Rani is a blogger and in her final year at Edinburgh Napier University. She grew up in the East Lothian and now lives in the city centre with her boyfriend and her kitten Audrey. You can find her main blog Cupcake Couture, here.


Jess the Pirate has some info coming soon!


Michael is a freelance writer and social media whizz kid. He keeps busy with his side-project blog, Ways To Tell Stories. He enjoys cycling, the outdoors and cups of tea. He lives in Edinburgh with his girlfriend. You can see his tumblr here


Info about the lovely Kirsty coming soon!


Gillian is a 20 year old student in her final year at the University of Edinburgh. She has lived in Edinburgh for the last three years and enjoys baking, cocktails and long-lies. She blogs about fashion, makeup and general girl-type things over at Elevator Musik

The Tea Set


Earlier this year I was invited* along to Zen, which is one of my favourite places in Edinburgh. Zen recently won Best Salon of the year at the Professioanl Beauty awards so I was chuffed to be going back! I was off to try “The Tea Set” which is either a 40 minuet massage or a 40 minuet manicure and then afternoon tea round the corner at the wonderful Hotel Du Vin, but more about that soon.

I arrived at the salon and met Emma my therapist for the day. She asked me what kind of massage I’d like (Back and shoulder please) and what scent of oil, I was just for Elemis Musclease, which didn’t have much of a scent, in a good way.

My massage was amazing, it as painful in a good way, I could feel her working on my knots which was just what I needed to de-stress. My back felt so good after, I have a bad horrid nurses back already, so this was amazing… a nightshift later however I wanted another one!

One thing I love about zen is the bed. Its so cosy and so comfy that I could really spend all day and night in there. I think that is one of the things that makes it super luxurious compared to other spa’s I’ve tried.


After my massage I headed round the corner to Hotel Du Vin, where I cosied up in The Whiskey room, being 2 o'clock on a Wednesday afternoon meant I was alone in here , which was such a treat. I don’t usually drink or like tea but I picked the Darjeeling to have with my afternoon tea, and it was actually really nice. The menu said it was the champagne of teas.. I do have expensive taste.


The Whiskey Room

When my afternoon tea arrived, I felt really bad because I forgot to say that I can’t eat cheese and don’t like salmon, so I could only eat the ham sarnies, which were delish! I tucked into my scones though and they were really really nice and inspired me to try and make my own, which I did later in the week. Also on my afternoon tea tray was a mini crème brulee, brownies, and mini éclairs. It was delish and felt a bit ridiculous to be sitting on my own pigging out, but also rather nice! I forgot my camera so I'm afraid its phone snaps only!

I had the nicest day and I’d just like to say a big thank you to Zen and Hotel Du Vin for having me along!


To book call 0131 226 6677

The National Museum of Scotland


So I have been going to the National Museum on Chamber street for as long as I remember, from when I was tiny to a teen as a place to wander round for free away from the rain. I was sad to see it close for refurbishment, for what has felt like forever, but it reopened on Friday and I loved being back – I felt at home!

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I was really impressed with the way they have reworked the collections, made the gorgeous building more visitor friendly but keeping it very much like the orignal, there are lots of interactive features (which are actually interesting, unlike some museums American Natural History Museum Im looking at you!) The great thing about the National Museum is that its got such a mix of collections, theres something for everyone, but my favourite part will always be animal kingdom!


I love the views from the roof terrace, one of my favourite places on a sunny day in Edinburgh!

The National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street , Edinburgh

The Scottish Ballet


Last night I was lucky enough to go and see The Scottish Ballet’s A Street Car Named Desire. Now as I say, I’m no ballerina (in my dreams yes) and I’m not a dance critic. I'm Joe Bloggs (see what I did there) and I loved it.

Scottish Ballet continue to push the boundaries of modern dance and of theatre itself. Not only was I blown away by the dancers, as per, but the sets were so simply yet so amazing. I don’t want to tell you what happens with the set, because I want you so desperately to go and see this but its magical .

A Streetcar named Desire was a very provocative play, so no wonder the ballet is the same, but really I think the ballet is even more moving than the play. I actually think words can really describe it. But Scottish Ballet have stepped up to the mark yet again!

11– 14 April 2012

18-21 April 2012

26-28 April 2012

2-5 May 2012

9–12 May 2012

16–19 May 2012

Tickets start at £9.25 so Book here!

The Bonham and Chamomile Spa

When I was invited to have lunch at The Bonham and to visit The Chamomile Sanctuary Spa in Edinburgh as part of the Champaign pamper package, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.

