Evenings are now spent wandering winter markets, fairy-lights can be found wherever you look and a mulled wine stand is never too far away. December has arrived in Edinburgh. Here’s my top 5 places to cosy up with a festive tipple and some friends this winter.
The Raeburn Winter Garden
Already a favourite spot for beers in the sun, The Raeburn has upped it game this month. The Winter Garden, designed and executed by the team at Molson Coors, features a beautiful wooden outdoor bar serving various different types of mulled wine and cider. Plenty fairy lights add to the festive ambience, and each table has a heater nearby to keep you cosy. If that’s not enough, Raeburn branded blankets are also on hand. On the launch night we tried the new Rekorderlig Spiced Plum Cider, whilst tucking into venison buns from The Raeburn’s quirky outdoor kitchen.
The Scottish Market
You can’t have been to George Street this December without noticing the huge Street of Light. The sight of it divides opinion. Having moved from the Royal Mile to George Street, this year it comes complete with a Scottish Market which showcases some of the best craft, food and drink that Scotland has to offer. Entry is free and as well as the obligatory mulled wine stand, you’ll find goodies from the likes of Mimi’s Bakehouse, Eden Mill and more.
Throughout December, a visit to The Dome is a festive right of passage in Edinburgh. Photos taken outside on the steps with the snow machine blowing bring a cheerful smile to even the most scrooge-like characters. Step inside and marvel at the incredible Christmas decorations, and take notes on how to improve your home display next year.
Smith & Gertrude
You might be wondering what makes this scandi-style wine bar appropriate for a cosy festive jaunt? It’s all in the sausage rolls. Back by popular demand, these little bites of meat-filled pastry warm your belly and taste amazing too. Swap the usual glass of fizz for a sparkling shiraz (I know, fizzy red wine? Doesn’t sound right… but it is!) and your afternoon tipple is taken to a new winter level.
You’ll find this boutique cocktail bar just off the royal mile, down a little lane covered with fairy-lights entwined in to a rustic wooden canopy. Once inside, the dark wooden fittings, stylish tartan interiors and stags heads decorating the walls all add to a super cosy, winter vibe. Known for exciting and innovative cocktails Monteiths also boasts a fantastic festive menu.