Restoration Yard. A shop, cafe, and now a space to care for your wellbeing.

What a treat it was to attend the launch of a brand new space in one of my very favourite places, Restoration Yard in Dalkeith, just outside Edinburgh. These days, if you peek upstairs behind a door in the shop’s inspired homewares/design section, you’ll find a new, brightly lit loft with wooden beams, its skylight and alcove windows overlooking the green surrounds of Dalkeith Country Park…

The ‘Wellness Lab’ is what it’s called, and whether via yoga class, mindfulness session, pilates, CBT or even classes for the benefit of kids/babies, wellness is what you’ll achieve by attending one of the many classes on offer in this calming environment and studio space. READ MORE

Artisan Roast / The White Petal Company. A shared retail space creating a new kind of community.

Artisan Roast and White Petal Company, Edinburgh via Unique Boutique

Behind the big picture windows of a chic, dark shopfront, Edinburgers have spotted something new in Stockbridge Village: 1. a giant fridge full of flowers, lit up like a beacon on Edinburgh’s dark winter afternoons 2. a scattering of leafy green plants on tall wooden trollies 3. a big, bright, shiny espresso machine and 4. a bunch of contented coffee drinkers.  Many have wondered what strange hybrid of retailer has colonised Stockbridge.  Some walk on, slightly suspicious, while a few bravely cross the threshold into a different kind of retail space, as yet unseen in our city. READ MORE

21st Century Kilts. A ‘radical evolution’ led by an inspiring revolutionary.

21st Century Kilts.  48 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EN

21st Century Kilts, Edinburgh, via

When I first moved to Edinburgh, dark mornings of ‘dreich’ Scottish weather were brightened by an unusual sight on the school run.  A smiley, young, bearded dad on a bicycle, cute son bringing up the rear in his own bike seat:  a nice enough scene in itself.  But the really good bit was that rain or shine, whatever the season, this chap was always wearing a kilt.  Not just any old kilt.  Never a traditional, run-of-the-mill tartan kilt.  No long white socks, furry, hanging sporran or shiny-buttoned ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ jacket in sight.  No.  The kilts this guy wore — every single day, riding that bike — were made in nice heathery tweeds, a smart grey wool pinstripe, sometimes even army camo fabric, blue denim or black leather.  Their details were eye-catching, too:  some featured big external detachable pockets, reminiscent of cargo/utility trousers, while the trims, linings and often the undersides of the kilt’s pleats showed a flash of eye-catching, contrasting fabrics.  He also wore his kilts in a striking, uniquely casual way, with slouchy wool socks, lovely big leather boots (laces artfully undone), and a signature ‘airline seatbelt,’ low-slung round the waist.  On the top half, he wore whatever you’d normally wear with a pair of jeans – a leather jacket, a wooly jumper, a cotton shirt with the sleeves rolled up, sometimes with a well-fitted, shorter-cut wool jacket or waistcoat.  And of course, for the school run, a florescent ‘high-vis’ jacket, flung over it all.  It didn’t take long to find out that this enigmatic figure was Howie Nicholsby, owner of Edinburgh’s 21st Century Kilts. READ MORE

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