Friday, 22 April 2016

What have the #EdinburghBloggers team been up to?

Hi Edinburgh Bloggers!!

We thought we'd write a quick post on what we've been up too! All four team members have been so busy that we've not had time to catch up! We hope to be back video blogging, attending events and organising blogger events soon ;)

Anyone interested in collaborating please contact us!


Co-founder @franklymsshankly has been working hard on her new role as the food and drinks writer for @letsjoinedi recently celebrated her 100th post on her personal blog!

Check it out!


Co-founder @sultana_malik has also been working hard as a freelance social media executive for @oceanichairandbeauty as well as organising her wedding check out her blog #100DaysofaScottishAsianBride

The official blogger @tartanbrunette has been working a number of different projects! As well as working full time and being a wife, Jen always has time for continuous new blogs! Check them out below!

Our video blogger @themeneghingirl  Is now a beauty consultant for @benefitcosmetics! Veronica is on a well deserved holiday in Italy! Check out her page for her latest images!

Press Release: Deadly Diseases @EdinDungeon


With a burgeoning population living in insanitary conditions, the residents of olde Britain faced a multitude of illnesses; and the city of Edinburgh with its cramped living conditions and fetid closes were no exception.Thank goodness then for the doctors able to prescribe remedies for the more common ailments. These antidotes were adopted feverishly by patients, although even these slightly maverick physicians wouldn’t claim to be able to rescue the masses from epidemics of the most deadly diseases…

Here, we take a look at the top ten curious cures recommended to the people of our fair capital in the 17th century – we’ll leave it up to you decide which you would risk giving a try…

To cure asthma: Tar water, sea water, nettle juice and quicksilver are all acceptable cures, but a method that seldom fails is living a fortnight on boiled carrots only.

To cure ‘A Cold in the Head’: Pare very thin the rind of an orange. Roll it up inside out and thrust inside each nostril.

To cure toothache: Try rubbing the cheek every quarter of an hour, or putting a clove of garlic into the ear.

For burns and scalds: Take a live snail and rub its slime against the burn and it will heal.

To cure gout: Take an owl and pluck it clean and open it, clean and salt it. Put it in a new pot and cover it with a stone and put it in an oven and let it stand till it be burnt. And then stamp [pound] it with boar’s grease and anoint the gout therewith.

To cure a cough: Boil a pan of onions, allow it to cool and then drink the lukewarm broth to treat tickly coughs.

To cure bed wetting: A mouse rotted and given to children to eat remedies wetting the bed.

To cure syphilis: One of the more deadly of the curious cures, highly toxic mercury was often used to attempt to cure Syphilis – and could be administered by mouth, by rubbing it on the skin, or by injection.

To cure a migraine: The technique of Trepanning – first used thousands of years ago – had something of a revival in the 16th century. Often used to treat migraine, it involved great holes being bored into brain-bearing skulls to prevent the pain.

And to cure just about anything else: Visit your friendly barber surgeon for a ‘blood-letting’ session. Ask for an incision to be made - usually in the arm - and a tourniquet applied and allow the blood to flow. (The red and white pole that we still see outside barber shops today represents this practice.)

Deadly Diseases began on 18th March 2016 and, due to popular demand, has been extended until 29th May 2016, with shows running from 10am – 5pm daily.  Ticket prices start from £11.75 for adults, and £9.95 for concessions (online saver rate). For more information or to book tickets please visit or follow @EdinDungeon for updates

References:  An Easy and Natural Method of Curing Most Disease, John Wesley, 1747 Dragon’s Blood & Willow Bark: The Mysteries of Medieval Medicine, Toni Mount, 2015The Widow's Treasure (1595).

