I'm a working mum writing about life in Edinburgh (and anywhere else we go) with two curious, adventurous, and imaginative children. Visit my blog at www.linzertortes.blogspot.co.uk. Follow me on Twitter: @LinzerLaw
Published November 19th 2013
A treasure trove of shops
This is part of a series on unusual and interesting places to shop in Edinburgh, themed around different streets. I got the idea as I walked down St. Stephen Street and noticed just how many different types of things that you could buy, in a wide variety of shops. You can read that original review here.
The bridge that leads into Stockbridge. The walkway makes a lovely riverside stroll.
Raeburn Place is the main shopping street in Stockbridge, a charming and bohemian part of the City of Edinburgh. Along with Deanhaugh Street it's only 0.3 miles long, but it packs a lot of variety into that short distance. There are a couple of generic high street staples like Subway and Greggs, but the majority of the street is given over to small, independent shops filled with a huge variety of food and gifts.
Looking down Raeburn Place. A good spot for lunch.
There's lots of places to eat along Raeburn Place. There's the popular Peter's Yard, which is always crammed full of people enjoying their Scandinavian-influenced food. My daughters love their unusual selection of ice-cream and we are regulars here in the summer months. If you'd like to try some authentic French pastries, then Patisserie Madeleine is a necessity. The windows are filled with colourful macarons in lots of different flavours, and their other patisseries are equally as delicious. The Scran and Scallie is the newest edition, a fashionable gastropub which is the place to be for lunch in the New Town.
This car is in the window of one of the newest additions to Stockbridge's shops. Can't wait to get in and look around.
Another family favourite is Toys Galore, right at the end of Raeburn Place before it leads on to Comely Bank Road. Walking in here is like walking back into my own childhood. Toys are stacked from floor to ceiling - board games, Lego, art supplies, cuddly toys and much, much more. In an era where online shopping or huge superstores seem to rule, this toy shop is a breath of fresh air.
The family-owned shop staff are happy to help with whatever requirement you have. At Christmas, the owner searched high and low for cat and squirrel puppets for my daughters. Their website says they are the best toy shops in Edinburgh (they also have a branch in Morningside), and I do agree.
One of the many charity shops along Raeburn Place.
There are also charity shops dotted along the street, like Barnardo's, which has an excellent selection of modern clothes from brands like Boden, Joules and Next, all arranged by colour. Mary's Living and Giving charity shop is another one that has an excellent selection of quality high-street and designer clothes, second-hand but always in excellent condition.
Bliss specialises in gifts for babies and children.
Some of the charity shops specialise in books and music rather than clothes. The Shelter bookshop has a wide and varied range of children's books, and I often pop in there after the toy shop to see if they have anything on the children's' latest school projects. And quite recently I popped into the music shop and picked up some beautiful old sheet music. I'd planned a craft activity with it, but now I can't bring myself to cut it up.
There's a fruit and veg shop at either end of Stockbridge.
There's plenty of gift shops with small galleries attached, and also an art supplies shop. You'll be able to find anything for most tastes from Galerie Mirages for jewellery to The White Petal Company (currently being refurbished, but still open for business) for floral arranging.
And if you want to book a holiday then there are two travel agents. One does package-type brochure holidays, and the other does bespoke foodie holidays in Europe. There are also interior design shops, office supplies, and two tailors.
There's a good range of food shops (and, of course, Stockbridge Market on a Sunday) with a baker, butcher, fish-monger and grocer, as well as a small Scotmid and Sainsbury's for any extras you can't get. Pop in to Henri's to try their latest delivery of gorgeous French deli fare, or further up on Deanhaugh Street you'll find I. J. Mellis, who specialise in providing a broad selection of cheese from home and abroad.
You get a much wider range of game at the butcher than at most supermarkets.
The sheer variety of shops along such a small street is surprising, but also so very encouraging. Stockbridge is a self-sufficient village in the centre of a city. It has everything you would need for your weekly groceries, but has a broad range of other shops for your home, holidays, Christmas, and birthdays. The atmosphere is bustling and bohemian, which is created and perpetuated by the independent businesses who ply their trade along this interesting shopping street.