Tag Archives: Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The ASF Guide to The Edinburgh Festival Fringe

For sixty-eight years, the city of Edinburgh has played host to a festival celebrating the arts.  When it began in 1947 who could have envisioned how large it would grow…

Today the festival, known as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is the biggest arts festival in the world.

Edinburgh Festival 1

Photo via flickr.com

Edinburgh Festival 2

Photo via now-here-this.timeout.com

Visitors from all over the world flock to Edinburgh every August to view dramatic performances, listen to music, attend exhibits, and wander the lively, crowded streets.

This year’s three-week festival will see around 4,000 different performances.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a great time to plan your trip to Scotland.

The Fringe has just begun, and continues through to August 31st. For any travelers deciding on a last minute excursion to The Fringe, the ASF has provided a guide below, helping you find the best restaurants, pubs, and hotels the city has to offer.


Your Guide to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe!

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has countless plays, acts, performances, and exhibits to see. Order your tickets now so you don’t miss out. Visit the Edinburgh Festival Fringe box office page here

Tickets ordered? Now that your schedule is full of festival fun, we can help with the rest!

First thing’s first: you need a place to stay!

Edinburgh is known for its huge variety of hotels. There are luxurious boutique hotels, sophisticated, posh hotels, and comfortable bed and breakfasts galore. There are so many different places to stay- even during Festival time!

E from Carlton Hill (1)

Photo via thefielder.net

Airbnb is a great last minute accommodation option that connects people with space to spare to those who are looking for a place to stay. Airbnb is a wonderful resource for any world-traveler.

This year, Airbnb is the official accommodation partner of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which means there are a lot of online booking options, from entire houses with castle-views to comfortable rooms in student flats. 

Book with Airbnb here.

the witchery

Photo via theguardian.com

The Witchery by the Castle is a decadent and bewitching boutique hotel. If you’re looking to splurge on a hotel, The Witchery is a fantastic place to do so. The setting is absolutely idyllic, right on the Royal Mile with the Castle in full view.

The Witchery is lavish, with dark gothic decor and has a number of suites, each decorated in the same lush gothic style – huge four-poster beds, clawfoot tubs, chandeliers glistening on the ceiling and oil paintings adorning the walls you will truly feel as if you have been transported to another, magical, world. 

Book with The Witchery here.

balmoral hotel

Photo via northernstarmusic.com

The Balmoral is one of Edinburgh landmarks sitting in the heart of the City on Prince Street.  Offering five-star, luxury, the Balmoral offers timeless elegance with comfortable suites ranging in price and size, all with marble bathrooms and lush decor.

The hotels brasserie and bar are always busy and a popular business meeting place.

There is also a luxurious spa with a pool, a gym, and a sauna, as well as steam rooms and beauty treatment rooms.  

Book with The Balmoral here.

In between shows? Time to grab a cuppa and a quick bite!

Edinburgh has countless coffee shops and tea rooms, so you wont need to wander far to get your caffeine fix. 

elephant house

Photo via itinerandi.net

The Elephant House is a gourmet tea and coffee shop located in the heart of Edinburgh. It is one of the very best tea and coffee shops in Edinburgh.

The cafe is famous for its literary connections; JK Rowling, author of the beloved Harry Potter series, began penning her famous children’s novels there. Besides its wizardly links, The Elephant House is notable for its beautiful castle view and wide array of delicious coffees and nibbles. It makes a perfect spot for a tasty cuppa, or a quick lunch.

Learn more about The Elephant House here


Photo via facebook.com/lovecrumbs

is a quirky café made for your sweet-tooth. Delicious cakes, tarts, brownies and scones are complemented by artisan roast coffees and fine teas.

The cozy cafe is decorated with vintage furniture and colorful cushions. A great spot for a time-out from all of your city exploring and show-going.

Refuel with a delicately flavored violet and bramble cake, or else an orange fig and hazelnut scone paired with homemade Raspberry Jam. The possibilities are endlessly exciting. 

Learn more about Lovecrumbs here.

After a long, exciting day of performances it’s time to head to a pub for happy hour.

Edinburgh is a drink destination for beer and whiskey lovers. There are countless fun cocktail and wine bars as well. So just pick your poison!

jolly botanist

Photo via southbanklondon.com

The Jolly Botanist Gin Bar and Dining Room is a new addition to the West End that opened this past February.

The restaurant itself has a rustic vibe, with thatched walls, deliberately peeling paint, and crystal chandeliers.

There is a large bar with lots of beers, ciders, and drinks to choose from. Their gin menu is especially extensive, and they work closely with Edinburgh gins. They boast 70 different gins to choose from, but their house gin is Tanqueray. Each gin in served with a different, unusual garnish, such as grapefruit or orange and cinnamon.

Learn more about The Jolly Botanist here.

bennets bar

Photo via wow247.co.uk

Bennets Bar is a must if you are looking for that quintessential Edinburgh whiskey-tasting experience. The Victorian building has hosted whiskey-tastings since 1839.

The pub is beautiful, yet cozy, with glossy wood paneling and fire-side seating.There are over 150 malt whiskies and a variety of blends and international whiskies to choose from. There is also a menu of delicious Scottish pub fare.

