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Trip Report March trip to London, Edinburgh and the Whiskey Trail

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I´ve been meaning to write this trip report for a while, but after my vacation, work demanded my entire attention and I didn’t start writing as soon as needed. My main reason for writing is because this forum always inspires me to explore somewhere new, and the tips and recommendations that I’ve found here have helped me a lot when planning my own trip, so this is my way of saying thank you, and hopefully help someone along the way.

This trip was planned as a 15th anniversary gift to ourselves, my husband and I wanted to go somewhere we’ve never been before. He is a great scotch fan, so he proposed going to Scotland in order to do some whiskey tasting. Since I’d never been to London before, we decided to include a stop there before going to Scotland.

Our itinerary looked like this:

Day 1-2: Madrid, stay at Vincci Soma Hotel. We´ve been here before a few times so we decided we would walk around Salamanca where our hotel was located, go out to dinner and just relax on this nice city.

Day 3: Flight to London. Stay at the Ampersand Hotel.
Go on the double decker bus
High Tea at the Atheneum.
Go to Wicked
Dinner at Brasserie Zedel

Day 4: Tower of London
Westminster Abbey. Kensington Palace
Dinner at Mosob

Day 5: Shakespeare Globe Theatre. St Pauls Cathedral
Hampton Court Palace
Dinner at Clos Maggiori
The Mousetrap

Day 6: Flight to Edinburgh. Stay at Hotel Missoni
Late lunch at Angels with Bagpipes
Walk along the royal mile and visit the whiskey experience.
Go to the Balmoral Bar for drinks.

Day 7: Edinburgh Castle
Lunch at Wedgwood
Rent a car and drive to Inverness. Stay at Inverglen.
Dinner at Rocpool.

Day 8: Visit Urquhart Castle. Lochness Center
Visit Dallas Dhu. Cawdor Castle.
Dinner at Mustard Seed.

Day 9: Brodie Castle. Pluscarden Abbey. Glenfiddich distillery.
Huntly Castle.
Dinner and stay in Cardhu.

Day 10: Visit Glenlivet, Cardhu and Macallan distilleries.
Drive to Edinburgh: Stay at hotel Missoni
Dinner at La Garrigue

Day 11: Majestic tour bus. Palace of Holyroodhouse
Lunch at Brittania yacht
Tour the Brittania
Dinner at Mother India Café

Days 12-15: Flight to Madrid, and then back home.

We wanted to accomplish a lot, of course we knew some of it could be done and other things would be left out, thus giving us a reason to go back some day. As you can see restaurants are a priority when planning our trip. In London we chose the restaurants based on recommendations for restaurants that weren´t too expensive, but where we could enjoy our meal and the ambiance.

A bit about us, we are a couple from South America (English is not my first language), DH just turned 40 I´m in my mid 30’s. We enjoy travelling, wine and dining, and of course DH is a fan of scotch, mainly Johnny Walker and Old Parr, and single malts Macallan and Glenlivet. As a couple we´ve traveled to Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Spain, Italy, South Africa, and a few places in the US including Hawaii.

A few weeks before our travel my parents took a look at our itinerary, and my mom decided she had to come with us, because she wanted to go back to London and visit Edinburgh for the first time, and my dad wanted to go on the whisky trail. So all of a sudden our couple’s trip turned into a family trip. My parents are in their late 50’s early 60’s, they´ve travelled a lot and also enjoy wine and dining, my mom loves walking everywhere, my husband will take a cab if he has to travel more than 8 blocks. But somehow we made this work.

Since we booked our plane tickets separately my parents left for Madrid on March 13th and we flew on the 15th, so we met in Madrid.

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    As I said before, during our stay in Madrid we wanted to relax, recover from jet lag, and save energy for our trip ahead. The day we landed we went to El Rincón de Jaen for our first meal of the trip. It was amazing and I highly recommend it. It is a tapas place, we had manchego cheese, chistorras, calamari, garlic shrimp, everything was delicious and at a very reasonable price. When we looked at the prices in the menu we found them a bit on the high side, but when we saw that a fried seafood platter, dessert and chupitos (after dinner drinks including Orujo, Pacharan, Crema de Alba, cava with lemon sorbet) were included in the price we found it a bargain.

