It feels like a lifetime ago now but a few weeks back, my good friend Madeleine and I decided on a whim to head to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival! My lovely brother (who works in travel) booked us some accommodation and we managed to get some great deals on train tickets. Before I knew it, we were there!
We were staying in Pollock Halls, a short walk from the Royal Mile and I have to say they were great. Cheap, clean and very cheerful, plus the breakfast was immense – I’d highly recommend if you were planning a trip next August! We headed out to soak up the atmosphere, grab a late lunch and hit several free shows before checking out Patrick Monahan’s Cake Charmer. I’d already seen Patrick’s preview to the show at Sunderland Live’s Comedy Festival and just when I thought I couldn’t laugh anymore, I was wrong. If you ever get a chance to see Patrick Monahan, do it – and make sure you get a cuddle, he gives amazing hugs!
Rested and fed on our second day we headed out in seek of a proper coffee, there was only one place for it – Brew Lab serves possibly the best coffee I have ever tasted. It was exactly what we needed to perk us up for a morning window shopping. We ended up at the Grassmarket, checking out the many vintage shops before stopping off at Mary’s Milk Bar. I was reluctant at first to have some ice cream as I have very sensitive teeth but opting out of a cone and choosing a spoon instead was the best decision ever… I was in ice cream heaven. Make sure you try the salted caramel – it’s divine!
We then popped up the road to watch our first show of the day ‘Songs from the West End’ which was fun and a lively way to start before dropping in on the film festival and several more free comedy shows. After a day on our feet, we were shattered and grabbed ourselves some seats and drinks in the BBC’s Edinburgh Fringe tents. Edinburgh’s Rock Choir were performing and they were absolutely stunning, everyone was really enjoying them and getting into the spirit of the fringe. These were followed by a band who totally confused me, they were dressed odd, sounded interesting and I can’t for the life of me remember their name. I have to admit, we weren’t really feeling them so Madeleine and I headed to our final show of the fringe, Simon Amstell’s, A Work in Progress. Though the show was running late (it was supposed to start at 11.30pm), we had to let him off as he was hilarious as expected. Suitably tickled, we headed back to get some sleep before a long day of traveling home.
Since first attending The Fringe back when I was 15, it has remained one of my favourite festivals and I would recommend it to anyone. The best thing to do is not to plan too much, pick a few shows you’d really like to see but for the rest of your stay, use their new iphone app to find what’s free and nearby – you never know what gems you might stumble upon. See you there next year!