This historic pub is well worth the visit, even just to peek at the beautiful architecture and overwhelmingly large drink menu.

Learn more about Bennets Bar here.

Exploring Edinburgh really works up your appetite. Ready for dinner?

Edinburgh is a foodie-haven, boasting some of the very best restaurants in the UK. Whether you’re in the mood for a gourmet five-course meal or some tasty pub grub, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

21212 compress

Photo via 21212restaurant.co.uk

21212, Paul Kitching’s well-loved restaurant, opened in 2009 and received a Michelin star less than 8 months later. The restaurant has a quirky, fun feel and the food is exciting and innovative.

Chef Kitching has a contemporary French cooking style which he approaches with an innovative twist. The menu never has more than three choices for any of its five courses, but it changes weekly.  There is a beautiful wine list and a professional sommelier available to help you select the perfect wine for your meal.  

Learn more about 21212 here.

v deep

Photo via foodanddrink.scotsman.com

V Deep
is a new and promising addition to Edinburgh’s restaurant scene. It is Scotland’s first communal craft beer and curry bar.

The head-chef and co-owner, Hardeep Singh Kohli, was a finalist on the television show “Celebrity Masterchef.” He has created an extensive Indian curry menu of 21 unique dishes.

The menu takes a fresh, Scottish-inspired twist on traditional Indian meals. It includes dishes such as haggis and apple pakora, punjabi BBQ wings, and pork cheek vindaloo. The extensive bar offers a variety of bottled and draught beers, which are constantly rotating. Uniqueness, fun, and flavor abound.

Learn more about V Deep here.

Now it’s time to head back to your hotel and rest up for your next day of festival fun in the beautiful city of Edinburgh!


Visit the Fringe homepage to learn more.


Vermont High School Receives Lord Malcolm Douglas Hamilton Bursary Award

Excitement builds at the Otter Valley Union’s Walking Stick Theatre Company.

Young  performers from Vermont’s Otter Valley Union High School are preparing for their international debut at the Edinburgh Festival FringeThe students will perform “Anon(ymous),” a 90-minute modern adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey written by Naomi Iizuka.

otter valley logoOtter Valley’s acting troupe is one of only a few dozen high school theater companies who will perform at the Fringe.

Theater Director Jeff Hull explains how Otter Valley’s company was invited to apply to take part in the festival two years ago based on the quality of their work. “We had to go through a rigorous application process,” Hull says. “But we did it!”OVUHS 5

The application process was only one obstacle the group would face. Funding the $6,500 per student cost of the trip proved to be a huge challenge. But the support that they recieved, from both their local community and beyond, was staggering.

The American-Scottish Foundation heard of Otter Valley’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and immediately wanted to lend support. The Foundation gave Otter Valley’s Theater program a bursary grant to help make their potential trip to Edinburgh a reality. ASF’s involvement with Otter Valley only continued from there. Chairman Alan Bain invited Jeff Hull and his family to New York City so they could march in the annual Tartan Day Parade.

OVUHS 3The Hull family had a wonderful time at the NYTD Parade, where they were able to meet “Outlander” star Graham McTavish, as well as the ASF officials.

Alan Bain got in touch with Scottish contacts, ensuring that the American-Scottish Foundation Bursary award could help enhance the students’ Scottish adventure. The students will be able to tour Edinburgh Castle, visit parts of Edinburgh’s Underground City, and purchase tickets to shows. The students will also enjoy a farewell dinner at the acclaimed Royal Overseas League.OVUHS 2

Chairman Alan Bain says that his support for the Otter Valley theater group’s trip to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe comes, in part, from his own experiences traveling abroad when he was a young student. He is confident that “this trip will give all those involved a life-long and treasured memory that is likely to be […] inspirational and life transformative.”

To learn more about the ASF Bursary program visit this page.

All images via facebook.com/ovtheatre.


East to Edinburgh: Experience The Festival Fringe in New York

east 2 ed

If you can’t make it to Edinburgh for the Festival Fringe, have a taste of the exciting performances in New York City.


Every August since 1947, the city of Edinburgh has played host to a festival celebrating the arts. Today this festival, known as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is the biggest arts festival in the world. Visitors from all over the world flock to Scotland’s capital every summer in order to view dramatic performances, listen to music, attend exhibits, and wander the lively, crowded streets.

broadwatBefore the festival even begins, the 59E59 Theater company is hosting a preview of the Fringe fun. 59E59 is an off-Broadway theater complex which hosts the East to Edinburgh Festival every year. This festival gives audiences an opportunity to preview the American acts being taken over to Scotland, and performers an opportunity to practice their acts before a live audience.

The festival only lasts for limited time, as the Festival Fringe starts in Edinburgh on August 7th. This year’s performances are as follows:

Bettie Davis Ain’t For Sissies –  July 8-21

Raft – July 18-22

Derby Day –  July 21 – 25

Trans Scripts – July 23 – 26

These Troubled Times – July 23 – 24

 Ferdinand – July 25 – 26

Bug Bite – July 25 – 26

Learn more about the East to Edinburgh Festival and the acts here.

All images via ticketcentral.com