Festival first-timers (Part 3: Booze and Belly)

Festival first-timers (part 3: booze & belly)

We've already taken a look at booking (part one) and budget (part two). In my third instalment of our Festival first-timers guide, we're taking a look at the all important booze and belly.

A social snifter goes hand in hand with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Throw in a satisfied tummy, and you’re on to a winner. I’ve put together my preferred residences for top tipples and treats, that will keep you in the Festival spirit.

Best boozers for…

A dram: The Albanach

Nestled in the heart of it all on the Royal Mile, The Albanach is packed full of over 220 malt whiskies. This is a great ‘all rounder’ with something for everyone, so real ale fans and the lime and soda squad will all be kept happy, too.

Al fresco: Pear Tree House

This glorious suntrap is a firm favourite amongst locals, and is situated right in the centre of all of the Festival action, just off of George Square. This year it’s also a venue for the Free Festival, so you can catch some comedy for nowt, gratis, nothing!

Some summertime sophistication: George Street

George Street, famous for cocktail bars and boutiques, is in the process of being made more pedestrian-friendly. Café culture is set to explode this Festival, as the patio furniture and Spiegeltent spill out on to this now car-less street.

Soaking up the Festival atmosphere: Underbelly

Underbelly (aka that giant, purple, upside-down cow in Bristo Square) is your one stop shop for all that the Fringe has to offer. There are venues, bars, food vans, and oodles of electricity in the atmosphere.

Coffee: Brew Lab

It’s easy to get carried away with Fringe festivities, so, when it’s time to refresh head to Brew Lab for a pick-me-up. Featuring local artisan produce, and expertly brewed coffee, this is seriously the best caffeine hit in Edinburgh.

Best belly fillers for…

Scottish and locally sourced: Bon Vivant

How to describe Bon Vivant? Think Scottish tapas. Wee bites of yum from £1 allow you to create your own platters, and the menu changes daily to keep up with the best produce available.

Home made delights: The Doric

The Doric claims to be Edinburgh’s oldest gastro pub, but the biggest draw is by far their delicious Scottish based menu, filled with Haggis, Loch farmed mussels and Scottish salmon.

Staying in the thick of the Festival action: City Cafe

A stalwart of 80s and 90s underground Edinburgh, the City Café has since had a retro refurb and is perfect for some hearty diner-style grub just off of the Royal Mile.

Cheap eats: Red Box Noodle bar

Located just off of George Square, Red Box offers noodles and Asian snacks cooked to your liking before your very eyes. Fresh, tasty, and cheap as… chicken skewers.

A special treat: Balmoral Number One

Residing, arguably, at Edinburgh’s premier address with its own Michelin Star, Number One is your best bet for an unforgettable experience. Expect the very finest blend of Scottish and French cuisine, delivered with a smile and not one ounce of stuffiness.

Something exotic: Kanpai

With an AA rosette under its belt, this is some serious sushi. The ambience is cool, calm and collected, but you can always spice things up by taking a seat at the bar directly overlooking the chefs.

The whole shebang: Faulty Towers The Dining Experience

Why not combine the whole festival vibe in to one all-inclusive evening? Enjoy a three-course meal whilst Basil and co do their thing in and amongst the diners.

Remember, if you haven't booked your Festival Accommodation, view our self catering options to find a luxury apartment during your time here (often at a cheaper rate than a hotel).

We hope you enjoyed our Festival guide. If you have some more festival hints and tips then let us know on Twitter @reserveapts.

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