From Dawn til Dusk

There's a curious sight on the streets of Stockbridge. A pale creature, startled by the sun, eyes blinking frequently against the bright spring glare of sun bouncing off the polished shop front glass of Chetty & Das and Annie Smith, and the sparkling river with its cheerful ducks turning their minds to building nests.

It's me, and people like me, emerging from our cosy burrows now that seemingly everlasting winter has managed to blow itself out.

But what's this? An extra hour! And warmth on my skin!  What can we do with this amazing spring blessing?

Don't worry, we at Stockbridge Local can ease you into the great British Summer Time, with our dawn til dusk guide to our high street.


Let's start early. Let's take this optimism that the morning chorus has brought us and bounce out of bed and get to Westwoods for 6.30am and get in that pool first thing. Strap on your SwimTag wristband, hook it up to Strava, and get lapping the pool, knowing that every stroke is buying you health bonus points.

Now, towel it off quickly, and get to your breakfast: you've earned it. Pure Gray is open from 8am, so just in time for you to make it for a window seat and watch harried parents get their children to school while you bask in a satisfied glow and enjoy your blueberry and banana muffin or bacon roll.

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Now, I trust you took my advice and only towelled off your hair: the salon awaits. Wash away any residual chlorine, Lee Mitchell Hairdressing is going to take good care of you. Open from 9am Thursday to Saturday (and 9.30am Monday-Wednesday), you've plenty of time to be groomed for the day.

This is only the beginning of your personal spring clean. You've got the day off work, and people to see! Once you've been blow dried to perfection, make your way to WomanKind for an extra dose of polish. You've chosen some brow threading at 10am, having decided against teeth whitening...for now. You emerge fresh as a daisy into this bright new world.

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Well, it's 11am and time to show off the newly groomed you. Let's go for coffee with a great pal at La Barantine, and maybe squeeze in a fabulous French fancy. You feel all superior about your early morning workout as you select a bright macaron. You catch up on all the news, then your friend tells you she wants a second opinion on a piece in Alpha Art (open 11am) that she's thinking for a birthday surprise. You know you've got a long, busy day ahead of you, so you agree and enjoy the relaxed vibe as you wonder around the large gallery.




The piece is fantastic, so it's reserved, and you're in the mood for art. You must go and see Lennon Art then, with its Taking Shape Exhibition showing this month (open at noon), so you both go and are seriously inspired.

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But now, the sun is high and Hector's has its tables out! You have a 1pm appointment with its drinks list and an old uni pal. The pair of you meet up and grab a prime people-watching spot, and all don sunglasses to make full use of it.

You all opt for the Continental Sharing Board with its Camembert baked in sourdough, mixed meat and olives, and while you wait, you all relax with some specialised gin and tonics which fizz and sparkle in the early afternoon sun.

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Oh whoops! It's 2 o'clock already, but you're having so much fun so let's say it's 3pm when you embark on today's shopping. It's a list of gifts for various friends and family; each of you with a hit list that you tackle. For you, it's the Treehouse first, which have a top quality selection of children's toys. You select one, guaranteed to keep you on the Best Godmother list, for both Godchild and parent. Also on your list it's a present for your boyfriend's mother, and you have an idea she'd love something unique from Adam Pottery. You've been very good doing that, so you all have a great time being shown some favourites by Ariel at Annie Smith, because, quite frankly, these days you have to be quite specific with your own birthday list or else Boyfriend might not make the best judgement.

Ariel talks you through some beautifully shaped studs, but it's a hammered heart on pearls that you jot down before dragging your friends away from the diamond selection. Whatever they say, they aren't engaged, you try to convey with your eyes.

'4 o'clock is cheese o'clock!' declares your friends, who you now remember were always quite a lot to handle, so it's George Mews for a selection they plan to take for an al fresco wine and cheese session in Inverlieth Park. As your friends totter off up to the park, and you reflect that maybe they'd been a bit too keen on the artisan gin at Hector's. You, on the other hand, have a 5 o'clock appointment at Chetty & Das (because you've only one set of eyes...) so it's lines of letters and whether the red or the green is brighter, and it's a clean bill of health for your retinas. Phew!

Next up, muscles (6pm)! Balanced Edinburgh gives you a good going over, pressing deep into your back and conditioning those muscles. Being open until 8pm Monday to Thursday means Balanced Edinburgh can offer their massages, Pilates and physiotherapy at a time that fits in with most lifestyles. 

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Rush home, change, because you're meeting boyfriend for a pre dinner drink at 7pm. Of course, you're late, but he doesn't mind because you got the gift for his mother spot on, and the St Vincent has some perfect real ales for him.

It's the four of you, you (potential) future in laws and yourselves for dinner at Purslane, the cosy environment perfect for a convivial meal that looks as amazing as it is to eat. You're there for 8pm, so at the end of the day there's just time to sample the wine list at Good Brothers Wine Bar, each of you trying out a different wine by the glass for fun.