Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

A Micro Break in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Years and years ago, back when Terry and I were still dating, and God was still a teenager, we decided to take a mini-break in Edinburgh.

Now, most of the people who knew us thought this was a monumental waste of money. Edinburgh was, after all, just a short drive from our home town at the time: it’s a place we both visited frequently (I even lived there for three years), and which we figured we knew like the back of our hands. So why bother staying there?

Well, I’ll tell you why: because a) it was pretty much all we could afford at the time, not gonna lie, and b) it’s actually really refreshing to take a break in your own city. It gives you time to see things you might otherwise have totally missed: to play tourist for a day or two, and to basically just kick back and enjoy the city, without having to worry about catching the last train home, or how many hours it’s going to take you to find a parking space. (And if any of you have ever visited Edinburgh by car, I’m sure you’ll relate to that last one…)

As it turned out, that little break was one of the best things we did that year: and we enjoyed it so much, we promised ourselves we’d do it again soon – regularly, even.

Naturally, then, we never did. 

No, it took Marriott getting in touch and asking if we’d like to try a micro-break in Edinburgh (i.e. a one-night stay) for us to think, ‘Oh yeah: we always said we were going to do that again!’ Which is how we came to find ourselves checking into the Edinburgh Marriott last Sunday morning.

Now, I’m just going to be honest here: due to a bit of a mix-up with the booking – which, yes Terry, was totally my fault –  we actually found ourselves attempting to check in a full MONTH before we were supposed to. Yes, we did that. I wish I could say we were just super-keen to experience all the hotel had to offer, but actually, I’m just super-stupid, and didn’t read the booking email properly. I also wish I could say this is the first time I’ve done something like this, but this particular snafu came just a few days after I’d mailed a blog client my student loans paperwork, along with the contract they’d asked for. GOD.

Fortunately for me, the staff at the Marriott could not have been nicer about this (The client with the student loans paperwork was very understanding too, by the way, but this is why I’m not allowed out on my own now, seriously…), and they managed to get us booked in anyway, even although we patently didn’t deserve it. Thank you, kind people at the Edinburgh Marriott: not just for fixing us out with a junior suite we weren’t actually booked into until November, but also for being kind enough to not make me feel even stupider than I already did: you have the patience of saints, and that’s a fact.

Anyway, we checked into our suite, which had everything we could possibly have wanted, including a swanky coffee machine, a spacious sitting area, and a bathroom roughly the size of our house:
Edinburgh Marriott Hotel

L'Occitane bath products at the Edinburgh Marriott

fresh towels at the Edinburgh Marriott

A micro break at the Edinburgh Marriott

Junior suite at the Edinburgh Marriott

Junior suite at the Edinburgh Marriott

bathroom at the Edinburgh Marriott

Phillip Lim Pashli Mini Satchel

This hotel has a 4 star rating, and it’s located around 5 minutes from the airport, so it’s a natural choice for anyone travelling from slightly further afield than we were, as well as for those who, like us, just want to get away from it all for a bit. The place is gigantic, with restaurants, bars, fitness room and spa all on site, so if a bit of relaxation is all you’re after, you wouldn’t necessarily have to leave the place, if you didn’t want to. As much as we’d have liked to check out the pool and spa, though, once we were checked in, we decided to head into town and do a bit of sightseeing. And also shopping, let’s be honest.

Victoria Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

Victoria Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

me and T

pavement cafe in Edinburgh, Scotland

Autumn leaves in Edinburgh, Scotland

Part of our mission for the day was to discover our “Weekend Selves”, as Marriott put it:

What's your weekend self?

And the conclusion? Well, it turns out that our weekend selves are pretty laid back, actually. The fact is, as fun as it is to be a tourist in your own city, and to discover (or re-discover, as the case may be), all of those hidden gems you normally don’t have time for (According to Marriott’s Great British Break Report, The Royal Yacht Britannia and Rosslyn Chapel are the top two places Edinburgh residents would like to see, but haven’t visited yet. Terry and I visited Rosslyn a few years ago, but only got around to the Royal Yacht this summer, and I was quite surprised to find that most of our friends haven’t seen it either, despite living so close by), you know what’s also really cool about a micro-break like this one? The fact that if you’ve already seen the sights (or know you can see them at some later date, if you really want to), you get to just really relax and enjoy the city, without all of the FOMO you (by which I mean “I”, obviously…) sometimes get on vacation, from worrying that you’re not making the most of your time, or feeling like you have to cram in as much as possible, whilst knowing that you’re still going to miss something super-important. Er, it’s not just me who does that, is it?

Anyway, with just a few hours to spare before dinner, we did a bit of shopping, drank some coffee, and just generally wandered around and soaked up the autumn sunshine, while enjoying the city sights. It was absolutely blissful, seriously.

