Enjoying The Edinburgh Festival

festival crowds on The Royal Mile

Love it or loathe it the Edinburgh Festival will soon be upon us along with the many thousands of visitors from all around the globe. Real Foods has been in Edinburgh for 45 of the 62 years the festival has been running and we want to share with you our ideas on enjoying the festival season.

Start Your Day Right

An energy boost at the start of the day will get you off to a good start in enjoying the festival. Real, steel-cut porridge oats with fruitsalmond milknuts and seeds will be great to breakfast on. There is nothing better in the morning than a bowl of delicious porridge – and you can always prepare it differently!

an easy way to get a great start to the day

If you want to make it really easy – try one of these porridge oats bars or porridge pots from Stoats. (Or if you are here for a while why not try all of them? Then you can have repeats of your favourite…..)

Snack Wisely and Well

Heading out for adventures? Take with you some snacks. The best options are protein and cereal bars. Why? They have enough complex carbohydrates to prevent a sugar crash but also offer high quality proteins.

Snacks and Bars

Real Foods have a whole range of gluten-free, dairy free snacks to choose from that will give you a real boost when you start lacking energy whether you are out and about enjoying the festival or simply trying to avoid the crowds.

try making these bars for your breakfast

Alternatively, you could always prepare your own muesli bars from our easy fruit, nut and seed bar recipe or take some fruits instead. Good to take with you are bananaspeaches and apples – pack them in a box whole, or cut them in pieces and pop these in a box!

Dried Fruit
dried fruit can be eaten for a quick energy boast when you are enjoying the festival

Other options include dried fruit, such as raisins or dried applescherriesfigspapayas or cranberries, are convenient to take almost anywhere. Dried fruit is higher in calories than fresh, so be sure to take smaller portions when you are eating dried fruit – Real Foods can offer most dried fruits in handy 100g sizes.

almonds are a good potable snack when you are enjoying the festival

And if you are not a fan of fruits – why not try taking some nuts?Nuts and peanuts make healthy and convenient snacks. They have heart-healthy unsaturated fats, vitamin E, potassium, fibre, protein and magnesium. Try mixed nuts, or choose your favourite from possibilities including walnuts, almonds, pecansmacadamia nuts and Brazil nuts. 

Maybe the Best?
enjoying the festival - trail mix is a lovely snack when you are hitting the trail

Of course, for a really, really wonderful snack you could always mix nuts and dried fruit together. The combination of the quick energy from the sweetness of the fruit and the more sustained slow release of energy from the protein in the nuts will sustain you however many festival acts you want to see! Try our own brand fruit and nut mix Or for something a little special why not try some trail mix – ideal to keep you going when on the trail of those festival acts……

Keep Hydrated

Long hours outside, hopefully in the sun, enjoying the festival and all it has to offer can take its toll on both your skin and the rest of your body so make sure you drink plenty of water.

Coconut Water
coconut water id perfect for keeping you hydrated

Not keen on plain water? Why not try some coconut water instead? Coconut water is brilliant for hydration because of the optimum balance of electrolytes. (Did you know that during WWII it was used for temporary transfusions when blood wasn’t available?)

Dairy Alternatives
oat milk one of the many dairy alternatives available

If plain water or coconut water don’t appeal to you then you can always take a look at the wide range of dairy alternative drinks available. Some of these, like this chocolate flavoured soya drink are available in handy smaller sizes.

enjoy a glass of apple juice while you are enjoying the festival

If these options don’t float your boat (see what we did there?) then you can always opt for one of the many options of fruit juices available – single juices or blends.

Ready For Lunch?

How about a picnic? Edinburgh has some wonderful places to picnic and after a morning walking the Royal Mile, mixing with the crowds and enjoying the festival with all the free street acts, a midday break in an open green space will set you up for an afternoon of further enjoyment of the festival.

where to enjoy a festival picnic

Here are some suggestions from us of places to take your picnic and ideas of what to eat.

The Meadows

A popular haunt with pretty much everybody. Not JUST because it’s round the corner from our Tollcross store (although that’s handy for cold drinks). It’s home to one of the best play parks ever! From swings with comfy chairs attached, to water pumps, to climbing walls, not forgetting the flying fox or tricycle roundabout! If you’ve kids, grab a picnic table, spread out your stuff and settle in! Try making superfood pasta, perfect for boosting energy on a long day.

If you’ve smaller kids, try the play park on Bruntsfield Links, a perfect spot to watch folk on the putting green!  

If you don’t like play parks, there’s always the tennis courts or Frisbee.

Simply sit back sip on some fresh fruit juice and watch the cricket game… while you recharge your batteries ready for an afternoon of enjoying the festival.

Beware though – if you do have kids they may just not want to leave……

Dunbar Close
a hidden gem where you can take a break from enjoying the festival

If play parks are not for you and you want something quieter and more refined, Dunbar’s Close is a hidden gem that even many Edinburgh residents are unaware of!

Simply head down the Royal Mile past Canongate Church, on the left-hand side look out for Dunbar’s Close. Laid out in the style of 17th-century gardens, it was donated to the City of Edinburgh in 1978. Perfect for a secluded bit of peace in the heart of the city. Try a little decadence with homemade Ultimate Raw Vegan Three Layer Cayenne Pepper Chocolate Brownies.

Royal Botanic Gardens and Inverleith Park
great views of Edinburgh

It would be one of our top picnicking spots as the Edinburgh Botanical Garden is simply amazing, but there’s NO PICNICKING in the grounds. There’s no lazing away the afternoon with a sarnie here!

On the other hand – Inverleith Park is literally across the road (Arboretum Place), with a decent play park, beautiful views of the city centre and plenty of room for your picnic blanket!

Try making these fruit bread fingers and munching as you go. Or try tangy apple and cinnamon rolls from Raw Health, before crossing the road and visiting the hothouses, rockery and Chinese garden in the Botanics.

Calton Hill
unfinished monument on Edinburgh's Calton Hill

Here you will get some of the best views across the city! It’s also the location of the Acropolis-like ‘National Monument’. An unfinished project started in 1816 as a memorial to those who died in the Napoleonic Wars. the money ran out before it was finished.

You can also find Nelson’s Monument – built to commemorate none other than Horatio Nelson who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

The tower homes a ‘time ball’, a device used by ships captains moored in the Firth to set their chronometers. The elevation made it the ideal place to be seen from the Firth.  

For a real feast try making some of these dishes and have a tapas style picnic. Perfect with a soft drink!

These are all great places to take a break from enjoying the festival and simple relax and enjoy some of Edinburgh’s beautiful places.

Dinner Time!

After an afternoon of enjoying the festival you will want a good meal before you head out for your evening’s entertainment (or settle down with your feet up and recharge your batteries)

there are lots of vegetarian restaurants in Edinburgh

If you want to eat out, there are loads of good places to go in Edinburgh for vegetarian or vegan meals. Check out websites like Vegan Edinburgh for more information.

If you’d rather eat at home and want some tasty ideas and recipes to change things up a bit, why not have a look at our extensive recipe section? Most of these recipes have been tried and tested by the Real Foods team so hopefully you’ll find something to enjoy!

Look After Yourself

Finally, when you are set on enjoying the festival the last thing you want to deal with are those annoying inconveniences like sunburn, so here are our suggestions to help

Stay safe and wear sunscreen. We recommend a good mineral based sunsceen and supply two great options from Lavera and Green People along with several other choices in our Sun Care sections.

looking after your lips

You might also be interested in our selection of lip care products to prevent dry, cracked lips spoiling your enjoyment of the festival.

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