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Valentine Blues

February 15th, 2012 · edinburgh

So how are we all feeling after Valentines Day?

We have a mixed bag of singles and couples here are Edinburgh Festival Apartments so its been a funny mix conversations.

What should I buy her? Why do men not get it? We all want flowers or something personal that we know he knows we want! Or a dinner cooked by him, a table set by him, candles bought and lit by him, a bubble bath run by him, a massage by him, but most importantly a really nice card, maybe made by him expressing that you are the most important person in his life and he would do anything to make you happy and feel cherished.

So how come when they don’t do that they come back into work the next day surprised that the female colleagues are shaking their heads saying “but I told you” !!!

Romance is certainly not gone, we know that because every weekend our large group apartments are filled with excited hen and stag parties celebrating the imminent wedding.

So we meet someone new and exciting, this could be the one we think, the first year is always tricky – you don’t want to buy too much in-case he doesn’t and vice versa, Christmas should it be with his family or yours – when you really just want to be together. Birthdays are even more tricky especially if his is first!

But then as time progresses you kind of know what to expect and what each other will like and be impressed by. So WHY do men still get it wrong? You very rarely hear a guy saying “I was really disappointed that she didn’t make more of an effort” But we girls we always say that! 

We really notice the difference in hear as well when organising “hen parties” and “stag parties“.

The girls well they kind of know the numbers, kind of know the budget and know the  date for sure. But they are really not sure what they want to  do, where they want to go. They really know for sure that its important to know how many bathrooms there are, who will be sharing a room with who, will there be hairdryers, will there be straighteners, are there a good selection of wine glass and cocktail glasses, how far is it to walk in high heels, are there cleaning products and loo roll in the apartment the list of questions is endless.

The guys however well they are a whole different kettle of fish!

We usually get maybe one email or phone call asking if we have an apartment that will fit 2o guys on whichever date they want. Is it all single beds – yes (we know bunk beds are no good when you are drunk!) Is it near the bars and clubs - yes. How much is the deposit ? OK how do I book ?

So easy – and I have news for you our cleaners much prefer when there is a bunch of lads than girls, they leave the apartments in perfect condition, they are very respectful and there is no fake tan on the linen, or make up spillages on the carpets!  So ladies please remember someone has to clean the apartment after you to make sure its in the same condition when you stayed.

And ladies please remember to book as soon as you can, its so disappointing when ladies phone back after sorting out all the questions only to find that some else has booked the date!

The other large groups we often have staying in our apartments are theatre groups and schools. Now these are obviously all another set of questions. Is everything within walking distance – yes. Are there plenty of plates, cutlery, utensils ? Yes. Can the rooms be made up to suit all boys or all girls – yes.

So as you can see we get all different kinds of large groups staying in our apartments and we like to cater for them all. Where we can we will move beds around or add, we will make sure your shopping is delivered. That you have all the things you need, microwaves, multiple toasters, kettles, mugs, plates etc – enough for everyone. Loo rolls, towels, bin bags. We leave everything your large group is going to need.

What do we ask in return?

Please be respectful to the apartment and remember its someones job to clean up after you.

Please be respectful to our neighbours when entering and leaving the apartments.

But most of all tell all your friends what a great time you had in Edinburgh and come back again ! We love having guests back again and already have people booking for next years hen parties which makes us believe that really romance isn’t dead after all.

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Whoosh !!

January 31st, 2012 · edinburgh

January is over already !!!

We have had an amazing month at Edinburgh Festival Apartments, hence the reason there has been very little time to write anything on the blog.

We have launched some amazing new apartments including our luxury penthouse so for all you ladies looking for the footballer WAG lifestyle then this could be then venue for your girlie hen party night in, why not arrange for our “pamper ladies” to come along and give you have massage or perhaps have your nails painted for the special day.

Another new addition to portfolio is our Scottish themed apartment on the Royal Mile which sleeps 20 people, its a terrific apartment in the heart of the city and you can even arrange to have a bulter dressed in a kilt to meet you with a welcome drink?

We are so delighted to have these two new properties as our beautiful Townhouse has hardly any dates free until the end of July and we already have people booking for next year !! We do have mid week breaks available at great prices which would be ideal for corporate guests staying in the city for work Monday to Friday.

