Melissa Jones, is originally from the Sunshine Coast in Australia. She swapped the sunny beaches of Queensland for the cobbled streets of Edinburgh when she moved there is 2010 with her twin sister. Edinburgh feels more like home than anywhere else she has ever visited. She says it is truly beautiful in every sense of the word.
Melissa set up her blog Everything I Wished For to share her love of her adopted city and today she opens up to Ask a Local on what she loves so much.
Describe Edinburgh in your own words.
Edinburgh is beautiful, ancient and diverse. I’ve lived here just over 4 years and still find things to do and places to see. Edinburgh is constantly changing and evolving and I love that about this amazing city.
What’s the best thing about living there?
Edinburgh is a city that feels like a town. Apart from August when the festival is on, Edinburgh isn’t rushed or busy like most capital cities. Going past Edinburgh Castle every day is also pretty amazing- it’s an ancient fortress set on top of an extinct volcano right in the centre of the city!
What your favourite time of year in Edinburgh for you? Why?
My favourite time of year in Edinburgh always changes, but generally I like July. It’s the month before the Festival begins and before Edinburgh is overrun with tourists. July is sunny (generally), warm and full of barbecues and beer gardens.
Is there one place visitors shouldn’t miss seeing?
Edinburgh Castle. It’s our top tourist attraction, but so worthy of its fame. It is beautiful inside and out and well worth the entrance price.
What’s your favourite local dish?
I have to say I’m not a fan of any Scottish dish that I’ve tried. Typically Scottish food include thinks like Haggis, Deep Fried Mars Bars (although surprisingly not very many locals eat this- it’s more of a tourist gimmick) and Irn Bru. I’m not a fan of any of it! Edinburgh does have some amazing Gin Distilleries such as Pickering’s Gin or Edinburgh Gin which are more to my taste!
Do you have a favourite local place to eat/drink you would share with visitors?
Edinburgh has so many restaurants, cafes and bistros that my favourite is often changing. I like Biblos, Guru and Kanpai at the moment. None of them are Scottish, but they do great food.
How about a favourite local coffee/tea shop?
I’ve got two favourites- Casa Amiga on Leith Walk, and The Southern Cross Café just off the Royal Mile. Both of them do amazing coffee and have a really nice relaxed vibe and friendly owners. You won’t regret it!
What three local words every visitor should know?
- Ken -the Scottish word for ‘know’ as in “I ken what you mean”
- Wee – the Scottish word for ‘little’
- Dreich – the Scottish word for ‘dull or bleak’, usually to describe the weather
Why should someone visit Edinburgh?
Edinburgh is the most vibrant, beautiful, friendly, fascinating and stunning city I’ve ever been to. The night life is exciting, and there’s plenty to entertain in the day. The variety of bars and restaurants is the best of any capital city I’ve been to. Edinburgh also has heaps of open spaces, parks and outdoor activities. I came to Edinburgh for a holiday and it felt more like home then anywhere I’ve ever been to… I kind of didn’t leave!
What advice would you give someone visiting Edinburgh?
Make use of the Lothian Bus system. They can pretty much take you anywhere in the city and are pretty cheap at £3.50 for a day pass.
Melissa enjoys exploring her adopted home every chance she gets. For more of her stories on what she discovers, have a read of her blog Everything I Wished For. It was fun featuring her, makes me realise I need to get back to Edinburgh again!