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The Chamomile Sanctuary is tucked away in the heart of the west end, in an unassuming building, it would be so easy to just walk straight by. I need to tell you about this massage. I have a bad back. I have a nurses back at 22 and usually find it really sore to lie on my back Fiona (I’m sure that was her name, I forgot to write it down) has honestly changed me! I can lie on my back and I’m no where near as creaky and ouchy.

A manicure at Chamomile Sanctuary are just as special, what better way to revive tired hands than a bright pink polish? Not your thing? There are plenty more colours to choose from.


After our treatments, as part of the package we were whisked round to the The Bonham another hidden gem where we were treated to a 3 course meal. This boutique hotel is as every bit gorgeous inside, it looks over the dean village and dean bridge for those of you who know Edinburgh. Now, I have a secret to let you in on, people say I'm a really fussy eater, I don’t think I am, I can’t eat much dairy or fish but that rules out quite a lot when your eating out!

We arrived and had drinks in the new bar The Consulting Room and had a look at the Market menu, which changes everyday. We started with Cauliflower soup, which I'm not usually a big fan of, but was surprisingly delicious and a massive bowl, we couldn’t actually finish it knowing we had to more courses to come! Next up was Duck, which ask my friends I usually screw my nose up at, but I am a convert! It was truly scrumptious especially with the red cabbage. For dessert we were treated to iced nougat, which as a chocolate lover was something a bit different for me!

We both thoroughly enjoyed our meal, in gorgeous surroundings and were very well looked after. The market menu is £22.50 for a 3 course meal and I’d say its worth every penny especially if you treating someone.


For bookings contact The Bonham0131 226 6050 ; The Chamomile Sanctuary 0131 220 1000

The Scottish Ballet

aurora 1Aurora 4Belle 1Carabosse 2Lady Bluebird 1Red Riding Hood 1

The Scottish Ballet is returning to The Edinburgh Festival Theatre for a run of Ashley Page’s The Sleeping Beauty.

The Scottish Ballet are known for their fantastic performances, and hold a place dear in my heart for their gorgeous costumes.

Please if you can, try and catch a performance of The Scottish Ballet, tickets start at just £10 and its a day out you won’t forget!

Glasgow Theatre Royal
17 - 31 December 2011
Tickets from £10

Festival Theatre Edinburgh
11 - 14 January 2012
Tickets from £10
Box Office 0131 529 6000*

His Majesty's Theatre Aberdeen
18 - 21 January 2012
Tickets from £11.50
Eden Court Inverness
25 - 28 January 2012
Tickets from £14
Theatre Royal, Newcastle
1 - 4 February 2012
Tickets from £10

RBS Museum Lates

Chamber Street.



Silent Disco it up


Hungry Hippo’s


The Entrance Hall. Brutser the Boa.


The Found


Silent Disco


The Finale

When the newly refurbished National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street announced they were doing events in the evening for adults only, I squealed with joy.

The RBS Museum Lates went down a treat as far as I can tell. Tickets were £6 if you were lucky enough to get one, the event sold out pretty fast. For your dollar, you get a treated to the museum being filled with exciting goings on such as live music, face painting, bracelet making, silent disco, hungry hippos cocktails and insect holding. Basically… everyone turned into a big kid and it was brilliant.

I’ll definitely be going along to the next one, I hope this experiment keeps up because, with our gang it was definitely a hit.


Edinburgh Zoo


St Johns Road, Edinburgh.


Penguins having a wash down


Rhino’s being fed


New addition to the zoo, the baby Tapir


The beautiful Sun Bears

I am a big fan of Edinburgh Zoo, I’m an animal adopter and a member. I try to visit the Zoo quite regularly to make my membership worthwhile. Not only are the grounds lovely, afternoon tea in the mansion house a treat, but the animals are usually always out for up close encounters with them.

These pictures were taken on a brisk Sunday afternoon when the animals, like me, would have been more suited to being in their bed! However nearly all the animals were out.

There have been so many upgrades made to the zoo lately that it is a great day out, make sure you see the penguin parade which usually runs about 2 o'clock daily, visit Budungo to watch the chimps, and obviously, visit the Tapir’s who I adopt!



One thing I love about Edinburgh is the variety of music and gigs that go on within the city. Some of my favourite gigs to attend are in the little venues, where local, unsigned bands play. I've been lucky enough to get to know some of the members of these bands and I want to share them with you.

First up are a personal favourite of mine - Run/Lucky/Free.

