This gem in the heart of the West End is the place to go for quirky gift ideas. Climb down the stairs into the mythical below street level store and as soon as you walk in, the sweet smell of their huge collection of scented candles will hit you. You can spend hours wandering aroudn their labyrinth of rooms, stuffed with lots of pretty things including toys, sweets, books and cookware. It's the perfect place to find a gift that is just a little bit different.
10 Stafford Street, Edinburgh EH3 7AU. Open Mon, Tues & Wed 10.00am - 6pm, Thu 10.00am - 7pm, Fri & Sat 10.00am - 6pm and Sun 11am - 5pm.
Follow the sweet smells wafting down the Royal Mile and you'll soon enough come across the Fudge Kitchen, selling a delicious variety of fudge in all the flavours you could imagine. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are always happy to let you sneak a taste - be sure to try their cranachan fudge, the shop's speciality.
With big generous slabs of yummy sweet fudge on sale, this is the perfect place to stock up on gifts... if you can resist the temptation to eat it all yourself!
30 High Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1TB. Open 10am - 5.30pm, seven days a week.
[Image Credit: Susie Lowe]
Searching for the perfect fitting jeans can be a real challenge. Thankfully that’s where ALC comes in. This Thistle Street boutique, Edinburgh’s first store specialising in women’s denim, aims to make finding the perfect pair of jeans possible. With a huge range of exclusive brands in store and the expert knowledge of owner Adele, you’ll be able to pick from a carefully chosen selection and find those longed for jeans that match your shape. If you’re still stuck though Adele will be on hand to share helpful advice on all things fit, fashion, fabrics and value. So relax, that perfect pair of jeans is closer than you think!
61 Thistle St, Edinburgh EH2 1DY. Open Monday–Saturday 10–6pm, Thursday 10–7pm. Sundays: Usually Closed. In August the opening hours will be 12-4pm.
This charming little homeware shop in Stockbridge is full of beautiful furniture, textiles and gifts. However, what makes this outlet really special is the way it is laid out: set in a Georgian townhouse, it has five rooms each circulating around a different theme of the house - the garden, library, bathroom, kitchen and living room are all covered. This is the ideal place to get that perfect gift, or find that little something special to make your mark on your own home!
8 Howe St, Edinburgh EH3 6TD. Open 10 am - 5:30 pm Mon- Sat and 12 pm - 4:30 pm on Sunday.
[Image credit - Armchair Books Facebook]
Get lost in this fascinating treasure trove of second hand books. With shelves that rise all the way up to the tall ceiling, and overflowing boxes on the floor full of intriguing literary finds, there are some real gems to be found here - all you have to do is take your time and look. Beware: in a place like this, the hours have a nasty habit of just melting away...
72-74 West Port, Edinburgh EH1 2LE. Open 10.30am - 6.30pm, 7 days a week.
Godiva, a colourful independent fashion boutique, is a shop of two halves. The front showroom is filled with one-off or limited edition pieces by local designers and independent brands while the backroom is home to a quality collection of vintage clothing. From back to front, the shop is a real treasure trove with gems to be discovered in every nook and cranny. So if you’re looking to fill your wardrobe with something unique that can’t be found on the high street then Godiva should be your go to.
9 West Port, Edinburgh, EH1 2JA. Tel: 0131 221 9212. Open: Monday - Saturday 10.30am - 6.30pm, Sunday 11.30am - 5.30pm
Bringing high-end fashion to the vintage haven of St Stephen Street, Kestin Hare is a former East Lothian lad and Leith School of Art student. His label, released under his own name, is cool and contemporary with a focus on UK production and materials. Since its launch earlier in 2015, the collections have already drawn attention and acclaim from the fashion industry and have earned Kestin a nomination for Scottish Designer of the Year in the 2015 Scottish Fashion Awards. The collections are designed in the St Stephen Street store in Stockbridge which boasts the full Kestin Hare collection alongside a range of carefully chosen accessories – it’s a must visit for gents who like to make sure their wardrobe stands out from the high-street crowd.
46 St Stephen Street, Edinburgh, EH3 5AL. Open Mon - Sat 9.30am - 6pm, Sun 11am - 4pm
Re-visit your childhood with a trip to Lickety Splits retro sweet shop on Jeffrey Street. When you etnter through their cheerful red doors you’ll be instantly awestruck by their rows upon rows of brightly coloured sweet jars. Take a closer look and you’ll discover countless old favourites from your school yard days - it’s a wonderful trip down memory lane. Treat yourself or pick up one of their colourful gift jars or bags for a friend.
Paper Tiger is the Edinburgh destination for exciting, innovative and distinctive cards, dedicated to creating collections of cards which inspire and excite. Alongside cards, the shops have a fantastic range of beautiful wrapping papers, books and small gifts. The stores also feature a growing collection of things for making your own cards. Paper Tiger is committed to offering their customers interesting and well-designed cards.
53 Lothian Rd, 0131 228 2790 and 6A/8 Stafford St, 0131 226 2390, Open Mon & Wed 9.30am - 6pm, Tues 9.45am - 6pm, Thu 9.30am - 7pm, Fri & Sat 9.30am - 6pm, Sun 11am - 5pm
Nowadays, guys seem to have almost as many lotions and potions on their shelves as the ladies and The Brotique is the place in Edinburgh for gents to stock up. Their Queen Street store specialises in a wide range of grooming products which cater to the modern man, including as many beard-based items as is imaginable! As well as all of that they have a great variety of quirky gifts, accessories and homeware products, many of which are by small, independent designers and labels. If you’re stuck for a gift for a “difficult to buy for man” then The Brotique will sort you out.
Top Tip: Look out for their banter-filled in-store events so you can mingle and share tips with other well-groomed chaps.
