Sunshine On Leith

We've been to Edinburgh more times than it's possible to count; but apart from the odd meeting, have never visited the Leith area. So, it was time for a trip.

We were surprised by its beautiful waterfront, and by just how much there was to do; without having to venture into Edinburgh city centre. Shopping, movie and dining complex Ocean Terminal has its home in Leith, as does the famous Royal Britannia ship and museum.

As we were going to an unconventional area of Edinburgh for us, we chose to stay in an unconventional establishment. We abandoned our usual luxury for the night to stay at the stylish and cultural bed & breakfast Wallace's Arthouse. It is part bed & breakfast, part art gallery space and part Wallace's home.

Its stark white decor and wooden floors puts all of the focus on the antiques, art works and assorted treasures from Wallace's world travels that fill every room. There is a story behind every single piece, and Wallace delights in recounting them.

From the moment you enter, you are made to feel as if you are staying with an old friend. His house is your house, and he even joins you for breakfast. This is a place that's great for the sociable and those who like to mingle and learn from their host. With only two rooms, you are in no way anonymous here; so if you have any hopes of seclusion or privacy, this isn't the accommodation choice for you.

Breakfast is continental, and Wallace puts on a real spread; with everything from freshly baked croissants to smoked salmon pate.

Rooms at Wallace's Arthouse are £110 per night. It is also worth noting that there are no TVs on the premises, that you need to climb several flights of stairs to reach the property and that all rooms have their own en-suite facilities.

For dinner, we ate at the popular Edinburgh Chinese restaurant Chop Chop. This family run business has restaurants in Leith and Haymarket.

This is a real authentic eatery that specialises in Chinese filled dumplings. The menu is divided into 'small plates' and 'large plates' and they recommended a good meal size to consist of either one large plate and two small plates each; or four small plates each. This is plenty- we stuck with their recommendation and couldn't finish everything.

Their prawn dumplings and chicken dumplings are amazing, and you are taught how to mix your own dipping sauce to go with them. They also serve the freshest Chinese fried rice that we have ever tasted.

For your large plates, we recommend the Northern Chicken (basically deep fried chicken in a sweet & sour sauce); and the spicy Stir-Fried Spicy Beef (beef strips in a thin chilli sauce).

Despite being full, we couldn't leave without trying their famous Sugar String Apples. These are Apple slices in a crunchy caramelised sugar and sesame seed coating. They are so sweet that we could only manage a few bites; but they were more than worth it.

The staff at Chop Chop are really friendly, and knowledgeable about the menu if you require any assistance. Full menus and prices are available on their website here.

Photo Credits: Wallace's Arthouse and Chop Chop images belong to each venue respectively.

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