PRESS RELEASE: Foodies Festival 2016

Foodies Festival Announces a Lip-Smacking Line-Up of Top Chefs and New Culinary Features for 2016 Edinburgh Festival 5th to 7th August
  • Scotland's top chefs cooking summer recipes in the Chefs Theatre
  • Celebrity chef Aldo Zilli launches his street food range serving Italian Burritos
  • Focus on Brazilian street food on the Street Food Avenue
  • More award-winning producers than ever before
  • Champagne, wine and craft beer masterclasses
  • New 1920s themed Deco Noir VIP Tent sponsored by Simpson & Marwick
  • New Bug-Eating competition and the famous Chilli-Eating Challenge
  • Local bands competing to win the Unsigned Music Awards
As Foodies enters it's 2nd decade as the UK's biggest celebration of food and drink, the festival has announced a lip-smacking line-up of new culinary features and top chefs to give a taste of what to expect at this summer's festival in Inverleith Park Edinburgh 5th to 7th August. 

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(L-R: Adam Handling, Jacqueline O'Donnell and Stuart Muir)
Aga Rangemaster Chefs Theatre
Scotland's culinary elite will showcase their skills and share insight into this year's food trends while answering questions from the audience. Chefs confirmed include (more TBA):
  • Jacqueline O'Donnell - The Sisters & Great British Menu Regional Champion
  • Stuart Muir - DINE
  • Paul Wedgwood - Wedgwood's
  • Neil Forbes - Cafe St Honore 
  • Brian Grigor - The Balmoral 
  • Colin Fleming - The Printing Press
  • Gordon Craig - The Field
  • James Chapman - Scran & Scallie
  • Stuart Ralston - Aizle
  • Adam Handling - Caxton & MasterChef:The Professionals
  • Edward Murray - Gardiners Cottage
  • Gillian, Nichola & Linsey - Three Sisters Bake 
  • Tony Rodd - MasterChef Finalist 2015
  • Kaori Simpson - Harajuku Kitchen 
  • Kim Kaewkraikhot - Chaophraya
Feel Good and Superfoods
Visitors can enjoy a new 'Feel Good Foods' theme at Foodies Festival this summer, with healthy living chefs and food writers joining the line-up to cook with superfoods including kefir, lucuma, freekeh, kelp and banana flour, and sirt rich foods such as blueberries, kale, celery, buckwheat, turmeric, chilli and red onion. 

Festival-goers can also discover the advantages of eating ‘Feel Good Foods’ such as cheese (a source of phenylethylamie - the love drug) and dark chocolate and seaweed (both sources of serotonin - the happy drug) as experts promote their nutritional and emotional benefits with energy, happiness and calm boosting recipes available to take home.

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Street Food Avenue
With flavours from all corners of the world available on the Street Food Avenue, hunger will be banished and taste buds tingled with the huge array of cuisines on offer. Japanese, Thai, Malaysian, Argentinian, Turkish, Indian, Korean, Mexican, French and African are just some of the flavours to feast on this summer, and celebrity chef Aldo Zilli will be serving Italian Burritos as part of his new street food offering.

There’s a special focus on Brazilian street food this year to celebrate the Olympic host’s cuisine, including traditional Brazilian BBQ and Rio’s favourite dish Feijoada made from black beans, salted pork, trimmings, smoked sausage and jerk beef, which is cooked in a traditional clay pot. Brazil’s national cocktail Caipirinha, a mix of lime, sugar and Cachaça (made from sugarcane juice with an ABV of 48%), and Brazilian coffees will be available.

Drinks Theatre
Champagne enthusiasts can relax in the Drinks Theatre with 'The Fascinating Story of Champagne Canard-Duchêne and Pinot Noir' masterclasses presented by writer Brian Elliot or learn how to match wine with seasonal ingredients with TV wine expert Charles Metcalfe. 

Tutorials in craft beer are also available with beer critic Melissa Cole, and for those who enjoy Whisky, R&B Distillers host whisky tastings - perfect for both whisky novices and connoisseurs.

Artisan Producers Market
A glittering array of Great Taste Award winners are available to shop and sample from this year, each being hailed as a producer of ‘Exquisite, Outstanding and Simply Delicious’ food and drink – a fantastic opportunity for visitors to meet artisan producers from the local area and across the country, learn their story and stock up on award winning produce. With over 120 stalls to peruse at each festival, selling everything from Seaweed Seasoning to Champagne Infused Fudge, visitors will be spoilt for choice for what to eat at the festival and take home to enjoy.

