March doodles

March was a busy month. I made a couple of day trips (roughly six hour round trip) to Inverness for work and was lucky enough to have amazing views of the Cairngorms (mountain range near Perth) and the Highlands. These photos are just from my iPhone 5 on a moving train – that is how stunning Scotland is. Although I may be slightly biased. These views made waking up at 5:15 am worth it – that and a very large cup of coffee.

cairngorms

train trip to inverness

These photos were taken between 7-9 am north of Perth in early March. It was the first time that I saw snow all winter (I apologise for saying that to anyone who has spent the last 3-4 months in the polar vortex).

Leakey's cafe Inverness

On my second trip to Inverness, I visited an amazing independent book and coffee shop called Leakey’s near the train station. My bibliophilic heart went pitter patter as soon as I opened the door and smelled ink and paper (does anyone else love the smell of books or is it just me geeking out?). Leakey’s is an independent secondhand book shop with a cafe at the top of the wraught iron, spiral staircase. While you eat a homemade scone with raspberry jam accompanied with fresh tea, you can watch people perusing the used books while light streams in from the church windows. This bookshop and cafe set up shop in an old, unused church so it’s full of character. The staff are very friendly and the cafe prices are very reasonable. If you’re in Inverness and need a unique place to stop for a nice cup of tea or coffee, please support this  independent bookshop/cafe.

Ardoe House Hotel, Aberdeen

ardoe house hotel foyer

I also travelled to Aberdeen (roughly 2.5 hour drive) for a work event. We had a quick coffee at the Ardoe House Hotel just outside of Aberdeen. It’s a gorgeous Georgian house overlooking the River Dee and the surrounding hills. This hotel would be perfect for a spa trip or an afternoon tea with some girlfriends or your mum.

scotsman steps

scotsmans steps 2

After a busy month of work, I was lucky enough to take time off for some R&R. I decided to be a tourist in Edinburgh for a day. The Scotsman Steps (a shortcut from North Bridge to the lower level Market Street) were recently renovated. There are 104 different colours of marble as you stroll up the covered walkway.

chai latte at Kilimanjaro

We then grabbed a drink at Kilimanjaro (one of the best independent coffee shops in Edinburgh at 104 Nicolson Street) while waiting for the sun to go down so that we could see the installation Field of Lights by British artist Bruce Munro.

Field of Light exhibition in St Andrews Square

Munro’s fiber optic light installation is at St Andrews Square in Edinburgh from 3 February to 27 April. It’s best to go at sundown to get the full effect. It’s free and perfect for any age.

We ended our tourist day out with a beatboxing flutist on Princes Street. Festival season in Edinburgh is almost upon us! More on festivals soon.

How was your March? Wishing you all the best for April – I’ll be blogging about Cornwall later this month so stay tune for some sunshine and beaches xx

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