Scotland: SOUTHPOUR, Edinburgh

I’ve been treated to an exceptional number of bright, sunny days during my visit to Scotland.

On one such of these days, I met up with an old friend from university for a hike up Arthur’s Seat. About two minutes in, we realised we were in desperate need of caffeine, so we popped into the closest place we saw.

Walking into SOUTHPOUR, I was delighted to find how beautifully it’s been done up. We used to come here for drinks as first year students, but the place has been recently remodeled into what must be one of the prettiest places on the South Side.

With exposed brick, industrial lighting, and chevron tiling, this little bistro is truly a sight to behold.

We took a seat in one of the sunny booths, each decorated with a little thistle bouquet.

The lattes all come with a little slice of homemade tablet – basically fudge but better. It’s a buttery, melt in your mouth kind of sweetness that I can’t get enough of. When you’re in Scotland, make sure to try some!

The menu is full of modern twists on Scottish classics, all of which are shockingly affordable, with prices for breakfast hovering around £5!

I got the oak smoked kipper benedict, with homemade creme fraise and toast with ‘posh butter’. I’m not sure exactly what posh butter is, but it was delicious.

My friend went for the sweetcorn nori with slow roasted tomatoes. The food and drinks were simply but excellently done – my favourite kind of meal.

Having fueled up, we embarked up towards our destination.

Reaching the summit, we found our own little nook on a cliff overlooking the city and sat talking for what seemed like days. There’s something about sitting up there, gazing down upon the city and sea that gives you a clearer mind and sharper perspective. If you go, don’t just take a selfie at the top and hustle down again. Bring a thermos (or a flask, I won’t judge) and stay for a while.

Eventually, we got up, took our obligatory summit selfies, and headed back down the other side.

There’s a huge pond full of unbelievably friendly swans looking for bread crumbs that you have to make sure you don’t miss.

After a little Scottie scared off the swans, we strolled back along the Crags into the soft winter sun feeling totally renewed.

 

XOXO,

59 Comments

  1. 21/07/2017 / 20:38

    Looks like a lovely spot to go for a hike.
    About how long did it take to reach the peak?

    • 21/07/2017 / 20:56

      It depends on how fit you are! It took us about 20 minutes to reach the top, but we were pretty sweaty. If you explore all the way around The Crags and Arthur’s Seat, I’d give about 2-3 hours to be able to really enjoy it.

  2. 22/07/2017 / 04:52

    I lived in Edinburgh many years ago, this brings back fond memories. This place looks lovely too, my kind of place 🙂

    • 22/07/2017 / 13:38

      Newington has changed so much lately – lots of gorgeous little cafes and bars popping up! You’ll barely recognise it next time you’re back.

  3. Ajay
    22/07/2017 / 05:35

    I love the brick work places and that food looks yummilicious. That view is worth the hike up there !

    • 22/07/2017 / 13:44

      I’m with you on the brickwork Ajay- the attention to details in Southpour is what made me fall in love with it 🙂

  4. 22/07/2017 / 05:59

    I always had a feeling i would love Scotland, and this has confirmed it 🙂 you bring a great light to it with your writing and pictures 🙂 thank you

    • 22/07/2017 / 13:36

      Thanks Lloyd! Scotland is a second home to me – so I enjoy when I can help others fall in love with it too 🙂

  5. 22/07/2017 / 09:23

    I like the way you took us on a tour of the cafe before diving straight into the destination.The pictures are very appealing. The swans and the entire view is breath-taking. Cheers!!

    • 22/07/2017 / 13:42

      Thanks for the kind words! The swans are one of the hidden gems; you have to go all the way around the back to find them. Definitely worth the extra hike though.

  6. 22/07/2017 / 09:34

    Oh me and hubby would love Southpour! The atmosphere looks lovely and the food delicious. Then I read “live music” and I was done for!

    • 22/07/2017 / 13:43

      Southpour was amazing! We went back after our hike for a pint of Innes while listening to the music, so I can confirm it’s just as charming in the evening 🙂

  7. 22/07/2017 / 10:25

    What beautiful landscape, although I’ve had a bad experience with an angry swan before so your photo of them all made me a little nervous lol

    • 22/07/2017 / 13:46

      The view from the top of Arthur is AMAZING! It’s the best in the early morning; you can watch the city come to life below. And I usually keep my distance with them, but he swans here are so used to getting fed by passersby that they’re totally friendly.

