Are you a fan of Spanish cuisine?
Whether you come from the land of sun, olive oil and jamón or just love Spanish flavours, Adrian Lago, the founder of Edinburgh-based The Pack Language Experience, which offers language immersion holidays to Spain, says the capital offers a rich variety of restaurants and shops to bring Spain that little bit closer.
Here's his top picks for a little bit of sunshine in Edinburgh...
This small, family-run restaurant keeps the Spanish spirit alive and is one of the most authentic in town.
It serves a mixture of tapas and traditional courses, from stuffed mushrooms to salmorejo (cold tomato soup) or queso de tetilla (deep fried creamy tetilla cheese).
Don't forget to leave some space for their great homemade desserts. And if you want to have a full Spanish experience, check the flamenco classes and shows at Alba Flamenca next door.
Leith also has its own piece of Spain and Tapa is the perfect example.
This restaurant, situated in a converted warehouse, offers a full menu where the highlights are the Iberian meat products and a variety of croquettes, ranging from prawn to blue cheese.
A lunch menu is served Tuesday to Saturday between 12pm and 5pm and contains a selection of 6 classic tapas for two people to share, which costs £15 per couple.
Staying in Leith, we also find Las Delicias, a shop that offers all types of traditional Spanish food and a large selection of delicacies including such jewels as saffron, smoked paprika and ready-made spice mixes for paella.
As well as this there's rice, pasta and pulses, spices, snacks, biscuits, olive oil and charcuterie.
Malvarosa is another recommendation in Edinburgh when talking about Spanish cuisine.
Here, the food is a mix of organic, Spanish and high-quality products, locally sourced where possible to make sure that the real flavours of Spain are presented to the highest standard.
If you like paella, this is the place to come. There are five options to choose from: mixta, vegetables, seafood, pil-pil or Malvarosa, which is chicken with broad beans, green beans, paprika, rosemary, paella rice, and saffron. They also offer a party menu for a minimum of four people with a selection of tapas.
This small restaurant located in the Tollcross area offers a menu based on Spanish as well as South African dishes.
From the typical Spanish omelette, Iberian air-cured meats or boquerones (pickled anchovy fillets) to interesting options such as Boerewors, pap and sous (South African beef and pork sausage with pap, a traditional maize ‘porridge’ and spicy vegetable relish chakalaka). Wines from both countries are also available to wash it all down.
With the same spirit as the restaurant, Indaba Deli offers a selection of Spanish and South African products.
They also serve breakfast, freshly made bocadillos (sandwiches), cheese boards and air-cured meats to sit in or take away.
The wine tastings here are also highly recommended.
If you are a ham lover, The Black Hoof is the place to be. In this shop and restaurant, you can learn everything there is to know about the Iberico ham.
Enjoy masterclasses here where you can taste and experience the finest cured meats in the world.
Qué aproveche! (Enjoy your meal).
If you want to explore all of these flavours in Spain, while practising your Spanish language skills too, The Pack Language Experience offers short stays (5 to 7 nights) in different cities to enjoy a complete Spanish immersion.