    Other restaurants that we visited were La Barraca, good for the paellas; Asador de Aranda which only serves roasted baby lamb and as starters morcillas, chorizos and roasted vegetables; Le Cabrera which was another excellent restaurant, we ate sitting at the counter talking to Benjamin the chef the whole time, this is a tapas style restaurant with a modern twist, and the martinis where amazing. Our favorite dishes were the steak tartare, tuna, and risotto.

    DAY 3: After gaining a lot of weight we were ready to visit the UK. We flew to London on Monday and went straight to the Ampersand hotel. We were really pleased with our room, it was very big and comfortable, the staff was really attentive, we went to unpack and rest for a while. We decided to skip the bus because it was raining, and started to get ready for the high tea. We arrived at the Atheneum at 5:25pm, our reservation was for 5:30pm, we asked for the tea with rose champagne, we enjoyed ourselves a lot, this was our first time at an English high tea experience. We chose among 9 different teas, tried 4 different types of mini sandwiches and tried the scones with jams and lemon custard. We all enjoyed the experience but are not sure if we would do it again if back in London.

    Afterwards we went to see Wicked, I´ve been wanting to see this musical for a few years now and was not disappointed. After the musical we went to Brasserie Zedel. This was a French bistro with an art deco vibe, to enter the main dining room you had to go down a few flights of stairs, we were impressed with how big it was, not many people though since it was almost midnight. The food was ok, I had escargots which were really good, and an entrecote which wasn´t memorable, my mom and I had prosecco with our meal, and DH and my dad had scotch. For desert I had the profiteroles. Everything was ok and the bill was very reasonable. We were the last people at the restaurant, we took an elevator to go upstairs and when we tried to exit the doors were locked, we called for someone to let us out, but couldn´t find anyone. We must have been there for almost 20 minutes, and started joking that we were going to be trapped in the past or something, kind of like Gil in the Midnight in Paris film. We went downstairs again, but there was no one around. Finally someone came out of the kitchen and helped us out, he said that they thought no one else was left at the restaurant, apparently he missed us since we took the elevator and he came down via the stairs. After this little ordeal we were tired and full and went back to our hotel.

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    "this was our first time at an English high tea experience. We chose among 9 different teas, tried 4 different types of mini sandwiches and tried the scones with jams and lemon custard. We all enjoyed the experience but are not sure if we would do it again if back in London."

    This was afternoon tea that you had, "high tea" is something different:

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    DAY 4: The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel. Everything was really good, you could have the continental breakfast buffet style, that included different breads and pastries, cereal, milk, yogurt, granola, fresh fruit, ham and cheeses, and could order at an additional price eggs, pancakes and French toasts. I was pleased with the continental breakfast, DH ordered blueberry pancakes which he enjoyed a lot.

    DH and I were going to Tower of London and Westminster Abbey that day, my parents decided to skip that since they had been there before. So we grabbed a taxi and made our first stop at the Abbey, we asked for the audio tour which was included with the admission price that I believe was 18 pounds, and on our way we went, we enjoyed this tour a lot, I like the flexibility of the audio tours that let you go at your own pace. We didn´t find any lines but there were a lot of people inside. We stayed at the abbey for almost 2 hours. The highlights were the tombs of Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, the poet´s corner where we found tombs of many famous writers and the coronation chair. You are not allowed to take pictures inside, so we just took a few outside when we exited.

    Afterwards we went to the Tower of London, we bought our tickets there was no line, and since it was almost 1 o clock, we decided to have lunch before going in. We went to one little cafeteria next to the ticket booths, and we had fish and chips and a glass of white wine for me and beer for DH. We then entered the Tower. We had a great time here, again the audio guide was extremely helpful. The highlights were of course the crown jewels. We probably stayed for 3 hours.

