I’m pretty spoilt, getting to call Edinburgh home. It has recently been named the best place to live in the UK and it’s also a world-famous tourist destination. But, it’s easy to forget just how lucky you are when you spend every day here. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to start my side project, Every Edinburgh, and also one of the reasons I decided to have a day of being a tourist in my own city. Tune Hotels recently got in touch asking if I would like to review their Edinburgh hotel, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for a mini holiday.
What To Do
After a long lie at home (the perks of not having to travel to your holiday destination!), we headed over to Camera Obscura. I had been once before, but it was quite a few years ago so I was looking forward to taking in all the sights again. As the name suggests, there is a 18th century camera obscura right at the top of the six floor tenement building which gives you a 360 degree view around the city. After a short guided tour of the city from the camera obscura, you’re left to explore the rest of the building yourself. It’s full of optical illusions, photography tricks and hands-on magic. From the mirror maze to the vortex tunnel and holograms to face-swapping computer programmes, there’s lots to see and do. Camera Obscura also boasts some of the best views in Edinburgh from its rooftop terrace, and there are plenty of binoculars and telescopes up there so you can get an extra good look at the scenery. It’s a bit silly, lots of fun and well worth a visit.
Where To Stay
After we’d had our fill of optical illusions, we wandered over to Haymarket to check in at Tune Hotels Edinburgh. Tune Hotels are a budget hotel chain with a difference – you only pay for the things you actually want. The rooms all have high quality basics, like comfy Hypnos beds and powerful showers, but you can choose whether or not to add in extras like TV, wifi, toiletries, breakfast and so on. So, if you’re on a business trip and know you’ll need to use the wifi but won’t have time to watch TV you don’t need to pay for both. Or if you’re on holiday and would rather try out a different local cafe for breakfast each morning, just leave out the breakfast option when booking your room. I thought this was a great idea and we opted for the Comfort package which got us everything we needed for the night. The rooms themselves are quite small but perfectly designed, and everything looked very clean, modern and stylish. I really love Tune Hotel’s branding with the wee emoji style graphics which appeared in the decor throughout the hotel. After a long day of walking around Edinburgh, the big comfy bed was very welcoming (with some added snacks and something good on TV, of course).
Where To Eat
After our original dinner plans were foiled due to a lack of available tables, we wandered past Mumbai Mansion near the hotel and decided to give it a go. It doesn’t look particularly exciting from the outside, but this turned out to be a great choice as the food was really good. They had a pretty nice looking tasting menu with interesting dishes, like scallops and lobster, that you wouldn’t usually find in your run-of-the-mill Indian restaurant, but in the end I opted for my failsafe favourite of butter chicken with a garlic naan. Deeeelish! It was really nice to stumble upon somewhere new like this, I felt like I was being a proper tourist.
Our final stop of the “trip” was breakfast at Mallow Valley the following morning. This has been on my to-visit list for a while (when somewhere describes themselves as a “cheesecake cafe” you can’t really say no, can you?) so I was looking forward to tucking in. I chose French toast with bacon and maple syrup, plus two slices of cheesecake to takeaway for later. There were so many varieties that it was quite hard to narrow it down, but in the end I went for raspberry milkshake cheesecake and Irn Bru cheesecake. Both flavours (and the French toast) get the thumbs up from me!
Have you ever had a day of being a tourist in your own city? Where are your favourite places to go sightseeing?