ask Xandra about
vegetarian • book shop • local design • coffee shop • café • viewpoints • boutiques
What do you do and why do you do it?
I'm a personal development author and founder of HeroineTraining.com. I teach mindfulness and leadership through fiction, because reading for fun has taught me so much about myself, and I want to advocate its power.
What are the best TV shows of all time?
Gilmore girls, Gossip Girl, and Survivor
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
Godiva Boutique, mainly! I am conscious of ethics and sustainability when I shop for my capsule wardrobe, and since they share these values AND stock gorgeous and interesting pieces, I feel at home at Godiva.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Cowgate, unless I MUST attend a Fringe show. I'm not into clubbing and partying unless I'm book clubbing and tea partying.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Edinburgh that you particularly like?
Panda & Sons. I didn't know what it was, just that my friend texted me to meet there for cocktails. When I arrived at the address, it was magic. I recommend this method of discovery if you are in town and don't know what it is!
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?
I treated myself to a LUSH Spa foot treatment called The Spell. It is spa meets theatre - each treatment has a custom soundtrack, an intention, a storyline (yes really), and sometimes a themed snack. Unlike any spa I've been to before!
What restaurant in Edinburgh looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
If you're wandering by Forest Cafe, you might not know what to expect inside. It's a volunteer-run hodgepodge of a gallery meets vegetarian cafe meets community space with a free shop in the back, and a commitment to social justice. Having volunteered there, I can confirm that the food is all made from scratch, and is as super delicious as it is super budget friendly.
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
Real shortbread at Pinnies & Poppy Seeds
What’s the one place you think is overrated in Edinburgh?
The Stockbridge Market - their Sunday market is tiny and teeming with locals. I prefer the Grassmarket one on Saturdays - many of the same stalls, but more space to breathe!
Tomorrow’s your last day in Edinburgh. How do you spend it?
Morning coffee at Century General Store and a long lunch at the Sheep Heid Inn.