Cake, Bake & Tasting Theatre and Vintage Tea Room
Baking extraordinaire Charlotte White and master chocolatier Fiona Sciolti host the Cake & Bake Theatre, working their baking wizardry to inspire visitors to reach for their whips and spatulas at home and create show-stopping cakes and delicious summer bakes. A neighbouring Chocolate, Cake and Bake Village sells freshly baked breads, sponges, tarts, jellies and trifles to enjoy with a bubble tea or fresh juice. 

Afternoon tea can be enjoyed in the beautifully decorated Vintage Tea Room, where teas, handmade cakes and scones with clotted cream and jam are served on china from a tea trolley by vintage styled tea ladies and gentlemen, and vintage music for ambience.

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Into the Jungle
Festival goers can munch their way into the depths of the jungle this summer with a trip to the Vietnamese Street Food stand, where those with a taste for the exotic can indulge in insects, including grasshoppers, caterpillars, mealworms, beetles, scorpions, locus and ants. These tasty critters will also be sold in powder and flour form – a high source of protein - to bake, season and cook with. For those brave enough, there’s a daily Bush Tucker Trial on the Challenge Stage, where visitors compete against one another by eating jungle insects, from small ants to large juicy grubs, with the contestant eating the biggest and the most being crowned champion. 

Childrens Cookery School
The Olympic theme continues into the Childrens Cookery School, where little foodies can decorate their very own gold medal with coloured icing, glitter and edible ribbon.  Pizza and cupcake making classes also allow kids to explore their taste buds and learn basic cookery skills to practice at home.

Chilli-Eating Challenge
The famous Chilli-Eating Challenge continues in 2016, inviting fans of spice to beat an eye-watering 16 million scoville record set by Shahina Waseem last year. Participants start at the low end of the chilli spectrum by eating bell peppers, but things quickly get a lot hotter with Habanero, Scotch and Carolina Reaper (world's hottest chilli) chillies being added to the menu. Those still standing are then inflicted to pure chilli extract, increasing in strength, until a winner is crowned.

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New Deco Noir VIP Tent
This year's 1920s themed Deco Noir VIP tent offers those looking to relax in style at Foodies Festival a decadently decorated VIP Tent sponsored by Simpson & Marwick Property. VIPs can enjoy a red carpet reception with a welcome glass of bubbly and goody bag, and take advantage of priority entry to food and drink masterclasses between relaxing in the VIP Tent with private Mirror Bar, live jazz music and refreshments throughout the day. 

Live Music and Pop-Up Bars
After a day of feasting and fun, visitors can relax and soak in the atmosphere with live music from award-winning local bands at the Unsigned Music Awards Stage and a glass of bubbly or refreshing cocktail from the Giant Pimm's Teapot or double-decker BarBus with spectacular views of Edinburgh Castle.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

PRESS RELEASE:@magicfest 2016

MagicFest Announces 7th Magical Year Programme and Launches a New MagicFair at Summerhall. Lose yourself in magic 1st - 8th July.

Seekers of wonder and amazement are invited to ‘lose themselves in magic’ this summer as the Edinburgh International Magic Festival celebrates its 7th magical year as the UK’s biggest festival of innovative and cutting-edge magic, 1st – 8th July

Edinburgh will sparkle with an enchanting programme of world-class magic events, unforgettable performances, and jaw-dropping stunts from some of the greatest illusionists, mindreaders and accomplished magicians from around the world. 

