How to Spend a Cosy Winter Day in Edinburgh
As temperatures drop below zero and icy north winds invade the Capital, it’s evident winter is well and truly here. To combat the “dreich” (a Scottish word for wet, cold or gloomy) weather, Visit Scotland have coined the term “Còsagach” to encompass being snug, sheltered, and warm and to encourage people to “coorie in, an bide a while”. Beyond that, Còsagach advocates disconnecting and spending quality time with friends or family – which we feel is very important. Therefore, we’ve created a guide to help you enjoy a cosy winter day in Edinburgh!
Start Your Day with a Warm Cuppa
What better way to start your cosy winter day than with a warm cuppa. You’ll be spoilt for choice as Edinburgh has an abundance of wonderful independent coffee shops. We’ve selected a few of our favourite cosy cafes, so hopefully, no matter where you start your day there should be one relatively nearby.
- Central New Town – If you’re starting near Princes Street, there is a wonderful little coffee shop hidden below the bustling crowds on George Street called Wellington Coffee. Also, when we say little we really do mean little as Wellington Coffee’s premises is tiny with only a few tables – all the more cosy right?
- West End – Strumpets is a quirky cafe tucked away on William Street. Their staff are always extremely welcoming, plus they are dog and cat friendly!
- Stockbridge – Artisan Roast have several cafes in Edinburgh and their Stockbridge shop is a bright and spacious spin on Artisan cosy-chic.
- Bruntsfield – The Chocolate Tree is located in Bruntsfield and serves up a chocolate lover’s dream hot chocolate, plus the cafe is the definition of cosy!
- Old Town – Black Medicine Coffee is located on Nicholson Street and it’s a cafe with plenty of nooks and crannies to tuck yourself away in to escape the cold weather.
Enjoy the Christmas Decorations
Now it’s time to take a short foray out into the cold and enjoy Edinburgh’s beautiful Christmas decorations, we promise it’ll be worth it. If you’re near the West End, we’d recommend taking a stroll down William Street to admire their miniature Christmas trees, gold baubles, and garlands. Plus, there are plenty to spot in the Princes Street Gardens’ Christmas Markets and on the Royal Mile. But, if it all gets a little too chilly, why not pop into Jenner’s (which was once Scotland’s oldest independent department store) to marvel at their stunning Christmas tree, or step inside the Dome on George street and be amazed by their immersive Christmas decorations.
Enjoy a Bowl of Homemade Soup at Union of Genius
A piping hot bowl of homemade soup is the perfect way to continue your cosy winter day in Edinburgh. What better place for a bowl of soup than Scotland’s first soup cafe, Union of Genius (located on Forrest Road near the National Museum of Scotland). What is really fun about this cafe is that there are various ways to enjoy their soup, for instance, the traditional way soup in a bowl, in one of their edible bread bowls, or sample a three of their soups on a platter with a selection of bread!
Pop into a Few Independent Shops
Isn’t there something lovely about shopping independent, browsing through a store laden with wonderful unique produce, and being able to chat with the owner – something that is impossible with most high street shops. We could spend all day naming the host of fantastic independent shops Edinburgh has to offer, but since that would be impractical, we’ll just select a few of our favourite streets/areas that we would highly recommend visiting.
- St Stephen Street and Stockbridge: Stockbridge is bursting with various independent stores including Coco Chocolatier, Caoba Mexican Store, Geluja Candle and many more. St Stephen Street is also located in Stockbridge and has quickly become the place to shop for independent goods! We’d recommend popping into Golden Hare Books because is there anywhere cosier to reside in than a bookshop with a real fire?
- Broughton Street: Broughton Street is another wonderful street to peruse and we’re sure you’ll be tempted to pop into nearly every shop! A few of our favourites are Curiouser and Curiouser, Narcissus Flowers, and Life Story.
- Victoria Street and the Grassmarket: There are several wonderful independent shops and eateries to pop into.
Dinner at the Gardener’s Cottage
Terms such as Hygge and Còsgach advocate social bonding and connecting with others, and likewise, the Gardener’s Cottage encourages social dining through their long communal tables. The Gardener’s Cottage is an extremely cosy restaurant in Royal Terrace Gardens at the foot of Calton Hill. It was built in 1836 and was originally home to the gardener. Guests can enjoy weekend brunch, an a’la carte lunch menu, or an inventive, set seven course dinner menu, using only the best seasonal, local produce. Doesn’t it sound divine?
Finish the Day with Drinks at One of Edinburgh’s Cosiest Bars
Bramble Bar is tucked away under Queen Street, this hidden cocktail bar has now firmly established itself as one of the best in Edinburgh. Bramble Bar even snuck into the Top 20 Bars in the World by Australian Bartender Magazine in 2008, which is pretty impressive! Their cocktail list is a mix of forgotten classics, and some original drinks invented by their bartenders (past and present). So, sit back, relax, and soak up the atmosphere while sipping on an expertly crafted drink.
Stay in a Dickins Home
You will struggle to find a place as romantic and special as The Photographer’s Studio in Edinburgh – complete with a lovely wood burner for snuggly moments for two of course. Situated right next to Rock House and Calton Hill, you’ve also got that amazing central location you will so much enjoy.