  8. 22/07/2017 / 11:55

    What a beautiful view.. I would stay there forever :).. and I love the cafe, specially the industrial feel to it.

    • 22/07/2017 / 13:39

      I’ve easily spent entire afternoons wandering around Arthur’s Seat & The Crags. It’s easy to lose track of time in such a beautiful place 🙂

  9. 22/07/2017 / 13:43

    What an incredible day! Southpour looks exactly like the kind of bar I’d love to visit, especially to fuel up such a mammoth walk! Worth it for those views though. Incredible.

    • 22/07/2017 / 13:49

      The day could not have been any lovelier! I was totally surprised by Southpour; I had no idea it existed before going, but I’m so glad I stumbled upon it 🙂

  10. 22/07/2017 / 14:07

    “There’s something about sitting up there, gazing down upon the city and sea that gives you a clearer mind and sharper perspective.”- very well said. I have always felt the same. After reaching your destinations, before we start with the shutter clicks, taking some time to appreciate the moment is so important!

    • 22/07/2017 / 14:22

      Thank you for the kind words Madhurima 🙂 I have been making a conscious effort to be more present when I travel lately. I can remember traveling as a teen without cameras and phones, and the experiences always seemed a bit richer – I was experiencing moments just for the sake of them. Now sometimes I’ll find myself framing and arranging experiences before they’ve even happened. But hey, I’m working on it 🙂

  11. 22/07/2017 / 17:51

    What a beautiful view ! It’s must have been rewarding after that hike, I would have just seat there and enjoy It 🙂

    • 22/07/2017 / 19:39

      There’s nothing more rewarding than getting to the top of Arthur and finding your own little cliff to watch the world go by 🙂

  12. 22/07/2017 / 18:37

    Southpour is my local, I used to live on South Oxford Street which was just around the corner and had a fantastic view of Arthurs Seat. I’ve had the nori before and they were delicious!

    • 22/07/2017 / 19:41

      No way! I dated a boy who lived on Summerhall Place back in uni, so I used to go there all the time. There was a really great Spanish cafe next to Southpour for a while, and it just about broke my heart when I came back and saw that it had closed.

  13. 23/07/2017 / 10:17

    Scotland continues to amaze me! Beautiful landscapes, perfect for photography as well.

    • 23/07/2017 / 16:26

      It’s the most photographic place I’ve ever been to!

  14. 23/07/2017 / 15:16

    Scotland is so pretty – I haven’t been back for years. Those views are amazing! Southpour looks so cosy with the bare bricked walls and the comfy seating … great place to chill and have a drink after a hike! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • 23/07/2017 / 16:28

      You should go back sometime Lana! Southpour is such a great find, I’m glad you like it as much as I do 🙂

  15. 24/07/2017 / 08:18

    I love the way you have detailed your experience but what stood out for me was that the Southpour had a pub quiz. It seems a really cool way to engage with your guests! I like the innovative ideas people use to promote their product!

  16. 24/07/2017 / 15:38

    Seems like a very free place to enjoy in the summer as well. Will add this to the list when I travel to Europe next time. Cheers!

    • 25/07/2017 / 01:12

      Thanks Alex, I hope you enjoy it!

  17. Karyna McLaren
    24/07/2017 / 16:30

    This looks like the perfect day! The hike looks pretty intense, but the views were definitely worth it. How long did it take?

    • 25/07/2017 / 01:12

      If you’re looking to break a sweat, you can make it to the top in twenty minutes. It’s much more enjoyable to plan an hour or two (or even three) to wander around and take everything in.

  18. 16/08/2017 / 16:48

    That place looks so cute! It definitely takes some energy to get to the top of Arthur’s Seat!

  19. 16/08/2017 / 17:00

    Those lattes look so good! One of the first things we do when we visit a place is find a great, local coffee shop. I’ve never been to Scotland, but your post sure makes me want to go!

  20. 16/08/2017 / 20:31

    So lucky that the weather was good during your trip! When I visited Edinburgh last June, it kept raining all day and I did not have the right shoes to climb up Arthur’s Seat. If I come back here again, I’ll be sure to check out Southpour 🙂

    • 25/08/2017 / 15:19

      Oh no! I’ve been up Arthur’s Seat many, many times in the rain but it doesn’t have the same magic. When you go again I hope the weather holds up better for you!

