Bleach Please – Edinburgh


Bleach Please is a new salon in New Town, Edinburgh that first caught my eye with its PINK inside and unicorn head in the window. The next thing was their stellar reviews.

I needed a haircut. Unlike my days when I worked in a salon and my hair couldn’t grow a single inch without my co-workers wanting to “play”, I only get a haircut every six months or so. I tend to keep it long, and they’re damn expensive. You get what you pay for, though, because last time I got myself a £30 haircut at a chain salon and came home needing to un-bulk and finish the haircut at home. Lucky for me, I knew how to do that (it’s harder when you can’t stand behind yourself), but I paid for the whole service, and it upset me to have to tweak it at all.

So I tried Bleach Please. The name has sass. The interior is quirky. When I visited the salon to ask about prices, the small crew was so lovely and welcoming (Marco, the stylist even stopped working on his client to tell me he liked the way I’d put my hair up). I signed up.

Because it’s such a small salon (2 chairs, if I’m remembering right), there’s little to no possibility for the place to become too crowded. I felt relaxed. Rossella made me one of the best cappuccinos I’ve had in a while (chocolate on top — she said she was also experimenting with marshmallows, but ran out of them). She talked to me while Marco finished with his other client. They both made me feel included and wanted in that space.

The haircut itself was a positive experience. Since I’ve been a stylist myself and worked with some talented people in Manhattan, I know the drill. While Marco’s English isn’t 100%, I showed him a picture of what I wanted, he described the work he was going to do, and even had Rossella translate the little bits he couldn’t quite say. When he got to work, I was in the hands of an expert. He’s quick and precise, and in the end my hair looked like what I’d asked for. The blow-dry style was good, but not over the top (pro-tip: you’re not supposed to give an over the top blow dry because you as a stylist need to be able to check your lines, and the client needs to see what their hair can look like in a style they can mimic on their own. If you get a super curly blowout, your stylist is probably hiding a mistake). Most importantly, he finished the whole haircut. I was so happy I was taking selfies the rest of the day (which I almost never do).

So, I walked out of the salon happy with how I looked. The real test comes when you wash and style it yourself, and dammit, it was good then too.

I’ll be coming back — I’ve finally found my salon!

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Oink – Edinburgh


Oink is a pulled pork sandwich, simple as that. You know a place is good when there are more people than sitting places in an establishment (or when the line to order goes out the door, as it often does on Victoria Street). For a person like me, who gets agitated (let’s all say it, “freaked out”) by crowds, I’ll suck it up and go to Oink because it’s one of the best pulled pork sandwiches I’ve ever had.

I’m from Memphis, TN, which has a pulled pork/BBQ festival every year. There’s a BBQ restaurant so famous, it’ll FedEx menu items across the country. I grew up on this stuff, relentlessly comparing my hometown’s craft with everyone else’s. 

While Oink doesn’t doesn’t give me a sandwich slathered in sauce so there’s not a dry piece of pork on the whole thing (and all over my hands), it’s got it’s own delicious thing going: put haggis on the bun, then a heap of meat from the whole pig in the window, a little apple sauce (or BBQ sauce if I’m feeling homesick), and you’re done. The meat is so juicy I don’t need all the extra sauce I’m used to. In fact, if I were to ever go back to Memphis, I’d be looking in vain for Oink over there.