Stockbridge has been named the ‘Best Place to Live in Scotland’ in the recent Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide. This won’t be news to locals, but for those of you who are just discovering this cute pocket of Edinburgh, where should you hang out? I’ve pulled together a rundown of my favourite places to eat, drink, shop and generally mosey around in Stockbridge…
Where to Eat & Drink
The Last Word Saloon
For cocktails head straight to The Last Word Saloon on St Stephens Street. It used to be a brilliant little restaurant called The Saint, serving relaxed, modern, Scottish dishes. However, as much as I was devastated the lose my favourite restaurant in Edinburgh, The Last Word is now an equally cool cocktail bar. Dark interiors and a roaring fire, it’s perfect for late night drinks.
Smith & Gertrude
This place has nailed cafe culture. Smith & Gertrude is a gorgeous little wine bar come cafe on Hamilton Place. Bright, scandi-style interiors come with an interesting wine selection and delicious cheese and charcuterie boards. You can choose your own music from their wall of vinyls and the staff are extremely knowledgeable about both wine and music!
A Stockbridge staple for watching the rugby, boozy nights out and good quality pub grub, Hamiltons is everything you want from your local. With comfy couches and friendly staff, it’s easy to lose an afternoon into an evening here. Their cocktail menu is not to be missed either.
New to the scene last year, The Raeburn has made its mark on Stockbridge, especially during the summer months when the beer garden out front and the cute patio decking out the back and upstairs really come into their own. I’m heading for brunch this Sunday, and will report back on their breakfast offering.
Scran & Scallie
Tom Kitchin’s gastro pub needs a mention. If you want a proper gourmet burger, or a top quality plate of fish and chips, Scran & Scallie is the place to head. It’s always busy so you will need to book, but they do keep a few tables back in the bar area for walk-ins. Check out my review here.
We are spoiled for choice when it comes to amazing thai food in Edinburgh, but I can honestly say Streetbox by Ruan Siam tops my list. It’s a tiny little take away on the main straight in Stockbridge. Whatever you order, to sit in (there are two or three tiny tables) or take out will be fresh as can be and bursting full of flavour. You can really taste all the individual spices in each dish, it’s exquisite. The tempura prawn is to die for.
The Pantry is one of my favourite lunch spots, located on North West Circus Place – the street curving down the hill from Howe Street into Stockbridge. Delicious homemade baking lines the counter, and chunky wooden tables with quirky pillows and fun wall hangings make for a welcoming, relaxed ‘it’s always Saturday’ vibe. ‘The Pantry Pulled Porker’ is a favourite sandwich of mine. They are also open in the evenings for supper.
Where to Shop
A few doors down from The Pantry you’ll find Dick’s Edinburgh, a real gentleman’s outfitters. Full of cool, quirky clothes and great for accessories too, this little independent shop oozes Stockbridge style and charm. They do have a small selection of womenswear as well, but I’d send the men in first.
St Stephens Street is littered with gorgeous galleries, design shops and jewellers. A haven for gifts, it’ll take you most of an afternoon to work your way along. Sheila Fleet has her main Edinburgh shop here, you won’t find a wider selection of her stunning jewellery anywhere else in town.
Lilies & Dreams
This handbag and accessories store is another great find, tucked away up the stairs on St Stephens Street. Their motto, ‘Classic. Style. Style. Elegance’ is spot on. In Lilies & Dreams You’ll find a bag for every occasion, and a scarf to match!
Another haunt for stylish menswear is Kerstin Hare, also on St Stephens Street. Before launching his own label, Kestin Hare was head of design at Nigel Cabourn. He has recently opened a second Edinburgh store on George Street, and according to my husband, the tailoring that goes into the jackets and coats is phenomenal.
Those Were The Days
If you’ve an eye for a good vintage find, Those Were The Days is the place to rummage. This gorgeous vintage boutique houses items ranging from fabulous 1920s pieces all the way through to iconic 1990s collectible pieces. As well as stunning vintage wear they also have a selection of bridal gowns.
I. J. Mellis
You’ll smell this shop before you see it – one of the best cheese shops around, stocking cheeses from all across Europe. At the weekends they often have someone outside making the most delicious grilled cheese sandwiches – I challenge you to walk to past and not buy one!
Where to Mosey Around
There are more than a few gorgeous streets to wander in this part of town. Ann Street is worth a visit. An apparent favourite of the Queen Mother’s, it is a beautiful cobbled street, lined with absolutely stunning Georgian houses.
The Water of Leith walkway is a beautiful river walk which comes straight through Stockbridge, you can dip down onto the pathway at the bridge.
On Sundays the Stockbridge Market comes to the carpark at the foot of North West Circus Place. You’ll find lots of fabulous local producers selling their wares, with everything from top quality butchers and fishmongers to Artisan cheeses and bakeries. They also a few stalls selling hot food for lunches and sweet treats to go with coffees – don’t miss The Marshmallow Lady, you’ll never have tasted such quirky mallow flavours. Gin & tonic does it for me.
Finally, once you’ve mosey-ed through Stockbridge and made a stop off at The Raeburn, you’re a hop skip and jump away from Inverleith Park, complete with a beautiful duck pond and acres of space for the dogs to play, and across the road, the Royal Botanic Gardens.