We are really busy in February with rugby fans coming to stay for the six nations and loads of guys opting to try out our mini “Highland Games” which is appartantly great fun, lots of girls are going for this as well – a wee change from the pole dancing classes? Good way to meet lots of guys looking for a partner to a wedding.

Its great to see that people are still wanting to come to Edinburgh all year not only for the amazing Edinburgh Festival – although dates are starting to fill up already. So if you are thinking about coming to Edinburgh for a wee break this year give us a call and we can let you know which dates are filling up.

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Janaury up date

January 19th, 2012 · edinburgh

What an amazing start the New Year we have had at Festival Apartments, the phone has been ringing off the hook with people looking to book apartments for all sorts of reasons……

Bookings for people from Edinburgh who are having a wedding and think it would be easier to have everyone under the one roof to get together for a meal, getting hair done, make up etc. We can even organise your pamper ladies to come to the apartment so you dont even have to leave.

The Townhouse has been getting booked for practically the whole Summer, there are very few dates left now!

What a great idea I think it is to all stay in the one place it means you can chill out and help each other with nails, hair etc. Also it has 7 bathrooms so no need for rushing or shouting at each other to get out the loo!

We have a group of 21 Swedish guys – ladies take note end of March ;-) who are coming to enjoy a weekend packed with Highland Games, Whisky tasting and Fly fishing not to mention a few wee drinkies in town.

Everyone is going crazy for our “still life” drawing class which features a hunky male model in a very discrete pose.

What has amazed me is how organised people are – we have had loads of bookings for next New Year 2013 – I think that’s such a great idea, so many of us leave it till the last minute and then we end up having to pay a fortune or not really doing what we want because its not available. Our large apartments are a great idea for Christmas and New Year because everyone is under the one roof and its only about £50 each a night. The other great thing is all our apartments are very central so no need for taxis which is such a bonus as they are so expensive at that time of year.

Our phones went mad last week when all the Six Nations, Scotland / England tickets were delivered and we had a huge number of people looking for apartments, many landlords don’t like large groups of guys but here at Festival we are happy to have them. In truth our cleaners prefer to clean the apartments after a bunch of guys than girls – ladies !!! Or maybe its just because the guys spend all weekend out at the pub ?

Later in the month we have a family of Chinese coming to spend the week together to celebrate their New Year on the 23rd of January – the year of the black water dragon.

Chinese New Year Day is on January 23, 2012. The first day of 2012 Chinese Astrology Year is on February 4, 2012.) Many people must be eager to know if they will have better luck in the coming year than previous years.

According to Chinese Five Element Astrology Calendar, 2012 is the Year of Water Dragon. The color of Water in Five Elements system is related to Black. Therefore we can say 2012 is a Black Dragon, Water Dragon or Black Water Dragon year.

Chinese Astrology is a Balance Theory of Five Elements. Each animal can be converted into Five Elements. Dragon contains Earth, Water and Wood. It’s a source of Water and It is also called the Water Dam in Chinese astrology. Since Water  of 2012 comes with Dragon. it implied Water from the sky makes a dam overflow. Therefore 2012 is a strong Water year. I wonder if this is why we have had so much rain? Although this is Edinburgh and it does rain a lot !!

Dragon is a legendary animal and it is symbol of emperor in China. Since the Dragon is coated with mysterious color, Chinese consider that the dragon is unpredictable, untouchable and people cannot see its head and tail at the same time. Therefore, we can expect to  see something unexpected happening in 2012. Also a person with too many dragons in the Chinese astrology birth chart will become smarter, sly and unpredictable in the coming year.

We have also had new landlords adding new properties to our portfolio which gives your guests an even better choice, we realise that our guests are looking for something a little bit unique and good quality with a great location.

One such apartment which as just been renovated and added to our portfolio is this amazing 4 bedroom apartment in the Royal Mile with feature walls and touches of tartan to add to the Scottish theme in the area. It sleeps up to 20 people and everything is within walking distance.

