Capital Credit Union's winner walks away with a car!

Christmas may be becoming a distant memory for most of us, but Capital Credit Union, with its Head Office on Hamilton Place, still got to play the part of Santa recently.  Richard Langan, a Scotmid store staff member, was delighted to be presented with a brand new Suzuki Celerio, after winning the Capital Credit Union Lottery.

In becoming a member of the Capital Credit Union, all members have the option of a £1 monthly lottery deduction, in order to win a monthly £3,000 jackpot, or as Mr Langan discovered, a special 'Christmas bonus' prize. 

The Capital Credit Union has agreements with a number of organisations across Scotland to allow members to save directly from their salary. For us with access to Stockbridge, it's easy to find out more- by popping into the Hamilton Place office. 

John Brodie MBE, CEO of Scotmid Co-operative, and Marlene Shiels OBE, the CEO of Capital Credit Union, present Richard Langan with his new Suzuki Celerio from the Belmont Group

John Brodie MBE, CEO of Scotmid Co-operative, and Marlene Shiels OBE, the CEO of Capital Credit Union, present Richard Langan with his new Suzuki Celerio from the Belmont Group

Golden Wonder celebrates 70th Birthday & Launches 'Chippie' range in Stockbridge

Golden Wonder.png

In September, 2017 Golden Wonder recently celebrated its 70th anniversary by introducing a new line of crisps in Stockbridge, where the brand was created 70 years ago.

William Alexander was a baker and he started making crisps in 1947 and named the crisps after Golden Wonder potatoes and the name has become well known throughout the land. 

The new Golden Wonder Chippies range, consisting of Curry, Salt and Vinegar and Ready Salted flavoured crisps and was launched at the same time.

Maxi's restored to former glory & reopens as Cowan & Sons

The ever popular Maxi's, now Cowan & Sons has become the latest business to benefit from a scheme aimed at restoring the Capital’s shop fronts to their former glory.

Cowan & Sons

Noel and Rebecca Cowan, owners of Maxi’s at 33 Raeburn Place, approached Edinburgh World Heritage (EWH) for help after their café’s historic stain glass windows fell into disrepair.  The conservation scheme, provides grants to business owners looking to conserve historic buildings, to reinstate traditional architectural features that may have been lost or neglected over time. The couple were left heartbroken when they were advised by glaziers to remove the period stain glass in favour of modern double glazing.

The neighbourhood café was the first coffee shop on Raeburn Place before chains such as Cafe Nero, Costa Coffee and Starbucks arrived, when it opened its doors in 1997 and has since become a Stockbridge institution.

The old shop front was in a very bad shape. Our windows, although they were beautiful, were crumbling and were badly in disrepair and we didn’t know what to do with them. The grant is vital to keep the beautiful original features that we have in our city. It is amazing to have a company looking out for Edinburgh’s interests. It took a year from initial contact until the shop was finished. Without the grant, we would not have been able to restore the property.
— Rebecca Cowan
Cowan & Sons

The neighbourhood café was the first coffee shop on Raeburn Place before chains such as Cafe Nero, Costa Coffee and Starbucks arrived, when it opened its doors in 1997 and has since become a Stockbridge institution.

During the recent renovations, Noel and Rebecca also discovered original tiling underneath old plasterwork.

Since completing the project, the couple said that the café has seen increased footfall from locals and tourists. 

EWH spends over £100,000 a year supporting the shop front scheme, excluding money property owners themselves contribute to refurbishments. In the last 10 years, the project in its current form has helped to restore more than 50 shop fronts, the latest beneficiary being Maxi’s.

Edinburgh is famous for its World Heritage Site and shopfronts play a very important role in the city’s unique historic character. Traditional features add interest and variety and can make a shop distinctive. These are an asset to a retail business and should be retained. A single high-quality shop front can make a significant improvement to the streetscape.
— Stuart Buchanan, Edinburgh World Heritage Site

EWH funding aims to help small businesses, community groups and charities throughout the Edinburgh UNESCO World Heritage site to safeguard its historic architecture.

Biggest flat fish Armstrong's of Stockbridge sees in 26 years

Not so long ago Armstrong’s of Stockbridge fishmongers was in the local news after taking a delivery of a huge tuna fish and they are in the news again after taking delivery of a flat fish weighing over 16 stone and measuring 6ft in length. 

This time it is a halibut and it is the biggest fish of its kind that Armstrong’s has seen in 26 years of running their business.

