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Some tips for New Year Guests

December 20th, 2011 · No Comments · 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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