Eat & Explore Scotland: Haggis, Royal Mile & Edinburgh Castle

I’m back in Boston with sore legs and a few extra pounds, after a week exploring London and Edinburgh. Scotland was our second stop, but I wanted to share some photos with the trip fresh on my mind.
Post 1 - Edinburgh train
Instead of taking the ~1 hour flight from London to Edinburgh, we opted for the 5 hour “scenic” route via East Coast trains. The route was very pastoral with roaming sheep and cows, plus a few beautiful cathedrals and oceanfront views sprinkled along the way. The 60GBP tickets came with wi-fi and unlimited food & drink – by the time we diddled on our computers, chowed down lunch (chicken & leek pot pies were surprisingly piping hot with a flaky crust), and had a few glasses of cider and wine, we were already pulling into the final station.
Post 1 - royal mile Edinburgh

J.Crew blazer (30% off w/ HELLOSTYLE), vintage Hermes scarf c/o LXR & Co (invite), Coach bag (review)

Edinburgh is a quaint city split into Old Town and New Town. The Old Town streets and buildings date back to the 1500’s, with the “Royal Mile” street (pictured above) stretching through town to the Edinburgh Castle. The castle is small and admission is a relatively hefty 16GBP, but I enjoyed it very much as someone who is not a history buff. Post 1 - Edinburgh Castle
^ The Royal Palace, which houses the Scottish Honours (crown, scepter, and sword) used in the coronation of 16th century monarchs. There were rooms of wax figures (terrifying in dim lighting…you can bet I don’t do well in haunted houses or wax museums) telling the story of the Honours, leading up to a room where the opulent treasures themselves were on display.

Post 1 - Edinburgh castle afar

The Edinburgh castle from afar, after a light drizzle.

Poast 1 - Sir walter scott monument

Wearing – Gap petite legging jeans (wearing 2011 version), Toms vegan classics shoes in sz 5

Post 1 - Scott monument

The Scott Monument for Sir Walter Scott – love the gothic architecture.

When traveling, I always try to sample regional specialties. Haggis (no need to click if you’re uneasy about innards) is hailed by some as the Scottish national dish, and was offered at almost every place we ate in various forms. Another common menu item was black pudding, which a waitress was hesitant to explain until I reassured her that I wouldn’t be grossed out.
Post 1 - Haggis and blood pudding

Clockwise from top left: Balls of haggis (not bad) with mashed potatoes, braised beef cheek with fresh pasta & scallions, black pudding atop crostini with quail eggs

Post 1 - Balmoral afternoon tea
After making our way to the New Town, we treated ourselves to overpriced afternoon tea at the Balmoral hotel. 25 GBP per person gets you: a little appetizer liquor, a tray of sandwiches and sweets, a course of warm scones w/ “clotted cream” & jelly, endless tea or coffee, and unlimited access to the cake trolley. I wish tea places would offer a savories-only option, as I usually wolf down the sammies but get nauseous from all the sweets. By the time the decadent cake trolley rolled around, Nick and I were ready to be rolled along home.
Post 1 - Balmoral afternoon tea tray


77 thoughts on “Eat & Explore Scotland: Haggis, Royal Mile & Edinburgh Castle

  • Catching Flight May 27, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Wow that looks like a lot of fun. I adore you in Toms since you're always dressed so professional on your blog.

  • M. at Making Sense of Cents May 27, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Love your pictures. Looks like a good time.

  • Jen May 27, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Hi Jean, are the toms comfortable for travelling? I have been thinking about getting them for my upcoming trip. Thanks!

  • Elizabeth Exposito May 27, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Gorgeous outfit and beautiful scenery!



  • PetiteAsianGirl May 27, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Hi Jen – yes, super light and comfy (although I wish they had a little more arch support). They were feet savers for me walking 5-6 miles a day. I can't speak to durability because my friends' older pairs look very dilapidated, but I guess they are canvas shoes, after all.