    When we left we knew we had no time to go to Kensington Palace, so we decided to go to the London Eye. We had heard this was just a tourist trap, but we really liked the ride and the views, we bought the tickets that allowed you to skip the line, and were glad we did, we just walked in with no wait at all. We took a lot of pictures. Before going to our hotel we stopped at Harrods. In one floor there was a Dior exhibition which caught my attention, I took a lot of pictures of the couture dresses that were worn by some famous actresses. We then went back to our hotel to freshen up and get ready for our dinner.

    That night we had reservations at Mosob. We had never tried Erithrean food before, and were gladly surprised. The restaurant owner made a few suggestions and we ordered a meat set menu for two that included chicken and beef, and 2 additional lamb and vegetarian dishes which he said would be enough for the 4 of us, and a bottle of wine. The food comes with a flat round type of bread that you have to use to pick up your food and put in your mouth, no forks here. The bread has a particular sour taste that can be overwhelming if eaten by itself. But the meats are so flavorful and spicy that they go together nicely. Again this was a completely new experience for the four of us. I don´t think I could eat this regularly but would definitely try it again if the occasion arises. At the end the owner asked us our names and wrote them on the restaurant cards as a souvenir for us, he also wrote 2 more with our kid´s names on them. We left happy and full.

    DAY 5: On Wednesday we started our day with breakfast at the hotel, and asked at the reception if we could hire a car that could take us to Hampton Court Palace and back in the afternoon.

    We took a cab to the Globe Theatre, when we arrived at 10 there was no line to buy our tickets, but we had to wait for about 20 minutes in order for the tour to start. There were no audio guides here and you are only allowed inside the actual theatre with a guide. By the time the tour started the place was really crowded. This is a replica of Shakespeare´s theatre built a few yards away from where the original was initially located. DH was a little bit put off by that, I still found this tour really interesting, our guide was amazing, she was full of knowledge and funny anecdotes about the history of Shakespeare’s time as well as the many performances that have taken place here. We were allowed to take pictures everywhere. The tour lasted about 2 hours.

    We didn´t have time to go to the Cathedral and Hampton Court since our dinner reservations at Clos Maggiori were for 5:30. At this restaurant we were unable to find reservations together, my parents had theirs at 5:00pm, so we decided to skip the Cathedral and my parents decided to skip the Palace. When we arrived at the hotel at 1:00 our car was already waiting for us.

    It took us about one hour to reach the Palace, again there were no lines and we purchased our tickets and went inside. After you cross the gate to enter the palace you can take the audio guides that will help you along the way. These audio guides were really good, and really brought the place alive. The only drawback is that it was really cold and our hands were freezing because we were holding these devices the whole time. This was a really interesting visit, and we were happy that we chose not to skip it due to our time constraints. We went to the gardens but just for a few minutes because it was really cold, so we just took some pictures and went back inside.

    The audio tour is divided in 3 parts, the main building, Henry the VIII apartments, and the kitchens. We did the main building first, then the kitchen, and were going to leave without seeing the apartments, but then just decided to go through them really quickly since it was getting late, this part of the palace does not hold any furniture, it presents 3 chairs in each room, each chair representing Henry the VIII, Catherine of Aragon and Cardinal Wolseley, with carved stories about each one of them. Really nice touch! Finally we had to leave but would have liked to see more, and we’re sure that during late spring or summer the gardens must be beautiful. As we were heading out we saw Alan Rickman who was working there, apparently checking the location for a future film.

    We headed back to London and hurried to change and be able to be on time for our reservation. I called the restaurant to say we were running late, but the connection was awful and wasn’t sure if they had understood a word I said. We arrived at Clos Maggiori at 6:00pm, fortunately we still could be seated. This dinner was amazing, definitely the best we had in London, the restaurant was romantic, quiet, cozy, great ambiance, really good food, the sommelier made a recommendation for the wine, it was delicious. We had a wonderful time here. When we arrived my parents were almost finishing their meal and were really happy too, they agreed everything was wonderful. There was a tasting menu and a la carte, we ordered a la carte. I had the haddock and DH the duck, and we asked for the truffled mashed potatoes, really good! For starters he had the scallops which were splendid, I don´t remember my choice, then dessert and irish coffee was a great way to end our meal.

