Edinburgh is a great place to live or visit if you like independent shops, delicious cakes and handmade goodies. I’m on maternity leave at the moment, and get a bit twitchy if I don’t leave the house every day. This means I’ve had plenty of time to explore the city and discover some hidden gems, as well as revisit my old favourites.
Broughton Street is one of those places which has lots of lovely independent shops, and is really central as well. It’s only five minutes walk from Waverley Station, and starts at the tram terminus on York Place. As you go down Broughton Street, you come to a place called Curiouser and Curiouser. They’re an independent gift shop with a particular focus on prints and cards. They also have a framing service so you can have your new piece of art framed in store. The shop stocks other items as well, including some funky Katie Abey pins, and adorable children’s plush toys. There’s also another branch out in Bruntsfield, on the other side of the city. I was very tempted by a glittery hippo or unicorn pin, and also admired some beautiful ceramic clouds designed for a child’s wall.
Further down the street, you come to Dragonfly. This is a boutique style gift shop, selling gorgeous and often unique items. The front of the shop is devoted to children’s things, such as vibrantly colourful Frugi and Blade and Rose clothes. I loved the leggings with funky stripes and sleepsuits with cute prints. There’s also a selection of dresses for adults, and a wide variety of gifts from the adorable to the super practical.
Over the road, you can find artisan homewares, clothing and jewellery in Concrete Wardrobe. They sell items from Scottish based or trained designers. There’s always a featured Maker of the Month, which for September is Jane Sedgwick, a wooden jewellery maker. You can also find screen printed textiles, knits from Collingwood Norris, and the wonderfully unique crochet creations of Laura from Lost in the Wood. If you’ve ever wanted an anatomically correct crochet heart or a taxidermy pug, this is the place to go!
Broughton Street isn’t just about gift shops though – as you head down the street you’ll find Kathy’s Knits. This is one of Edinburgh’s independent yarn stores and Kathy sells British yarns, several of which are exclusive to her shop. You’ll find Jamieson and Smith, JC Rennie and baa.ram.ewe yarns amongst others, as well as books from Scottish based designers Karie Westermann and Ysolda Teague. It’s well worth a look if you enjoy knitting or crochet, or just want to stroke some beautiful cashmere!
At the bottom of the street is a haven for those with a sweet tooth – the Marshmallow Lady sells her amazing creations, and you can cross the road to buy cakes for special occasions from Sweet Unique. You can even pick up a gluten free treat from Sugar Daddys. From here, you’re minutes from Edinburgh’s gorgeous cycle path network. You can take a stroll down to the Botanics, or enjoy the views on the Water of Leith path. It’s a lovely quiet part of the city.
There’s plenty more places to explore in Edinburgh of course, so in future blogs I’ll feature some more of the hidden gems across the city. I’d also love to hear about new places to explore!