  • lin May 27, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    all the food looks so delicious. love all the pics, especially the third one. thanks for sharing some of your experiences with us. 😉

  • Ella Pretty Blog May 27, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Love the pic of you looking out of the castle – it's gorgeous!

    Thanks for sharing photos of your trip – we used to live in London and we flew to Edinburgh – but the train sounds like so much fun! I think we'll go that route when we take the kids.

    We also went on a haunted walking tour at night – it was spooky but I felt safe because hubby was with me! The only thing I DIDN'T enjoy in Edinburgh was the food – everything was expensive but greasy…but I loved seeing your food pics – you were adventurous LOL!

  • Oanh Nguyen May 27, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    what brand of jeans do you have on? i'm a curvy, 5'-0" Asian who cannot find a pair of regular and/or skinny jeans that fits right.

    love your blog!! after i read your vintage post about longchamp pliage and planetes, i've decided to get one and love it! longchamps are not known in the DFW metroplex, and i'm not into branded things, and it fits perfect! i dwelled on the le pliage for two years! finally i feel complete 🙂

  • Christina Chen May 27, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Scotland looks absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I would love to go there someday. All the architecture and history of that place is just breathtaking. I love the picture of you in the royal palace! Thanks for sharing these pictures, you look like you had a lot of fun! 🙂


  • Alterations Needed May 27, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Black pudding…ahhh! I tried some of that in Ireland before I knew what it was. I wasn't a fan, and was happy I hadn't eaten much of it after our cab driver laughed and told us what we just ate. Love the architecture!

  • Anonymous May 27, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Is there enough space inside to fit a pair of insoles? I've started putting the Dr. Scholl's purple-colored arch supports in all of my shoes, and seriously they make such a difference! I'd recommend trying that out if you're walking a lot.

  • PetiteAsianGirl May 27, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Oo, thanks for the tip – will have to try those. I had planned on putting insoles in after/if the canvas stretches out, but ppl can probably buy half a size up to accommodate cushy insoles.

  • Emily May 27, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    This is a dream trip! You are so brave to try all of that food!

  • Diana S.T. May 27, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    you look great in the photos, I hope you had a great trip, looks like you had a great time in Scotland

  • Petite-ish May 27, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    What a great trip and Edinburgh is so picturesque! Train seems like the way to go, nothing is better than a mild buzz as the scenery rolls by (you should try it to Connecticut from Boston sometime 🙂 You look so put together in your adorable travel outfit. I definitely resort to Keens, camelbaks, and fleeces on vacations for comfort.

  • Anonymous May 28, 2013 at 12:14 am

    You look beautiful. Thank you for sharing your trip with us.


  • Kisti Belle May 28, 2013 at 12:22 am

    You look great, I love the pic of you from inside the castle window and inside the restaurant with the mirror background.

    Sounds like youre having a great time! Enjoy it!

  • HL May 28, 2013 at 12:23 am

    your trip looks amazing, i love the tea pictures!! 🙂

  • countrygirlcityfashion May 28, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Your outfit is so cute, and I'm so jealous of your trip – I would LOVE to go there.

  • Petite Hues May 28, 2013 at 1:03 am

    Love the photos, seems like you had a great time. I have yet to visit Scotland, hopefully one day I will. I do have a question though, how did the TOMS hold up for you while you were traveling? I've been eyeing a pair of crochet TOMS to wear to commute to/from work, but I'm just not sure how comfortable and well constructed they are.

    – Christine

  • Ila Johari May 28, 2013 at 1:19 am

    Loved your post,glad to discover your blog!


  • SewPetiteGal May 28, 2013 at 1:20 am

    WOW on how well they lasted for the amount of walking you did! I wore comfy sandals the 1st day in HK and then quickly switched to my heavily padded running shoes for the rest of the trip. Even with those, my feet were aching. I need to investigate these!

    Such beautiful photos – especially the one of you in the window (and can't forget the food)!