    By then we were late for The Mousetrap, so we tried to hurry, but looking for the place, we got lost. When we decided we should just head back to our hotel, we saw the theatre, I don´t know why we hadn´t found it before or how we manage to get there, we went inside, and were told that even though we were late we could go inside. Thankfully the theatre was not full, and we just took the seats at the back so we wouldn’t disturb anyone. The play was excellent.

    This was a great day, everything we did exceeded our expectations, it was an amazing way to end our visit to London. I would definitely like to go back.

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    DAY 6: The following day we had our last breakfast and headed to the airport.

    We arrived in Edinburgh at 1:00pm, took a cab that drove us to Hotel Missoni, our rooms were not ready so we left our bags at the reception and walked to Angels with Bagpipes where we had lunch reservations at 3. We had a very good lunch, my parents and I ordered from the set menu, my mom and I had a feta salad and a chicken with paella, my dad had a ham and beef, my husband ordered a la carte and he had the Haggis and a fish pie. My mom and I had martinis, and DH and dad had Macallan Gold, Glenlivet, and Lagavulin 16yo, they were starting their tasting earlier. For desert we had pudding, a parfait and a cheese platter. We enjoyed our food a lot and the price was very reasonable.

    We walked along the royal mile, enjoying the architecture and the feel of the city, then we headed towards the castle to go to the Whisky Experience. As we were walking towards the castle the temperature began dropping significantly. We arrived at the whisky place, bought our tickets and were told that the ride would begin in an hour, so we went to the store to check out the malts. My husband was enjoying himself immensely, I think he could have stayed here for 3 or 4 hours. Where we come from is not easy to find different scotches, let alone single malts, and to give you an idea a bottle of Johnnie Walker black costs $90 here. The sad part is we can only bring home 3 liters of alcohol per person, the extremely hard part was deciding which bottles we would bring.

    We all enjoyed this place, the ride was fun and informative, and was the first of the many times we listened to someone explain the whisky making process, we were experts by the end of our trip . Once the ride ended we were told we could choose one among four different malts to taste. We each asked for a different one, so we could try all of them, the choices were Glenkinchie, Glenturret, Caol Ila 12 and Glen Moray. Then we were allowed inside a private collection of scotch whisky, they said it is the largest in the world. My husband took about 100 pictures in here. We then went to the bar and since we had the Gold Tour which included a whisky tasting we sat down to wait for our drams. I’m not a whisky fan, but when in Rome…, these were the first whisky of many on the trip. We then walked back to our hotel to rest and get dressed for the Balmoral. We took a cab, only to realize that the hotel was really close and we could have walked with no problem.

    At the bar we asked for a sharing platter that included meat, cheeses, olives, and fish to share, DH and dad continued on their whisky tasting path, my mom had champagne and I had the cocktail tasting. This tasting included 5 drinks, I don´t really remember all of them, my favorite was one that had vodka and basil, but I don’t remember what else was in it, the second favorite was the last one that had pear. I have the pictures of 4 of my drinks, I went on line to see if the drinks are described there, but the menu has changed since I was there.

    We were really lucky that evening because the bar was empty when we got there, but as soon as they brought us our drinks, lots of people started coming in, and the place became really crowded and loud. We paid our bill and went to our hotel for a much needed rest. Hotel Missoni was nice, good sized rooms, nice staff, but my father hated the décor, he said it was way too loud for him, I was ok with it, not my favorite but not to my dislike either.

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    Thanks so much for your trip report; I'm in the midst of planning our next trip to London and Edinburgh, so your experiences were helpful - especially the whisky experience, as DH and DS both like whisky. We've been considering Clos Maggiore for dinner one night, so it was good to see you enjoyed it.