The fish was caught at Rockall, a small, remote and uninhabited British island more than 100 miles west of St Kilda in the North Atlantic Ocean.  The fish is estimated to feed just short of 1,000 people.

Hollywood Hit 'Mrs Doubtfire' originated in Stockbridge

Madame Doubtfire outside her shop in 1973, Picture Credit - The Scotsman

Madame Doubtfire outside her shop in 1973, Picture Credit - The Scotsman

Mrs Doubtfire, the Hollywood box office hit movie about a cross-dressing, half-Scottish nanny played by the late Robin Williams has its origins in Stockbridge.

The real Mrs Doubtfire was Annabella Coutts, a shop owner in Edinburgh. Mrs Coutts had ‘Madame Doubtfire’ daubed across the exterior of her premises at South East Circus Place. and it quickly became the name by which most locals referred to her.

Madame Doubtfire's shop, 1960's, Picture Credit - The Scotsman

Madame Doubtfire's shop, 1960's, Picture Credit - The Scotsman

Located at the foot of a flight of typical New Town basement steps, Madame Doubtfire’s was a dimly-lit second-hand store crammed with bric-a-brac, clothes, antiques and the distinct aroma of pipe smoke and cats. Her slogan “Madame Doubtfire, cast-off clothing of all description, invites inspection” used to amuse the local kids.

Madame Doubtfire was awfully fond of her felines and kept several.

I remember her sitting outside her shop in the early 1970s with her numerous cats. I think she had about half a dozen. Some were less than friendly and would snarl and hiss if you got too close! There were plenty well-off residents in the area able to supply her with a never-ending supply of the very best second hand goods. Only down side was you had to hold your nose the whole time, because it stank to high heavens of cat pee!
— Former local resident, Olivia McAdam

Madame Doubtfire with one of her many cats. Picture Credit - Douglas Corrance, The Scotsman

Madame Doubtfire with one of her many cats. Picture Credit - Douglas Corrance, The Scotsman

Madame Doubtfire Gallery 

Madame Doubtfire Gallery 

Madame Doubtfire became a local legend, and the epitome of the classic New Town eccentric - but she wasn’t actually from the district at all.

Nowhere near it, in fact.


End of an Era for Stockbridge Stalwarts, plus Two Doors Open



A CORNER of Stockbridge has ushered in the end of an era as the community said a fond farewell to brothers Ernesto (Nino) and Franco Alonzi of Franco’s Fish & Chips after 46 years and Moira Barnes, who has been selling Sunday papers from her stall opposite the popular Raeburn Place chippy for over 38 years.  

Nino, Moira & Franco

Nino, Moira & Franco

Some history about the Alonzi family:

  • 1958, the Alonzi brothers’ parents, Vincenzo and Bernice left Picinisco, a commune in the Province of Frosinone in the Italian region of Lazio, 120km east of Rome in pursuit of a better life in Newport, Wales when Ernesto (Nino) was 5 years old and Franco was 3
  • 1964, Vincenzo and Bernice moved to Stockbridge Edinburgh and their first business, the Park Café, a confectionery and tobacconist shop, which later changed to an ice cream bar, Capones, which the brothers lease to Ailsa Rollo and called Rollo. The brothers helped their parents out after school.
  • 1970 they expanded the business and they bought the chip shop opposite and named it Franco’s
  • 1981 they branched out further and purchased Dougall's grocery store two doors along from the chip shop, and ran a grocery store for 3 years before converting it to the San Marco Restaurant.
  • 1986 they acquired the hairdressers next door and expanded San Marco’s floor space.
  • 1992 for the final time they expanded the business by buying the cobbler and dress makers next door, creating the San Marco Wine Bar
  • 2012 the brothers shut the San Marco doors and leased out the space to Tom Kitchin, who opened it into the Scran & Scallie Restaurant

1. Nino, Franco, Vincenzo and Bernice

2. Sean Connery in San Marcos

3. Vinnie in Franco's

4. Franco's daughter with Tom Kitchin

Franco, Pino & Nino

Franco, Pino & Nino

Susannah of Stockbridge Local, met up with the brothers for breakfast at The Scran & Scallie. They were overwhelmed by the community reaction to them retiring and enjoyed sharing some special memories collected over the years.  

Nino said: “We’ve appreciated all the custom over the years, some regulars and some well-known names.  We’ve had a special relationship with local schools, including Broughton High and Fettes. 

