Clare Lawler goes for a walk on the Southside, exploring the delightful quiet squares and side streets
as well as the main thoroughfares of Clerk Street and The Pleasance, which link Edinburgh’s ' Old Town with its suburbs.
As early as I700 the wealthy residents
of the Old Town chose the Southside as
the ideal rural setting for their country homes. Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags to one side and the Meadows to the other still afford a feeling of spaciousness and the chance to go barefoot in the park.
Today the area encompasses the many buildings of the Edinburgh University campus and is home to a large number
' of its students. The University provides
some of the Southside‘s most imposing architecture. notably the Old College (part of the sixth oldest university in Britain) adapted from a design by Robert Adam with its shining figure on top of the grand dome. The area caters for its varied population with a wide selection of bars. restaurants and shops.
Although its architecture cannot match the Georgian glories of the New Town. the Southside does contain some distinctive squares (such as George Square and St Patrick Square) and some interesting side streets. as well as rare and inviting shops.
In recent years the rejuvenation of the Southside has exercised the minds of the city planners. Among the many construction projects being undertaken on derelict sites is the building of the new Festival Theatre. When completed next year it will. together with the Queen's Hall. which continues to enhance its reputation as one of Scotland's best music venues. establish the Southside as one of the city‘s cultural focal points.
I Eden 44 St Patrick Square. 662 4497. As regulars have discovered. this enterprising sandwich shop has more to offer than the basic sandwich: filled rolls. a selection of homemade pates. lilo pastry flans and parcels (many vegan) and four varieties of soup daily. Owner Niki Iivans aims to provide good healthy food — everything is not only preservative free but also exceptionally tasty. Check out the range of preserves and herbal teas. 10 per cent student discount.
I Forbidden Planet 2/3 Teviot Place. 225 8613. Part of the expanding empire (Strikes Back) of Forbidden Planet stores. with a wide range of sci-Ii books and videos and comicabilia. as well as a vast selection of media tie-in material. Star Trek and Dr Who still remain the best sellers. Watch this space for forthcoming author euezits. vs itli Tad Williams and more promised.
I The Maltings 81 St Leonards Street. 667 5946. Recently refurbished from
75 The List 26 February—I l March I993
scratch. The Maltings places an emphasis on relaxed informality. The bar staff are friendly and the juke box well stocked. Enjoy a well-poured pint of cask-conditioned ale. safe in the knowledge that if you accidentally put your foot on one of the wooden stools. no pink-coated bouncer is going to throw you out.
I Nature’s Gate 83 Clerk Street. 668 2067. This established vegetarian restaurant is now serving cuisine with a Persian flavour. Tasty specialities include Zazi Korma (a mixture of spinach. coriander. beans and potatoes) and Kofftah (delicious rice and soya mince balls in tomatojuice). The only Persian restaurant in Scotland. their distinctive and subtle blend of spices and fresh vegetables makes for appetising dishes ofexccllent value. The ground floor shop remains well stocked with a wide range of macrobiotic and Japanese wholefoods. I The Odeon Cinema 7 Clerk Street. 667 7331. Opened on 25 August 1930 (Sean Connery‘s birthday). the Odeon was trumpeted as Scotland's finest cinema. The Grecian-style amphitheatre theme remains intact and the cinema has since converted to provide live screens. with Dolby Stereo and a hearing aid loop system throughout. A popular cinema for viewing the latest releases. and for extra 50 pence you can relax in style on the superior seats. Credit card bookings taken by phone. Cinemas 2 and 3 have easy access for wheelchairs.
I Psychomoda I 1 West Crosscauseway. 668 4605. Two weeks old. this shop is an outlet for Alison Harm. who designs and makes clothes
I ll CROSSCAUSEWAY EDINBURGH
A CELEBRATION OF CREATIVITY AND LIFE
"It’s authenticity makes it a brave venture." Michael Fry The Scotsman
14A NICOLSON STREET, (next to Royal College of Surgeons) EDINBURGH EH8 90H Tel: 031-556 6583
aunt r'. T'
g‘ A~b ROYAL
for men and women from recycled fabrics. Original and inventive. these unusual garments can be made to fit any size at no extra cost. Also a good line in hats and accessories. Following
through the recycled theme. the interior
has been ﬁtted out by Re-psyche: exhaust pipes. gear boxes and junk make for unusual mirrors and fittings. Worth checking out just to admire the design of this intriguing shop.
I The Queen’s Hall Restaurant (‘lerk Street. 668 2656. This spacious split~ level cafe serves home cooking that is
better than home; beef in red wine sauce and spinach and tomato lasagne come recommended. ()pen throughout the day (lunches noon-2pm). the Queen's Hall Restaurant is now offering a special supper ticket before classical and jazz concerts. liive pounds will get you an appetising hot dish. pudding and coffee. This versatile cafe with its walls adorned by changing exhibitions also makes an attractive venue for private functions.
I Scayles Music 8 West ('rosscauseway. 667 8241. Iimi
A SERIOUSLY IMPRESSIVE NEW BAR
CASK CONDITIONED BEERS SUPERB JUKEBOX PINBALL
81 ST. LEONARDS ST
Homemade Soups Delicious Filled Rolls Lots of Home Baking
Hol & Cold Drinks
Sovouries 8: Provisions
44 St Patrick Sq. Edinburgh Mon-Fri 8am— 4.30pm