  • Three day MagicFair at Summerhall – a brand new multi-space experience with family events and late night sessions
  • Matinee performance added to MagicFest Gala at the Festival Theatre
  • Magic School, Secret Room and Magic à la Carte Dinner
  • Grand Prix World Magic Champion Hector Mancha joins MagicFest line-up
  • The legendary Juan Tamariz (‘El Maestro’) performs live for the first time in Scotland
  • Show premieres from Kevin Quantum, Colin Cloud (as seen on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow), BBC’s R. Paul Wilson, and debut performances at the Festival from Vincent Gambini and David Gerard
  • Korean magic company from the world’s only magic college, featuring the Asian Champion of Magic
  • City centre Magic Hunt for children and adults, and FREE magic performances at Krispy Kreme stores in the run up to the Festival

Kevin McMahon, Artistic Director of MagicFest, commented… ‘This year we have arguably one of the greatest living legends in magic, Juan Tamariz, and one of the greatest up-and-coming stars, Hector Mancha, both featuring at the Festival. It’s our biggest line-up to date with the launch of MagicFair, free entry for under 7s, and the addition of a matinee performance at the Gala Show, allowing us to share magic and its top stars with more people than ever before. Watch out for surprises around the city too!' 

MagicFair: 1st – 3rd July | Summerhall | From £12 | Morning - all ages | Afternoon 7+ | Lates 16+
This year’s MagicFest launches with a brand new three day MagicFair at Summerhall – a multi-room experience enticing visitors to lose themselves with a full spectrum of magic performances and watch up to 10 live shows all with one ticket across morning (10am-2pm), afternoon (2-6pm) and lates (7.30-11.30pm) sessions. 

Family oriented morning sessions offer free entry to under 7s, who can enjoy Magic School workshops, wand-crafting, treasure hunts and six different live shows, while afternoon sessions offer visitors of all ages a mixture of close-up, theatrical, and stage magic with performances from Jango Starr, Gary Dunn and Tricky Ricky. 

Evening sessions are more adult themed with late night horror magic from Luke Eaton in the Anatomy Room, a special VIP performance from BBC’s ‘The Real Hustle’ star R. Paul Wilson, and mind-experimentation with sell-out Scottish mind-reader Colin Cloud in ‘Psyche’ – a 20 minute, fully interactive and potentially life changing conceptual experiment held in the Dissection Room. 

Between shows, festivalgoers can explore the Ribbon Maze, Magic & Circus Shop, Sam the Scam Banco Booth and enjoy spontaneous close-up magic, comedy, illusions and sleight of hand with food, drink and music in the open-air courtyard.

Magic and Variety Gala Show: 8th July | Festival Theatre | From £14 | Age 5+
Due to incredible popularity, a matinee performance has been added to this year’s MagicFest Gala, which brings the festival to a splendiferous finale at the magnificent Festival Theatre on Friday 8th July.

Believers and sceptics will be blown away by this two and a half hour variety of breath-taking performances from world champion illusionists, mindreaders, masters of the impossible and confounding magicians from Scotland and around the world. Highlights include South Korean Digital Time Traveller Hun Lee; Alchemist Young Min Kim, who deconstructs matter with the touch of his hand; Scotland’s mindreading equivalent to Sherlock Holmes and sell-out act Colin Cloud; Spanish magic world champion Hector Mancha; and mind-dizzying hula hoop artist Miss Polly Hoops. Funny, heart-warming, thrilling and always delivered with forensic attention to detail, visitors will leave feeling befuddled yet satisfyingly amazed!

The recipient of the Great Lafayette Award 2016, which honours magicians who have excelled in live stage performances, will also be announced during the evening Gala.

Magic School & Workshops: 4th – 7th July | Quaker Meeting House | £80/18| 7-10
The most mysterious summer school in the world! This 4-day course or 2.5 hour workshop will bring-out the inherent magic talents of budding young wizards, under the supervision of Head Master Gary James. Magic School students will learn, create and perform their own magic tricks, with each day focussing on a different area of magic and performance, from levitation to vanishing card tricks, with a graduation ceremony and magic show for family on the final day.

Magic à la Carte: 7th July | Tigerlily | £50 | Age 16+
Diners with a taste for the unexplainable can whet their appetite for mystery with a delicious three course meal in the glamorous setting of Tigerlily on George Street, complimented by private table-side performances from TV magic consultant Lewis Barlow, former Scottish Close-up Magician of the Year, Billy Reid and four times Scottish champion Michael Neto leaving guests’ brains baffled and taste buds tickled.