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    DAY 7: On Friday we had breakfast, which wasn´t near as good as the one in the Ampersand, and went to Edinburgh castle, we walked there since it was really close, but the cold started getting to us, I stopped at one of the souvenir shops and bought a hat because I was freezing.

    Everyone kept telling us that this was very unusual weather for the time, and that last year at this time they were enjoying the sun. We asked for the audio tour but halfway through it I quit because of the cold, I needed to keep my hands warm inside my pockets. We still toured the castle, the highlights were the Crown jewels, St Margarets chapel, and the Queen Mary apartments.

    We spent about 3 hours here and then went to have our lunch at Wedgwood. Lunch was really good, and a great way to keep warm. After lunch we went back to our hotel to pick up our luggage and rent our car. We left some bags at the hotel, so we could travel light on our road trip. We rented our car at Hertz. We had a mid-size sedan, but the guy at the counter told us that because of the snow he was going to give us a Qashqai. At 4pm we were on our way to Inverness armed with our GPS which we had borrowed from a friend that would later prove invaluable.

    At 6pm we encountered a huge line of cars that were not moving, and then some cars were turning back. We didn’t know what was going on. After 30 minutes of not moving we called the owners of our B&B in Inverness and asked if they knew something and to ask them to hold our reservation since we were supposed to arrive at 7. They said the roads were closed because of the snow and that we could try and stay somewhere near, we didn’t know where we were or which towns were near us, a few minutes later the cars started moving and we were relieved, but then the snow turned into a huge blizzard, there were signs everywhere that said the roads were closed, we kept moving forward, and suddenly we arrived at a place where a huge truck was blocking the way and they were sending the cars to a detour.

    Our GPS started screaming at us because we were going the wrong way, we didn’t know how to turn the volume off, so every 3 minutes there was this voice yelling “you are going the wrong way, you need to turn around”. We were driving along a very near road surrounded by trees and snow, we couldn´t see anything because of the snow, we started getting really nervous because we had no idea where we were going or where could we stop, until finally our GPS found an alternate route and told us to keep going, after what seemed like an eternity but in reality was something around 25 minutes the road took us to the main highway and we were on our way again. If it wasn’t for the GPS we would still be trapped in the snow in the Scottish countryside.

    Finally we arrived at Inverglen at 10pm, we were greeted by the owners John and Susan, who were extremely nice, helped us with our luggage, brought us tea and cookies and tried to find an open restaurant for us so we could have dinner somewhere.

    We ended up having a pizza at a place near the canal. It wasn´t what we wanted but it was either that or McDonalds. The pizza was good and we had wine with it in order to calm our nerves, we were pretty shaky after that scary drive. We went back to our hotel, and fell asleep immediately.

    DAY 8: When we woke up we realized we never ordered our breakfast, but John told us not to worry, because Susan would make anything we wanted since they knew we had a terrible time getting there the night before. This breakfast was by far the best of our trip. My dad and I had scrambled eggs and salmon, DH and mom had a full Scottish breakfast, both were delicious. They also brought us bread and jam, and there were freshly squeezed juices, yogurt, granola, cereal, milk, fresh fruit and coffee or tea. I wanted to eat this forever. But sadly we had to go on our way.

    Our first stop was Urquhart Castle. We had a great time here, we arrived at 10:30, bought our tickets and headed to a small room where a brief film about the castle was shown, the film was good and gave us an idea of the history. After the film the screen lifted to reveal a window and you could see the actual castle. This was done very effectively. We walked towards the castle, climbed the stairs to the top of the towers, took a few pictures, talked to the people who worked there who were ready to give any additional information, definitely a good visit.

    We then drove to the Loch Ness center while enjoying nice views of the famous Loch Ness. The center was fun, not a highlight but we were glad we did it, and we bought here a few souvenirs for our kids and also sent them some pictures of the lake since they wanted to see it, and show their friends. Yes the legend is big everywhere in the world.