I can assure customers the quality of service and standard of food will continue under Mr Giuseppe (Pino) Vita who leases the business from us with the help of his family, in particular his 22 year-old son, Ricardo.  Pino has over 25 years catering experience and run an Italian restaurant in Tollcross.  We’ve have had the pleasure of knowing Pino for a number of years as he worked for us in the San Marco kitchen from 1994 -1998.  

Initially I will swing by a few times a week to help Pino out and I will enjoy seeing many familiar faces walking down Raeburn Place.  My son Vincenzo (Vinny), who recently got married and moved to America, has also been at the forefront of our business over recent years.  We have fantastic memories and will be sad to say cheerio”. 

He then went on to describe the change they had seen in Stockbridge over the years, initially they were surrounded by shoes shops, a dairy, now Mr Acram’s, a bank, clothes shop, a chemist and a toy shop.  He recalled their father never taking a day off.  Every New Year’s Eve a neuro-surgeon, Dr Patel from New York used to be the last footer and first footer in the Park Café with his coal before enjoying a dram.  He said, now there are a number of fine establishments, including the popular Raeburn across the road, Rollo and The Pastry Section, which only opened its doors recently and he enjoyed going in for a lovely coffee and pastry each morning.

"DCIB (Double Cheese Burger In Bun), a Franco’s favourite amongst the pupils at Fettes College throughout the years!" William Forsyth

"All the best guys, thanks for the memories (and the suppers).  I first moved to Stocky when I was 15 and Franco's was a regular port of call. Franco was usually seen more often in San Marco's next door than the chippy, but Nino was always behind the counter - serving customers with a smile. One of life's good guys, and I wish them both well for the future. Their place in Stockbridge folklore is assured!" Colin Leslie

"So many memories, was my first job." Linda Tuff

"Been going for almost 37 years. Can remember their mother making sure they were doing "right" in the early years. Don't forget San Marco - kid friendly haven." Shaun Vigers

"Worked here a few years back, best chippy and the best people!" Natasha Welsh

"Our family loved the chippie and San Marco next door was the first place my week old daughter went for dinner! Good luck to you and your families in the future." Annette Hughes

"Grafters and gentlemen, will be a big loss to Stockbridge, enjoy your retirement guys, hope to still see you along Raeburn Place now and again." Armstrong's of Stockbridge (10% off)

Franco's, captured by local, Nigel Clark

Franco's, captured by local, Nigel Clark

Franco’s is a firm favourite in Stockbridge and over the years, the family-run business has become a real part of the community. Many people have a lot of fond memories of Franco’s - of the friendly welcome and some of the best chip butties in the city!  I know I won’t be alone in wishing Franco and Nino all the best.
— Tom Kitchin

New owner Pino said:

“I’m excited to take on this new challenge now my family have grown up.  I intend on keeping the name, Franco’s and giving the place of a bit of a face-lift.  We already source our fish from Armstrong’s across the road and I’m hoping to introduce burgers with beef from George Bower’s Butchers, just a few doors down, along with doing chicken kebabs. We look forward to welcoming you and are delighted to be part of the Stockbridge community.  We will continue relationships with regulars, welcome new customers and are continuing to work with Stockbridge Local, who have 3 fish suppers to win  and we are offering everyone a free can of juice (excluding San Pellegrino) with every supper purchased before the end of the month."  

Moira with local John Donnelly

Moira with local John Donnelly


"Franco’s is an institution I’ve been going to for 20yrs. The banter was always good and Veronica babysat all our 3 kids growing up. What can you say about Vinnie…legend. The family will be greatly missed”.

Moira is a gem, a one off. I’ve bought my papers there for 20yrs and loved her chat. Always cheery even when winding her up about Hearts. It’s gone full circle as she started telling me when my sons were coming home at 4am instead of me. I will miss her greatly."

Local John Donnelly, CEO Marketing Edinburgh

Local buying his last paper from Moira

Local buying his last paper from Moira



Moira Barnes from Penicuik also stands down after selling the Sunday ‘papers on Raeburn Place, Stockbridge since 1978, over 38 years ago.  Moira’s husband, David stood in to cover the stand on 1 January 1978, which then turned into Moria taking over 6 months later.

Moira was once awarded a ‘Community Award’ by The Edinburgh Evening News.

Sunday 18 June was the last day Moira rose at 2.30am to start her day selling the Sunday ‘papers to the people of Stockbridge.  Locals came out in force to wish the humble Moria their cheerios, armed with presents and taking photos. 