  21. 16/08/2017 / 22:10

    This place is charming, I’ve been wanting to make my way to Scotland for so long now. Looks incredible!

  22. 16/08/2017 / 22:43

    Those lattes look amazing, and better yet how amazing to drink on there, I wanna go!~ FAbulous pics!

    Valerie

  23. Candiss
    17/08/2017 / 02:30

    Oh the food at Southpour looks awesome! Perfect fuel for a hike!

  24. 17/08/2017 / 09:58

    I don’t know which looks better… the food or the views!!

  25. Alice ford
    17/08/2017 / 19:35

    What a fun and relaxing hike. Scotland is a country I have yet to visit but it’s high on my list.

  26. 18/08/2017 / 18:42

    Wow such a pretty place and wonderful photos, thanks for sharing!

  27. 19/08/2017 / 02:19

    It’s mad to think that I’ve traveled all over the world yet I haven’t popped up north to Scotland yet, I have no excuses as to why but what am I playing at haha. Just reading this makes me want to jump in the car and head straight for the border lol…But just one thing…bright sunny days, are you sure? And Arthur’s seat looks like a great hike, views are amazing from these pics 😀

  28. 19/08/2017 / 05:03

    What a lovely place! The hike really looked great and the views from the summit must have been rewarding.

  29. 19/08/2017 / 16:34

    The bistro looks like a cosy little find! Love the sound of ‘Scottish fudge’ 🙂 The hike also seems quite interesting. I’ve heard you’ve to be very lucky to get nice and sunny days in Scotland, is it true?

  30. 21/08/2017 / 12:27

    Those oak smoked kippers “benedict” looks divine!! I’d definitely be up for trying that! I do love Edinburgh though haven’t been for a few years now, since my best friend moved from there over to Ireland – but hopefully I’ll go back one day soon! x

  31. 25/08/2017 / 19:46

    I have been many times in Scotland and it is a great place to travel to. Love your photos, super!

  32. 28/08/2017 / 06:52

    Southpour looks really lovely, I loooove the exposed brickwork and the whole design aesthetic they’ve applied. Looks like the perfect place to fortify before (and perhaps after as well) your amazing climb.

  33. 28/08/2017 / 14:12

    Sunny days are something pretty special in Scotland, I hear. Glad you got to walk the hills with some good weather. That coffee shop looks delightful.

  34. 28/08/2017 / 21:11

    That’s such a cute & pretty little restaurant! Love the chic look to it. The food looks like it gave you a good start to the day before your hike, too! 🙂

  35. 29/08/2017 / 01:25

    That restaurant is so cozy looking, I love the decorations! I’m tempted to fly out now and do their trivia night! Seems like a great stop before or after the climb too!

  36. 29/08/2017 / 05:50

    Food in that chic restaurant with exposed brick and industrial lighting really set the mood, didn’t it? What a lovely landscape for later! And that weather seemed so perfect too!

  37. Carolina Colborn
    29/08/2017 / 16:46

    I love that photo on the summit. I wish I could do the same!!!

  38. 30/08/2017 / 09:34

    Lovely place, I love the way they have decorated it and especially the use of type. We didn’t end up going up Arthurs Seat because the day we left to do that it was raining and you couldn’t even see the top!! Typical Scottish weather! Ahh well, always good to have another reason to head north again!

  39. 30/08/2017 / 21:46

    The view from the summit looks amazing! I think that’s one of the best ways to enjoy a city. Also, that cute cafe made me crave some coffee and desert. 🙂

  40. 31/08/2017 / 07:07

    I think it’s always wonderful to go back to an old fave and see how it’s changed. It’s not always for the better but is fabulous when it is. Southpour looks pretty cool to me and just my kind of place. Love the name too. Following my heart by going somewhere like this to hang out first and then heading off for some activity.

  41. 31/08/2017 / 21:54

    Cute restaurant. I would have picked the sweet corn and tomato dish as well. Great pictures!

  42. 01/09/2017 / 04:15

    I love how you realised you needed caffeine – that is totally how most of my adventures start! But looks like you chose a great place. Have never been to Scotland but my sister lived in Glasgow and I enjoyed hearing all the different sweat treats they had. The fudge sounds amazing! You would have needed the energy to get to that summit! What a view!

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