Edinburgh, Old Town, 2003
Photo of shop selling deep-fried Mars bars on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh
The main artery of the old town is the Royal Mile, which runs from the top of Edinburgh Castle down to Holyrood Palace. The Royal Mile is a very touristic street, but if you avoid the tourist shops it's okay. I think the best part of the old town is the Grassmarket and Victoria Street. There are about a dozen restaurants on the Grassmarket (we love Petit Paris) and often go there for lunch. After a relaxing lunch we usually take a stroll up Victoria Street and look at the quirky little shops. We usually stop in at I.J. Mellis, Cheesemonger, to buy some great French cheeses.
Another place to note on the Grassmarket is a cafe called "Made in Italy". It is right next door to Petit Paris (pictured) and is one of the few places to get a decent coffee (or hot chocolate, mmm) in the evening. It is usually open until around 11pm and also serves cakes, pastries and very nice pizza. If you're like me and you like to sit in a cafe after a film, then take note: unless you know where to look, you'll only find pubs open at night in Scotland. There is no cafe culture. People here are more likely to drink pints of beer after a film instead coffee.