5 of the best whisky tastings in Edinburgh

Looking to enjoy a whisky tasting in Edinburgh? Here are five of the best places to go

.Scotch whisky and the capital go hand and hand, and as you’d expect by the sheer numbers of bars and shops dedicated to Scotland’s national drink, there are plenty of places to sample a dram or two.Here are five of our favourite places for whisky tasting in Edinburgh.

The Scotch Whisky Experience

(354 Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE)

If you are a whisky fan then the first stop on any visit to the capital (other than the always amazing Cadenhead’s shop), has to be The Scotch Whisky Experience.Truly immersive, you’ll learn all about the story of whisky and enjoy multiple options for drams.From the short and sweet Silver Tour all the way through to Platinum, which offers 90 minutes of whisky tasting and tutoring, there are tours to suit everyone and almost every budget.But if you’re looking for something more exclusive and plan on visiting with a group of ten, there are a number of more premium experiences also available.You can enjoy a Private Tutored Tasting for £40 per person or opt for the Blend Your Own experience to create your own whisky to bottle and take home for £70 per person.Alternatively, for those who are fascinated by Scotland’s rich distilling history there’s the Super Premium Whisky Tasting. Including four drams from vintage casks, the tasting will be led by a ‘Keeper of the Quaich’ and each experience is bespoke. It can be held for a minimum of 2 guests for £545 per person.

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Listen to The Cineskinny podcast!

The Cineskinny is the film review podcast from The Skinny – this week Anahit tells us about her new book BFFs, plus chat on Hello Dankness & Rye Lane

The Cineskinny is the film podcast from some of the team behind The Skinny – every fortnight we take some kind of look at the wide world of The Movies. We’re talking classic films, brand-new films, film festivals, the politics of film, arthouse thinkers *and* action bangers with loads of explosions.

Latest Episode

Anahit’s written a book! BFFs is about the radical potential of female friendship, so your best podcast pals are here for a pals’ chat about a pal’s book (except for Jamie, who is waylaid on another project we’ll tell you about later…)

Elsewhere, we take a big ol’ honk on Hello Dankness, the latest from mash-up nouveau-agitprop legends Soda_Jerk, ahead of its Glasgow Short Film Festival screening, and Anahit fills us in on the lovely Rye Lane.

New episodes of The Cineskinny are out every fortnight; listen below

Thanks to the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival for sponsoring The Cineskinny! hippfest.co.uk

Here are 22 words and phrases you’ll only know if you’re from Edinburgh

Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting was almost entirely written in Edinburgh (or more accurately Leith) slang

Like all big cities, Edinburgh has a language of all its own. Or at least that’s how it must seem to outsiders.

Bog – toilet

Bunker – worktop, kitchen counter

Cheesin: happy

Chore: To steal something

Chum – join on a journey (Chumming a friend doon the road)

Deek – look at

Dinnae – don’t

Embra – Edinburgh

Hud-oan – wait, as in wait for me

Haud yer weesht – be quiet

Ken – Know. (‘I ken what you mean’)

Feart – afraid of

Foostie – stale

Gadgie: usually used to describe a man or boy who engages in loutish behaviour.

Nash: Hurry up

Radge – crazy or uncontrollable (A person can either be a radge, ‘go radge’, or do something radge)

Reekin’ – drunk

Steamin’ – see above

Scoobied – clueless (Scooby Doo is rhyming slang for clue)

Shan – a shame, or disappointing (A bad day at work could be ‘well shan’). Can also mean unkind (‘that was shan saying that to him’)

Source: Here are 22 words and phrases you’ll only know if you’re from Edinburgh

Images capture Edinburgh’s Beltane Fire Festival celebrations, the May Queen and Green Man on Mayday

Edinburgh’s night sky burned bright to mark the coming of Mayday and summer as hundreds of performers gathered for the return of the Beltane, the largest celebration of its kind in the world.

The Beltane Fire Festival is a Celtic celebration of fire, new life and purity which marks the end of the darker seasons and the arrival of summer on Mayday.

The event brought together 250 performers, making it the largest celebration of its kind anywhere on the world, over the weekend.

Volunteers and spectators gathered atop the Capital’s Calton Hill to enjoy the festivities against a dramatic cityscape backdrop.

