Blogging is wonderful. Never in a million years did I think that when I set up this little space on the internet that it would bring me such fantastic friends. The type of friends who just get you, who you can be completely yourself around and who inspire you to be a better person. Samantha and I have been chatting for over a year now but it was only last week that we met for the first time 'in real life'. It was a little strange meeting someone who you have been talking to for so long actually in person, but it was also so amazing. Samantha is definitely one of the most wonderful people I have ever met and I feel so lucky to call her my friend (and that she was willing to travel eight hours on a bus to come and visit me!). Luckily, my dad's flat in Edinburgh was between tenants when she came to stay so we spent her visit based there and going out to explore everything that the city had to offer, which although I only live half an hour by train from Edinburgh was so great as we didn't need to stress about taking trains or having to travel after a long day of exploring. And, as I've recently decided to go vegan there were lots of places in Edinburgh I had been eyeing up to try so this gave us the perfect opportunity for a day of vegan dining in one of my favourite cities.
Breakfast: Hula Juice Bar, 103-105 West Bow
We visited the Hula Juice Bar for breakfast. Having been there before for smoothies, I had been eyeing up their breakfast menu for a while so was really excited to try it. We both got the Maca Nana Bowl, which was a vanilla, maca and banana smoothie topped with raspberry granola and peanut butter, and oh-my-god it was heavenly. I have been dreaming about this breakfast ever since, it was that good. Hula isn't a vegan cafe but they have lots of vegan options and lots of healthy choices. I will definitely be back soon.
After breakfast, we wandered down the Royal Mile towards the parliament and Arthur's Seat. It wasn't part of the plan to go up the hill, but we thought we would go up the Salisbury Crags Cliffs because y'know, that view makes for wonderful blog pics. It was actually the first time I've gone up the cliffs, despite having done Arthur's Seat lots of times before.
Afterwards, we headed away from the old town and ventured up Carlton Hill for another beautiful view. Although the sun wasn't out, it was quite a clear day so being up there everything looked so wonderful and you could see the whole city stretching out below. Edinburgh never fails to make me smile. It's such a beautiful city and I really do hope that one day I am lucky enough to live there for a while.
Lunch: Moon and Hare, 167 Bruntsfield Place
For lunch I thought it would be nice to head into Morningside so Samantha could see another part of the city and also because I'd heard of a few healthy food places down that way I was eager to try out (yes, the whole day pretty much centered around food ofc). Having seen Moon and Hare pop up more times than I can count on my Instagram feed I was so excited to finally pop in. It's a tiny little cafe situated just at the end of Bruntsfield/top of Morningside and is exactly the kind of place I love. Everything on the menu was vegan and gluten free, although I don't think the cafe is fully vegan as they did have regular milk for coffees but all the food was vegan (yay). The waffles were soooo tempting but I was really craving some veggies after our sweet breakfast so we decided to get two of the wraps and have half of each. We chose one that I think was called 'zesty', which had lots of veggies and hummus and the other one was a bit spicier with chickpeas and a curry flavour. We also got a roasted veggie and chickpea salad to share and lots of lemon water on the side. Everything was so delicious, the staff were so lovely and the cafe had such a nice atmosphere, although I think if you were to go on a Saturday it could be really busy! I definitely need to go back soon to try those vegan waffles though.
Once we'd finished lunch we wandered back up through Morningside and Bruntsfield, popping in and out of the shops on the way. Being a fellow health food lover, I couldn't let Samantha leave Edinburgh without a trip to Realfoods so we went there for a browse too where I picked up a huge Grams snickers bar, which was delicious. It's vegan and made with only natural ingredients including dates, peanut butter and oats - so yummy. Gram's have also just opened their own little deli shop near Haymarket, which I haven't visited yet but will do very soon, so definitely check that out too if you live locally.
For dinner we went to Henderson's, which is a must for vegan food in Edinburgh! We had intended to go to the vegan bistro, rather than the vegetarian restaurant (they are just around the corner from one another) but I ended up preferring the vegan options at the veggie restaurant so we went there instead. I had a nut burger with what was meant to be served with sweet potato wedges but they just tasted like regular potato wedges, but still delicious so I didn't mind, and a peanut sauce. Samantha had the crepe of the day, which I think was butternut squash, caramelised onions and other veggies in a soy cream sauce with salad. Both meals were so yummy and vegan. I can't recommend Henderson's enough for great vegan food in Edinburgh. This was the first time I had been for dinner - they also go breakfast and lunch so you know you can always get something yummy there. I would like to try the vegan bistro but I just wasn't really in the mood for what they had on the menu that night - it's also quite small so at least you know if you can't get a table in there then the veggie restaurant is just around the corner with lots of vegan options on the menu too. I didn't get any photos though because it was quite dark and sometimes it's nice to just eat and not worry about getting the perfect photo.
I had the most lovely time having Samantha to visit. It is so wonderful how blogging can bring you such great friends who can go from being just online blog friends to real life friends. It was a jam-packed day of sightseeing, good conversation, and amazing vegan food and I can't wait to do it all again when we next meet!
Thank you blogging, for everything.