Think of Edinburgh and the words ‘tartan’ and ‘shortbread’ spring to mind. But the Scottish capital has much more to offer, including a shopping scene that could rival any European city. Whether you’re looking for big department stores or funky boutiques, Edinburgh has it all and given the compact size of its city centre, you can cover a lot of ground in a short time.
Here are some of the coolest places in Edinburgh to spend your precious pounds:
If you’re feeling flush with cash, Harvey Nichols is a one-stop-shop for all your glamorous needs. The Edinburgh branch of the famous department store chain is home to four floors of cosmetics, designer clothes and shoes, including hard-to-find make-up brands such as Charlotte Tilbury and Rodial. It also boasts stunning views over the picturesque St Andrew Square.Source
21st Century Kilts
No trip to Scotland is complete without trying on a kilt. For those after something more funky than traditional, try 21st Century Kilts. Designer Howie Nicholsby works with leather, denim, camouflage and pinstripe material for a new take on the age-old Scottish ‘man skirt’. His creations have graced the thighs of celebrities including rock star Lenny Kravitz and actor Vin Diesel.
And if a kilt doesn’t satisfy for your urge for things Scottish, head to Anta – a store packed with beautiful, locally made fabric, home wares, furniture and accessories all with tasteful tartan motifs. The wool used for the carpets and tweeds is sourced in the Western Isles of Scotland and the oak furniture is made in the Highlands.
In need of a sugar boost? Stop by Cuckoo’s Bakery for a snack to keep up your shopping energy levels. Grab a coffee and one of their 12 daily cupcake varieties, which include Bailey’s and white chocolate, Mars bar cheesecake and chocolate chip cookie dough. Don’t forget to grab a few to go.
Miss Katie Cupcake
Also on a baking theme is Miss Katie Cupcake. However, instead of sweet treats you’ll find custom-made jewellery with a quirky tea-party theme. Designer Katie-Jean Simmons makes whimsical rings, earrings and pendants from recycled porcelain.
Make sure you’re well shod by visiting Helen Bateman, an independent boutique with a unique range of designer shoes. Since 2000, Bateman has been making beautiful, original and high quality footwear, bags and accessories in a range of vibrant colours and textures.
Socially-conscious shoppers should head to ICE, which stands for Inspiring Creative Entrepreneurs. The store showcases handmade items, all created by artists and designers living in Scotland. There is art, fashion, jewellery, home wares and much more to choose from.
Armstrongs Vintage Emporium
In the market for something funky and retro? Try Armstrongs Vintage Emporium, which is stuffed with articles such as cute ’50s prom dresses, kitsch kaftans and garish ’80s gear. It’s the best place in town to stock up if you’re off to a fancy dress party. Source
The Edinburgh Bookshop
For a more cerebral experience visit The Edinburgh Bookshop – an award-winning independent bookstore close to the university. It’s a cosy spot for bookworms seeking an intelligent selection of titles rather than the usual mainstream fare. They also host regular writers’ workshops, author visits and story time for kids.
Dedicated fashionistas need look no further than Cruise, a swanky boutique with a selection of carefully curated designer lines including Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and Jimmy Choo. It’s also the best place in town to shop for fashion-forward men’s clothing.
Finally, if you’ve worked up a thirst at the end of your shopping marathon, drop into the bar at Tigerlily boutique hotel, conveniently located in the heart of the city’s shopping and dining district. With 150 cocktails to choose from, it might be worth settling in for the night.