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Arusa Qureshi

Arusa Qureshi

Writer, Time Out Edinburgh

Arusa Qureshi is a culture writer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was previously Time Out's Edinburgh correspondent, and has written for the Guardian, NME, Clash and The Scotsman. She is also the editor of Fest Magazine, covering Edinburgh Festival. 

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Articles (33)

The 18 best breakfast and brunch spots in Edinburgh

The 18 best breakfast and brunch spots in Edinburgh

There’s a reason why breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day. The Scottish capital does it brilliantly, with plenty of places for morning diners to soak up their sins from a night at one of the city’s many whisky bars or clubs, or to kick-start the day with a strong cup of coffee before packing in some sightseeing.  Known for its vibrant food and drink scene, Edinburgh naturally has an abundance of breakfast options: from restaurants that serve up a full Scottish breakfast, haggis and all, to healthy veggie choices with the freshest of ingredients. So, whether you’re longing for a good ’ol greasy spoon or would rather opt for one of the city’s more swanky joints, look no further. Here are the best breakfast and brunch spots in Edinburgh. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Edinburgh

The 10 best clubs in Edinburgh for a big night out

The 10 best clubs in Edinburgh for a big night out

While the Scottish capital is known for being steeped in history, that doesn’t just apply to medieval buildings and museums. Edinburgh also has a rich history when it comes to nightlife and clubbing, from former disco haven Cinderellas in Stockbridge to The Venue on Calton Road, which hosted the legendary Pure for over a decade.  These days, there are still those special few clubs that are intimate and under-the-radar, drawing in crowds from all over for their unrivalled DJ line-ups and fabled parties. For an unforgettable night out in the city, our run-down of the absolute best clubs in Edinburgh will tell you where you need to go. Just take a look. RECOMMENDED:🍻The best bars in Edinburgh🍸The best cocktail bars in Edinburgh🥗The best restaurants in Edinburgh🍔The best cheap eats in Edinburgh This piece was written by Arusa Qureshi, a writer based in Edinburgh. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 28 best things to do in Edinburgh right now

The 28 best things to do in Edinburgh right now

We all know that Edinburgh is a great place to visit in August, when the city hosts the Fringe: the world’s largest arts festival, bursting with hundreds of theatre and comedy shows. But if you’d rather visit at another time, fear not: the Scottish capital is an excellent place to explore all year round.  From tucking into its top-notch restaurant scene and exploring charming boozers to navigating its rich, fascinating history and checking out the city’s busy cultural offerings, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Oh, and did we mention the scenery? Absolutely braw (that’s the Scots word for ‘glorious’).  So, whether you’re planning a quick getaway, a longer holiday or even a Fringe-long trip, you won’t be short on options. Better get packing: here are the best things to do Edinburgh. RECOMMENDED:🪩 The best clubs in Edinburgh🍹 The best cocktail bars in Edinburgh🏨 The best hotels in Edinburgh🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Edinburgh🏰 The best attractions in Edinburgh This guide was last updated by Time Out’s features editor Chiara Wilkinson, who is originally from Edinburgh. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 35 best restaurants in Glasgow

The 35 best restaurants in Glasgow

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again – Glasgow’s food scene is absolutely thriving. And it’s come a long way fast; the city now has ten Michelin-starred restaurants, but its first ever was only awarded in 2021. That’s three years of Glasgow finessing its food offerings, and we’re reaping the benefits. From old-school restaurants with cult status to small plates, seafood and a Hanoi canteen, there is quite literally something to suit every taste here. Go on, indulge. Here are the best restaurants in Glasgow right now.  Recommended:📍 The best things to do in Glasgow🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Glasgow🍳 The best breakfasts in Glasgow🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 The best hotels in Glasgow This guide was recently updated by Glasgow-based writer Laura Menéndez. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 30 best things to do in Glasgow right now

The 30 best things to do in Glasgow right now

Glasgow is a perfect blanace of a city. Cracking live music venues and nightclubs. Bars full of character. An ever-growing young creative community keeping the party going. But then it’s stuffed full of Victorian architecture, museums and history.  Here you’ll find fantastic restaurants, great attractions and scenic strolls for days. In fact, you might just find yourself wanting to move here full time (everyone else is doing it). From green space to vintage shops, here are the best things to do in Glasgow right now.  RECOMMENDED:🍔 The best restaurants in Glasgow🍸 The best pubs in Glasgow🏨 The best hotels in Glasgow🏩 The best Airbnbs in Glasgow This guide was recently updated by Glasgow-based writer Laura Menéndez. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. This guide includes affiliate links, which have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines. 

