Last weekend I went to Edinburgh for my sister-in-law’s hen do. I snuck up a few hours early to make the most of my weekend of freedom and used these hours pottering around Edinburgh’s Old Town.
First, I went down a ginnel just off the Royal Mile to find the Writer’s Museum. It’s a gorgeous building, filled with winding stairs and stories about three of Scotland’s great writers; Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. There’s amazing items to be found such as Burns’ writing desk and the press on which Scott’s Waverley Novels were printed on. It’s definitely worth a visit, especially with free entry.
Next I found myself rambling down Victoria St, which is said to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. I can see why too. It’s a cobbled road with old, squished, but tall store fronts lining it, all with vibrant colours and exciting displays. It’s beautiful, especially in the sunshine.
I investigated several stores, but my favourite find was Demijohn – the world’s first liquid deli. There are shelves lined with demijohns of mostly British liqueurs, whiskies, wines, spirits, olive oils and vinegars – you choose your bottle and then get it filled. The next time you visit, bring back the same bottle for a refill (so you only need to buy the bottle once). It’s a fantastic idea, and allows people to buy as much or little as they like of the different products on offer.
Demijohn supports UK producers too, and the owners make sure these producers use clean, fair and sustainable methods of production. (A lot of work has gone in to make Demijohn an ethical and environmentally friendly business – read more about that here.)
After sampling it, I bought a 100ml bottle of rhubarb vodka, which I’m looking forward to supping in the garden on a sunny afternoon. This rhubarb vodka was made just outside Edinburgh by retired PE teachers Robin and Derry, and it’s described as an alcoholic rhubard crumble – amazing!
On each demijohn there are some serving suggestions, and for my rhubarb vodka they suggested a making it into a bellini cocktail, simply served it over ice, or as a long drink with tonic water and a slice of lemon. The presentation of each purchase is gorgeous, with the name of what you’ve bought handwritten on the bottle for you before it’s beautifully wrapped.
I was really impressed with Demijohn; for it’s unique concept, it’s customer service, and it’s pride in using local producers. The Edinburgh shop was its first store, but there are now Demijohn’s found in York, Glasgow and Oxford (so I’ll be sure to take my bottle back for a refill as soon as I can).
After Demijohn, I made my way to the bottom of Victoria St where I found the Mussels & Steak Bar, and couldn’t stop myself nipping in for a pot of mussels before finally heading off for hen do fun. It’s a fantastic restaurant, with great service and delicious, fresh food – highly recommended.