View of Edinburgh Castle from the window of The Lookout restaurant

Expat in Edinburgh: Month 15

After some back-to-back travels in May and June, I spent majority of July in Edinburgh chilling out and falling back into my old routine. It was a tame month compared to the few prior, but I still managed to squeeze in two weekend jaunts away.

What I’ve been up to

A weekend on the Isle of Arran. After months traversing mainland Europe and Ireland, I was itching to visit a new area of Scotland, and the Isle of Arran made for a perfect and relaxing weekend getaway.

The weather was pretty abysmal, so I wasn’t able to spend as much time exploring the outdoor pursuits as I would have liked. I did, however, become acquainted with Arran’s food and drink scene. Known for its freshly caught seafood, homemade cheese, and whisky, it’s not a bad place to spend a rainy few days.

Isle of Arran

Revisiting Central Europe. Cheap flights around the continent are constantly beckoning, and after perusing flights on Skyscanner one day, I impulsively booked a trip to Bratislava.

I love Central Europe – it’s one of my favourite regions in the world, and, after visiting Hungary, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia over the past year, it’s apparently an area of Europe I can’t seem to get enough of.

I loved Bratislava and left feeling genuinely confused as to why it’s often labelled as “boring,” especially when most people spend no more than one day in the city. It may not have as many attractions as nearby grandiose capital cities, but I found plenty of things to see and do, and still had enough time to aimlessly wander and stuff my face with potato-based foods. It was a fantastic trip.

Bratislava Old Town

What I’ve been eating

The Pitt is my new favourite market in Edinburgh; it’s a collection of street food vendors from around the city gathered together in a small nook in the gentrified neighbourhood of Leith. It’s full of foodie gems, and a few of my favourite eats were gyoza from Harajuku Kitchen, a tempura shrimp sandwich from ShrimpWreck, and bao buns from Rost.

The Pitt Street Food Market Edinburgh

The food in Bratislava was a definite highlight, and I had so many delicious dishes over the course of a few days. The country’s national dish – bryndzové halušky – takes the title of the best thing I ate during my stay. It consists of small potato dumplings mixed with a tangy, creamy Slovakian sheep cheese called bryndza, and topped with fried bacon. It’s ridiculously heavy and rich, and so tasty.

Bratislava bryndzové halušky

How did your July pan out?


  1. It’s pretty difficult to develop a feel for a city when you only spend a handful of days there. I’m glad Bratislava was able to stand securely on its own two feet. The national dish sounds heavenly! Reminds me of something I ate in Prague years ago. Don’t remember the name of the dish but hold fond memories of it.

    1. You’re so right – Barcelona was a city that left me feeling a bit confused and lukewarm after visiting for a few days – but I loved Bratislava from the get-go! I need to know the name of this mysterious Prague dish, especially if it’s similar to Slovakia’s national dish 😉

  2. Hi Ashley,

    Planning my next holiday next year to Scotland: any recommendations where to eat delicious and affordable food “where the locals eat” in Edinburgh or anywhere else in Scotland?

    Thanks and warm regards,


    1. Hey Stef, there are so many great options in Edinburgh! If you’re looking for Scottish cuisine, I’d recommend Mums, The Dogs and The Outsider; there’s a really cheap Thai place popular with students called Ting Thai Caravan; an affordable Middle Eastern restaurant called Hanam’s which is one of my personal favourites. Hope that helps 🙂

      1. Thanks Ashley, noted 🙂

        We are looking for local cuisine (minus any gluten for me) and coming from Malaysia, it’s always good to know there is a Thai backup plan 🙂

        Have a great day (is there also a heatwave there?)


        1. You’re welcome 🙂 Scottish food can be quite heavy on gluten, but there are gluten free options widely available at most restaurants! And no, there wasn’t a heat wave here. I heard London had temperatures into the 30’s the other week, but you’ll rarely (if ever) see those temperatures in Edinburgh, unfortunately!

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