LOVE LETTERS Edinburgh Festival

Flo o r h e h w a t c h t Fo rt h e K i t c h i n g rg h is t d sit a n h e city u b ca n vie w s of t d in P a u l E u o p laces in o w y r se it’s tiful. Th e v e h u rit e of c o ols. I lo C h e f u e of m y fa vo h e castle: it’s b ea u follo w er, d h ere all d a y a n v ey N ic h n fas hio h e a r n t H O t a t in d t rela x e vo t e sit t d r a n set b e hin y w a y, a d resta u h es, I ca n uld e a re alw a y s m a d I c o n d o ser a n t er s u h e b est a n n’s clo t w in rit es p e w seas o tic. I a m a real u u o e of t e of m y fa vo y d erfec t. Th e c h ef is a m a zin g a n n n h e a re o t all of t n efinit ely o v ery ro m a n u s o aft er c h ec kin g o nice. I t’s d o t w o rkin g. ecial, w hic h is p t. I t’s n I a m r a n resta u h ere, w h e n t o feel really s p 2 1 2 1 2 w a s t I a m oft e n r e s t a u r a n t . c o . u k d t c h i n g s E d i n b u r g h a n w w w . 2 1 2 1 2 r e s t a u r a n t P a u l M i c h e l i n s t a r r e c e n t

l y a w a r d e d a

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Niki King Jazz Singer I love the Edinburgh Festival. Every August Edinburgh is the place to be for thousands of artists and visitors from all over the world. I love the way the city comes to life and it is inspiring to see so many different music, theatre, dance, film, comedy and book events right on the doorstep. I love the way the festival has survived and continues to grow, producing new talent and encouraging new audiences. I have lots of great memories of performing at the festival, as well as seeing so many incredible shows. Considering the size of the city it is amazing to know that, every year, the biggest arts festival in the world is in Edinburgh. Niki King: The Billie Holliday Songbook, Electric Circus, Edinburgh, Sat 6 Feb. See

Ron Butlin Author Edinburgh, you’re the most walkable city I know. Unlike Big City London, where a spontaneous get- together has to be arranged three weeks in advance, you are compact and pedestrian-friendly. Most of our friends live less than forty minutes brisk walk away. We stroll across the Meadows for dinner, and to Stockbridge, and down Leith Walk and stagger home again afterwards, which helps the digestion and promotes a passable sobriety. In fact, you’re really an extended village. In Newington, where we live, we know almost all the people in our tenement and many in our street. We are greeted by name in local shops and restaurants and in the Post Office. But you’re not parochial quite simply, you let us all feel at home. See

Paul Kitching Scott Hutchison Singer, Frightened Rabbit My favourite spot for a bit of romance is the Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World out by Dobbies Garden Centre. It’s where I took my girlfriend on our first date and it obviously worked a charm. Don’t be fooled by the title, it’s not just butterflies and insects. They’ve got a marvellous wee lizard called Troy and a selection of snakes. After you’ve peeked at the beasties, you can go to the shop and buy your loved one a ’s gift there’s plenty to choose from:plastic Valentine’ spiders, pencils with wooden ladybirds on the top, badges depicting friendly moths. Following this, you can decant to Dobbies for a scone and a ginger beer. Frightened Rabbit’s new single, ‘Nothing Like You’, is out Mon 22 Feb.

22 THE LIST 4–18 Feb 2010