Official Guide to Edinburgh

Simon Phillips

Simon Phillips 600 250

Proudly made in the UK.  Owner of luxury male underwear brand, Cahoonas, and male grooming range, Simon Phillips, tells us why Edinburgh holds such a special place in his heart.

What springs to mind when you hear the words ‘This Is Edinburgh?’ 

It's 5am in the morning. You've just come out of one of Edinburghs' clubs and the sun's coming up. You're standing on George street and in front of you is a rocking, great castle in the middle of the city and down the hill is the Firth of Forth. It never fails to blow you away.  Then you turn to whoever you're with and say "This is Edinburgh'... com'on let's get a cab" but there never are any, so you had better have good walking shoes.

What was the catalyst/reason for basing Cahoonas in Edinburgh?   

From a sporting perspective, this city has it all and the style too.  It’s got Murrayfield stadium, a running track, a velodrome, an olympic diving pool and two huge football stadiums and loads of golf clubs.  Mix this up with some amazing universities, huge parks and playing fields right in the middle of the city together with all the vibrant young people and you get a healthy, sporty, stylish crowd.  If you feel good, you look good.  That's a perfect fit for Cahoonas.  

The men of Edinburgh have certainly got style. What gives Edinburgh its own unique style and why?

There's such an eclectic mix of people from all over the world constantly changing and bringing new ideas. The worlds' trends and styles are just walking down the street. I love just sitting and having a coffee in St Andrew square and people watching. It's amazing and inspiring plus there's probably an art installation or a festival taking place in the square at the same time. 

What still surprises you about Edinburgh?

A lot of people forget how close we are to the sea.  Edinburgh's awesome - you can be on the beach eating a Lucas ice cream one minute and half an hour later emptying sand out of your boots in the Brotique Stockbridge, which is an absolute gem of a wee shop for blokes. It's even got a moustache doormat. 

What’s your favourite current trend in men’s fashion? Or What’s your one top tip to all those chaps out there?

My top tip would be to get yourself to Armstrongs and rummage through all the vintage stuff. So many unique pieces and so many combinations. I just love waistcoats at the moment. Sharp tailoring is back and cravats just add that little 'je ne sais quoi'. Also Walker Slater do a fine selection of full suits in tweed with collared waistcoats - you'll look the bomb.

A perfect day in Edinburgh ends with?

That's the funny thing about Edinburgh - the perfect day ends with a total surprise, something out of the blue. You get a last minute email or a phone call to go and see a fashion show or a private view at the Open Eye or the new Urbane Art Gallery on Jeffrey Street or you're off to 'Ha Bloody Ha' the comedy club. Then when the Fringe is on there's just so much to do and see that the day absolutely flies.  You look at your watch, it's 6am and you're still chatting in Bristo Square.  Time for a cab!  

Give us a tip as a local? Tell us about a hidden gem that most visitors to Edinburgh miss?

Well, right now it's got to be Panda and Sons. Go through the book case into the hidden bar - if you didn't know it was there, you'd probably walk right past it as it's disguised as a barbers. I also like Le De-Vin for their fantastic wine and cheese boards and Kay's Bar in the New Town is one of my all time favourites.   

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