The event marked the return of Beltane for the first time since 2019 – the annual event repeatedly postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Calton Hill blazed with flaming torches, fire sculptures and a bonfire which lit up the National Monument. All the flames were, in a historic Beltane manner, lit by the tradition of neid-fire, a sacred flame started by friction alone.

Ahead of the celebration, Rosa Mackay, who took on the role of the May Queen and female figurehead of the night, said the return of the celebration and thousands of revellers felt “joyous”.

Ms Mackay said: “Beltane is a celebration of the coming of summer and this year we are also seeing this transition out of this intense time of isolation. It’s a joyous time.”

This year, the May Queen’s white and earth-tone costume was embroidered with hands, symbolising numerous themes affect women today and through history.

They represented the ‘grabbing’ of reproductive rights and the persecution of women accused of witchcraft throughout Scottish history.

See more photos at: 11 images capture Edinburgh’s Beltane Fire Festival celebrations, the May Queen and Green Man on Mayday

Edinburgh International Festival: The 2021 line-up

Anna Meredith
Anna Meredith

Laura Mvula, Nadine Shah, Anna Meredith, Damon Albarn, Karine Polwart, Floating Points, Kathryn Joseph, Caribou and tUnE-yArDs are just some of the highlights from the eclectic lineup of music coming to Edinburgh as part of the International Festival

by Jamie Dunn | 02 Jun 2021
Oh, how we’ve missed the electricity and communal thrill of live performance. After over a year of empty stages, we’re tremendously excited to see the festivals and venues we love revealing their plans to make the tentative steps back to something close to normality. We’re particularly excited for Edinburgh to once again overflow with art with the return of the Edinburgh International Festival this summer, which is back with a global celebration of music, theatre and dance taking place 7-29 August.

“The programme we are announcing today represents a carefully organised return to live performance,” says Fergus Linehan, EIF’s director. “It is a collaborative effort between those who live in our city, our artists, the team at the festival, our donors and stakeholders and all who will be coming along to our performances.”

The Comet is Coming by Fabrice Bourgelle
The Comet is Coming by Fabrice Bourgelle

As ever, Linehan and his team will be bringing a world-class selection of work to the Scottish capital, with 170 performances announced this morning, covering everything from classical music and opera to star-studded theatre, dance and spoken word. We’re particularly excited about the eclectic contemporary music lineup, which features an enticing blend of brilliant Scottish artists alongside international talent.

Anna Meredith, Damon Albarn

First to catch the eye are two recent Scottish Album of the Year Award-winners and Skinny favourites: Anna Meredith and Kathryn Joseph. Meredith helped open EIF back in 2018 with the stunning audiovisual piece Five Telegrams, and the composer will be back again this year to perform music from her second album, FIBS. Meanwhile, Joseph will provide beautiful ballads from her debut Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I’ve Spilled and its follow-up, From When I Wake the Want Is.

You’ll find more uber talented female voices on the bill with the soulful Laura Mvula, who’ll be bringing her brand of 80s new wave-inspired dance-pop, and Nadine Shah, who’ll be getting the chance to perform tracks from her fourth album, Kitchen Sink, in Scotland for the first time. Widely regarded as the voice of young African womanhood, Malian actress, musician and social activist Fatoumata Diawara, we’re told, will be tackling subjects such as “the pain of emigration, the struggles of African women and life under the rule of religious fundamentalists” with her first EIF performance.

Damon Albarn will be back at EIF this year accompanied by a band and string section. Expect performances of some of the iconic songs he’s recorded as part of Blur and Gorillaz, as well as from The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows, his current musical project inspired by the landscapes of Iceland, which he completed during lockdown and we’re tod explores “themes of fragility, emergence and rebirth”. And electronic music producer, DJ, and musician Sam Shepherd aka Floating Points will bring his euphoric live show to Edinburgh.

Folk, jazz, dance and trip-hop

Modern UK jazz will be well-represented at EIF this year with performances from KokorokoMoses Boyd and The Comet is Coming – the latter returning to Edinburgh with their explosive cosmic jazz rave. Scottish trad-heads, meanwhile, can look forward to Inverness-born fiddle player and composer Duncan Chisholm, Glasgow instrumental folk band RURA, instrumental trad trio Talisk, Gaelic supergroup Dàimh, all-female Scottish-English collective the Kinnaris Quintet, and Glasgow’s Breabach, who’ll be bringing their double bagpipes, Gaelic vocals and step dancing to EIF.

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