I determined that Sunday would be a real day off for me: no research, no writing, no work. I admit I ended up doing a bit anyway as the day wore on, but my intentions were good. ;) It was a gorgeously sunny day. The wind was light I could actually feel the sun, and it was the kind of day where I just have to get out of the flat and walk. I left without much of an idea where I was headed other than in a general northerly direction. This seems to be a pretty common area to walk to when I've got some exploration time on my hands (okay, to be honest, I set aside time on purpose for this sort of thing; there's always something "important" that I could be doing, but often coffee and a stroll is just better).
Stockbridge is an area north of New Town in central Edinburgh that feels a little more like a village than a city -- a far cry from Princes Street or the Royal Mile. For one, it has a nice (read: less congested) shopping street with charity shops and high end gift boutiques together with the basic convenience shops and some sweet little cafes and coffee shops. It also has a residential area that I discovered during one of my very first walks around the city, called the Colonies. They're really amazing little rows of townhouses, quaint and kind of bohemian-looking, in some cases with the laundry out to dry on lines in front and wild plants in the yard left to their own devices. I like that sort of thing. They're very close to the Waters of Leith and are quite a creative community unto themselves -- they host an annual Creative Colonies event which was held after the Stockbridge Market last weekend.
Stockbridge Market itself is really, really, really (did I say really?) nice. I knew it existed, but had totally forgotten about it and apparently never walked by Jubilee Gardens on a Sunday. Needless to say, after ambling around kind of haphazardly after a quick cup of coffee, I was really glad to find this! It's not huge, but it's not tiny either, and it packs a punch in the little tree-filled park with vendors stocking fresh fruits and veg, artisan cheeses and chocolate, fresh "street food," gourmet pastas and oils, fresh seafood and meat, local craft beer, soaps, bread, and some arts and crafts as well. I bagged some excellent croissants and brie, along with some fruit. There's a pretty wide range of edibles and wares for the size of the place, and they had a great setup with a coffee van (you'll see!), some tables and a decent guy+guitar to keep everyone entertained.
It's definitely on my calendar every week now, as it runs year-round! And in the summers on Thursday. So all the more to look forward to. And of course... the snaps:
I love these guys: Steam Punk Coffee Company... based in North Berwick, which is a suburb of Edinburgh, they're not really accessible to me as a regular stop, but a Volkswagen bus with an espresso machine setup in back? YES PLEASE! And a good latte it was too. They're supposed to be there every week, though, so at least I can get a fix every now and again. ;)
I love a good market. I should get in the habit of keeping a list through the week of things I'd like to look for, either here or at the Edinburgh Market that still goes on near the castle on Saturdays.
The weather has been marvelous. I have zero complaints, and am soaking up every second of sunshine I can get before the "worst winter in decades" hits Scotland. (Please. I'm from Wisconsin.) ;) Tehe!