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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