Our home away from home in Edinburgh, Scotland, is an elegant Georgian apartment located on a historic crescent lined with imposing Georgian residences, just a stone’s throw from the centre of Stockbridge. The light-filled ground-floor apartment is cosy, comfortable and cleverly-designed, with a secret kitchen for keen cooks.
It may be just a ten-minute stroll to the centre of Edinburgh, and a further ten minutes to The Royal Mile, but low-key and laid-back Stockbridge feels like it’s a world away from the bustling Scottish capital.
It may be a suburb of Edinburgh but Stockbridge feels like a small village, with charming old shop-fronts that are home to traditional pubs, cafés and casual eateries, specialty food stores – from fishmongers to cheesemongers – charity shops, record stores and bookshops.
Our Home Away from Home in Edinburgh is an Elegant Georgian Apartment
Stockbridge’s shops are ran on old-fashioned manners, where everyone behind the counter is ready for a chat, where the cheesemonger tells you what farm his cheeses comes from, and the butcher tells you exactly how many minutes to steam your haggis.
Even the staff at the enormous Waitrose supermarket at the far end of the village are super friendly. The warmth of the people has really made us feel at home in Edinburgh, our last stop on our yearlong grand tour of the world.
A shaded river that looks more like a creek, the Water of Leith, runs parallel to our street, just a block from the apartment. There is a lovely leafy walking path that follows the course of the waterway in one direction to Dean Village and in the other to Inverleith Park and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
It’s a delight to explore, especially on a Sunday when locals are out and about enjoying the fresh cool air, getting some exercise and walking their dogs.
The apartment itself is compact but spacious enough for a couple that intends to be out exploring Edinburgh all day. Two floor-to-ceiling windows give a lovely view to the cobblestone street, creating a light-filled space of the kitchen-dining-living room.
The space is niftily designed. At first glance it appears to simply be a living area with a large comfy sofa covered in scatter cushions, overlooking a fireplace, television and writing desk.
There’s a round wooden dining table around which four diners could squeeze, and what initially seems to be a large cupboard or pantry that runs the length of the back of the room.
Much to our delight, concertina doors to that ‘cupboard’ opened to reveal a compact kitchenette secreted away inside. There’s a mini fridge, freezer, microwave, dishwasher, and washing machine hidden in the lower cupboards, and a sink, electric stovetop, and black marble counter space in the main recess.
Shelves and cupboards surprisingly hold plenty of white ceramic dinnerware and glassware, a decent selection of pots and pans, and handy utensils, such as a colander and blender, not always provided at some of the holiday rentals we’ve settled into this year.
An oven opens into the secret cupboard, making things a bit tricky if you’re using the countertop in front of it, and, likewise, on the opposite side, a cupboard opens over the sink, making things a tad awkward if you’re using the sink.
The thinking behind this is arrangement, obviously, is so that everything can be tucked away for guests who want little more than hotel-like accommodation, but we love to cook so we left it open the entire time of our stay.
So while the kitchen is excellent for preparing breakfast, lunch or a pasta, if you want to do anything a little complex or hold a dinner party, you have to be a super organised cook. Having said that, Terence did whip up a three-course meal here for our little Scottish dinner party for two.
There’s a cupboard crammed with basic condiments and cooking ingredients, and a row of glass jars on the bench-top holding everything from tea and sugar to muesli and cereals. The owner also provided some basics to get us started for breakfast and very thoughtfully left us some haggis to try.
We greatly appreciated this at our home away from home in Edinburgh. As we’ve realised over the last 12 months, there’s nothing worse than arriving at a holiday rental late in the evening with absolutely nothing in the kitchen to start the morning with, and if you’re staying a while, having to then stock the whole kitchen.
We always end up leaving plenty of groceries at places ourselves, so it would be nice to know that things like our flour and couscous didn’t go to waste, and might enable the next guest to whip up a quick meal if they arrive late at night.
The bedroom is comfortable, with shelves, hanging space and coat racks, and enough room to open our bags up, and spread our stuff out. The heating in the bedroom – and throughout the apartment – also made the place nice and warm and toasty. And we imagine in the warmer months, the high ceilings and stone exterior would keep the place cool.
The bathroom was rather stylish with smart slate floors that wouldn’t have been amiss in a design hotel. There’s a good-sized bath, shower, sink, and toilet, nice towels, and the owner even provides quality shampoo and conditioner, soap, and toilet paper.
The lighting was a little dim for my taste, the sink a little small, and the shower leaked a tad if you took a long shower – just like they do in good design hotels! But these are all very minor criticisms that won’t bother most people.
There’s fast Wi-Fi Internet access that worked seamlessly, a good range of channels on the television, which has a built-in DVD player, and there’s an iPod docking station. The desk in the corner also has a computer.
All up, this is a lovely apartment rental in a delightful neighbourhood that makes an excellent base for a short or long stay.
I don’t think we could have found a more cosier place to stay in Edinburgh, and it’s making us a bit sad that this is going to be the final stay of our yearlong grand tour of the world.
You can book our home away from home in Edinburgh here.
You’ve described it beautifully!
Did you ever read Alexander McCall Smith’s ’44 Scotland Street’ series? … again, great descriptions!
Haggis: Best quote I had from a butcher :-
‘Simmer it gently, laddie! Dinnae boil it!’
Sounds fantastic – excellent even-handed description!
Looks much, much nicer than the place I stayed in Edinburgh a couple of years ago.
wandering educators says
i LOVE this. it *does* sound like the 44 scotland street books!
Lara Dunston says
Thanks, Keith! I haven’t read 44 Scotland Street, but I’m going to have to now.
Great advice! Terence got some good tips too from our local Stockbridge butcher which he’ll no doubt mention in his story on haggis.
Thanks for dropping by!
Lara Dunston says
Thanks, Keith. It *was* lovely. Nice to see you here too!
Lara Dunston says
Oh dear, what was it like?!
Thanks for dropping by, Laurel.
Lara Dunston says
You would definitely have loved it. I’m going to have to check out those books now!