After eating at Oink, I strolled around Edinburghs City Centre. There were a lot of the same shops (ie, Topman/Topshop, River Island, Primark..) as there were in Manchester. We pretty much walked/shopped around until dinner time. We went to dinner at Brewdog. They have a bar stools and booths that you can sit at and a shelf of board games that you can play. You just sit yourself and order your food/drinks at the bar. I ordered a tasting flight to try all the different drafts they brew.
Brewdog draft taster flight -£7.50
5AM Saint - 5% abv
Punk IPA - 5.4 % abv
Rosés d’hibiscus (brewed in Canada) - 5.9% abv
Old world - Russian Imperial Stout - 9.5% abv
Iron fist - £9
Spinach and an egg!
Potatoe Wedges - £3
The one thing I did notice between California’s Chorizo is that it’s similar to our bacon and their bacon is similar to our ham. It’s weird haha.
One of the best pulled pork sandwiches I’ve had! This place is pretty small, it had a small circular table in the bay window and 3 tall stools in the back. You can order 3 different sizes - Piglet (80g of meat) - £2.80, Oink (160g) - £3.80, & Grunter (250g) - £4.80. I got the piglet size and my friend ordered the Oink. You can pick either a white or brown roll and choose 2 relish/stuffing you want on it. Its great quality and easy to pick up if you’re in a hurry(if the line isn’t out the door!) :)
Shown above is the Oink size with onion stuffing and mild chili.
Finally arrived in Edinburgh! It was about a 3 hour train ride. They even had little trollies coming through selling snacks down the aisle. The weather here feels much colder than Manchester, probably because it’s more north. The Christmas market was quite delightful and in my opinion had better options in beverages. Other than that, it was pretty similar to the other market I had visited.
I’m currently staying at the Apex International located in Grassmarket. It’s pretty central to where everything is so it’s convenient. You can see the Edinburgh Castle from the front door. Not to mention, everything is within a 10 min walking radius! The hotel greeted us with a rubber ducky in the shower for keeps. I thought it was pretty cute.
North Tea Power - Manchester, UK
English Breakfast Tea
North Tea Power
This was the only coffee shop in Manchester (Northern Quarter) I could find that served a pour over coffee. They also offered an option of aero press, cold brew, French press, etc.. The location was cozy, filled with high tables in the back, a long wooden table in the middle, and seats in front of the register. It was quite crowded but people were in and out that you could still manage to find a seat pretty quickly. They had one barista manning all the pour overs that were ordered using a single cup Hario V60. I also ordered my favorite type of tea - English Breakfast, which came in a small little French press accompanied by a small glass of milk. Adorable.
Oh and I’m not really familiar with British television shows but apparently we were sitting next to an actor who was on the show Hollyoaks.
'Gay Village' is where all the gay bars are in Manchester. I first went to this bar called 'View'… It was interesting to say the least haha. The whole place smelled like a toilet. I'm not exaggerating. The location itself was pleasant as it was two levels and an open floor plan. There were plenty of places to sit and even a pool table. Unfortunately, there were a total of maybe 20 people in the entire club. After about 20 mins, we headed to G-A-Y bar. I don't know what it is but I prefer going to male gay bars. They're always filled with ridiculously good looking men and 95% of the time they're easy to get along and converse with. That was my expectation going in but it ended up being that the ratio of men to women were 50/50. This place was more 'popping' as there were about 4x the amount of people from the last bar I went to.
Drinks were only £2 throughout the whole night. I can’t argue with that price! :P I really enjoyed this bar. They played pop music and had the actual music video playing on all the tv screens. The highlight of this night was definitely having this girl ‘chat me up’ (British way of saying ‘hitting on’). You may ask why was this the highlight? She literally looked the girl from the movie Brave. Red scrunchy curly hair, and big shiny blue eyes! It was pretty funny. She was really nice, until I realized her friend told a friend of mine that she had a girlfriend of a few years. Sort of shady! Haha!
It was a pretty eventful night meeting different people but being that it was the first night after I landed, I headed home shortly after midnight. The one funny part was that everyone asked me why I was visiting ‘this shithole’ Manchester. They were like, ‘I’d rather be in California!’. It’s silly how we’d love to visit their country and they’d rather come visit ours. Anyways, I’d come visit this bar again if I were ever in Manchester traveling with friends. It was a nice night out for some quick drinks. I recommend it if you’re ever in the area.
Hot Chocolate - £4
Mulled wine - Apple - £4
The Bier Garden.
Here were one of the stands where they served beer and hot chocolate. They also served something called Mulled Wine, a drink I had never heard of in California.
Mulled wine is made with red wine alongside different spices. It’s served hot and tasted like warm wine with hints of spice (hot cider but wine). It wasn’t super sweet or anything. The most similar drink I can think it taste like is a Port.
Manchesters city centre had small little shops that looked like they were made out of logs, set up in the middle of the streets. It was refreshing to see how lively everything was. You could really feel like the holidays was in the air. There were people playing Christmas music on their trumpets and trombones, hot chocolate served with any sort of alcohol you would want to put in it (baileys, rum, amaretto, etc..), beir gardens filled with people drinking from frosty glasses of beer at 11am, stands of freshly made fudge, I can go on and on but I won’t haha.
This was a Garlic Bread stand. Delicious street food.
Garlic, Cheese, & Salami - £4
The Grill on the Alley
Ribeye Steak 225g - £14.75
The steak was way overcooked :/ It was a decent steak but not the best. I will say that the decor, vibe, and service was excellent. We were seated 2 tables away from a live piano player. It was a great experience. I would come back for maybe some nibbles but probably not for the steak heh.
This was my first time trying a White Russian and I gotta say that I’m a huge fan. If you’re lactose, you probably won’t like it haha. It’s smooth and creamy yet still packed with plenty of alcohol.