Edinburgh in Autumn

By Laura McCulloch

Nobody will argue with the beautiful Autumn foliage that Edinburgh has to offer, and as the new season descends on the city, here are our favourite events on the calendar. We have got you covered with everything from fire to farming festivals.

Edinburgh Cocktail Week

Image by Erin Kirsop

Scotland’s largest Cocktail Week pours back into the capital in just under two weeks time, from Monday the 14th to Sunday the 20th of October.

Offering a more unique experience this year, ‘Camping with Cocktails’ will transform the festival square into an enchanted forest fit for cocktail enthusiasts. The new extension includes wigwams, fire pits, giant toadstools, pop-up bars and a starlit canopy.

The rooftop cocktail domes at the Glasshouse Hotel are another addition to the festival this year, providing Instagram-worthy views across the city’s skyline.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/edinburgh-cocktail-week-2019-tickets-53915786569

Edinburgh Sausage and Cider Festival

Back on the menu this October is Edinburgh’s Sausage and Cider festival on Saturday the 19th. The event at Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange boasts live music, a selection of craft beers and ciders, eating competitions and of course a selection of sausage meats from around the world.

https://www.seetickets.com/event/sausage-and-cider-fest-edinburgh/the-corn-exchange/1407823

Scottish International Storytelling Festival

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival returns on the 18th to 31st of October across various locations in Edinburgh, including the Scottish Storytelling Centre and the Royal Botanic Gardens. The annual celebration of live storytelling has described itself as ‘a warm,
friendly, invigorating experience, perfect for Autumn evenings’. This year’s theme ‘Beyond Worlds’ will showcase new and traditional stories, communications, music, dance and Canadian headlining acts.

https://www.sisf.org.uk/events/

Agriscot

Image by Sheila McColm

As part of an unsteady industry, Agriscot 2019 offers a chance for the country’s agricultural community to seek answers to the countless questions that farmers may share.

Now recognised as one of the premium events in UK agriculture, the Highland Hall in Edinburgh,
overflows every year with farming enthusiasts, as well as people curious to learn more about the industry.

A parade of Britain’s finest livestock, talks from industry professionals and trade stands from across the country will take centre stage on Wednesday 20th of November.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/agriscot-2019-registration-71257616449

Oktoberfest

West Princes Street Gardens will be transformed into a traditional Oktoberfest venue from 30th of October to 3rd of November. Aside from the beer, this event invites friends to celebrate food and drink and enjoy traditional live music inside a marquee fit for 1,200 people. Annually known to be extremely popular, this authentic experience offers student deals as well as Bavarian and VIP packages, ensuring there is something for everybody.

http://edinburgh-oktoberfest.co.uk/book-tickets/

Festival of Politics

The Scottish Parliament is welcoming a variety of leading public figures including Andrew Marr and Baroness Helena Kennedy to the 2019 Festival of Politics. Taking place from Thursday 10th to Saturday 12th of October at the Scottish Parliament, the event will focus on
future debates about important political and cultural issues. From Brexit talks, to the 2020 US presidential election, this is an opportunity for the Scottish public to contribute alongside MSP’s, journalists and commentators on some of the country’s largest issues.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dear-scottish-parliament-festival-of-politics-tickets-69273241129

Samhuinn Fire Festival

Image by Erin Kirsop

This fiery extravaganza perched on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill is a perfect way to get into the Halloween Spirit. The thrilling display is a modern replication of the Celtic New Year celebration, which presents a mythical story about the changes of Summer and Winter. Get
ready to wrap up this October 31st to watch dancing, drumming and acrobatics among other performances at the Samhuinn Fire Festival.

https://www.citizenticket.co.uk/event/samhuinn-fire-festival/

 

Five of the best food challenges Edinburgh has to offer

For some reason it’s particularly enjoyable to watch someone suffer through all manners of food challenges; from outrageous quantities of food to ridiculous hot hot heat. Equally mystifying is people’s unwavering desire to go out and do just that!

Scotland has a surprisingly large amount of food challenges. We just love eating that much. Below, I’ve gathered 5 of the most monstrous and difficult trials of the gut that we could find. If you like your meals to be more ‘Man vs Food’ than fine dining, take a look at some of these challenges right here in the capital.


WHAT: Kismot Killer Curry

TIME ALLOWED: One sitting

PRICE: £19.95, free if you finish the whole bowl

Kismot’s Killer Curry Disclaimer

This challenge comes with the biggest and scariest reputation on the list. It’s put 2 people in hospital in 2011 after they spent their evening throwing up and writhing in pain on the floor. Competitors are required to sign a legal disclaimer before taking part, a disclaimer that also encourages participants to pre-plan their suffering by putting toilet roll in the freezer for when they get home… Jeez.