The 12 best museums in Edinburgh

The 12 best museums in Edinburgh

It shouldn’t come as a great surprise to discover that Edinburgh houses a wealth of culture across its gorgeous streets. The Scottish capital is an excellent starting point for grappling with the Scots’ proud history and fearless future, with a few quirky extras thrown in for good measure. As any great capital should, Edinburgh’s museums do a grand job of shining a light on what makes the nation tick. The best museums in Edinburgh are just another fabulous reason to add this tremendous city to the bucket list. Auld Reekie (Scots for ‘Old Smoky,’ an affectionate nickname for Edinburgh) is about enjoying the good things in life, but it is also about digging deep into history to understand who we are. RECOMMENDED:🖼️The best art galleries in Edinburgh🌤️The best things to do in Edinburgh🏰The best attractions in Edinburgh🏖️The best beaches near Edinburgh This piece was updated by Arusa Qureshi, a writer based in Edinburgh. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 15 best attractions in Edinburgh

The 15 best attractions in Edinburgh

If you’re new to Edinburgh, it can be hard to know where to start. From a castle in the middle of the city to a palace a mere mile away, it can feel like there’s something worth exploring everywhere you turn. Even for locals, it’s sometimes easy to forget exactly what’s on your doorstep, whether it’s museums and art galleries packed with history, penguin parades or tea with waterfront views. So here’s our pick of the best attractions in Edinburgh – whether you’re a first-time visitor or if you’ve lived here all your life. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Edinburgh This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The 18 best things to do in Edinburgh's Old Town

The 18 best things to do in Edinburgh's Old Town

Edinburgh, you are a real charmer. The Scottish capital is a volcano of delights, packed with culture, history, heritage, and good times, not to mention one of the best food and drink scenes in Europe. Also, that volcano bit wasn’t just for effect; there is an actual volcano here, albeit an extinct one. Edinburgh is at its most ‘Edinburgh’ in the Old Town, the self-explanatory district that gave the city its beginnings. Edinburgh Castle is worth every speck of attention it receives, while the aforementioned food and drink scene is on another level here. This is your ultimate guide to Edinburgh’s Old Town, from morning coffee to the morning, with plenty of things to do in between. RECOMMENDED:🪩 The best clubs in Edinburgh🍹 The best cocktail bars in Edinburgh🏨 The best hotels in Edinburgh🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Edinburgh At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 34 best restaurants in Edinburgh you need to try

The 34 best restaurants in Edinburgh you need to try

‘Scran’ is the old Scots word for ‘food’. Historically, it was used to refer to food of ‘an inferior quality’, but these days, we’d argue that’s no longer the case. In fact, we can bet you’ll find all sorts of delicious scran to get your teeth stuck into when visiting the Scottish capital – you probably won’t know where to start. Edinburgh’s food and drinks offering is well respected, with a buzzing hospitality scene that attracts some of the best chefs in the country. What’s more, many new, exciting ventures have popped up since the pandemic, offering everything from super-fresh seafood and gorgeous local produce to daring twists on international flavours and innovative plant-based dining.  So whether you want to go all-out with an elaborate Michelin-starred meal or would rather fill up with some loaded focaccia at a mouth-wateringly good sandwich shop, the city has you sorted. Here’s our pick of the top restaurants in Edinburgh, which are all well worth your attention (and bellies) if you’re on a trip up here. RECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in EdinburghThe best brunch in EdinburghThe best cheap eats in Edinburgh

The 15 best bars in Edinburgh right now

The 15 best bars in Edinburgh right now

The Scottish capital has it all: majestic landmarks, sites of historical wonder and overwhelming beauty. But when the sun goes down, the city also has a lively and colourful nightlife to behold – nobody does it like the Scots, so they say. To warm yourself up ahead of a sweaty night in one of Edinburgh’s best clubs, why not down a few tipples in some of the many bars it has to offer? From buzzy speakeasies to swanky cocktail joints, the city is ripe for spending days floating between venues, savouring all manner of recipes and concotions across its burgeoning drinking scene. Buckfast in a cocktail? A vending machine for ingredients? The choice of over 400 gins? Edinburgh has it all. Whether you’re trying to impress with something high-brow or looking to loosen up in a unique and quirky dive-bar, you’ll find what you’re looking for from this list of the best bars Edinburgh has to offer.  RECOMMENDED: 🪩 The best clubs in Edinburgh🍹 The best cocktail bars in Edinburgh🍴 The best restaurants in Edinburgh🏠 The best Airbnbs in Edinburgh Chiara Wilkinson is Time Out’s features editor, originally from Edinburgh. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 24 best pubs in Edinburgh

