As summer approaches, Edinburgh seems to burst into life. We all dust off our picnic rugs, dig out a pair of long-forgotten sandals and weave our way through the increasing number of tourists admiring the city’s landmarks in the sun. Our perfect summer Saturday includes a mix of all the best things Edinburgh has to offer: food and drink, beautiful open spaces, independent shops and a little bit of comedy.
10.00: Edinburgh Farmers’ Market
Start the day off with a wander round Edinburgh Farmers’ Market, in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. Vendors change slightly from week to week, but you’re sure to find plenty of delicious local produce – from Scottish game to fresh seasonal vegetables. Treat yourself to a pulled pork roll for breakfast before browsing the stalls. Look out for amazing fresh fish from Arbroath Fisheries, meat (perfect for a barbecue) from Puddledub Pork and local fruit, vegetables and herbs from Phantassie.
11.30: Stroll around the Botanic Gardens
Hop on the bus to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and spend a couple of hours admiring the lush foliage and beautiful flowers. It’s free to explore the garden (with a £6.50 fee to enter the Glasshouses), and there are lots of different areas to discover. Once your feet need a rest, head back to the newly refurbished Gateway Restaurant for a well-earned slice of carrot cake and cup of tea.
14.00: Shopping in the New Town
As you wander back towards the city from Stockbridge, stop and have a look in some of the independent shops along the way. Howe Street is home to stylish contemporary interiors shop PAD Lifestyle and quirky homeware store Homer. Nearby on Dundas Street you’ll find gems like Epitome and Unicorn Antiques.
15.00: Mussels at The Wee Restaurant
Once you’ve started to work up an appetite again, stop by The Wee Restaurant on Frederick Street to indulge in a delectable late lunch. During June and July, they’re running a special offer every Saturday from 3pm. Two people can enjoy a bowl of their famous Shetland mussels and a glass of wine for just £15. Yes please!
The Wee Restaurant, 61 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1LH. Call 0131 225 7983 or book a table online.
There are two options to choose from: classic moules mariniere with garlic and white wine sauce or The Wee Restaurant’s signature mussels with bacon, fresh basil, pine nuts and parmesan cream. Although both are delicious, with some of the biggest, juiciest mussels we’ve ever seen, we’d recommend trying the signature dish. The light, summery flavours work well and don’t overpower the mussels, creating a dish that’s perfect for an afternoon treat.
17.00: Cocktails at The Lucky Liquor Co
Just round the corner, on Queen Street, you’ll find The Lucky Liquor Co. This small but perfectly formed bar has some of the most unique cocktails in the city, plus they have outdoor seating if you’re lucky enough to be visiting on a sunny evening. Try the Fairview, a refreshing blend of vodka, Cocchi Americano Rosa, passion fruit, lime and genmaicha soda.
19.00: Comedy Show at The Stand
After a couple of cocktails, wander along to The Stand for The Saturday Show. It’s usually sold out, so you might want to book in advance to make sure you can grab a seat at this popular comedy show. Each show features five different acts, including plenty of top names to get you ready for Fringe season later in the summer. The show doesn’t start until 9pm, so you’ve got plenty of time beforehand to share some food and enjoy some pints.
How would you spend the perfect summer Saturday in Edinburgh?