Curie Kim, one of the participants taken to hospital, said: “It was very painful and felt like I was being chainsawed in the stomach with hot sauce on the chainsaw.”

The curry itself has been toned down a little since the events of 2011, but still poses a significant challenge. The curry contains 17 of the spiciest chillies in the world, and participants must give the restaurant 24 hour’s notice so that it can be prepared to its full strength.

If you want to have a peek before you attempt the feat, click here!


WHAT: Wings’ Armaged Wing Challenge

TIME ALLOWED: One sitting, then 30 minutes ‘burn’ time

PRICE: £4.20

Six wings coated in a sauce so hot it’s got 1.2 million scoville units of heat. To put that into context, your average Jalapeno has about 5,000 units. AKA, IT’S VERY HOT.

There is no time limit on eating the wings, but regardless of how long you take, from the second you’re done you have a 30 minute burn time. In this burn time you’re not allowed to move out of your seat or be sick, and the only thing you’re allowed to drink is beer or water.

Very few have defeated this fiery tongue battle and sat out the burn time, but those that do get two free bowls of wings a day for life. If you still want them that is…


WHAT: Taco Mazama’s Giant Burrito

TIME ALLOWED: 10 minutes

PRICE: £14.99, free if you finish

 

Burritos are often pretty hearty fare anyway but if you’re feeling extra hungry Taco Mazama can provide you with a supersized triple burrito. If you can polish it off in ten minutes, you’ll get the giant burrito for free and your photo on the wall. The fastest time at each Taco Mazama restaurant will then compete in a head-to-head eat-off at the end of the year to try and win a year’s free burritos. You better get practising!

Many professional competitive eaters have taken part, with one man finishing in only 2 minutes and 33 seconds!


WHAT: Boozy Cow’s Chilli Challenge

TIME ALLOWED: 15 minutes

PRICE: £28.50

You get 15 minutes to completely devour 1 chilli dog, 1 chilli burger, 1 portion of chilli cheese fries and 1 milkshake of your choice to cool down with during the challenge. Many have tried, many have failed, some have won!

The chef laces the standard chilli served in the Boozy Cow with Scotch Bonnet and ghost pepper sauce to ensure that the chilli is extra spicy for the contenders. Ghost pepper (bhut jolokia) was the first pepper ever to be registered to have over 1 million Scoville units and trust us, it packs a punch!

Across the restaurants, over 1500 people have tried the chilli challenge, and just over 400 have completed it successfully. That’s a 26.6% success rate. Easy peasy. Right?


WHAT: STEAK’s Man V Steak

TIME ALLOWED: 1 hour

PRICE: £160, free if you finish

Livingston FC footballer Keagan Jacobs struggling with the steak. Image credit: STEAK

Do you love steak? Lots and lots and lots of steak?

After you’ve signed the contract absolving the restaurant of liability from any health issues you might experience, STEAK will serve you up a 92 oz rump steak with five sides and three sauces.

Now this is an expensive one, but hey, maybe that will motivate you to finish it! You have one hour to demolish the slab of meat, sides and sauces if you want the £160 challenge struck from the bill, a t-shirt and your picture on display in the restaurants reception. Good luck!


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A Red Red Rose Street!

With annual and traditional celebrations being almost here, we are having a look at some different approaches to commemorate the life and art of Scottish biggest poet Robert Burns. They are all free and taking place in Rose Street in Edinburgh. Happy Burns Night!

In The Words of the Bard

The Rose Street has been decorated with Bard’s most loved quotes. Have fun to find them!

Bairns Burns Trail

6 Rabbie Burns inspired pictures have been hidden around Rose Street.  Find them and write down what poem they represent.

For our younger bairns, find the letter in each picture and what does it spell?

Handy guides can be picked up from the pop-up Burns Bothy at 116b Rose Street.

Street Burns

Celebrate Robert Burns’ life and work together with local musicians. They decorate the length of Rose St with the sounds of Burns and Scotland inspired tales. Entertaining audiences are traditional Scottish musicians: Tina Avery, Richard Jenkins, Calum Baird, Aaron Wright, Puddin n Mash, Euan Fleming, Erin & Briony and Greg Aiken.

Braw Burns

Wee ones will be encouraged to sing and create music together in a friendly, supportive environment, learning a classic Burns lament. This is unticketed, free and drop in – first come, first served.

Age: 6 month to 4 years

Side Burns

 

 

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