Two days after Edinburgh’s festival season ended with a volley of fireworks over the castle, Mr G and I emerged from our festival-proof bunker for an Edinburgh staycation. We’d be spending a Wee White Dug free night at Point A Hotel Edinburgh – Auld Reekie’s shiniest, new budget boutique hotel. We were looking forward to being able to wander around the city, without getting caught up in a slow shuffling tourist mob.
Point A hotel is located on Morrison Street close to Edinburgh’s West End and the Georgian splendour of the New Town. It’s also a stone’s throw from the city’s historic Old Town.
We took advantage of the hotel’s heavily discounted parking rate (£14 instead of £30 for 24 hours) and left our car at the NCP car park on Castle Terrace, a ten minute walk from Morrison Street.
Dropping our bags off at the hotel we headed out to spend an afternoon in Scotland’s beautiful capital.
Lunch at Ishka, Morrison Street
I’d heard good things about Ishka Restaurant & Cocktail Bar (located opposite our hotel) so we decided to pop in for lunch. Ishka describe their menu as Scottish, with a nod to the Mediterranean. It sounded right up our street.
We opted for a light(ish) lunch of wraps with salad and skinny fries. My wrap was filled with spiced falafel, pickled cucumber and a creme fraiche dressing. It was delicious.
Mr G had flaked Scottish salmon, kohlrabi and Dijon mustard on his. His also got a big thumbs up.
With the exception of a few other diners, we had the restaurant all to ourselves. It was nice to have our city back.
After lunch we ventured off the tourist trail to do something a little different.
Volcano Falls, Fountain Park
It’s not often you’ll hear the words adventure and golf used in the same sentence, but at Volcano Falls Adventure Golf bunkers and fairways are replaced by roaring dinosaurs, tumbling waterfalls and belching volcanoes.
Arriving at Volcano Falls we were invited to choose a golf ball each from a selection of colours. I chose pink to match my shoes and Mr G blue to match the colour of the air if (heaven forbid) he played badly.
Balls coordinated with outfits/choice language, we selected a ‘winning’ putter each. Next we had to decide which course to play. Volcano Valley or Skull Falls? We picked Volcano Valley as the dinosaurs on that course looked really cool.
If there’s any element of competition in an activity, Mr G takes it deadly seriously. Even mini golf makes him act like he’s competing in The Masters. During our game he measured shots, stamped his feet, gave himself a pep talk, fell over, cursed when thunder and lightning put him off a shot and celebrated loudly when he got a hole in one/won the game.
Despite losing to Mr Insufferable, I really enjoyed our round of adventure golf.
After completing the course we moseyed on over to the nineteenth hole for a slushee cocktail.
After leaving Fountain Park we headed towards the Old Town.
National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street
Finding ourselves on the doorstep of the National Museum of Scotland, we decided to pop in. Entry to the museum is free, but there’s a suggested donation of £5 per visitor.
I remember visiting the museum as a toddler and being terrified of the skeleton of a whale, but fascinated by a dinosaur skeleton. Some skeletons are obviously far scarier than others.
The museum has expanded since my childhood to include a wing dedicated to the history of Scotland and the achievements of its people.
In recent years lots of interactive exhibits have been installed. Visiting mid-week and post school holidays meant there were no pesky kids around to hog all the fun interactive stuff.
If you think museums are boring think again. During our visit we ran on a human-sized hamster wheel to light bulbs, generated sparks, created huge waves and made electricity dance at our fingertips.
Even if you don’t like museums, it’s worth visiting the National Museum of Scotland to appreciate the architectural beauty of the interior.
There’s also an excellent, independently run restaurant inside, which has an outside terrace and boasts amazing views of the castle.
Bertie’s Proper Fish & Chips, Victoria Street
We left the museum shortly before closing time and wandered down to the colourful Victoria Street. Victoria Street is loved by Instagrammers and Harry Potter fans alike. It’s said to be the inspiration behind Daigon Alley. It wasn’t photos for the gram or boy wizards we were visiting for though, it was proper fish and chips.