Locals, including Margaret Power with Moira & Nino

Locals, including Margaret Power with Moira & Nino


“Hail, rain, snow, Moira would be there, never complained and often didn’t even wear gloves in the winter, always with a smile”.  Locals, Moira & Mike Power

“We’ll have to organise and OBE for Moira, a wonderful woman, who I’ve been getting my paper from since day one as did my parents.  I cancelled my weekend away, just to wish farewell to this wonderful woman and I know someone that came in specially from Fife to say cheerio.  I used to take Moira some onions and potatoes from my allotment, she will be sadly missed in the area.”  Local, Stewart Dickson

“Moira is the most amazing person I’ve ever met, I lost my husband and enjoyed seeing Moira with my dog, Zack”.  Local, Elaine

“All the dogs loved Moira, she always had a treat for every dog.  Moira was like the community hub who brought people together, almost like the modern kirk where people would stop and have a good chat”.  James Simpson  

Moira would often be seen propped up against the stand reading her book in between serving customers.  She was only absent for comfort breaks and the Scran & Scallie would bring her a coffee each morning.  

Susannah heard some interesting stories from Moira and from locals who only knew her from buying their Sunday ‘paper from Moira.  The newspaper stand has been manned for over 100 years. Moira spoke about the early days when the van would pull up with the ‘papers and the guys would throw them from the back of the van in through the window of the gift shop next door, where they would stay dry on rainy days, then chuckles that that would never be allowed these days. Local businesses and residents clubbed together to present Moira with a farewell gift.

Locals bid farewell to Moira at The Raeburn

Locals bid farewell to Moira at The Raeburn

New to the Stockbridge community are: 

The Six Cafe


The Six Cafe, a cute, little café and deli with a Scandinavian flair. Apart from breakfast and lunch, they offer delicious, homemade sweet treats and freshly made smoothies along with their own 'Six of Stockbridge' coffee. In addition to an outside area, it is the perfect place to sip a coffee or enjoy a freshly made sandwich while enjoying the sunshine or being cosy inside with a hot chocolate on a rainy day.  They are offering Stockbridge Locals a free 'Six of Stockbridge' coffee with every gourmet sandwich and cake purchased, simply email to receive you unique code. 

The Pastry Section




Pastry Section, a contemporary pastry house, serving delicious home-made cakes on site.  Relax and sit in while watching the world go by with a cuppa or take a cake or two away in a lovely box with a coffee to keep you going. 


Good Brothers awarded The List’s Best New Bar

WINE lover? If so you will be spoiled for choice at Good Brothers Wine Bar, which boasts more than 50 organic wines 50 on their wine list.

 The Stockbridge bar, which has just been awarded The List’s Best New Bar Award, opened in summer 2016 by brothers Graeme and Rory Sutherland, with the aim of standing out from competition due to its vast selection of biodynamic and organic wines.

The brothers quoted “The natural wine movement is one that we’ve witnessed spread from London all across the UK.  To be able to bring it to Scotland and generate interest and excitement in it is brilliant to see. The idea came out of a passion for artisan producers and wines and we’re very proud of the support that we’ve been able to give them and the relationships we’ve built. Winning this award is just the cherry on the top to what has been a fantastic first year in business.”

The bar recently underwent a refurbishment to put the official Good Brothers stamp on it through minimalistic design.  The menu has also been recently revised and now offers small plates for sharing, channelling the relaxed atmosphere of a continental wine bar.

A number of top wine producers are now set to host tasting evenings at the bar.

Good Brothers Wine Bar

Picture - courtesy of TSPL 

January winners

CONGRATULATIONS to all our January winners as can be viewed here in our 'Win over £1,000 worth of prizes' ... if you weren't a lucky winner, we still have some fantastic OFFERS as detailed on here. Thank you to everyone who entered and to to all the businesses for their fantastic prizes.

I am delighted with bowl I won from Adam Pottery in your recent competition! What a treat.

It’s not like me to win anything, I love the earrings from Sheila Fleet. 

Wednesday is off to the best of start winning a book voucher for Golden Hare.
— Just some of the quotes from the winners.

SugaRush lands in central Stockbridge

A modern, stylish and unique confectionery retail shop opened in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, in Jan 2017.  Offering many exciting product lines such as;

  • Gourmet Chocolate
  • Retro Sweets
  • Luxury Pick 'n' Mix
  • Gluten-free
  • Sugar-free
  • Mystery boxes

In addition to rare imported treats from around the world.  Click here for more info. 

