Edinburgh is famed for its literary heritage, historic cobbled streets and charming architecture. But beyond the city’s majestic past lies a thriving scene of independent business owners offering a different kind of vibrancy. Whether it’s stylish wares or innovative design, here are the best places to shop, eat and simply be.
A world of ritual and beauty awaits in lifestyle store, The Method, located on St. Stephen Street in Edinburgh’s Stockbridge. Beautifully crafted lotions and potions are carefully sourced by founders and brother/sister team, Jodi and Dan, who combine their years of experience working in skincare and retail. Together, they launched an award-winning skincare brand, MODM, which is hand-blended in Scotland and stocked at The Method. Browsing The Method’s exquisite range of skincare products, jewellery and fragrances, including Maison Louis Marie perfume and Marie Jeanne candles, is the perfect antidote to the bustling city.
Independently-owned lifestyle store, Lifestory, is top of the list for lovers of Nordic style, Scandinavian design and local makers. Owner, Susan Doherty, curates a host of designers from around the UK and beyond, including Studio Arhoj, ferm Living, Lindform and Notem. Everything from furniture, textiles and décor to stationery, glassware and ceramics are authentically design-led and uncompromising in their stylish simplicity. Beautifully considered products for everyday needs makes Lifestory a favourite to browse and linger whether in their boutique brick-and-mortar store or online.
Druid is a small-batch candle and home fragrance brand specialising in natural remedies which bring us closer to our natural world. Founder, Harriet Aitken, was inspired to reconnect with nature and create cleaner lifestyle products centred on plants and seasons, such as fir needle from Canada, ginger from China and bergamot fruit from Italy. All their candles are hand-poured in Edinburgh using sustainable coconut wax, cold-distilled essential oils and natural cotton wicks to ensure their products are sustainable.
Holly Grows in Edinburgh’s Portobello is the first houseplant and lifestyle store offering all the greenery of a garden nursery but with a little something extra. Here, impeccable homeware goods, including candles, chocolate and jewellery, mingle with a contemporary collection of pots and plants ready to meet your every planting need. Owner, Holly, lends her green-thumbed know-how to eager plant lovers through a selection of workshops and in-store repotting sessions.
Vegan fashion retailer, Treen, is on a mission to unite fashion and lifestyle products that are sustainable and kinder to both people and the planet. Located in the heart of Stockbridge, the value they place on innovation spans the materials and ingredients of their every product through to the fabric of the space itself. The store’s warm, natural materials, like clay plaster and Scottish ash wood, complement Treen’s dedication to craftmanship and intention. Come for the fashion, stay for the architecture.
Hendersons on Barclay Place was opened in October 2021 by Barrie Henderson who wanted to continue the legacy of his grandmother’s original Hendersons on Hanover Street, which closed in 2020 after a 58-year reign as the UK’s longest running vegetarian restaurant. An institution in its own right, Hendersons continues the family ethos of “eat better, live better” by harmonising old and new with a fusion of classic dishes and innovative creations. Using locally sourced whole food and organic ingredients where possible, the team behind Hendersons’ revival fills a gap in Edinburgh’s dining scene.
Refuel with pastry at Lannan Bakery and choose from their delectable weekly-changing menu. Expect limited runs of exquisite confections such a spelt, almond and coriander seed cake with burnt honey cream; coffee, custard and caramelised milk chocolate pain suisse; or a fig leaf sponge with buttermilk and fig leaf icing and roasted apricots. If you fancy something savoury, their jambon-beurre baguettes are made from stoneground flour and filled with cooked and thinly sliced ham, salted cultured butter, French mustard and cornichons. Queues most likely, but most definitely worth it.
Golden Hare Books
No city break is complete without a browse through an indie bookshop to get your literary fix. Award-winning Golden Hare Books in Edinburgh’s Stockbridge stocks an ever-changing collection of nearly 2,000 fiction and non-fiction reads. Time your visit with their events and workshops programme and attend one of their author talks, book signings or their very own reading group.
Sustainability is high on the menu at The Milkman. Their specially selected roasteries are taking steps towards a fairer, coffee-fuelled future, including Girls Who Grind, Five Elephant and Cloud Picker. On espresso, they’re serving coffee from local roastery, Obadiah Collective, whose packaging is 100% compostable or reusable. Their sweets cabinet offers a perfect pairing of pastry or a slice of cake from a local bakery, including carrot cake from KiwiBakes or a peanut butter cookie from Fieldworks.
Stòr Lifestyle on Broughton Street is an ethical lifestyle atelier that sources beautiful products centred on quality craftsmanship, practicality and sustainability. Find minimalist homewares, handmade willow baskets, cosy knits, sheepskin rugs, candles, incense and dried flowers from their sister shop, Aspen Florals. One for lovers of neutral colour palettes, skilled artisan crafts and natural materials.