Who are Run/Lucky/Free?
Run/Lucky/Free are four individuals from different areas of Scotland who just happened to bump into each other whilst studying music at university in Edinburgh. It was quite a fortunate meeting.

How would you describe your musical style and who are your influences?
When we are writing songs we focus a lot on creating a good solid groove in the drums and bass before adding atmospheric guitars and emotive vocals over the top to create a dynamic blend of indie, rock and pop.

Individually we all have different influences, but collectively we all like to listen to a lot of classic bands like The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, The Band, David Bowie, Motown, Pink Floyd, Jeff Buckley, etc. We’ve also been listening to a lot of homegrown talent recently. Some of our favourite Scottish bands at the moment are Bwani Junction, Trapped In Kansas, Miasma, Maydays, Jakil, Discopolis and The Imagineers.

You’ve just launched your new single ‘The Factory’ – tell us a bit about that?
We were fortunate enough to be able to record our new single ‘The Factory’ and it’s b-side ‘Life into Dust’ for free at the amazing Castlesound Studios through a project called the YMI Project. We released the single at the start of October and did a mini tour of Scotland (Skye, Stirling, Glasgow & Edinburgh) to accompany the release. We’re really pleased with the reception the single has been getting so far.

What can we expect from you in the future?
We’re just looking to gig around Scotland a lot more and we don’t really want to waste any time getting back in to the studio. We have some new songs lined up that we really like and want to record. I’m going to be optimistic and say that we will have some new material out at the start of next year.

You’ve played in a lot of Edinburgh venues, including the Liquid Rooms and HMV Picturehouse – where has been your favourite place to play? Where would you like to play?
I think the most memorable experience of an Edinburgh venue is when we played at the Picturehouse (we played there as part of a fundraiser with Stanley Odd and Jakil). It’s just sooooooo big and there was a lot of people there which meant it was a really surreal gig for us. It was a lot of fun and a huge buzz for all of us.
Saying that, I think the most exciting venues to play in Edinburgh are places like Sneaky Pete’s and the Wee Red Bar. They’re small venues but they’re brilliant when you get a decent crowd.
We are an Edinburgh based band and we have been gigging together for a few years now so there’s not much venues left in Edinburgh that I desperately want to play. However, I would really love to play a gig at the Bongo Club.

What venues around Edinburgh would you recommend for good live music?
I’ve mentioned them already but the Wee Red Bar and Sneaky Pete’s always have some good gigs lined up. I really like Electric Circus and the Bongo Club; and the Voodoo Rooms host a night every once in a while called Limbo that usually has some of the best Scottish bands playing at it.
So now that you know a bit about who they are, I suggest going off and having a listen to them.
You can find their new single "The Factory" on soundcloud  and you can buy this and their previous songs over on their bandcamp page. If you really like what you hear, then their next gig as at Maggie's Chamber, supporting The Marvels at their EP launch on the 11th of November.
"Like" their facebook page to make sure you don't miss their updates.



Whiteadder Reservoir

Reservoir Wild swimming is one of my favourite things to do in Summer. There is no chlorine to turn your hair green, no tiny cubicles and no old plasters floating around while you're trying to have a paddle. I try to do it whenever it's sunny and I have someone to keep me company/rescue me if I drown. I'm always on the look out for potential spots, and usually it's at the beach, such as Gullane or Yellowcraigs (both in East Lothian).

Up around the river bend
But this summer I found my new favourite fresh water spot near Whiteadder Reservoir. Situated a 55 minute drive east from Edinburgh, on the B3655 is a great place to escape from people and enjoy some peace and quiet.
If you don't fancy swimming you can sun bath and just enjoy how picturesque the river is
The river flows along next to a large grassy area, which is used as a car park so you can literally step out of your car and into the river. There is a variety of depths too, so if you don't fancy a plunge you can have a paddle and look for river creatures. I love walking up around the river bend, which is slightly further away from the car park, and diving in. The water can be a bit brown at times but I like to think of it as a mineral mud soak. The current isn't very strong so it's not as perilous as some of the spots I've swam in.
My attempt at diving...
Enjoying the water!
Obviously there is some danger wild swimming, with currents and what not so if you are not a strong swimmer I would not go anywhere you cannot stand! And always take someone else with you. It's more fun anyway! This spot can be a bit hard to find so I've tried to make them as simple as possible in a Google map which you can view here. Here's a screen shot of the route:
So next time it's a sunny day and you fancy an adventure, pack your cossie and head for Whiteadder Reservoir! (N.B. I'm aware this is definitely not the right season for this but I wanted to post it as I am already pining for warmer weather and some sun! Forgive me!)