Secret Room: 5th & 6th July | Lauriston Castle | £20/£18 conc | Age 10+
Returning to Lauriston Castle after three years of sell out shows, The Secret Room transports its guests back in time to explore hidden passages and clandestine laboratories with three of Scotland’s finest magicians - Chris Dinewoodie, Drew McAdam and Michael Neto – as they animate the castle’s mysterious and colourful past with stories, performances and illusions.

Special Performances and One-Off Events: 

Juan Tamariz: 9th July | George Square Theatre | From £16 | Age 10+
Renowned Spanish magician Juan Tamariz (nicknamed El Maestro for being arguably the most influential contemporary magic magician in the world) joins MagicFest to perform a live public show for the first time ever in Scotland. Juan, who has appeared on the biggest stages around the world, will seduce the audience into his world of wonder through misdirection, manipulation and befuddling card tricks, for which he is best known. 

Kevin Quantum: 4th July | Scottish Story Telling Centre | £13/£11 conc | Age 7+
Magician/scientist hybrid Kevin Quantum presents his brand new show “Illuminations” – a showcase of stunning light-based illusions, including the slowing of time using flickering beams, floating will-o'-the-wisps above audience members’ heads and, for the first time ever, the creation of a rainbow live on stage! The Magic Circle magician tutored by Penn & Teller will leave onlookers questioning… where does science end and magic begin?

Colin Cloud: 1st – 3rd July | Summerhall Dissection Room | £18/£16 conc | Age 12+
Showgoers are advised to not think about anything they wouldn’t want Colin to know or reveal as the 5-star forensic mindreader attempts to survive a lethal injection, inviting the audience to join him after the show on the streets of Edinburgh in search of the life-saving antidote.
Colin commented… ‘Every year I work incredibly hard to write, create and perform the most astounding and impactful experiences I'm capable of and, after six successful years, I'm looking forward to sharing what I believe is my strongest and most daring work yet. I'm am also truly excited to have the world debut of my brand new show 'Exposé' at the Edinburgh International Magic Festival.'

R. Paul Wilson: 2nd & 3rd  July | Summerhall Anatomy Room | £13/£11 conc | 12+
Star of BBC’s ‘The Real Hustle’ and world-renowned magician, R. Paul Wilson is a leading authority on con games, cheating and the art of deception. ‘Impossibilia’ takes his audience on a tour through Paul’s repertoire of conjuring curiosities, scams and impossibilities, with stories and demonstrations gathered from a lifetime of study and passion for the art of magic.

Vincent Gambini: 2nd & 3rd July | Summerhall Red Theatre | £11/£9 conc | Age 12+
Award-winning magician Vincent Gambini presents ‘This is not a Magic Show’ – part performance-lecture, part deconstructed magic tricks – breaking down sleight-of-hand, revealing the secrets of misdirection and its invisible mechanics and its clichés.

David Gerard: 2nd & 3rd July | Summerhall Cairn Theatre | £11/£9 conc | Age 10+
Magic adventurists are invited to become a player in America’s leading mindreader David Gerard’s ‘Game Night’ – a one-of-a-kind mix of board games and mystery arts making use of Monopoly and Ouija Boards. Mixed with mental gymnastics and cunning wit, Gerard creates a truly thrilling experience his fans will remember long after the show is over.

FREE Events at Krispy Kreme: 19th (Braehead Store) and 26th June (Edinburgh Store)
In the run up to MagicFest, free ‘Magic Moment – Close-Up’ magic performances will take place at the intu Braehead Glasgow (Sunday 19th) and Hermiston Gait Edinburgh (Sunday 26th) Krispy Kreme stores at 1pm, offering visitors a trick with their treat and a tour of the ‘Doughnut ‘Theatre to see exactly how Krispy Kreme doughnuts are made.

A Magic Hunt, which challenges children and adults to follow a map to collect clues and solve puzzles, will also take place across the city centre (date TBA).