My annual Thanksgiving trip to London came and went, and this time Ashley and I decided to head to Edinburgh, Scotland as our second city. Neither of us had been to Scotland prior so we decided to switch things up a little bit in 2022! Thanks to being a lifelong Harry Potter fan, I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland, and I decided to get into Outlander before the trip as well. Here’s what we did during our six-day trip with a cute little itinerary you can download and save for planning your future trip.
Since I’m no stranger to London, my primary mission was to cross off some more things on the ‘bucket list’ I’ve made based on various social media recommendations. This time around, we dined at a few new places: Peggy Porschen, Electric Cinema, and Bob Bob Ricard Soho. I also stumbled upon a café called The Service on the way to look at Christmas decorations on New Bond St and had one of the best lattes ever.
Peggy Porschen had a really cute holiday-themed afternoon tea going on and I’ve always wanted to see the storefront. The theme was good, but not exceptional; while I probably won’t have tea there again, I will definitely stop by for some pastries to take with me.
Electric Cinema is one of Britain’s longest-running cinemas and was Black-owned from 1993 to 2000 (according to Wikipedia). It’s very lush and feels so elevated, making it worth the price tag in my opinion if there’s a film you really want to see. Naturally, Ashley and I saw Black Panther: Wakanda Forever for the second time there.
Bob Bob Ricard Soho is another bougie spot with British & French food on the menu; you may recognize the restaurant for its “press for champagne” buttons that are fully functional, by the way. The interior of the restaurant screams luxury train and is modeled after the Orient Express according to the restaurant’s website. I was pleasantly surprised by how good their Chicken Kyiv was with truffled mashed potatoes, and their service was just as good. One thing to note is there is an elegant dress code in place.
The original plan was to take the LNER from London to Edinburgh, but the train Ashley and I were supposed to be on (originally booked via Trainpal after some careful research) was canceled due to the train/tube strikes. I’m glad I checked the strike schedule, and then checked my booking, so we could book flights via British Airways from Gatwick to Edinburgh. Lesson learned: be sure to check the TFL website to see if your service is interrupted at least a week ahead of your trip.
Switching from a train to a flight gave Ashley and I way more time on our first day in Edinburgh, although we primarily used it to rest. lol. Since our hotel room wasn’t ready until the time we were originally supposed to check in, we ventured out and had some coffee and a snack at The Milkman. Speaking of the hotel, we stayed at the Apex Waterloo Place which is a gorgeous four-star hotel within walking distance of a lot of the things we wanted to do. I enjoyed staying in our spacious room and would definitely stay there again. Dinner was at Solti (Nepali cuisine) that evening which was exceptional.
What’s a trip to anywhere in Scotland without visiting the Highlands? Ashley and I booked a twelve-hour tour to Glenfinnan, Fort William, and Glencoe via Timerbush Tours. Each sight was absolutely stunning, even with most of the greenery dying off in cooler temperatures. I definitely want to take a ride on the Hogwarts Express, aka the Jacobite Steam Train, one year whilst it’s still running. I’m not going to lie, visiting a bunch of Harry Potter filming locations is all ten-year-old me ever wanted, and that made me emotional. Museum Context was also a cool HP-themed shop to walk through; it sits on Victoria Street which is allegedly the inspiration for Diagon Alley. I see it.
Dinner at The Ivy wasn’t outstanding (I still prefer the Dublin location) until Ashley and I walked downstairs only to pass by Tilda Swinton. That may have been the highlight of the entire trip. The shopping was also a lot of fun; I posted a haul on my TikTok and I’m so happy with all of the little souvenirs I brought home. As far as pubs go, Jolly Judge was recommended but it was just okay out of the pubs we went to; my favorite way to search for pubs on a trip is to pull up my maps app and stop by what’s in the area.
In my opinion, you can explore Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile pretty easily in one afternoon, making them easy to knock out during our last full day. The Christmas market was cute and came in clutch when I wanted a little something sweet after dinner. Although I planned on going to a few other coffee shops and restaurants that were on the itinerary, exploring got the best of us, and we prioritized rest over making it to everything. It does give me an excuse to go back sometime 😉
Click the image below to download my six-day itinerary for London and Edinburgh: