Just before Christmas, myself and my boyfriend took a little 3 day break to Edinburgh instead of exchanging Christmas gifts. Sidenote: this is a great idea - memories > material thingy majingys.
We saw many a sight, ate ourselves silly, did the majority of our Christmas shopping and generally had a right hoot. There was lots of Christmassy things going on - the market, the ice skating and lots of lovely lights, so it was a lovely time to visit!
I thought I'd pop a few recommendations together if you were thinking of visiting any time soon, and you most definitely should.
When to go?
As I mentioned, we went around Christmas time, and it was a pretty magical city for a Christmassy break, as they go all out for the festive season. However, there are lots of lovely parks and outside spaces which mean it would be lovely to go in the Spring or Summer too, and also would mean that you don't have to seek solace in warm shops every few minutes. My sister went in the Springtime and loved it too.
Food, food, food.
The important bit. Firstly, it goes without saying that you obviously must try a battered Mars bar; they are both as delicious and debilitatingly unhealthy as one would imagine, but again, a must try.
My burger recommendation - and yes we did consume a fair few - would be Wannaburger. This place is amazing: reasonable, the most authentically American burger joint I've visited (apart from the Irn Bru offering) and importantly, is down-right delicious.
There are food outlets on every corner and street in Edinburgh, from the usual chain restaurants to lovely little coffee shops, cute cafes and wonderful bistros and brasseries with stunning views. I found that most places pride themselves on offering fresh Scottish produce no matter what their style of food, so you're pretty spoilt for choice in this city.
Princes Street is your go-to place, and also doubles as probably the most beautiful shopping street I've visited: on one half of the road (the side you shop on) it is completely modernised and a shopaholics haven, whilst the other side of the street looks over the gorgeous Princes Street Gardens. Simply beaut.
The Old Town (once you've suffered the walk up) is also worth a wander round for cutesy, vintage shops and one off purchases.
Sights I want to see again/you should definitely visit.
I adored the Scottish Museum, and would definitely recommend spending a rainy afternoon perusing around the place - it is enormous, interesting and beautiful.
The castle views are amazing and definitely worth a looky. We took a walk (read: hike) up and decided that £16 entry was a little steep for our student budget, so just took in the views instead, and walked along the Royal Mile and the Old Town. I've heard the castle is well worth the pennies though!
Obviously only a Christmas related affair, but if you're planning on going at that time of year, the German markets are beautiful and the ice skating is super fun (we went to the St James' Square rink).
Where we stayed.
We stared at the Apex Hotel in Haymarket (the first picture is in our hotel room), which is about a 10 minute walk from the centre of the city. It was really lovely, especially for the price, since they included little freebies like hot chocolate, amazing hair dryer and heat mat for hair appliances.
I absolutely love Edinburgh and would love to see more of the UK: What's your favourite city in the UK?
Why? Well, I spotted a new little stand in my local Superdrug, and after having a quick gander, ended up buying three products that seemed a) rather pretty, and b) very reasonable, so I thought I'd pass on my thoughts.
The brand I'm harping on about is MAKEUP REVOLUTION and the product in this post is their gorgeous 'Ultra Blush Palette' in the shade Sugar and Spice.
This little thing set me back a whole £6, can you believe it? For that price, you get 8 good sized blushes in a sturdy-feeling glossy black case.
The six blush colours on the left of the palette have been my go-to's: each day since I bought the palette I have used them alternately, particularly the top row, and let me say that these are without a doubt my new favourite blushes. I have a fair sized blush collection including the likes of MAC, YSL and Estee Lauder, but these are really damn good and at a fraction of the price.
Importantly, these bas boys have great lasting power, and are my favourite kind of pigmentation for a blush. By this, I mean that they aren't too crazily pigmented that you have to seriously avoid looking like a clown every time you apply them, but they are definitely pigmented enough to build up a gorgeous sweep of colour.
I love the fact that palettes like this are starting to become available at this price point, since face palettes were once only reserved for makeup artists or those with a fair bit of money!
I will find this little palette super handy for a multitude of reasons: applying friend's makeup (which I always seem to be doing!) who have differing skin tones, taking travelling as well as taking to University: palettes like this save space and this one has a great range of colours so I wont be getting bored of the same cheek colour.
Have you tried a blush palette? Which brand makes your favourite?
Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre is what a lot of the beauty blogging world would call a holy grail product, and I wanted in on some of the action. I've been using it every day and night - something pretty unusual for this gal with a sloppy skincare routine - and thought I'd note down my thoughts.
I like it. Quite a lot actually. I like that it is both lightweight, yet intensely moisturising at the same time. It's light to the touch and easy to apply and rub in, though it takes a few minutes to then sink in. I don't mind that though - it makes me feel as though it is properly moisturising and nourishing my face. I also really like that the smell is pleasant, but not in any way overpowering, which can really turn me off a product.
Have I seen any differences? Yes. Towards the beginning of the week, I saw some pretty immediate changes: my skin became supple and soft and all kinds of nice. Even though I didn't have bad skin before, there was definitely a noticeable difference. I did wake up today, however, and notice the bottom of my right cheek and my chin have done that 'bobbly' thing (I can't think of how else to describe it!), but I think I can safely put this down to a swift drop in temperature this week.
At £13 for this pretty tiny tube, it's not the cheapest of the drugstore's offerings. But I definitely think this is going to be a re-purchase from me. I think it's a great base for makeup, and I've enjoyed using it in the evenings as well. And most importantly for me - I actually have been sticking to using it, and being excited to apply it, which is pretty much unknown round this neck of the woods!
Have you ever tried Embryollise products? What's your favourite drugstore moisturiser?
Let's just say I want to go back ASAP.
It was the most beautiful, clean and relaxed city I've ever visited. I had the best 3 days, and the weather was really on our side. The street food was fantastic (and cheap!), the main sights were breathtaking and the culture and history engrained in the city were just amazing, especially for a history nerd like me.
Berlin - I will be back. I'd actually really love to go for the Christmas markets.
What's your favourite European city? Have you been to Berlin?
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