It’s been over 5 years since we left the city centre of Edinburgh and set up Research and Facilitation Studio at the Shore. So, we thought we’d share our top things to do in one of Edinburgh’s most creative quarters.
1. Grab a steak at the Chop House
As most of our team and clients know, the Chop House, just round the corner from BC UX HQ, is one of our favourite places to celebrate and eat great food. With a wide selection of top quality meats and fish, and some excellent weekly deals, we have never had a dud meal here! We’d recommend the Hanger Steak and Fries for a £12, or 2 Rumps & 2 sides for £30, for an awesome and filling lunch.
2. Walk along the Water of Leith
What is a Shore without water? And we are lucky to have the Water of Leith, with great bio-diversity all the way down its 35km (22 miles), right on our doorstep. It starts in the Pentland Hills and has been at the centre of Edinburgh’s development for the last 900 years. On a sunny day we will walk along the pathway (that runs all the way to Balerno) up to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art or the Botanic Gardens, enjoying the seasonal changes from the wild garlic banks in spring to the hosts of butterflies on the summer buddleia to the autumnal amber and ochre leaves. A great place to get a small bit of nature and tranquillity in a busy city, and a nice, green alternative way to get about the city on foot or bicycle.
3. Breakfast at Quay Commons
Created by the team from The Gardner’s Cottage and The Lookout, Quay Commons is a fabulous place for breakfast (or lunch) or a quick coffee and pastry. This bakery and café makes some of the best pastries and patisserie outside of France, all with the same focus on local, seasonal, sustainable, handmade produce as their sister restaurants. Plus, their coffee is spot on, every time! So, if you are looking for a good caffeine hit with food that is good for you, the environment and local suppliers, this is the place for you. Our top recommendation is their black pudding brioche, a must have if it is on the menu, a heavenly way to start the day.
4. Take in an exhibition or event at Custom Lane
We are so lucky to have just across the water Custom Lane – a collaborative centre for design and making. Not only is it home for some of our friends and collaborators, it is a wonderful exhibition and event space. Their programme is focused on design in all forms so it is a great opportunity to see a wide variety of media and subject matter. There are also opportunities to take workshops and get hands on with new techniques. Definitely keep an eye on the listings and pop in to get a different perspective.
5. Seafood at The Ship on the Shore
A true icon of the Shore: The Ship on the Shore is well-known for having some of the best sustainable seafood that Scotland has to offer. Plus, it does a damn good T-bone steak and Sunday roast for those non-pescatarians. A wonderful, traditional bistro setting, there is plenty for your eyes to feast on whilst you wait for your food, as the walls are adorned with maps and fishing information. A great place for a special lunch or dinner, or just because you deserve it. We recommend their tempura oysters, langoustine and chips, fish platters and of course the spectacular Fruit-der-mer.
6. Coffee at the Printworks
The Printworks on Constitution Street is perfect for grabbing a beautiful coffee and if you’re lucky a spot of sun. Serving Monmouth coffee, whether you are into a flat white, a latte or a cappuccino this coffee shop will not disappoint. Open from breakfast through to late afternoon this is a perfect spot for breakfast, brunch or lunch. And with a coffee card scheme – buy 5 get one free – who can say no when passing by! If you are looking for the same great coffee but with something a bit more substantial (or a cheeky vino) then pop into their sister cafe Toast on the Shore
7. Soak up the street art
Home to the UK’s longest legal graffiti wall, Marine Parade Graffiti wall is quite a spectacle. With work from artists around the UK it was one of the highlights of the Shore. But there is plenty more street art to find in the area. Check out the exhibition on Maritime street or why not take the Edinburgh Street Art Walking tour to see some of the capital’s finest murals and street art from amazing artists like Elph & Many Styles Crew.
8. Have a wee dram (or your bevvy of choice)
The one thing we are not short of at the Shore is a good pub. We’ve limited our list to 3 but it could be quite extensive! We love Nobles for a nautical vibe. A great place to relax with beautiful stain glass windows and vast selection of drinks and great food. We love to pop in after a workshop to decompress.
Or if you fancy a more homely, quirky vibe then head to the Roseleaf. This beautiful pub is a favourite for a Friday lunch with its relaxed vibe and great menu, their French toast and bacon is something to behold! They also showcase local artists work so you may even find a painting to take home.
And our last, but my no means least, suggestion is the Malt and Hops. Conveniently located under our office, it has everything you are looking for from a traditional Scottish pub. Warm and welcoming on a cold day but has one of the sunniest spots on the Shore for outdoor drinking.
9. Catch a gig in the old town hall
Opened in 1932 as Leith Town Hall, the complex was a gift from Edinburgh to Leith when it was incorporated into the city. Now known as Leith Theatre, it has been transformed after many years of hardship and tragedy (from second world war bombings to neglect) into a true community hub. Now home to the Hidden Door Festival and the International Festival, Leith Theatre is a great venue for gigs, theatre and cinema events. Beautifully restored, and work is still in progress, what better way to support the preservation of an architectural monument then getting your groove on.
10. Treat yourself at Restaurant Martin Wishart
Just two blocks down from us is some of the finest food the UK has to offer at Restaurant Martin Wishart. It has retained its Michelin star since 2001 and that is no surprise. With excellent service and exquisite food, this is a place for a celebration or to truly treat yourself. It has an extremely reasonable £35 lunch menu. And whilst its tasting menus are not cheap, they take you on a culinary journey of modern Scottish cuisine focused on local, seasonal and quality produce.
So, that is 10 of our top things to do at the Shore. But we know there are heaps more that we could have mentioned and loads we don’t know about! So please share your top things to do at the Shore in the comments or get in touch to find out more.