Tuesday 11 December 2012

Christmas Angels & Bagpipes

In Edinburgh last week, for a spot of quality time and Christmas shopping with daughter the elder, I found that all was quite wonderfully Christmassy.

The Dome on George Street, where daughter and I must indulge an annual tradition of Christmas drinks in extravagantly festive surroundings. 

The city's heart  -  the area between medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town, overlooked by the Castle - is transformed at this time of year into a winter wonderland of lights ...

The gardens become a sparkly ice-rink, over which the redoubtable Bank of Scotland looms with its splendid green and gold dome ...

a giant ferris wheel is a splash of whirling colour against the sombre dark spire of the Scott Monument

and a sprawling German Christmas market pops up in front of the National Gallery, enticing with smells of dried oranges, cinnamon and spices, gluhwein, wurst und bretzels

On a freezing clear day, the city skyline at sunset is all deceptive golden warmth

and fairytale spires with frosted icing ... these views from the roof of Edinburgh's Camera Obscura where, in a turret, we crowded into a tiny blackened room to sit around a pale circle of light, as at a seance, and spy on the city through a 19th century camera in a tower ...

By night the High Kirk glows atmospherically in lantern light ...

With a bitter, icy wind whipping in from the Firth of Forth via the North Sea, the name of the game was to hop from one warm, friendly interior to the next: and so it was breakfast at Eteaket on Frederick Street ...

old-fashioned afternoon tea at Jenners, Scotland's oldest department store, here with giant Christmas tree in its grand hall

drinks in the cosy, antlered Whiski rooms on the Mound ...

and in between, art galleries and the Poets Library (about which more in another post)

until it was time to leave (with bulging suitcase) my Scottish lass

in the city of  frozen angels with bagpipes



  1. So nice to see recognisable Edinburgh sights all Christmassy and sparkly. I would definitely recommend Angels with Bagpipes for dinner - if you haven't already been!

    What a lovely way to spend time with your 'Scottish lass' (and what a lovely way to refer to your daughter - I'm smiling! I have no doubt she will have inherited many Scottish ways, sayings etc as she goes through her life!)

    I hope you are well Karen. xx

  2. So good to hear from you BB, and I hope you are much better by now!? I just loved the Christmas atmosphere in Edinburgh, and I consider my daughter well and truly a Scottish lass because she loves it so much there she says she might never want to leave!
    My warmest christmassy wishes to you in the frozen north xx

  3. Karen, you've given us all a grand Christmas gift with these marvelous views of chilly, but oh so beautiful Edinburgh! Who would brave a ride on the brilliantly lit ferris wheel?

    It must have been so much fun dashing around with your lovely daughter, finding lots of warming spots with refreshments, before heading out again to see the lights and sights.

    Thank you so much for reminding me of how much I loved my visit to Edinburgh. It's definitely time for another visit. xo

  4. Edinburgh the Grand and Gloomy looks magical in these photos. It certainly rises to the season! I became colorful myself, tinted green with envy. Exquisite as everything is, your daughter is the most exquisite of all.
    Wonderful post!

  5. Gosh, they went all out and with splendid results. What fun to be there.
    I would have loved the German market especially.
    I wish one of my children had gone to college there.
    Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas.

  6. How delightful to stroll with you through this magic Christmas wonderland!


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