Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Sunday, July 02, 2023

3 Days in Edinburgh, Best Place for Cocktails, a Scottish Birthday Break

3 days in edinburgh, best places for cocktails, lady libertines, bramble bar, 63rd and first

I've just come back from a 3-night break in Edinburgh with Abigail and we definitely found the best places for cocktails, in fact, we even managed to try out the number 1 place for cocktails in Edinburgh on Trip Advisor. 

Our reason for the mini-break?  My forty-ninth birthday!  I'd saved some Red Letter Days vouchers and we added an extra night meaning 3 nights staying at the Yotel, Edinburgh a tech-heavy hotel on Queen's Street which is around a 15-minute walk from Edinburgh Waverley if like us you are arriving by train.

3 days in edinburgh, best place for cocktails, mexican food in Edinburgh

When we arrived on Monday afternoon, our first stop after checking in was for food and drinks at Wahaca, I love margaritas and Mexican food and I'd not had a chance to try the brand so thought I'd give it a go.  I will say that the Margaritas were great, and the food was good but the service was completely underwhelming.  Not sure I'd go there again, especially as we heard a manager talking to some customers who had been served feta instead of vegan feta and had taken a bite before realising!!

Our first cocktail bar was Lady Libertine which is just off St Andrew's Square, I had the Asturias which is tequila, lime, peach sherbet and coconut, a really great cocktail if you love sour tastes.  Lady Libertine is a beautiful bar, with lots of wood and an eclectic crowd, I felt like I was sitting in an office or a library but I really liked it.

I would say that cocktails in Edinburgh are expensive now, gone are the days of being able to get 2 cocktails for less than about £17- £20 and it's one reason I'm teaching myself the art of mixology, I love cocktails, I love a good time but I cannot afford repeated nights out when a round of drinks costs £20 or more.

One big thing I did notice on this visit to Edinburgh is how many bars are now table service, it's one good thing to come from the pandemic I'd suggest although another new thing seems to be the compulsory service charge.  I'm not quite so keen on mandatory service charges.  I always tip if the service has been good and often more than 10% so it always seems a little counterintuitive because when you don't have an option I'll often not pay more than what's already added.
3 days in Edinburgh, best cocktail bars, scotland trip, mandy charlton photography

If you fancy laid-back cocktails and good food, we visited 63rd and First on Frederick Street twice this visit, I really liked the ambience and the cushions!!  Again, expect a couple of cocktails to set you back around £20.  I have a love of glassware and after our visit, I am coveting some Nick and Nora glasses.

My favourite place we went for cocktails?  I hate to be a cliche but Bramble Bar and Lounge on the corner of Queen Street really do make amazing concoctions and it's no wonder they're the number 1 cocktail bar in Edinburgh on Trip Advisor.  It is a very small bar and it's first come, first served so do bear that in mind, it also doesn't have a sign so look for the clothing alteration shop on the corner and descend down the stone steps into the basement, I promise that it will be worth it.

3 days in edinburgh, best rodizio grill, fadenza, scotland trip, mandy charlton

For my birthday meal, Abigail took me to Fazenda, a rodizio restaurant on George Street serving the best meats I've ever tasted, they also make the most amazing cocktails and when I said it was my birthday they presented a tiny, perfect red velvet cake with a candle in it at the end of the meal.  Expect to pay around £36 per person daytime and £46 per person in the evenings.  The wine list was impressive and we could have stayed for hours, it was laid-back dining but done in a wonderful high-end way.  I 100% recommend it for a special occasion if you're in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh is the most fantastic foodie city with restaurants and eateries on every corner, you can eat and drink any time of the night or day on every day of the week in every season.  This was, for me, the first time when I didn't really do anything historic but goodness, I had the most fun and I cannot wait until the next time we can go back together to find even more of the best cocktails.  Thank you so much Abigail for making your mama's 49th birthday the most fun birthday I have ever had.


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