Bertie’s Proper Fish & Chips opened in December 2018 after a three million pound renovation of an old church. Our expectations were high as the team behind popular Edinburgh eateries Divona Enoteca, Vittoria, and La Favourita are also behind Bertie’s.
If the fish and chips were half as impressive as the entrance we were in for a treat.
All the usual fish and chip shop favourites were on the menu. We ordered a battered haddock supper, a white pudding supper and a round of drinks.
Mr G played it safe with a Birra Morreti, but my tipple was more flamboyant. Who could resist an Irn Bru spritz? A Scottish interpretation of the Aperol spritz – a favourite of mine. It was just as good as the classic version.
We went halfers on the fish and white pudding. Both were good, but the white pudding pipped it for me. It came a very close second to my favourite Stornoway White Pudding.
Saintly Mr G passed on pudding, but I wasn’t missing the opportunity to tuck into one of Scotland’s finest culinary creations. Deep fried Mars Bars are sickly and gooey, but oh so tasty. In the end Mr G buckled and decided to ‘help’ me eat the ice cream that came with my dessert. His interpretation of helping was eating it all. My waistline thanked him for his gluttony.
Bertie’s totally lived up to our expectations. We loved it and will definitely return.
Point A Hotel Edinburgh, Morrison Street
We left Bertie’s and waddled back to Morrison Street to check-in at Point A Hotel Edinburgh. Morrison Street once sat in the middle of an area blighted by industrial decline. Today, it’s a vibrant and attractive part of the city. There’s a conference centre/events venue, plus lots of good delis, coffee shops, bars and eateries. The area has a real urban village feel and makes a good central base for exploring Edinburgh.
Check-in was friendly and efficient. We were pointed in the direction of our room which was on the third floor. The rooms at Point A are all located behind a swipe access door (activated using your room key). Reassuring for the security conscious and solo travellers.
Our room (a Comfy Double with View) was light, airy and a decent size. Our view took in the Pentland Hills. The decor was minimalist and functional without looking clinical or basic. There were funky, modern touches like mood lighting (I LOVE mood lighting) and little pops of colour on the furnishings.
We had free WiFi, a very comfy Hypnos bed, a 43 inch smart TV, plus a little vanity table/fold down desk. Storage wise, there was a small wall-mounted unit and some hooks and hangers on the wall. Each floor of the hotel had an ironing room guests could use.
Our en suite was bright, modern and fitted with a power shower, which was sure to leave us feeling refreshed and wide awake in the morning.
Time to unwind
Point A hotel doesn’t have an in-house bar or restaurant, but you can buy alcohol, tea/coffee, snacks and light meals at reception. There are also comfy seats and dining tables on the ground floor of the hotel where guests can relax after a long day spent exploring Edinburgh.
After checking in we spent a couple of relaxing over a glass or two of Prosecco, before toddling off to our room so I could play with the mood lightning.
We fell asleep with our room glowing green.
Breakfast isn’t included in the room rate at Point A Hotel but you can tuck into a Continental buffet between 6:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. for an extra £9 per day.
We weren’t going to check out before trying ‘The Brekkie’.
There was plenty of choice, with fruit juice, tea, coffee, cereals, sweet and savoury pastries, muffins, plus cheese and an assortment of breads all available. ‘The Brekkie’ was a great way to start the day.
Point A Hotel Edinburgh – the verdict
We really enjoyed our stay at Point A Hotel Edinburgh. The hotel is a good choice if you fancy a short break, or a night in Edinburgh that won’t break the bank. The hotel may fall into the budget category, but it doesn’t feel cheap or basic, more boutique on a budget.
It was nice to have a rare Wee White Dug free date night. We missed him though, so won’t be making a habit of travelling without the star of this operation.
Our accommodation and breakfast at Point A Hotel Edinburgh were provided on a complimentary basis, however all opinions are my own.
Until next time ……..