This weekend I was up in Edinburgh for the Fringe and to visit friends. This is the fifth time I’ve visited Edinburgh, but only the first at Fringe time.
My friend, Jen and I stayed at the Tune hotel in Haymarket – which was perfectly situated to get the bus or tram from the airport and also into the New Town. It’s a budget hotel which charges extra for using the telly, the wifi, towels (!) and the hair dryer. So we saved about £8 each by bringing our own! But it’s nice and new and with everything you need (except soap and towels). Not sure I’d go for the windowless doubles though…
We met up with our friend Matt for lunch at Soba – an Asian fusion place that also serves mega cocktails:
Before we could check in Jen and I decided to take a bus tour around Edinburgh so she could see some more of it. For £14 quid you can get a hop on hop off bus ticket valid for 24 hours, for an extra £4 you can take any of the bus routes.
We started in the New Town at St Andrews Square, which is a hub for the Fringe – with several venues and bars outside in the garden.
The bus then goes down Princes Street – the main shopping street in the New Town
The Scott Monument on Princes Street – you can pay for the privilege to walk to the top, we stayed on the bus though!
View of Edinburgh Castle over Princes Street garden – not sure who the statue dude is though. You can also see the grandstand by the castle for the Edinburgh Miltary Tattoo – don’t think I would want to be on the top row, it overhangs the side of the crag by metres – it’s a long drop!
Another view from the West end of Princes Street
Gladstone’s Land – a preserved Edinburgh house kept just like it would have been 100’s of years ago.
One of the oldest buildings in Edinburgh
View over Waverly Station
After the bus tour we checked in and went to our first show, Like a Grrrl, where four female comedians are showcased every day. I had heard about this show before – created as a reaction to one promoter removing women comedians from its event listing as it had ‘too many’ so I wanted to go and support the girls. We didn’t see Ria Lina’s full show, but she was very good, musical numbers with the ukulele!
So a good start to our Fringe experience…
We then met up with Debbie and Matt after work and got to see their flat in Maymarket before dinner at L’Escargot Bleu restaurant. Great service, fabulous food and a snug atmosphere – I’d definitely recommend it!
The next morning we had brunch at Urban Angel in the New Town. Great fresh healthy food, we had eggs royal with a side of avocado (as I had spotted someone else doing that!), coffee and fresh juice.
After brunch we headed for some free comedy – before having a drink mind… It was dire… There is a reason why some of the shows are free – people just won’t pay for it! The comic got a pity pound for the hour of my life wasted…
We then met up with Matt & Debbie and hung out at another Fringe hub at the Pleasance in the Old Town. We watched the News Review there and it was fabulous! I hadn’t realised it was a musical interpretation of current events, it was done so well that we kept singing snippets to ourselves afterwards! I would definitely recommend the News Review if you can get tickets.
We then moved back to the New Town, grabbing Mexican food for dinner at The Basement, which was tasty and value for money, which can’t be said for our final Fringe experience: Scott Capurro Islamahomophobia.
Well the name suggests that it’s going to be borderline on the taste front and Scott started off OK. But his jokes went beyond the boundary of what most of the audience was comfortable with – and I know that comedy isn’t meant to be comfortable (just sit in the front row to be immensely uncomfortable!) but people on my row couldn’t actually believe he was saying some things.. Probably best to go if you’re drunk?!
Sunday we had as a lazy day hanging out with Matt & Debbie at theirs and then for some exercise we walked down the river to Stockbridge – stopping to look at the market and eat some cake!
We could have done a lot more comedy at the Fringe if we’d been more organised and done some research & booking in advance, but I’m actually quite happy with the number of shows we saw (if not necessarily the content!) and leaving it to the last minute meant that we could figure out which side of town the shows were on and leave plenty of time to get between them and for drinking!
I shall be returning to Edinburgh for sure.
Saved as a favorite, I like your blog!
Katie Hughes says