    We decided to skip lunch since we were still pretty full from breakfast, and went straight to Dallas Dhu, this was also an interesting tour, this is an old distillery that is no longer operational. With the price of admission an audio tour is included, very good descriptions, nice to get close to everything there, the only bad thing is that it was freezing, so we hurried at the last part and went back to the bar to have a taste of Roderick Dhu and get warm.

    After the distillery we went back to our hotel to get ready for our dinner that evening. We didn’t go to Cawdor Castle because it was not opened yet. For dinner we went to Mustard Seed, we really liked this restaurant since we walked in. There was a big fireplace , we were seated upstairs so we had views of the canal and the whole restaurant. The food was very good.

    We walked back to Inverglen, I can’t say enough good things about this guest house, the rooms were big, comfortable, clean, the restrooms were really nice, the bed was wonderful to sleep in, John and Susan helped with anything we needed, the breakfast was delicious, this was a perfect stay.

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    DAY 9: We had breakfast again, this time I had the Scottish breakfast, so good. We said goodbye to John and Susan who now felt like friends, they gave us some homemade cupcakes to take on the road which were delicious. Our first stop was Brodie Castle. My mom absolutely loved this castle, she even bought some guide books in Spanish. We stayed here for almost 2 hours.

    Then we drove to Glenfiddich distillery. We all enjoyed our time here, the tour was free, first we saw a film about the story of the family that owns the distillery, then we toured the mash house, the still house and the warehouse where a beautiful sculpture called Angel’s share was displayed. We then proceeded to the tasting room, where we were offered a 12 year old with pear and oak notes, a 15 year old with honey and raisins notes, and an 18 year old with baked apple and cinnamon notes.

    We were allowed to take pictures everywhere. DH wanted to do the “bottle your own bottle”, but was told that the manager was not on the premises and we had to return the following day. We then went to the cafeteria to have lunch, but sadly it was closed for the day, there were only scones and pastries, so we had some of those with hot chocolate since the temperature was extremely cold. By then it was 4pm and snow was falling hard so we headed straight to Cardhu country house where we were going to spend the night.

    We arrived at Cardhu, met the owners and their dogs, unpacked, rest for a while, and just had a relaxing time until dinner was served at the dining room at 7pm. The food was very good, served family style, my dad, mom and DH had a Glenfiddich that had bought earlier at the distillery. After dinner we just talked, relaxed, downloaded our pictures. That´s when I found out that my camera settings were wrong and my pictures had a very low resolution, fixed the problem for future pictures but the older ones had a really crappy quality.

    DAY 10: We had one day to visit 3 distilleries and drive back to Edinburgh, first we went to Glenlivet at 9:30, we were the first visitors of the season, had a great time, but were not allowed to take any pictures inside the facilities. This tour was also free. At the end each person could choose one whisky to taste between the 12, 18 and Ñadurra, we all chose different ones so we could try them all, but our guide said that since we were the first people there, we could try as many as we wanted. My husband wanted to bottle his own bottle, this was very nice and in a beautiful setting, he had bottle number 3 from the 1st cask, the 1st and 2nd bottles were from the master distiller and the store manager.

    Our next stop was Cardhu, we didn´t tour the facilities here, but we did the whisky tasting 12, 15, 18 and a special cask reserve, bought one bottle; and checked out the store, they had a corner with a table where jars were filled with the different spices that give the whisky´s notes, which was interesting. We took many pictures outside, and then left for Macallan.

    Macallan was the distillery my husband was most excited about, our tour was scheduled for 1:30pm and was 13 pounds per person. When we arrived, there was a mix up with our reservation and they had not registered us for the visit, fortunately they were able to find my e –mail, and they decided to squeeze our tour between others that they had. We were worried that they were going to hurry us, but the guide was really friendly and took her time explaining everything about the distillery. This was a beautiful distillery, sadly we were not allowed to take any pictures inside. At the end we were offered the 12, 15 and 18 years old to taste, and my husband bought 3 bottles to bring back home.