Another extremely unique apartment is “The Castle Snug” – this is one of our oldest properties right by the castle it dates back to 1700 and James Boswall was a past resident.  795

James Boswall was a Scottish lawyer  known for his two-volume biography THE LIFE OF SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D (1791), published seven years after the death of its subject. Boswell met Samuel Johnson in May 1763 in Davies’s London bookshop and the two became fast friends. He recorded in detail Johnson’s words and activities in a relatively short period. Later the historian Thomas Macaulay (1800-1859) called Boswell’s worship of Dr. Johnson “Lues Boswelliana, or disease of admiration.”

James Boswell was born in Edinburgh, the son of Alexander Boswell, Lord Auchinleck, who was a judge in the supreme courts of Scotland. Boswell’s mother, Euphemia Erskine, was descended from a minor branch of Scottish royalty. His family had had for two-and-a-half centuries as its seat the estate of Auchinleck in Ayrshire. Near the new mansion were the ruins of the Old Castle, which he eagerly showed to Johnson and other friends.

Boswell really wanted to become known as a great lover. He told about his adventures to his friends, William Temple and John Johnston, and once claimed that he had made love five times in a single evening. He was well-known among prostitutes in London’s St. James Park his sexuality was compulsive and he copulated after watching public hangings, perhaps in the nearby West Port or Grassmarket area. Over a period of 30 years he contracted gonorrhea 17 times!

In 1769 Boswell married Margaret Montgomerie, his cousin; they had two boys and three girls. From early on, he worried of her health and that he would be left alone. Though his visits to London were restricted to the vacations of the Court of Session, Boswell kept up his contacts with Johnson, and was elected to the Literary Club in 1773. The members included some of the most famous men of the time, such as the painter Sir Joshua Reynolds, the actor David Garrick, the historian Edward Gibbon, and the political economist Adam Smith. With Johnson, who described Boswell as “the best travelling companion in the world”, the friends made their celebrated tour of Scotland and the Hebrides. “A page of my Journal is like a cake of portable soup. A little may be diffused into a considerable portion.” (from Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides) The route followed that of the unfortunate rebel, Prince Charles Edward. One of Johnson’s motives to undertake the journey was to investigate the authenticity of Macpherson’s Ossian poems; he was sure that they were fakes.

Boswell’s later moved to London and his remaining years were mainly unhappy, and he no longer had a clear course for his life. Some of his frieds avoided him, afraid that he would record their conversation – or perhaps that he would not do it. Boswell’s pursuit of a political career turned out to be unsuccessful. His wife, who coughed and spitted blood while in London, moved back to Scotland and after her death in 1789, he had difficulties with his “Edinburgh-mannered” daughters, who did much as they pleased. Boswell died in London, on May 19, 1795.

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Happy New Year !!

January 10th, 2012 · edinburgh

We are back to the office and happy to help with all your holiday plans for Edinburgh City, just give us a call or send us an email :-)

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Different ways to say Happy New Year

December 20th, 2011 · edinburgh

Scottish Gaelic – Bliadhna Mhath Ur

Spanish – Feliz Año Nuevo

French – Joyeux Nouvel An

Swedish – Gott Nytt År

Polish – Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku

German – Glückliches neues Jahr

Japanese – 明けましておめでとうございます

Dutch – Gelukkig Nieuwjaar

Irish – Athbhliain Shona

Welsh – Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

Fillipino – Manigong Bagong Taon

Hindi – नया साल मुबारक हो

Greek – Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Έτος

Chinese – 新年快乐

Arabic – سنة جديدة سعيدة

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Scottish slang

December 20th, 2011 · edinburgh

Just another thought for all our overseas visitors, although in Edinburgh we consider ourselves to be much posher than our Glasgow friends we do still have some slang words that foreign folks may have no idea of the meaning, so here are some translations.

The “slang” word in bold italics, should be pronounced as you read it, and the “English” meaning beside it :-)

ken – know

nut – no

aye – yes

ra big booze-up – the big party

rasooside - the southside

snowfaur yukonhoofit – That isnt fair, you can walk

norah bliddichance - Not a bloody chance!

whiddje fur ? – What would you like ?

heidcase- crazy person

goaramdri - extremely thirsty (gosh, I am dry)

swaarmraday – the temperature has risen (Its’s warm today)

selluvakolnoo – the temperature has dropped (Its awful cold now)

slanja va – cheers (your good health)

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Some tips for New Year Guests

December 20th, 2011 · edinburgh

Before we head off on our Christmas break we thought it would be a good idea to leave all our Christmas and New Year guests some tips on the top places to go, whats on, where’s good to eat etc.

