ask Austen about
breakfast and brunch • café • viewpoints • parks • gym • hair stylist
What do you do and why do you do it?
I do hair. I love everything about it! Making people look and feel great about themselves whilst being able to unleash your creativity, makes it the best job in the world.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
I would put on 'Ship Song' by Camille O'Sullivan on repeat and ball my eyes out. Nearly crying just thinking about the song.
What are the best TV shows of all time?
'Breaking Bad' all day long. I recently watched 'Ozark' and I am hopeful for it's future. Basically if they say "the following programme contains scenes of a sexual nature, violent nature and drug taking" I'm in!
Name some spots in Edinburgh that are good for a Tinder date.
Damn! I was married before Tinder was even a thing but I would probably go to somewhere like Burr and Co. on George street so I could bail out the back door if it was a disaster.
Who’s your hero and where in Edinburgh would you take them out for a serious hang?
My hero is Vidal Sassoon and I would take him to Castle Terrace restaurant for some civilised top nosh.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
I do 90% of my clothes shopping on line but if I'm actually going in to a shop then it's the Kestin Hare flagship store on the Shore Leith. Mens clothes shops in Edinburgh need some work.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
You will never see me in Primark on Princes Street but you may see me looking really pissed off on a bench outside waiting on my good lady.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
Fly my Drone. Some guy got charged for flying his over the castle and I live right under the flight path so I should have checked that out before I spent a fortune on it. Doh
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Edinburgh and where did you get it?
Every dish I have ever eaten at the Kitchin, but most recently probably the Lobster Cannelloni
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Edinburgh that you particularly like?
The Devils Advocate is pretty hidden away but it is worth the effort to find it.
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Edinburgh? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
The Kitchin usually costs us around £300 and we do the 7 course surprise tasting menu from the 'land and sea' with the paired wine. Absolute class!
What restaurant in Edinburgh looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
Vietnam House Restaurant has to be the worst looking place I have eaten however the food is way better than you would think.
Where can you get the best cocktail in Edinburgh? Which one do you like?
I would say the best cocktails joint is a toss up between Bramble and Voodoo Rooms. I once went to a Cocktail making party at Voodoo and they knew there stuff and Bramble is where I was introduced to an Old Fashioned, Yum!
Where would you take your partner in Edinburgh if you wanted to really pamper them?
The Sheridan One Spa. A spa in the city, on a rooftop, with an out door hydro pool, couples massage, healthy bento box for lunch! Are you kidding me?
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
Haggis - For sure. Iron-Bru - maybe. Black Pudding - only if from Stornaway. Scottish Salmon - Aye! Deep fried Mars Bar - It's just a chocolate crepe really!
What’s the one place you think is overrated in Edinburgh?
The Royal Yacht Britannia, who cares!
What’s the one place you think is underrated in Edinburgh?
The most underrated thing in Edinburgh is for sure, the Tram. What a great idea yet such a sore point for the locals, it will soon hopefully come to Leith as originally planned before the local people complained so much and derailed the plans.
What are the Edinburgh spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
The shore for some lunch and a wander. A trip up Calton Hill to get a perspective of the city. Stockbridge for a sunday brunch followed by a walk round the Botanic Gardens
Tomorrow’s your last day in Edinburgh. How do you spend it?
Assuming it's the weekend, I get up early, go to Scran & Scallie for Eggs Royale, take a walk to the Stockbridge farmers Market get some Marshmallows, go up town for some cocktails then end up in the Carriers Quarters singing 'Sunshine on Leith' along with the Jammie Devils
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
Hong Kong is such a crazy city one minute you can be in the most densely populated part of the world where everything is lit up and flashing like mad then 5 minutes in a cab and you are on a beach alone completely at peace.