Ahhh, Portobello. Or rather, Porty. A quaint seaside town with a lovely community feel about it. Gorgeous buildings and a nice beach, Porty has it all (including great Montreal-style bagels)!
Just outside of Edinburgh, Portobello is a great place to escape to for the day - especially if you're in Edinburgh and feeling slightly overwhelmed by tourists at this time of year. Once popular with smugglers and sailors, Porty is now home to commuters but worth visiting in its own right. For one thing: the beach; a lovely sandy beach looking out onto the Firth of Forth. On a sunny day, it's a great place to hang out and stroll along the promenade.
If I could name only one other reason to visit Portobello, it would be Bross Bagels. I have been living in Scotland for over a decade now and in that time I have NEVER bought bagels here. Why, you might ask? Because Montreal bagels are truly the best. Sorry, New Yorkers, but Montreal bagels really are (MONTREAL RIDE OR DIE, BABY!) And those things that you can buy from the grocery store here? Well, I'm not sure what they are but they are *not* bagels. I'm not the only one in the UK who professes Montreal's superiority in the bagel arena either. Grace Dent wrote an entire article about it.
(FYI, before Bross opened and if I was desperate for bagels, I made some using this recipe and would freeze them. So, if you're not anywhere near Bross in Portobello or Edinburgh and fancied trying Montreal-style bagels then I recommend it.)
A Montreal bagel at Beauty's - accept no substitutes!
What's the big deal about Montreal bagels? Watch the video below:
Sorry, didn't mean to go on about bagels. Moving on...
Bagels not your thing? Grab some spanokopita from Greek Artisan Pastries then.
If you're craving something sweet then you *must* head to Twelve Triangles for a croissant and/or doughnut.
After hanging out at Portobello beach and enjoying some lunch, take a stroll along the High Street stopping in at the various independent shops such as COVE, Two Sisters, and the newly opened Portobello Bookshop, which looks fabulous. For such a small town, Porty really has a lot to offer in terms of independent shops, restaurants, butchers and more.
Finally, after relaxing at the beach, eating carbs, and shopping, it's time to finish off a hard day's effort with a drink at The Espy - a Portobello institution.
One more thing though, don't forget to stock up on some Bross Bagels for your freezer before leaving. Montreal-style bagels will change your life!