Sister Date Night | Edinburgh Vaults and Ting Thai Caravan

March 15, 2016

It seems like every couple I know are starting to have weekly or monthly 'date nights', where they get to eat somewhere new or see a film they both like and get out of the mundane routine of get up, work, dinner then bed. And I have to admit that I am jealous. It's most girls dream to have a boyfriend to spoil them and do cute things with, and of course I am no different (perhaps worse considering I'm an old fashioned romantic at heart). In substitution of the boyfriend, I have my sister. She's round at my flat plenty of times having sleepovers with scary films and lots of chocolate, but I decided that I wanted to get out and experience more of what Edinburgh has to offer. And at my side, as always, is Eleanor. We've decided to call it our 'sister date night' to make it a wee bit different from any other night that we spend together. Considering I'm tightening my belt with a summer of travelling ahead to save for, and we are both students without jobs, we've decided to make this a monthly ordeal. Our first one for February - and in future these posts will be up closer to the time that we actually do them - proved a success, and we're looking forward to another this month.

We're taking it in turns to plan the months and have decided that this night should have a restaurant that we haven't been to, as well as an activity. February was my turn to plan.

Food wise, I chose Ting Thai Caravan. Admittedly I've been here once before, but as this was a couple of years back and I was too ill to get real enjoyment out of the food, I was determined to have a return visit. My only negative about this spot - which is on Teviot Row Place - is the fact you can't book. And foolishly, I thought we wouldn't have a long wait on a Saturday night at 8 o'clock. Boy was I wrong, but having committed to the queue, we didn't want to sacrifice our spot. We were waiting for almost an hour before we were finally greeted with the warmth of inside and a stool to perch our bums on. The restaurant is supposed to be street food- esque style, with dinner served in boxes, and long tables where you're sat in the company of strangers. The hustle and bustle of this dimly light wee restaurant is a testament to it's food. Both Eleanor and I are very unoriginal and opted for the same noodle dish - Mee Gratiam, egg noodles and duck. (Unfortunately the dim lighting resulted in very bad photo opportunities, so my food photo is not up to usual standards - I'm sorry!)

As we were having a night out, we decided to have a lemon grass vodka to go along with it. On first sip, it was very overwhelming and the lemon grass does have a strong after taste, but I quickly got used to it, and found it went along well with the noodles (Eleanor on the other hand really didn't like it and I almost had to force her to drink it). It's always good to be adventurous every so often, and branching out on my vodka mixes gives the illusion that I am becoming a little more sophisticated.
Unfortunately, we were in a rush after the long wait, so had to quickly inhale our food as soon as it came in order to make our 10 o'clock activity reservations. However, I did really enjoy this restaurant. Its got a really chilled and cool vibe to it, and its awesome that you can see your own food getting prepared in the massive woks behind the counter.

Although my timing was off for the night, and we found ourselves doing a semi-run / semi-power walk up George IV, we were determined not to let it ruin the night. And although we could feel our noodles gurgling in our stomachs after we made it to Mercat Cross in c. 5 mins, we were ready to take on Mercat Tours most scary Ghost tour, reserved only for adults. Now I'm a sucker for the ghost tours, and have been on almost all of the ones that Edinburgh has to offer. I love having the wee historic walk above ground to learn about some gruesome tales of Edinburgh's past, then descending into the vaults to experience some supernatural activity for myself. Although I've never experienced anything spooky, I'm still eager to go and try - and I do hope one day a wee ghost of a boy will hold my hand, or I'll be screamed at by Mr Boots to get out! As this was the late night tour, and the last for the day, we were given a little extra time to explore the vaults for ourselves, something which I've never done before. Shaking in my boots is the perfect expression for how I felt. I dared to tip toe into a couple of the smaller vaults but the sound of the dripping water was enough to send shivers to my bones. When the tour was over we started to file out slowly and were allowed to blow out the candles. With each blow then rooms got darker and even creepier. For the majority of the time in the vaults, both Eleanor and I were holding hands as we nervously laughed with some of the other scared visitors. Regardless of the chills down my spine, it was awesome to explore the vaults more thoroughly.

 I reckon I've probably had my fair share of vault tours, and I'm ready for taking the step up to a seance, although I won't commit myself as I know I'd be crying the whole night through. But if ever you're on a visit to Edinburgh, be sure to hear of our gruesome past down in the vaults- it honestly can't be missed!

Also - If you're wanting to keep updated with my regular food outings, check ins and reviews then be sure to follow me over on zomato - a great wee app & webpage where you can find every restaurant you could possibly want, in so many different cities and countries! And for all my other blog goodness, then keep following over on twitter, bloglovin and instagram


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