Edinburgh’s Best Shopping: The Golden Hare
As part of our series on Edinburgh’s Best Shopping, we spoke to Julie Stirling, Children’s Bookseller at The Golden Hare. Read our Q&A to find out why this Stockbridge bookshop is a firm favourite with Edinburgh residents.
When did you open?
We opened here in Stockbridge in September 2014 – though we were up in the Grassmarket for 18 months prior to that.
What was the inspiration for the shop?
From the very beginning, the owner of The Golden Hare has been dedicated to providing a beautiful space with beautiful books to the people of Edinburgh. The key thing is that we give them room to breathe. It’s a bit like a gallery for books. A cosy fire in the winter makes for the perfect reading spot – and we have a dedicated children’s room for the wee ones.
Books have always been our inspiration. We don’t sell gifts or stationery – just good old fashioned paper books. When you buy a book from us you know it will be beautiful, curated, and have that fabulous book smell!
Could you tell us about 3 things in your shop that would make ideal presents?
My personal favourites would be: a beautiful illustrated picture book called ‘Shackleton’s Journey‘ by William Grill – both informing and gorgeous – for adults and kids to enjoy; Jim Crumley’s ‘Encounters In The Wild‘ Books – ‘Fox’, ‘Barn Owl’, ‘Swan’ and ‘Hare’ because they are small, beautifully produced and filled with Jim’s passion for animals and conservation; and finally one of our beautiful cookbooks – but there’s too many to choose just one! Rest assured: the vegan, carnivore, lazy cook or culinary visionary will all find something in our shelves to whet their appetite.
If you were to be given a gift from your own shop, what would you like and why?
If I was to be given a gift it would have to be the brand new children’s book by Eoin Colfer, illustrated by P. J. Lynch: ‘Once Upon A Place’ which is a stunning collection of stories inspired by the beautiful places of Ireland.
What do you love most about Christmas in Edinburgh?
I love the atmosphere of Christmas in Edinburgh – there’s such a buzz in the air. When I walk along Princes Street on a misty December day – the castle suspended in the sky above fairy-light bedecked trees, old gas-lamp style street lights glowing with that wintry halo – I feel I have walked into a Dicken’s story. It’s all about the feeling… and a mug of hot chocolate in freezing cold hands!
What is your favourite book? Will you be visiting The Golden Hare on the run up to christmas? Good news…all Dickins guests will receive a 10% discount. Don’t forget to ask our staff when booking for all up to date discount codes.