The 24 best pubs in Edinburgh

Edinburgh has plenty of cracking pubs to warm up in. From fancy booxzers with 350 beers to choose from to low-key local hangs with excellent live music, this city boasts an abundance of cherished traditional boozers and ever-emerging new establisments. So, whether it be a casual catch-up, a sophisticated date night or an all-out celebration, there’s a boozer here for you.  Plus, there’s more to a good pub than just it’s liquid offerings. Our carefully curated selection features venues with intriguing histories, warm and knowledgable staff, charming beer gardens, cult film screenings and live traditional Scottish music.  So, ready to decide your destination for the evening? Our list of Edinburgh’s best pubs should have you covered. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in Edinburgh This guide was last updated by Time Out’s features editor Chiara Wilkinson, who is originally from Edinburgh. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 13 best afternoon teas in Edinburgh

The 13 best afternoon teas in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is dripping with grandeur. Given the castle towers majestically over the city’s splendid buildings, and there are gorgeous palaces and galleries dotted throughout the streets, what better place is there to get a flavour of high society? And thankfully, Auld Reekie boasts a splendid roster of cafes, hotels and moving vehicles (we’ll explain later) offering posh sandwiches, scones, and even some fizz, if you’re feeling really fancy. So without further ado, here are the Scottish Capital’s finest spots of a drop of tea and a slice of cake. RECOMMENDED: 🥐The best breakfast and brunch spots in Edinburgh🍝The best restaurants in Edinburgh right now🥂The very best bars in Edinburgh At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

News (8)

The Edinburgh Fringe is back – but what do the locals think?

The Edinburgh Fringe is back – but what do the locals think?

What is a festival city without its festivals? When Covid-19 and the resulting lockdowns forced widespread cancellations and postponements in the creative industries, this was a question many asked in Edinburgh. As the world’s leading festival city, it has become synonymous with culture, thanks largely to annual celebrations that immerse the city in art and performance from across the globe. But what would this haven for the arts look like without the events that give it its reputation?  ‘It was heartbreaking for me both as a local and as somebody in the industry,’ Julia Amour of Festivals Edinburgh explains. As the director of the umbrella organisation that connects Edinburgh’s major festivals, Julia and her team have had a unique insight into how the city has dealt with the effects of Covid. ‘To stay safe, we needed to stay isolated and stay apart, and cities are about gathering places, so it all felt unnaturally quiet. People didn’t have those concentrated moments of celebration to look forward to and to look back on. It was a real kind of character change for the city.’ With events on the whole starting to reappear in 2022 at near-normal capacity, it seems fitting that the Edinburgh festivals will see a grand return in what is the Fringe’s 75th anniversary year. The cancellation in 2020 and the smaller-scale programmes last year removed that familiar buzz. But as performers ready themselves for their Fringe runs and audiences prepare for the arrival of world-class artists

7 eco-friendly businesses and projects we really rate in Glasgow

7 eco-friendly businesses and projects we really rate in Glasgow

Finally, after a year’s delay due to the pandemic, COP26 kicks off in Scotland this weekend. The leading global forum on climate change feels more urgent and crucial than ever. And so it’s only right that world leaders are gathering to review their emissions targets – and (hopefully) halt the climate emergency in its tracks. Recently awarded the status of ‘Global Green City’, host city Glasgow has set its own target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. Which is big news. And with lectures, panels, pop-up arts spaces like The Landing Hub and event series like Climate Fringe, it’s hoped that COP26 will give local communities the impetus to really engage with the climate conversation. But this is also a city awash with businesses and year-round projects that place the climate crisis front and centre. Glasgow Eco Trust and Sustainable Glasgow are just two examples of wide-reaching projects that aim to foster a greener Glasgow. Here are seven more pioneering eco-friendly firms and initiatives we really rate. The bedding brand Buy the pyjamas and duvets from Glasgow-based brand Irregular Sleep Pattern, and you’ll go to sleep safe in the knowledge you’ve done at least one thing that’s good for the planet. The firm promises to produce its comfy bedclothes with the lowest possible environmental impact (all its products are ethically made in only very small batches). Expect snazzy prints, inclusive sizing and certified organic cotton. Photograph: Irregular Sleep Pattern The commun