    We then went back to Glenfiddich to do the bottle. This was a nice experience but IMO the Glenlivet was better. Afterwards we went to The Stuart Arms restaurant which was the only one opened at the time. DH had haggis and I had fish and chips, everything was good, and the people who were there were incredibly friendly, if we had known the day before that this restaurant was opened and the food was good, we would have come here instead of just having the scones at the café in Glenfiddich.

    After our late lunch, we were ready to head back to Edinburgh. There was a lot of snow but not even close to what we had experienced before, so this was an uneventful drive. We arrived at the airport at 8, parked the car and went to find a taxi, walking to the taxi stop we almost froze, it was snowing and the wind was awful, we were really tired so we just arrived at the hotel and went to sleep, no dinner for us, my mom and dad went out to a pub for dinner.

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    DAY 11: We slept till late, went to have breakfast at a Starbucks and then walked along the royal mile to Holyroodhouse Palace. We enjoyed this tour, asked for the audio guide which was ok. We spent here around 2 and a half hours and then took a cab to the Britannia.

    To reach the yacht you have to go inside a shopping mall, buy the tickets and cross to the Britannia, again we asked for the audio guides. The yacht was very nice, well preserved, the tour gives a lot of information on the royal family and their travels around the world. The decks were very slippery because of the snow, we took plenty of pictures, when we reached the café we stayed there for lunch.

    I had a truffled mushroom soup and a smoked salmon sandwich, so did my mom and we shared a bottle of rose brut made especially for the yacht. DH and dad had scotch. We continued our tour visiting the dining room, bedrooms, kitchens, bar, infirmary. By 5 we were done with the tour and went back to Old Town to walk along the royal mile again and buy a few souvenirs to bring back home. On the evening we went for dinner to La Garrigue. The place was almost empty and the food was ok, the wine recommendation was excellent though.

    DAY 12: We had an early departure, took a cab to the airport, and then flew to Madrid via Heathrow. We arrived in Madrid at 7 then headed to our hotel Vincci Soma again, and went out for tapas at Lateral.

    DAYS 13 – 15 The following days we just walked around the neighborhood, ate at Pelotari amazing food their specialty is the chuleton de buey, Pan de Lujo, really nice décor and good food; also went to Corral de la Moreria for some tapas and spanish dance. We bought hams, cheeses, pates, turrones, chocolates and all sort of good things to bring home.

    We had a great time, ate and drank a lot, visited new and exciting places, met nice people and enjoyed great scenery. Overall this was a great trip, and we would like to go back with our kids one day to London and Edinburgh.

    I will now post a few links for the restaurants, hotels and places we visited, for anyone who is interested and then a link so you can see a few pictures.

    Thanks for all your help in planning and making this trip possible.

    Happy travels!

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    Here are the links for restaurants and hotels


    - Hotel
    Vincci Soma Hotel

    - Restaurants
    El Rincon de Jaen
    Great tapas place, highly recommended

    Le Cabrera
    Modern tapas excellent drinks, really good, must try

    Good for steak

    Asador de Aranda
    Baby roasted lamb only

    Corral de la Moreria
    Spanish tapas and show

    Pan de Lujo
    Modern fusion, good. Looks like a clothing store from the outside

    Tapas, just ok, rude service

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    - Hotel
    Ampersand Hotel
    Really nice, highly recommended. Found a pay 2 stay 3 nights offer.

    - Restaurants

    Clos Maggiori
    Must try, really good

    Afternoon Tea at the Athenaeum

    Erithrean and Ethiopian food. Good

    Brasserie Zedel
    Art deco French bistro, ok, good value


    - Hotel
    Hotel Missoni
    Excellent location

    - Restaurants

    Angels with Bagpipes
    Great food, good value, modern British

    Good food, good value, modern British

    La Garrigue
    French food, ok

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    - Hotel
    Really nice B&B, excellent food , amazing service, highly recommended

    - Restaurant
    Mustard Seed
    Good food, nice ambiance


    - Hotel
    Cardhu country house
    Nice B&B, well located for the whisky trail

    - Restaurant
    Stuart Arms
    Good food, excellent value, big portions

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