Edinburgh really knows how to celebrate Hogmanay with celebrations kicking off on the 30th with the spectacular Torchlight Procession, the best spot to watch this amazing site is at the bottom of the mound, its quite emotional watching the river of fire silently parading down the mound and through Princes Street the procession is lead by a bunch of noisy, hairy vikings and Scottish highlanders dragging a viking warship, leading a 15,000 strong crowd bearing  flaming torches as it winds its way from the historic Parliament Square on the Old Town‘s Royal Mile, down the Mound, along Princes Street and Waterloo Place, and up to the ancient Edinburgh meeting ground Calton Hill.

In 2011, the Torchlight Procession culminates with a “Son et Lumiere & Firework Finale” at around 7.45pm on Calton Hill.

Since you are now at the East of town I would recommend going to 12 Picardy place if you fancy dancing the night away. They really go all out at Christmas time, the entire night club is transformed into an off piste venue with log chalets and coal fires. Or if you are simply looking for some good food head down to Locanda de gusti where you will find truly authentic Italian food and an amazing range of beers.

If later on you are still looking for some fun there are loads of clubs ready to get you reved up for the biggie on the 31st. It really depends on your age group and taste. Here are our favourites.

Teenagers, up to about 23yrs – head to The Hive for a mix of Rock, Indie and Electronica or HMV Picture House for Indie clubbing.

Mid 20′s – head to George Street where we have a whole host of lavish night clubs, Lulu, Shanghai and Why Not ?

Thirty plus – Its got to be the Jam House with a great range of music and a fantastic house band called The Flavours or if you fancy chilling out more then head to the Jazz Bar for cool beats and global sounds – this is my personal favourite for a late night venue. Its always a surprise how good the acts are there is always a mix of great jazz with Funk, Fusion, Soul, Blues, Roots, Acoustic and Jam sessions. Rest assured whatever genre of music is happening on stage – you can trust that it’s gonna be good!

So what to do now on the officail Hogmany!

I totally recommend a huge cooked Scottish breakfast and my own personal favorite has got to be Peckhams in Bruntsfield, it includes eggs, sausages, bacon, tomato, mushrooms, haggis and tattie scones along with toast, jams and a strong pot of coffee. It humungous and will keep you going all day.

The fair is a good place to head to during the day with thrills and rides to suit all ages and even a good walk up Arthurs Seat to have a veiw of the city whilst its still calm.

In the evening there is something going on everywhere so its really hard to say which direction to head to. Make sure you wrap up warm and keep eating to soak up the alchol.

Another favorite of mine is the Red Squirrel in Lothian Road they do great pub food and an amazing range of Belgian Beers. So it would be good to start of there on the evening before perhaps heading to the street party of street Keilidh. You can welcome in 2012 in style as you birl through the bells at the outdoor ceilidh experience featuring traditional Scottish music, a caller to teach the moves and incredible views of the spectacular Midnight Fireworks.

Many of us will wake up and have massive hangovers on New Years day however please remember that the party is sill going on so try not to miss out on New Years Day events.

I have lived in Edinburgh since I was 14 but before then I was brought up in South Queensferry and still have a wee pull to go back there on New Years Day where the tradition known as the “loony dook” has grown to be  a great fun event. Most people do it for charity but some just to clear their hangover. The tradtion is that you dress in fancy dress, as little as possbile, run down the beach and into the water !! It really is funny to see everyone turn from pink to blue :-) I highly recommend going down and standing in your cosy puffer watching all the crazy people running in and racing out! .

The Loony Dook parade kicks of at 11am this year but arrive early if you are bringing the car as spaces are limited!

There is so much going on Edinburgh at this time of year I am sure where ever you end up you will have a great time and experience Scottish hospitality at its very best.