This Scottish club is using dancers’ body heat to power the whole venue

This Scottish club is using dancers’ body heat to power the whole venue

Glasgow is going to be the talk of the world this November, as political leaders from across the globe try to figure out how exactly to save the planet at COP26. It’s the fun-loving Scottish city’s time in the spotlight – and we can expect a whole load of pioneering environmental initiatives to pop up there over the coming months. First up: SWG3. This legendary Glasgow club is trialling a new system that uses dancers’ body heat to power the whole venue. BODYHEAT will capture the heat of all visitors and staff, then store it in a series of shafts across the site. Days later, this will be converted into energy that will be used to keep the lights on (and the music playing) all night. And the best thing? It will radically reduce SWG3’s energy use full stop – saving up to 70 tonnes of carbon per year.  The system will be launched during COP26 on Sunday November 7, with DJ Honey Dijon headlining the inaugural night at the venue’s New York Times Climate Hub takeover. ‘Anything we can do at this moment to help climate change is a positive thing,’ Honey Dijon said in a statement. ‘This new system of channelling energy from the dance floor is something innovative and sustainable.’ Too right.  Tickets are on sale now via the SWG3 website.  Looking for more great stuff to do? Here are the best things to do in Glasgow right now.

The cultural spaces breathing life into Edinburgh’s coolest neighbourhood

The cultural spaces breathing life into Edinburgh’s coolest neighbourhood

What makes a neighbourhood cool? It could be any number of things, from edgy bars to offbeat architecture, big annual festivals to super-fashionable restaurants. In the case of Leith, Edinburgh’s northern port area and officially one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world, innovative new food and drink businesses have increasingly made it a must-visit on any trip to the city. But what ultimately makes Leith Edinburgh’s funnest place to be is the incredible creative community that calls it home. Since the early 2000s, artists, designers, musicians and more have transformed the area, in many cases taking over derelict buildings and dockyard areas. In doing so, they’ve helped preserve (and build) a strong local identity. As is the case in cities all over the world, the neighbourhood’s popularity has meant that many of these spaces continually face threats from developers. But with the pride, perseverance and creativity of Leith’s people – and its many thriving venues – these guys are going nowhere fast. Here are six of the institutions we cherish most (plus a brand-new one we can’t wait to step foot in next year). The historic theatre with a snazzy new look When Leith was officially incorporated into Edinburgh in 1920, Leith Theatre was gifted to the people of Leith from the people of Edinburgh. Over the years, the art-deco building hosted the likes of AC/DC, John Martyn and Thin Lizzy – until it closed its doors in 1988. Since 2004, the Leith Theatre Trust has been working

This Scottish holiday home could be yours for an entire year for just £1

This Scottish holiday home could be yours for an entire year for just £1

Foreign trips may prove a bit of a logistical nightmare right now – but let’s be honest: many of us would much prefer to explore what’s right on our doorstep anyway. But the result of the 2021 staycation boom? Sadly, a massive lack of availability. Enter Highland Spring. The folks at the bottled water brand have heard our holiday home prayers and are teaming up with the Monachyle Mhor Hotel in Balquhidder, Scotland, to give one family the chance to win a year’s stay in a luxury ‘eco home’ for an entire year. And all for just £1.15. Photograph: JSHPIX Surrounded by the beautiful landscapes of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, this tiny home is usually available to rent for £200 per night (which comes to around £33,000 for the year). It may be small but it’s extremely stylish, with a double bed, kitchenette, woodburner and gas cooker, plus a bathroom and outdoor deck with a firepit. If you’re after a break from civilisation and the general chaos of the world, this could be the perfect place – because there’s no WiFi. Digital detox, here you come. And all you have to do to enter the competition? Follow Highland Spring on Instagram or Facebook and then share a picture of one of the brand’s new flavoured sparkling water cans – £1.15 each – while outside. (And don’t forget to tag @highland_spring and add #HighlandSpringHoliday to your post.) If your photo meets all the requirements, you’ll be entered into a draw, with the winner being announced in August. Ready? Stock up