Back at the hotel, there was just time for a quick change, plus the blurriest selfie I’ve ever taken, before we headed down to the main restaurant, the Source Grill, for dinner:

Collectif green knit pencil dress

Menu at the Source Grill, Edinburgh Marriott

Menu at the Source Grill, Edinburgh Marriott

Source Grill, Edinburgh Marriott

cocktails at the Source Grill, Edinburgh Marriott

Quick shout-out here to our server, Achilles, who couldn’t have done more for us (and who Terry really enjoyed speaking some Greek to!): in fact, all of the staff we encountered were incredibly nice, which helped me forget the fact that they were probably secretly thinking, “Oh yeah, there’s the idiot who checked in a month early!” As for the food, well, these photos don’t do it justice, but Terry had the rib eye steak, I had the pappardelle, and afterwards we rolled ourselves to the hotel bar, where we had some cava, to the celebrate the fact that we didn’t have to get into the car and drive back home:

rib-eye steak

pappardelle pasta

dessert at the Edinburgh Marriott

The next morning we were up – I was going to say ‘bright and early’ there, but honestly, I think those bubbles had gone to my head a bit the night before, so let’s just say we were up early enough for breakfast, which was served, buffet-style, in the main restaurant. Any time I travel somewhere, I always come to the realisation that breakfast is actually my favourite meal of the day, and decide that when I go home, I’m definitely going to start eating something amazing in the mornings, instead of just having a cup of coffee at my desk. I never actually follow-through on this decision, obviously, and I haven’t this time either, but I will say that this was hands down the best breakfast buffet either of us have had, and it was hard not to want to have EVERY SINGLE THING, basically. In fact., I think we maybe DID:

breakfast at the Edinburgh MarriottSO GOOD, seriously.

And after that… we went to Ikea. Which I guess is as good a way to end a micro-break as any other, right?

(Oh, and in keeping with my promise to update my You Tube channel more often, here’s a short video I made of our room!)

[We stayed at the Edinburgh Marriott free of charge: all opinions and random acts of stupidity are my own.]

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books by Amber Eve
  • L’occitane in the bathroom! I’m there!

    October 26, 2016
  • Gorgeous photos! Hula is a great cafe, totally vegetarian if I remember which keeps me happy :). I’m ashamed to say I haven’t visited Rosslyn yet, although I do have a good excuse as I was living in London for many, many years.

    October 26, 2016
  • Beautiful photos. ONE day I will visit Edinburgh – it have been on my bucket list for years. I keep thinking we should do the same with London but my husband can’t see the point, oh well maybe I will do it on my own next year.

    October 26, 2016
  • We’re heading up to Edinburgh for the weekend on Friday with our boys. Our discussion over tea one evening was where we’d like to go, my son told us “I just want to go to Edinburgh, and see a real Scots Man with a beard, in a kilt playing the bagpipes…”. So, hopefully we’ll find one!

    October 26, 2016
  • I’m in Stirling so not far from Edinburgh either, I will be spending a night in Edinburgh in December. Sometimes a break away from the norm is good for the soul even if you are just along the road from home! Gorgeous pics xo

    October 26, 2016
  • I adore Edinburgh. Although it’s a bit of trek from us (based in Lancashire) it’s such a beautiful place. You may have just inspired me to visit to Edinburgh again!

    October 26, 2016
  • Genevieve


    Just a note of solidarity on the random email mix ups: I once emailed a potential client who was inquiring about wedding photography an email meant for my sister telling her that her cat had died! 🙁

    October 26, 2016
  • Brenda


    I’ve emailed full folders of “wrong things” to people as well! So annoying! Another time I texted all the entry and security codes, PLUS full address and directions to our cottage to the wrong (unknown) number! I was horrified and worried that it was party time at our place, so I had to make an unplanned drive to change all the codes. Sigh. So I feel your pain. I am from Canada, but Scotland has been on my bucket list and now I’m really eager to get there!!!!! You should be an official spokesperson for Tour Scotland (if that exists!)

    October 26, 2016
    • D. J.


      Yes! She should! She’s sold me on Scotland, which I hadn’t even considered.

      November 18, 2016
  • Rotem


    It looks lovely! And not at all as cloudy as I expected

    October 26, 2016
  • Is that the hotel that, back in the Mists Of Time, when I was a BA stewardess (and they were still flying hot-air balloons) was called The Royal Scot, and the airport bus stops right outside? I spent a night there once and got chased around the bar by a 1st class passenger who was a bit confused about how far exactly the perks of 1st class extended. It definitely looks as if it’s improved on these days!

    October 26, 2016
  • Your hair is beautiful! Visiting Ediburgh is really high up on my list of places to see. You just made me want to visit even more.

    October 27, 2016