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