39 Queen Street, 0131 629 1303, Monday to Saturday 10am - 6pm, Sunday 11am - 5pm
Caoba is a quirky treasure trove of unique, handcrafted Mexican homeware, jewellery and more. From recycled glass moulded into Margarita glasses to patterned tiles, you’ll find plenty of vibrant pieces for your home hidden in this busy Stockbridge store. With strong Fair Trade beliefs and values, Caoba supports a variety of Mexican suppliers, often visiting them each year. The shop even sells Mexican tinned food, if you're planning to have a Mexican themed evening at home! Pickled Cactus anyone?
56 Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, EH4 1HJ. Open from Mon - Sat: 9:30 am - 5:30 pm, Sun: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm.
Purveyors of fine Scottish food, drink and gifts on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, this delightful store was recently voted as the number 1 shopping experience in Edinburgh on Trip Advisor. Take your time and browse through the gorgeous goodies on display and choose from traditional oatcakes, tablet and shortbread to blackpudding, healthy ready meals and a superb gluten free range. You can even buy a whisky barrel holder to stand your favourite tipple on. Looking for a special gift? Select some treats and they'll create a beautiful hamper for you.
Royal Mile, 263 Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8BQ. Tel: 0131 556 7194.
Opening Hours: 11am – 6pm
This light, white shop is barely a year old but it's a gift-buyer's delight, and its online version has been making art and craft blogs swoon for seven years. Inventive, idiosyncratic designs combine with high standards in one-off delights such as cross-stitch moustache cufflinks or camper van-shaped planters. Everything is handpicked and sourced by owner Rachael Lamb, and other treats include letterpress art prints, bags, jewellery and stationery, all by a mix of international makers and Scottish designers such as Sarey Poppins and Asking For Trouble.
43 Candlemaker Row, 0131-516 3264, Open Mon-Sat 11am-5.30pm, Sun noon-4pm
Take a trip down Thistle Street to discover Kakao by K. This lovely women’s clothing store is home to an exclusive collection of super-feminine clothes and accessories, all with a distinct Scandinavian flavour. Inside you’ll find great lines by Scandinavian designers and other exciting international labels, many of which aren’t readily available in the UK – so you can make a purchase with the reassurance you won’t find the same pieces on the high street. Store owner Karina, originally from Copenhagen, is really passionate about the clothing and accessories she sells so is always happy to have a chat and make recommendations.
45 Thistle Street, 0131 226 3583, Open Monday-Wednesday 10am-6pm, Thursday 10am-7pm and Friday-Saturday 10am-6pm.
An independent retailer specialising in women’s accessories and jewellery Covet opened its doors in 2007. They source brands from all over the world to bring their customers the best in design and quality. As well as stocking well established brands like Coccinelle they showcase both young up and coming designers starting out with their first collections, Euan McWhirter (Scottish Jewellery Designer) and International brands unavailable elsewhere in Scotland, Smaak (Designer bags from Amsterdam) and Lena Klax (French Jewellery Designer). They are also passionate about supporting brands that are designed and produced in the UK such as Jas M B.
Their other passion is customer service and they make sure that every customer that comes through their door feels relaxed and enjoys the experience, often with a glass of fizz in hand.
20 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EN. Tel: 0131 220 0026. www.thoushaltcovet.com Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 10.00am to 6.00pm, Thursday 10.00am to 7.00pm, Sunday 12.00pm to 5.00pm.
26 St Stephen Street, Edinburgh, EH3 5AL. Open on Tue - Sat: 11:00 am - 5:30 pm
Fabhatrix makes hats for every kind of hat lover. They specialise in quality materials and design that can’t be found on the high street. The hats are handmade in our workshop downstairs, so we will definitely be able to find something that is perfect for you. They offer specialist knowledge of sizing, styles and materials and encourage customers to come in try our various hats on and have fun!
13 Cowgatehead, EH1 1JY, 0 131 225 9222 Monday – Friday 10.30am – 6pm Saturday 10.30am – 5.30pm and Sundays 12-5pm
For a genuinely luxurious high-tea experience, nothing can currently beat this packed little shop selling, as you might guess from the name, teas and antiques. But if you don't have time to sit in and try the teas (and you'd need to book anyway as they're so popular), you can squeeze past the tables to sift through the ever-changing stock of antiques, including elaborately decorated cutlery and ladies picnic parasols, and then dither over dozens of green, black, scented, infused and special loose-leaf teas, and accessories, to buy. Once you've visited, it's guaranteed you'll want to shrink the whole shop and take it home with you.
17 Clerk Street, 0131-667 8466, Open Thurs-Sun 11am-7pm
The smell alone, even from the street, is unmissable. Once inside the narrow, tall original branch of this deservedly acclaimed small chain, it can be overwhelming, as can the looming giant rounds on shelves up to the ceiling. The vintage-style painted sign above the entrance may, like the Victorian-style brooms and brushes shop just down the street, suggest a quirky throwback, but this is about a very current obsession with fine new cheeses by dedicated local producers. Staff will be eager to have you try cheeses from across Europe and inventive new Scottish brie, blue and smoked varieties, while a small range of accompaniments, like breads, chutneys and meats, makes up a possible picnic.
30a Victoria Street plus branches, 0131-226 6215 Open Mon-Sat 9.30am-6pm, Sun noon-5pm
Explore Mr Wood's Fossils shop on Cowgatehead in the Greater Grassmarket and discover his incredible range of fossils, minerals and meteorites. The shop has earned an international reputation it's collection of ammonites, trilobites and dinosaur fossils which have been sourced from around the world. For would-be geologists who want to know more any of the items in the shop, their friendly staff are always on hand to offer their knowledge and expertise.
5 Cowgatehead, Grassmarket, 0131 220 1344. Open Mon-Sat 10am-5.30pm