We’ve asked Ross from Edinburgh’s The Luxury Editor magazine to give us local tips for enjoying the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this month.
The famous Edinburgh Festival is now upon us! August heralds not only warm weather (hopefully), but also thousands of visitors to Edinburgh, all keen to be entertained. With so much going on, it can be difficult deciding what to see and do. Catherine from The Luxury Editor, discovers the best options for festival newbies.
See: Boasting the likes of Emma Thompson, David Mitchell, and John Cleese as past members, The Cambridge Footlights are often tipped as one of the hottest acts to see during the festival. This year they return to Edinburgh with their biggest show of the year so far; Lagoon. Expect a snappy sketch show full of original writing and possibly some ad-libbing by these famous faces of the future. The free-flowing style of this renowned comedy troupe is not to be missed, and don’t you want to be able to say you saw them first?
Eat: You have a lot of choice in Edinburgh for drinking and eating, and that’s during the quiet months! When the festival comes around, the choice increases even more! The best place for street food is definitely George Square gardens. Not only are the gardens themselves full of incredible options, but the cobbled street outside is also lined with cool street food vendors. From chocolate covered waffles to buffalo burgers, whatever your stomach desires, you will find it here! Top tip: Edinburgh locals’ favourite, the Umami Spice girl, is not to be missed!
See: Head up the Royal Mile to check out the incredible street-performers! Virgin Money Street Festivals bring visitors the best street acts from across the globe including musicians, dancers, theatre groups, acrobats and stunt performers. Both of the vibrant performance spaces are just minutes away from Waverley station, and often provide free previews of hundreds of Fringe shows, so you can try before you buy! Don’t forget to visit the arts and crafts market to pick up some alternative souvenirs to the usual ginger wigs.
Drink: The festival has an abundance of great bars, but for a more genuine experience of contemporary Edinburgh, head to OX 184 on the Cowgate. This industrial-chic bar is a fresh alternative to the overcrowded pubs on the high street and has more amazing craft beers than you can stomach in one night! The cocktail menu is impressive but not obnoxious, and if you have room after all the street food you have consumed, their offering is anything but your average pub grub. Even better, food is sold until 2.30am – perfect for late night munchies!
Dance: Hot Dub Time Machine is a mainstay at the Edinburgh Festival and a must-do for anyone who loves a good boogie! Take a time-travelling journey through music’s best tunes, starting at 1954 all the way through to the modern day. Having developed into a global phenomenon, Hot Dub has this year been moved to (much) bigger premises; the Edinburgh Corn Exchange. That taxi or bus ride out to the venue is more than worth it though as this is guaranteed to be the biggest party in town. Expect sore feet the next day.
See: For a late night comedy hit with all the best jokes of the festival, check out Best of the Fest. A daily round-up of the greatest hits at this year’s festival, this show will definitely make you laugh. Not only is this a chance to see various stellar comedy acts together in one place, but sometimes special guests make a surprise appearance for spontaneous acts! Some pretty big names in comedy have made surprise appearances on the Best of the Fest stage before, and rumour has it that there might be some more this year!
Stay: Old Town Chambers is the perfect place from which to base yourself for the festival. Slap bang in the middle of the Old Town (and 5 minutes away from Waverley station), these 5-star self-service apartments are as stylish as they are central. Each apartment is unique and combines original architectural features with contemporary styling to create luxury but comfortable spaces. Hidden away off the Royal Mile, these apartments are also just a stones throw away from some great bars and restaurants.