In the meantime, while we're by no means experts on the place, we do have some favourites - many of which I don't often see mentioned by other bloggers or reviewers. So here's some of our hidden gems in and around the city...
Choco-Latte, South Clerk Street - Every possible type of cake and chocolate you could think of with sweets literally hanging from the rafters. Pretty decent prices too!
S. Luca's Ice Cream Café, Musselburgh and Morningside - My great auntie grew up just outside Edinburgh and mentioned a couple of years ago that we need to visit Luca's. She'd been there many times as a young girl and so last year, we went along to sample their menu. I'm happy to report that it was delicious! We tried a sharing platter of chicken and potato bits, followed by a Banana Split for me and a Knickerbocker Glory for Andrew and two classic milkshakes on the side. Well worth a visit.
Mamma's Pizza, Grassmarket - If you fancy a gigantic pizza, Mamma's is the place to visit. Lots of options and the best bit is that if you can't finish it there and then, they'll happily give a box to take the leftover pizza home for later on.
Tempting Tattie, Jeffrey Street - It's only little and a bit tucked away but it's a great place to perch and have a hearty meal whilst browsing all the Fringe leaflets and magazines. The potatoes are big, there's heaps of toppings to choose from and there's even homemade cakes for afters too.
The Well Café, Nicolson Square - We only found this little gem last year but it's absolutely lovely. It's part of the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church and is only a stones throw from the Pleasance Dome, Teviot House and various other Fringe venues. They do a range of light snacks, cakes, main meals and even pudding and custard, all at a really good price. We visited the cafe rather a lot last year.
Drummohr Holiday Park, Levenhall - I can only really recommend one place and that's Drummohr. It's a lovely park with a range of accommodation (we've stayed in the Octolodge and the Deluxe Bothy before) and isn't too expensive at all during festival season. There's a 5 minute walk to the bus stop and then a 45 minute bus ride (on a glorious route - see below!) into the city but even after you've bought a all-day ticket every morning, it still works out cheaper than finding accommodation in the city centre.
Museum on the Mound (aka. The Money Museum), The Mound - A museum where you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about money; you can even see what £1 million pounds looks like! It's quirky and often fairly quiet but more importantly, it's completely free.
Geese-watching, on, in or next to the River Esk in Musselburgh - Well, just because they're geese really. And they're quite comical to watch. If you need to relax for 10 minutes, grab a bench and do some geese-watching.
Prestongrange Industrial Heritage Museum, Morrisons Haven - Every time we walk from the campsite to the bus stop, we go past the entrance to this place and it was only last year we managed to fit in a visit. It's a completely free open-air museum telling the story of Prestongrange's industrial past. There's beam engines, coal wagons, a massive brick kiln and lots of walks across the site - quite an interesting place!
Portobello Beach and Lothian Buses Route 26 - This is the bus route you'd need to get from Drummohr to the city centre and it goes through Portobello with a fab view of the beach en route. Each year we try and fit in a stroll along the prom too as it's really quite lovely, especially in the late afternoon sun.
Best Fringe Seats - We've found the EICC (Venue 150) and Assembly George Square Theatre (Venue 8) have the comfiest seats!
Look up, down and all around - The brilliant thing about the Fringe is that you never know what you might see but Edinburgh itself isn't too shabby and it's worth looking closely at the buildings and architecture.
And on my list to do in the future...
The Original Edinburgh Cheesecake Company, St Johns Road - Somebody recommended this to me as a rather tasty place to get a large slab of cheesecake. It's a bit out of the city centre (near the zoo) and as yet, we haven't yet made it there.
Portobello Swim Centre, Promenade - I'm dead impressed that the City of Edinburgh Council have kept so many Victorian swimming pools around the place. Portobello is home to Edinburgh's only publicly available authentic Turkish baths and I'd like to visit them to see the architecture and just for the fact that they're still open to the public and in use really!
Mimi's Bakehouse, Leith, Corstophine and Old Town - Well, just because it's cakes! And why on earth not? :-)
Cuckoo's Bakery, Dundas Street and Bruntsfield Place - Same as above!
Anything else I should add to my list for next year? The more unknown it is, the better!