SugarRush Logo



Edinburgh's First 'DRY' Bar pops up in Stockbridge

FOR some, the idea of a night out with no alcohol is ludicrous. But in Stockbridge, DRY Edinburgh is on a mission to prove you don’t need beer or wine to have a good time – all you need is great company.

Among birch trees, red walls and oriental decor, around 100 people gathered for the opening of the Capital’s first alcohol-free bar on 17 Jan 2016. The “bar”, on North West Circus Place, offers customers a large range of mocktails, alcohol-free craft beers, wine and spirits. The owners have organised a programme of entertainment including quiz nights, musical performances and table tennis leagues. Jamie Walker, 48-year-old father-of-four from the city’s New Town, who previously owned the Adelphi Whisky company came up with the idea for the unique venture after spending several years in South Africa rehabilitation after he developed a drinking problem, he moved to Cape Town for rehabilitation.

Jamie has now been 'dry' for 13 years and wants to use his experience to show others alcohol is not an essential element to a good night out. He said: “The philosophy behind DRY is that it is possible to go out and have a grown-up fun evening in an alcohol-free environment.

“Our customers don’t need to feel pressured into drinking alcohol. We don’t want to
create a virtuous, hair-shirt experience; but rather a relaxed vibe where you can meet friends and share delicious food, drink and good conversation.” Jamie and his childhood friend, Tertia Bailey, set up DRY in response to a trend for non-alcoholic beverages among increasingly health-conscious millennials.

Recent research by brewing giant ABInbev found that 41% of young people are pursuing a healthier lifestyle by actively cutting down on alcohol. Some of the beers on offer include well known brands such as Becks Blue and Carlsberg. A selection of alcohol free ciders, including Kopparberg, and wines are also on offer. Jamie added: “We were really pleased with our opening night – we had a fantastic turnout. “We hope to attract all ages of people. We are proud to be the first bar of this kind in the city.”

DRY Edinburgh

Michelin chef opens Taisteal Restaurant in Stockbridge

Michelin-trained chef Gordon Craig, who trained with Roux brothers, launched his new venture in Stockbridge with family, friends and guests on 11 Jan 2016. 

Taisteal, gaelic for journey or to travel, is the new name over the door on the authentic wooden signage of the former Field Grill House in Stockbridge.

After four years Mr Craig bought out his two partners to relaunch the restaurant with a concept that he has been developing for several years. Inspired by his own travels abroad and recipes from around the world, he hopes to present some of these flavours. 

He trained in some of the UK’s best restaurants, including the three Michelin-starred Waterside Inn, The Peat Inn and The Plumed Horse. He honed his skills whilst working under the direction of Roux Brothers in London.

Story & Picture:

Thanks to Terry Murden of The Daily Business Group

Michelin-trained chef Gordon Craig of Taisteal

Kestin Hare wins 'Retailer of the Year' at The Scottish Fashion Awards

Stockbridge Local's Latest Column, by Rachel Davidson

Nestled in Stockbridge his original store, which opened in 2014 also houses a small design team.  Kestin's floral print Tynemouth shirt was worn by Tinie Tempah and Spud (Ewen Bremnar) on the current Trainspotting 2 poster, just released.  Kestin quoted: 

"In Stockbridge we are surrounded by some of the best independent stores, cafes and restaurants in the city.  Together we are the best place to hang out and shop in Edinburgh". Picture from The Scotsman. 

Kestin Hare wins 'Retailer of the Year' at The Scottish Fashion Awards

What's Old, What's New & What's on Stockbridge - Second Stockbridge Local column in The Scotsman

Stockbridge Local talks about the inspiration of their logo from the original Stockbridge Market arch and what's new and on in Stockbridge published on The Scotsman's 'Lifestyle' section and The Edinburgh Evening News 'Inspire Me' section and their social media pages. 

Click here to see the second column, published 8 Sep.   

Picture - Chandra Isenberg 

Picture - Chandra Isenberg 

Willow Boutique comes to Raeburn Place

New to Raeburn Place – stunningly decorated in contemporary grey - a haven for baby-wear, children's toys, books, beautiful gifts, jewellery and womenswear.  Inspired by traditional toy shops from the owners’ own childhoods, children can spend their pocket money while parents can treat themselves or others.

Picture - Chandra Isenberg

Willow Boutique