A Vintage Day in Edinburgh

Sometimes it’s a treat to step back in time, if only for a day, and the city of Edinburgh is so steeped in history and mystery that it’s the perfect place to do just that! Our latest blog post sees Senior Visitor Assistant Moa walk you through a day of vintage exploration in Edinburgh…

Tips for the day:

  • Bring a water bottle. It’s important to stay hydrated!
  • Make sure your warm enough. It is Scotland after all, and the weather can change quickly.
  • Use words like “fetching”, “dandy”, “enthralled”, “precious”, “abominable”, “peckish” and “balderdash” – just for the fun of it!
  • Bring a friend. Why not have some company and share the fun! It is also the perfect way to make sure you have your own photographer with you, if you happen to want some visual evidence of your vintage day out…


Start your day by putting on your favourite vintage outfit: anything from a 1940s dress or a 1980s jumpsuit to a fancy tweed suit. Nothing to wear? No problem! Then your first mission of the day is to find suitable attire. Why not head to any of the second-hand shops around Edinburgh? Or head in to Cookie on Cockburn Street for a lovely new dress, Walker Slater on Victoria Street for a brand-new tweed suit or Armstrong’s Vintage for clothing from any decade your heart could desire. Of course, if you’re happy with jeans and a t-shirt, then there’s nothing wrong with that either, as long as you have a little bit of vintage in your soul.


The most important meal of the day is, of course, breakfast. Make your way to the Grand Café and get yourself a good meal to get your energy levels up so you can be on your feet all day.


Time to explore. One of my absolute favourite things to do when exploring a new place, or an old one, is just to walk around and see where my feet take me. However, I’ll let you in of some of my favourite shopping spots around time because they’re too good to miss. Cookie (mentioned above) is definitely worth a visit because it’s adjoined to the shop Mysa (which means “cosy” in Swedish): a cute little shop with beautiful books, plants and other quirky things. Another Swedish word which is perfect for vintage shopping is the word “fynda” which basically means to find something really nice at a great price.

Of course, second hand shops are the perfect place to find lovely things at good prices and if you want to “fynda”, stop by any second-hand shops in Raeburn Place in Stockbridge or Forrest Road in Edinburgh’s Old Town.


Of course not all shopping has to be for clothes, it can also be edible things. Head to the Fudge House and pick out your favourite flavour. Or if you’re in the mood for something savoury, then why not walk along Victoria Street and stop by I.J Mellis for some cheese, pick up some French bread from La Barantine next door and have yourself a picnic in Prince’s Street Gardens? If you’re not a fan of picnics, or maybe it is simply too cold, you can also pop in to any of the lovely pubs around town or head to Clarinda’s Tea Room and be a bit naughty and have cake for lunch. Because why not?


Why not emerge in to someone else’s story by reading a book to let the stomach settle after lunch and get your daily dose of some culture. I often carry a book with me, but if you’re not as big of a book worm as me, then don’t worry: there are some beautiful book shops around Edinburgh as well. Just have a look in any of the second-hand shops, or head to Waterstones. I would warn you however, it is very easy to get caught in there, just looking through all the beautiful options along the walls.


If your little reading break didn’t give you enough of your daily dose of culture, then maybe stop by any of the museums on or around The Mound. Anyways, reading often makes me thirsty for tea and it also happens to be the afternoon: time to head to The Dome to sit down in their Georgian Tea Room and have an Afternoon Tea of scones, tea, tarts and perhaps even some bubbly.


Shh, this one is a secret. No really, you have to promise to only take the best ladies and gentlemen to this place and not just let anyone in on the secret. Because part of the charm is that it is a secret.

Just trust me, when your throat is feeling a bit dry and you are in the mood for something boozy just head to Panda & Sons for a “haircut”. You won’t regret it.

However if the legs are feeling tired and the throat is yearning for some water of life then of course you can also head to one of the exquisite whisky bars in Edinburgh. Usquabae, Amber Bar at the Scotch Whisky Experience, or the Scotch Malt Whisky Society are all sure to meet your need for some Scotch. Slainte Mhath!

“One of the things that attracts me to vintage and antique things is they have stories, and even if I don’t know the stories, I make them up.”
Mary Kay Andrews

Written by: Moa Nilsson
Photography by Karo Regenweibchen

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