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Hidden Edinburgh's guide to the city during the festive period

Visiting Edinburgh during the festive season is a great time to see the city! The streets are bustling with Christmas shoppers, the markets are in full swing with people eating waffles and drinking Gluwhein, and there is so much to see and do, and even more to eat and drink! Navigating the city at this time of year however, can be a daunting task, but fear not – Catherine from Hidden Edinburgh has rounded up the best, unique things to do, the most delicious things to eat, and the greatest places for a warming drink in the city this winter!

What to Do

UK Makers on the High Street Pop-up shop, 17 Dundas Street

Makers & Friends is a moving, curated pop-up shop showcasing some fabulous independent makers and designers from all across the UK. Having launched earlier this year in London, Makers & Friends have already hosted markets in Islington and Greenwich before traveling North this festive season, to set up camp at 17 Dundas Street in Edinburgh! Pop in any Monday – Saturday from 11am till 7pm to find some special and unique Christmas gifts made by some fantastically talented creatives.

12 Doors of Advent, Locations across Edinburgh

From the 1st of December until Christmas Eve the public will get to explore buildings around the city whose doors are usually shut to the average Joe. The ’12 Doors of Advent’ event in partnership with the Festival of Architecture and the Royal Incorporation of Architects Scotland, will throw open the doors to some of the most recognizable buildings from around the city including, the Assembly Rooms, the Royal Lyceum Theatre, BT Murrayfield and the Scottish Parliament. Check out the Edinburgh Christmas website for the full calendar of events:

Hansel & Gretel, Festival Theatre

Hansel & Gretel embark on an adventure into the enchanted forest to find their missing friends, in this contemporary tale inspired by the Grimm Brother’s classic fairy tale. Head to the Festival Theatre this festive season to experience Christopher Hampson’s charming interpretation of the story of Hansel & Gretel featuring toys that come to life and magical beings, and performed by the Scottish Ballet and Scottish Ballet Orchestra. It’s enchanted fun for all the family!

Where to Eat and Drink

Comet & Blitzen, North West Circus Place, Stockbridge

Newly opened Stockbridge pop-up Comet & Blitzen, is a must-visit for any Christmas super-fan! Serving a delicious festive menu including Christmas-themed small plates, cheese and chocolate fondues, and baking from renowned local institution Twelve Triangles, Comet & Blitzen will tickle your taste buds along with your Christmas itch! Craft beers, a selection of wine and some cracking winter cocktails offer something to keep you warm, all in the quirky surroundings of an old bank decorated in suitable festive attire! It’s not here for long so don’t miss out!

Dishoom, St Andrew Square

Already an institution in London, the renowned Indian restaurant Dishoom has landed north of the border. Paying tribute to the Scottish biologist and philanthropist Patrick Geddes, who spent time in both Edinburgh and Bombay, the restaurant is the perfect European-Indo fusion. Serving a unique menu focussed on the specific Irani dishes common in Bombay at the turn of the last century, Dishoom offers something truly unique. Try the Bombay version of a chip butty; Vada Pau, or perhaps share a large pot of Chicken Berry Britannia Biryani with friends after some Christmas shopping! Delicious!

The Voyage of Buck, William Street

From the creatives behind some of the most well-loved bars in Edinburgh (The Blackbird, Hamilton’s, Treacle) comes their newest foray into the competitive world of Edinburgh’s cocktail scene; The Voyage of Buck. Situated on the bijoux William Street in Edinburgh’s West End, The Voyage of Buck is a breath of (somewhat glamourous) fresh air to the area. It’s a luxe drinking saloon with a prohibition era feeling and a beautifully detailed art deco interior! The cocktail menu is impressive and changes with the seasons so you are always sure to find something new to try. Definitely worth popping in for a few festive drinks this winter!

The Refinery, St Andrew Square

A new face to the bustling St Andrew Square and the perfect relaxed venue to escape the manic Christmas rush, The Refinery is the latest addition to Drake & Morgan’s impressive portfolio of contemporary bistro-like eateries. The décor is modern but rustic with beautiful wooden cladding on the walls and chairs covered in faux fur and tweed throws. The menu is equally pleasing featuring gastro-pub classics with a twist and a comprehensive drinks menu. This buzzing but comfortable venue is perfect for both a girl’s boozy lunch, after dinner cocktails, or a Sunday brunch with the family.