This ‘haunted’ village in Scotland could be yours for just £125,000

This ‘haunted’ village in Scotland could be yours for just £125,000

Lockdown life and the possibility of working from home has led to a boom in people moving out of cities to more remote and idyllic locations. But if you’re the adventurous type and remote doesn’t quite cut it for you, how about somewhere remote and a wee bit spooky? If you happen to have £125,000 ($173,000) lying around, this could be a reality – because the ruins of a ‘haunted’ village in Scotland are currently on the market. The Old Village of Lawers covers 3.31 acres of land and comes with a private beach, semi-ancient native woodland and trout fishing rights on neighbouring Loch Tay. The area is full of glorious moorland, mountains and rivers, with the town of Pitlochry within driving distance. The most intriguing aspect of the village, however, is its seventeenth-century ruins. These include the House of Lawers: the former home of the Lady of Lawers who is said to continue to haunt the village. Goldcrest Land and Forestry Group, which is selling the the house, claim the Lady is ‘remembered for various prophecies, a number of which appear to have come true’. She is said to have predicted the arrival of the railway in a reference she made to ‘fire-coaches’ and also alleged that the church would fall when an ash tree she planted grew to the height of its spire. Of course, it did topple during a terrible thunderstorm and was never used again. Whether or not you believe in ghosts and are up for having the Lady of Lawers as your new neighbour, the sale of the village presents

Drink your way through the Scottish Highlands on a luxury whisky train

Drink your way through the Scottish Highlands on a luxury whisky train

After a year of having no major plans, many of us are eager to look ahead and book that post-lockdown trip we’ve been eyeing up for far too long. And boy, do we all deserve a treat. If you’re looking for something super-special combining luxury, adventure and incredible fine-dining, the Belmond Royal Scotsman may be what you’re after. Launched in 1985, the Royal Scotsman ‘cruise train’ has gradually been upgraded over the years to include everything from en-suite cabins to the Bamford Haybarn Spa – the UK’s first spa located in an IRL train carriage. For the past year or so, services were curtailed due to the pandemic. But as of April, the train has restarted various key routes, with a series of tantalising tours aboard the train now running through to October. Photograph: Belmond You could, for example, spend two nights on the ‘Grand Taste of the Highlands’ excursion, which will allow passengers to soak up all the beauty and grandeur of the Scottish landscape. The train departs from Edinburgh Waverley and includes a coach trip to Rothiemurchus Estate in the Cairngorms, with activities like clay-pigeon shooting and fishing on offer, as well as a private tour of Culloden Battlefield and a trip to the Strathisla Distillery. But if you really want to go in for the drams, you’ll be pleased to know that the Scotch Malt Whisky Society has partnered with Belmond to host the ‘Scotch Malt Whisky Trail Tour’. This four-night trip will start at Edinburgh’s Balmoral Hotel, where a spec

These are officially the friendliest cities in the UK

These are officially the friendliest cities in the UK

A year of quarantine can bring out the worst in anyone, but one UK city and its residents haven’t buckled under the pressure – instead, they’ve topped a study of the friendliest communities around. According to a new study, Edinburgh is the place to be. Scotland’s capital not only came out on top when it came to friendliness, but was also highly ranked for those considering moving and starting over again in a new community. Edinburgh residents have the strongest sense of community, the study found, and the city scored highly for safety and in the number of independent businesses, too. (Its long history and overflowing, year-round arts-and-culture calendar don’t hurt either.) The study, by Parkdean Resorts, took into account five factors to rank the cities: happiness rates; safety stats; the number of local businesses; the number of community activities on TripAdvisor; and the number of community Facebook groups.  Coming in second overall, the city of Exeter in Devon achieved the highest happiness score in the overall list of 50. Oxford followed due to its high number of community activities, with Glasgow taking the fourth spot and Bournemouth rounding out the top five.  Want to see where your city landed? Here’s the full top ten:  1. Edinburgh 2. Exeter 3. Oxford 4. Glasgow 5. Bournemouth 6. York 7. Canterbury 8. Northampton 9. Stafford 10. Cambridge Wondering how not one, but two Scottish cities ended up in the top five? Edinburgh has its glorious landscape, many world-fam