With stunning ancient architecture and a rich history, Edinburgh during autumn is a joy to explore.
The Scottish capital houses a medieval Old Town and a neoclassical New Town, both home to modern hotels, trendy restaurants and stylish boutiques that come alive during this season.
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Edinburgh-based leather-goods brand, Strathberry, Citizen Femme explored this storied city in all its autumn glory. Here’s where to stay, what to eat and what to do within the city’s cobbled streets.
The Kimpton, Charlotte Square
Located in the heart of the city and spread across seven interconnected Georgian townhouses, The Kimpton is a charming boutique hotel full of style and character. Rooms overlook one of Edinburgh’s prettiest private garden squares and it is within a short walking distance to all the main city attractions, including Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town shopping street. Elegant and cosy, this design-driven hotel has everything you could want from a winter weekend away. Mid-century interior design is fused with warming Scottish hospitality – expect fireplaces, roll-top baths, tartan soft furnishings and vintage accents – and there’s homely lounge areas for an afternoon tipple away from the cold. Rejuvenate in the spa or enjoy brunch in the glass-top courtyard restaurant surrounded by greenery and natural light. The hotel’s “Forgot It? We Got It!” service for forgotten essential travel items is particularly welcomed, as is the bedroom tuck box brimming with local gourmet treats.
EAT + DRINK
Satine Saint Stephen
This charming restaurant is picture perfect by night; its intimate, candle-lit tables and informal dining making for a romantic dinner à deux. Inspired by the Parisian pavement cafés of Les Halles and Montmartre, Satine Saint Stephen offers elevated cuisine using the finest produce from the British Isles and France, and works closely with award-winning local suppliers to deliver classic and modern dishes inspired by French regional cooking. Although the menu is predominantly carnivore-friendly, they’re excellent at catering for vegan dietary requirements too.
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Offering seasonal dishes in Edinburgh’s Old Town, with split-level seating and views of the castle, this central spot is a real winner. Dishing up modern European cuisine, the menu is imaginative and portions are substantial and seriously good – with local produce and great wines to thank. The atmosphere is buzzy yet relaxed, and dining is enjoyed within contemporary decor. This is the perfect scene for dinner with friends, or for a birthday celebration.
Peacock Alley at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian
Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Waldorf Astoria, the elegant Peacock Alley restaurant mirrors the glamour and traditions of the first Waldorf & Astoria hotels (originally two separate hotels built next to each other by arguing relatives in New York). Here, book the Aladdin-themed afternoon tea and enter a ‘whole new world’ of this classic British afternoon past time through innovative savoury and sweet miniatures, inspired by Arabian nights and boasting Middle Eastern flavours such as saffron, cardamom, jasmine, rose, tahini and dates. Plant-based diners won’t be disappointed; the vegan menu is just as exciting.
Book an appointment at Strathberry Townhouse
Celebrating 10 years as Scotland’s only leather goods brand, Strathberry was founded by husband and wife duo, Guy and Leeanne Hundleby, in the heart of Edinburgh and is recognised around the world for its royal-favourite designs. With a commitment to meticulous craftsmanship, the brand’s story was born 2000 miles from Scotland, in the Spanish mountain town of Ubrique, known for its ancient leather traditions. Strathberry continues to collaborate with the artisans of the town to create its iconic leather goods, and use both the same leather and workshops as high profile brands such as Loewe and Dior. They now boast an impressive HQ within a Grade-A listed Edinburgh townhouse that belongs to the UNESCO-protected New Town.
Housing a showroom that can be visited for private, personal shopping appointments, immerse yourself in the world of Strathberry with a one-hour consultation and be guided through the collections to find your perfect match. They also offer debossing on leather goods and woven initials on scarfs, so you can personalise your new buy – a great take home from Scotland that you’ll treasure forever.
It’s also worth picking up one of their cashmere scarfs, which are made by the same Scottish manufacturers as Chanel. Priding themselves on using the world’s finest, responsibly-sourced fabrics, the brand is bringing luxury to its consumers at an affordable price point and is a must-have for frequent flyers looking for in-flight comfort.
Tour Edinburgh Castle
No visit to Edinburgh is complete without a trip to this world-famous icon. Part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it stands proud on Castle Rock and houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland. Book a guided tour around the castle to learn about its architecture and dramatic history, before taking in impressive views of the city from its elevated stand point.
Marvel at Decades: The Art of Change 1900–1980 Exhibition at the National Gallery
Perfect for seekers of art and culture, Edinburgh is home to the National Galleries of Scotland, which consists of three galleries: National, Modern and Portrait, each set in a beautiful sculpture park. Immerse yourself in abstraction, realism, surrealism and minimalism at The Art of Change 1900–1980 exhibition at Modern Two. It takes you through a journey spanning 80 years of art, from 1900 to the 1970s, showcasing works by iconic artists including Henri Matisse and Salvador Dalí.
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