Charlie Vero-Martin on Picnics

As part of our performer’s city guide, the Edinburgh-based comedian let us know how to indulge in freshly baked cakes, authentic Italian treats, and gourmet delights

feature (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Charlie Vero-Martin
Photo by Rebecca Need-Menear
Published 02 Aug 2023

I love picnics, especially in my hometown of Edinburgh. We’re very lucky to have so many beautiful green spaces and delicious delis. So here are my top tips for places to fill your baskets and spread your blankets.

Arthur’s Seat is a classic spot and great if you need a quick get away from the noise of the Fringe. Before you start your hike up the ancient volcano, head to Red Kite Cafe at Cadzow place for an incredible range of freshly baked cakes, croque monsieurs and coffees. There are lots of amazing independent places around that neck of the woods.

If your taste buds are feeling adventurous try Polentoni on Easter Road and for authentic Italian arancini and pastries head to Maria’s Kitchen on London Road. For even more Italian delights, there is always Edinburgh’s iconic Valvona & Crolla. If you don’t want to wander too far from the Fringe action, the Meadows is always a perfectly pleasant choice. Swing by Victor Hugo Deli for a sandwich as big as your face or head to the hot chocolate and gourmet sausage roll vans before walking back up to the mayhem.

For a day off from the festivals I recommend a stroll around the Royal Botanical Gardens. You can’t take your picnic in, but Inverleith Park next door is a perfect place to view the castle and Edinburgh’s skyline in all her glory. Have a wee explore around Stockbridge first and pick up treats from Caffe Gallo or Twelve Triangles (there are a few 12Ts in Edinburgh and they’re all worth a visit). 

But of course the ultimate way to experience a picnic with true Edinburgh hospitality is to come to Underbelly Cowgate at 6.55pm. Just beware that I go all out for this summer ritual…