Wishing you all a huge amount of fun over Christmas and New Year and hoping a small taste of the city will give you the inspiration to come back and visist again where we have festivals of every kind all throughout the year.

Very best wishes from everyone at Festival Apartments, we are around over the holidays to help with any queries or take a look at our website for apartment ideas and prices.

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Not long now !!

December 19th, 2011 · edinburgh

Well its not long now till Christmas. I decided yesterday I would make the most of my day off and get up early to finish off my Christmas shopping.

My idea was to go to Primark first, it has only just opened in Edinburgh so I headed there full of enthusiasm, it was crazy!!  Everyone obviously had the same idea so after wandering up and down looking for Christmas inspiration we left only buying 3 gift bags at £1.00 each and queued up for 20 minutes to pay for them, of which my boyfriend thought I was insane. We then headed to George Street where all the posh shops and went to another new addition to Edinburgh shopping, Anthrapolgie – it has to be said it is completely the opposite  end of the scale to Primark. We picked up a cushion and I asked my beloved to guess the price, his estimate was £30 – wrong! £178 !!!!  After his eyes popped out his head and he stopped moaning about the prices, and saying we should go back to Primark! we then headed to the German market for glass of mulled wine, where we then started to enjoy the festive atmosphere. We left shortly afterwards with our 3 empty gift bags and decided “I” should probably just come back in to town later in the week  :-)

In Edinburgh we have a great selection of shops but it has to be said Primark was the busiest of them all, but those lovely shops in George Street are nice to wander in and you do get a lovely carrier bag if you buy something :-) – must be a girl thing that I think!

It seems so strange coming in to the Festival Apartments office today because the office is so calm compared to the furoe at the shops yesterday, which are only a five minute walk away.

Everything is ready for our New Year guests arriving to celebrate Hogmanay. Lots of guests have been asking me directions to the Edinburgh Zoo, I expect to see the new stars of the zoo, the pandas Tian Tina nd Yang Guang. I myself plan on getting the family up early on Christmas Day to visit them as the zoo is open everyday of the year and I am pretty sure it will be quiet on Christmas day when all the people with young families will still be opening all the parcels.

So enjoy the rest of the week and planning your perfect Christmas Day.

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Christmas Lunch

December 16th, 2011 · edinburgh

It would appear that the festive work parties have started in full force! The reason I know is our office is located in the west end of town and lots of people are heading to work with Santa hats on and glitzy Christmas earrings :-)

I expect up and down the country everywhere is the same as lots of office workers take a half day and head off for the traditional Christmas office lunch where everyone drinks far too much bubbles for day time and then there is always someone who gets really drunk and either wants to tell everyone how much they love them or the other type of Christmas drunk who wants to tell everyone how much they don’t like them !! lol !! I wonder if that is the reason so many people look for a new job in January???

I was surprised this week how many people have been booking up for weekends at the end of January, but perhaps that’s a Christmas present to themselves and something to  look forward to.

Also this week, amazingly August is getting booked up at a rapid speed so it looks like the credit crunch is keeping many of us in this country for our holidays. I have to say after having just come back from Rome I do think our fabulous city of Edinburgh offers amazing value for money.

So for everyone out there going for an office party today, remember to have a glass of water with every glass of wine, take a pair of comfy shoes for coming home, stay away from the mistletoe and the office hottie because you still have to go back to work next year :-)

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Edinburgh Festival

December 12th, 2011 · edinburgh

I have been surprised by the number of people calling up today to book apartments for the Edinburgh Festival 2012!

We had expected that things would be quiet as we approach Christmas but that hasnt been the case we are still getting lots of bookings for next August which indicates that maybe people are thinking about having a holiday in the UK or maybe even Europeans coming here.

I was in Rome recently and was horrified at the price of food and drink. Apparently sitting in a bar or cafe trebles the price of food and drink. So I should imagine when Italians come here they must be chuffed to bits when they wander along the street into a Wetherspoons pub and can buy a coffee, meal and get a seat for around a fiver!

That’s one thing I love about Edinburgh, the amazing range of bars and restaurants. There are thousands! with new ones popping up all the time so its hard to get round to going to your favorite ones too often. I am sure you could go out every night for food and still never keep up with all the great places there are too eat.

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