Mother’s Day was so much fun this year. The beautiful, hot weather (an absolute shocker for Scotland) was amazing and it allowed us to go for a family walk in Dalkeith Country Park.
There was various walks to choose from but we chose the 6km one around the estate. Even though the place was mobbed, we actually only met a couple of people on the walk. There was loads of animals around the estate with their babies (so cute).
Dalkeith Country Park has actually been revamped since I used to go there as a child. They have rebuilt a massive wooden structure for kids to play on (see background of picture below) and they have created a cafe and shop called ‘The Restoration Yard’. Its so nice, and I wanted everything in it. Think Anthropologie.
I was lucky enough to spend the International Day of Happiness at the Balmoral Spa for a Spa day with a Champagne afternoon tea. I went with my sister and we spent no less than 10 hours here. I sat on the same chair the entire time doing my March edition of the Tesco crossword, except for a break for a sweetish massage and lunch, obviously.
I got THE most delicious pasta and Megan got a smoked salmon platter. I mean pasta wasn’t the best choice when I was having a huge afternoon tea a couple of hours later but I have no regrets.
After my post-massage snooze, it was time for the afternoon tea. We got changed and went up to Palm Court, which is a lovely room with a harpist playing. The afternoon tea was amazing. I chose the Ceylon Decaf tea. I’ve had an afternoon tea spa day before and my favourite bit consistently is the small bowl of soup you get at the start. It sounds strange, but the soup is out of this world.
I was so stuffed that I had to take away a lot of it away in a goodie bag. But at least thats my snacks sorted for the next couple of days…
On one of the rare sunny days last week, Caroline and I decided to do a marathon walk around the canal. Firstly, we had to fuel up at Loudons Cafe at Fountainbridge which is opposite the start of the canal. The service was slow but the food was amazing. I got a coconut milk iced latte (which was the best iced coffee I have ever had) and the french toast with a peach puree, sour cream and hazelnuts – delicious.
It was such a beautiful day, crisp with blue skies (my favourite kind of day) and the canal looked so pretty with all the barges moored alongside and swans gliding around.
Precisely 5 minutes after we began, we approached a barge which doubled as a coffee shop called ‘The Counter’ and it was so cute that we couldn’t resist buying a drink. There was little seats outside in the sun. Both the exterior and interior were so classic minimalist Scandinavian – very beautiful.
We then began what turned out to be a two and a half hour walk, we stayed on the canal until we arrived at Slateford, with a couple of minor diversions along the way due to work being done to the canal path. There were houses whose gardens back on to the canal and people had set up little table and chair areas right on the canal bank which was lovely.
Then we changed from the canal path to the water of Leith to head back towards town through Soughton and then past Murryfield to Dean Village and then ending up in Stockbridge.
I love walking along the water of Leith because you meet so many dogs and everybody is very friendly, giving a quick smile or a hello as you pass. The sound of the water flowing is so relaxing and just clears your mind. There were a fair few paths closed here so we did have to walk along the road a bit but it was fine.
After we arrived in Stockbridge we were ravenous and had a nice bowl of soup at Hamilton’s to finish off. I really enjoyed this walk, it is very quiet and you can walk around a lot of Edinburgh. If you have some spare time on a sunny day, I would recommend trying it out. You feel as though you are out of the city and getting some fresh air, exercise and peace.