People & Places: The Portobello Experience

Life is different by the sea. Time is a more observable and vocal part of day-to-day existence.

It’s in the rhythmic beat of the waves. In the inevitable turning of the ocean tide. 

Living here is in tune with the flow dictated by the sea. A more gentle, unhurried and, dare it be said, natural way of being. There are no 1pm guns here. No clocks set five minutes early.

Portobello, though a part of Edinburgh, undoubtedly has its own unique taste. Its seaside town charm is pleasantly intoxicating and made all the more delicious by its quietly nostalgic flavouring.

So let us take you now, if you’ll permit us, to a side of the city you may not have considered. That you may not have even thought a part of Edinburgh’s beautiful tapestry. 

What makes Portobello so wonderfully what it is?

Let’s take a look.

Portobello Beach: As soon as you mention the name Portobello, there’s only one thing that’s going to pop into the head of anyone who knows anything about the place: Portobello beach. This long stretch of golden lusciousness can seem a million miles away from the tooting and hooting of Princes Street, but, as a matter of fact, it’s actually a quick bus trip away and very much a part of Edinburgh’s fabric and history. If you love the smell of the salty sea air, a thoughtful walk along the crispy sand or sunbathing on a beach towel on a scorching summer day, then head down to the city seaside and remember what it was like to be young and trouble free. Ice cream? One flake or two?  

The Beach House: What’s better than a cafe? A cafe by the beach, of course! Just imagine it. Sitting outside in the early morning sun, sipping on your first cup of coffee, listening to the waves gently lap up against the shore. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, wake up and smell the Eggs Benedict people! Because this dream is a taste-bud teasing reality! The Beach House sits right on the Portobello promenade and is probably the most popular place in the area to chill out with some lunch and enjoy the view. Whether you sit inside or outside, want a frothy cappuccino or one of their delicious desserts (they make their own gelato!), there’s really only one place to go. And that’s The Beach House. So, pull up a pew and make yourself comfortable. It’s going to be a beautiful day.

Portobello Swim Centre: You may have noticed that there is a bit of a theme going on here with regards to this area: water. It is, quite undoubtedly, a prominent feature around these parts. And so, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to learn that Portobello has a quite fantastic swimming pool to take advantage of if you fancy a cheeky dip and a wee bit of practice on your backstroke. Now, yes, we know, you have Portobello beach right there and an entire ocean to dive into. But, let’s face it, the weather is never entirely on our side and a swimming pool is also a lot less chilly and a lot more safe. Portobello Swimming Centre is really quite amazing. Seaside views and Victorian Baths? Count us in! 

The Portobello Bookshop: Who doesn’t like a good bookshop? Here in Edinburgh, we have a right royal tonne of them. Well, we are a city of literature after all! And, here in lovely Portobello, things are simply no different. If you love browsing the shelves, peeling back the pages and letting your imagination run wild, then just head on down to the Portobello Bookshop and let your dreams come alive. Independent, airy and with enough quality literature to keep any bookworm satisfied, it’s an absolute hidden gem of the town. Let’s get reading!

Foresters Guild: After a hard day of surfing, sunbathing and sucking in that salty sea air, you might be right about ready to relax in a handsome bar and enjoy all that a quality establishment has to offer. Well, dear reader, you are mightily in luck. By no means is this the only option for you, but we do highly recommend you give the Foresters Guild a chance when it comes to identifying your favourite Portobello evening haunt. With some utterly lip-smacking food and a joyous selection of refreshments to choose from, this family friendly pub is a delight, both inside and out (check out the beer garden – They have beach huts!). For the super hungry out there we’d definitely point you towards the epic Forester’s Beef Burger. Wow!

Portobello is an extremely popular location with locals. Quick and easy to get to, it’s a lovely day out for all and a change to the city centre activity.

Some love it so much that they even decide to move there full time…And who could blame them?

So, go and pay it a visit. We promise you, it’ll be a day to remember.

From everyone here at Belvoir Edinburgh, we hope you are all well and that you have a wonderful week.