little play pen at the Gogarburn Depot.

This has been a vanity project. Nothing more. The route is well served by buses already.

Here are some of the highlights of the Edinburgh Trams disaster:

  • Original plans were for three lines. One serving the airport to the city centre; a second loop down through Leith and back to the city centre through Granton; and a third out to Musselburgh in the east. Only the first line is actually being built.
  • The cost estimate was £498m. The final bill will be just short of £1 billion. And that’s for 1 line not three remember.
  • The trams were to be running by summer 2011. July 2014 is now what we are promised.
  • The tracks on Princes Street have been laid three times necessitating the closure of this famous thoroughfare. The tarmac was already crumbling and dangerous before a single tram had ever run on them.

The green agenda is often used to justify building the trams. I wonder how much extra pollution has been created by the building work, the delays, the re-routing of traffic and the heavy machinery. How long will the trams have to operate in order to pay back this carbon debt?

And when the construction is finally finished and Edinburgh cab drivers will have to find a different topic to talk about, there is one question which I would love to know the answer to.

Given that the tram units themselves will each carry 250 passengers. That’s 78 seated and 172 standing. If you were a passenger arriving at Edinburgh Airport after a long journey, would you choose to stand up for the ride into town, or would you select the guarantee of a seat in one of the superb airport buses, or the privacy of a cab direct to your destination?

Over to you: Are you looking forward to the completion of the Edinburgh Trams? What do you think of the scheme? Would you choose to travel to the airport in a car, a cab, a bus or would you take the tram? Please leave a comment and let me know.