When we planned our wedding at the winter end of November, Mr Fletche and I never gave thought to how we would celebrate our subsequent anniversary celebrations. It wouldn’t be feasible to jet off somewhere hot and sunny every year. So wedding anniversary No 1 was spent in the pouring rain in London. Where to go for anniversary No 2? How about a weekend in Edinburgh?
I had visited Edinburgh for work on a couple of occasions but hadn’t seen much apart from an office and the inside of hotel rooms. So we packed our suitcases into the Mini-Fletchemobile and hit the road. Of course, we could have booked the train, or even flown, but after our USA Roadtrip earlier in the year, we preferred the freedom of being in charge of our own journey. And I preferred the freedom to be able to throw several pairs of shoes in the boot of the car.
You can read more of my thoughts on packing for a UK Minibreak here!
With the beautiful scenery of Walsall, Stoke and Warrington behind us, we leave England behind. Hello Scotland! It’s at least 10 degrees cooler this side of the border. The temperature gauge is now wavering just below zero. It’s 4pm. We are enveloped by darkness as we drive down little country lanes, and pass hills and meadows. Then suddenly, we’re smack bang in the middle of Edinburgh. At rush hour. On a Friday afternoon.
Luckily, we put our trust in Tiff the Sat Nav and we find ourselves parked outside of Ten Hill Place. There’s limited parking at the hotel so Mr Fletche keeps the car warm while I pop into the hotel to enquire. The receptionist points me in the direction of the closest NCP car park. It seems miles away. Well, not exactly miles away, but the climb back up the hill certainly makes it seem that way. Especially as I have a suitcase, a handbag, a holdall and a bag of “just in case” shoes.
Finally, we’re checked in. I’d decided to put on half my warm clothes whilst walking from the car, and am now sweltering as if in a sauna. This is short-lived, as the heater in our room appears to be blowing out nothing but cold air. We play peek-a-boo with the glass bathroom door for a while, and I muse on how great it is to be able to watch the TV from the toilet. Mr Fletche is not so excited. Turns out that he prefers much more privacy than I do.
There’s a city to be discovered, and drinks to be drunk. We struggle back into our warmest clothes to head out into the cold. I take one last longing look at my bag of shoes, and opt for my most sensible furry boots. Warmth over fashion tonight I think!
The hotel is a ten-minute walk from the Royal Mile. It’s possibly only five minutes, but with the wind whipping in our faces, and the snow starting to fall, we’re considerably slower that we could be. The pubs with their glowing warm interiors all look very inviting. As the snow comes down heavier, we duck into The Tass (2015 note: now No 1 Edinburgh) for our first drink of the weekend. Not sure how a chilled pint of cider could make my cheeks glow so fiery red, we head back out into the snow. Next stop is The Albanach. We find a nice cosy nook to sup our drinks, before battling the elements once more.
We wander up towards the castle, giggling slightly. The lack of food combined with the biting cold means that the alcohol has gone to our heads a tad quicker than normal. We decide that food should be the next item on the agenda.
It’s well past 9pm. There’s only one place we can get a cheap, hearty meal at this time – Wetherspoons. We head over to George Street. It’s almost ten o’clock; ten minutes to find Wetherspoons, find a table, choose and order! We manage to nab last vacant table in the place, and order without even looking at the menu.
If you’re planning on dining out, visiting a pub or other food and drink establishments, make sure you check online or get in touch before you go as there may be COVID-19 restrictions in place.
We can finally relax. Food is on its way, a drink is in front of us, and the snow continues to fall onto the Edinburgh streets. Mr Fletche and I settle into companionable silence to devour our food.
The weather appears to have taken a turn for the worse since we disappeared indoors an hour or so ago. The conditions are now blizzardous. That may be a word I’ve invented meaning a hazardous blizzard. The wind is whipping snow and rain and ice into our faces. I have to hang onto Mr Fletche for fear of losing sight of him in the white-out blanket. It doesn’t help that Mr Fletche and I are both visually challenged – even before the alcohol – and our glasses are now as useful as frosted glass. Do I keep them on and try not to think that I’m viewing the world through a waterfall? Or do I take them off and risk grabbing onto a man who is NOT my husband? I take a good hold of Mr Fletche first before popping them in my pocket for the time being.
We somehow find our way back over to the Royal Mile. We deserve a drink for battling back that far. It’s back into The Albernach, where I peel off my sodden clothes, attempt to find a dry spot to clean my glasses and try not to look at my scary hair in the mirror. My saving grace is that people continue to come in looking a lot worse than me. After a drink or two (or three), the snow abates slightly. We decide to try and make a dash for the hotel. Now if only we can get that heating sorted out….
Want to know what happens next? You can read on here!