  • kcomekarolina May 28, 2013 at 3:07 am

    amazing place!

    xoxo from rome

  • Flora Amies May 28, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Beautiful pictures, it looks like a lovely trip! Glad you got good service on the train – East Coast are the bane of my life usually. I use their trains at least once a month and pay farrrr to much money for what it is…but I've ridden first class ONCE when I could afford to and the roomier carriage and notable absence of drunk passengers makes it so.much.nicer!(and the food, worth it for lunch alone…)

    You look really beautiful, particularly in that photo by that humongus mirror. Gorgeous, gorgeous gorgeous.


  • Chica-Esperta May 28, 2013 at 5:05 am

    I bet you wore nothing but amazing outfits the whole trip. What did you pack? Did you remix items? With summer closing in, I'd be delighted to see a post about packing little but still looking amazing!

  • Deepali Suryawanshi May 28, 2013 at 5:52 am

    You look so fantastic! Loved your blazer and scarf!

  • Anthea Lau May 28, 2013 at 6:25 am

    wow what a stunning place! love the tranquil tone in your photos and the overall aesthetic! <3

    It will be awesome if you can check out my new inspiration post!

  • Anonymous May 28, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Could you share your travel outfit with us? I am planning to travel in Europe as well. I don't want to look so dull or too casual but same time I want to be so uncomfortable in high heels. Your look gives me some tips how to wear for the trip but still I would love to see more of them. Please?

  • Souda May 28, 2013 at 8:53 am

    This looks like so much fun. Beautiful photos. Can't wait to see the rest of your trip!

  • Anonymous May 28, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Hi Jean: I am planning a trip to Europe in August and need recommendations for comfortable but stylish walking shoes. Can you please let me know what you wore for walking around Scotland? Thanks in advance!

  • FashionEdible May 28, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Beautiful pictures! Looks like you had an amazing time and kudos to you for trying haggis!
    o-FashionEdible Blog

  • Olivia J May 28, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Have fun! Excited to see what else you'll be wearing.

    Corporate Catwalk
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  • Anonymous May 28, 2013 at 10:15 am

    I really hope she answers this question, because one of the things I love about Jean is how thorough and honest she is with her reviews and product recommendations. I, too, am planning a trip with lots of walking included, so I'm looking forward to her answer 🙂

  • Joules May 28, 2013 at 11:11 am

    You've just cemented my resolve to travel to Scotland at some point. These pictures are gorgeous! Being stuck at the office right now, I'm totally jealous! Also, loving your outfit–especially the scarf!

    Question for you: how did the Tom's hold up in terms of foot comfort? I'm travelling to Italy in the fall and I need a fashionable shoe that can withstand a fair amount of walking on cobblestone roads. Would the Tom's be a good choice?

  • Anonymous May 28, 2013 at 11:13 am

    I've always swear by my reliable crocs. Washable & dries in my time. =)

  • The Glitter Life May 28, 2013 at 11:40 am
  • Hadia May 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    AMAZING pictures.

  • Billie May 28, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Wow, the food looks amazing! I've only been to London so far, nowhere else in the UK, but Edinborough is definitely on my list.

    I'm amazed that you managed to walk around on shoes without arch support an entire day (week?); the last time I was in London I ended up wearing bad weather boots after a day in HiTop-Converse because my feet hurt so badly — and I walk a lot in every day life! Also I imagine it must've been cold; we're having an unusually cold May in Europe this year, and the Tom's really look like summer shoes …

  • Anna May 28, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Your travel posts are always my favorite. Great photos! What kind of camera was used? I love all things UK-related and Trainspotting is one of my favorite movies of all time. So jealous. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your trip!

  • Anonymous May 28, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    even better I have found than the purple arch supports are the clear dr. scholls that are litterly just an arch support (as opposed to the whole foot). This way they fit in everything — and i mean everything. I put them in flats and pumps and b/c they are clear and just arch support, i can even wear them in sandals without being seen. they are about $7 bucks a pair, and well worth it.

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