Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Edinburgh Events: Things to do in May

May is a pretty exciting month - bank holidays, a gradual thaw in the weather (actual taps aff sightings in Edinburgh yesterday, the first of the year!) and lighter evenings. There are also some pretty cool films to see - I'm So Excited and Iron Man 3 are out now and are definitely worth a trip to the cinema.  There is also some pretty cool stuff going on outside of Edinburgh's darkened cinema halls and our top picks are below: booze, animals, shopping and music are all on our May to-do list. 


Friday 24 May / 6-10pm / £20 or £17 concession
Ever wanted to visit Edinburgh Zoo but were put off by the crowds of children that for some reason insist on turning up and visiting for so-called educational purposes? Want to pull faces at the monkeys and not be shown up by a 5 year old pulling even better faces than you? The zoo is launching a new after-hours event for grown-ups only, where you can enjoy a drink whilst visiting your favourite animals. There'll also be a vintage cocktail tea party, silent disco, comedy, music, champagne and Pimms bar and food stalls including tapas, sushi and seafood. So if you ever wanted to get pished with the pandas (they're always high on that bamboo) you should venture along. Another night will be held on Friday 28 June if you can't make it in May. 

25-29 May / Whitespace, 11 Gayfield Square, EH1 3NT
Ziggy Sawdust and Paper Aeroplane are two Edinburgh-based designers who have decided to celebrate the first birthday of their businesses by joining forces and opening a pop-up shop. The designer behind Ziggy Sawdust is Amy Dolan, and she rescues old, forgotten pieces of vintage furniture and gives them a new lease of life with lots of TLC and fun blocks of colour. You can see from the gorgeous piece pictured above that these are retro modern inspired and frankly, would look perfect in my house! There will be a variety of her work on show, including a new line of unique, hand crafted jewellery made out of wood from old pieces of furniture. Paper Aeroplane is a stationery business owned by Fiona Purves, who designs colourful and playful hand-drawn illustrations and lettering to create cards and prints to be treasured forever. You can have a good browse at Paper Aeroplane's Etsy shop which also features a dog in a hat illustration of which I strongly approve. Fiona will also be launching a bespoke stationery service, whereby invites for any occasion can be tailor-made to meet your individual requirements. Given the designers' colourful and quirky aesthetic, it's going to be a beautiful visual display, with mini installations of the designers’ products alongside flowers, balloons, garlands and other fun party paraphernalia.  You can watch a video of the set up of the shop here.

Friday 10 May / The Pleasance Theatre / 8pm / £7
Fence Records have already released some of my favourite records this year and Edinburgh's finest slowcore band, eagleowl's debut album, this silent year, is likely to join label mates Kid Canaveral and the Pictish Trail's latest on heavy rotation on the Edinburgh Etiquette playlist. This record has been a long time coming and promises to be a lo-fi classic with good reviews all over the shop. The new album will be available to buy at the gig ahead of the release on Monday, so not only will you get to see them play the album (and possibly ogle one of Bart's awesome jumpers, depending on the weather) you'll also get to listen to the album a weekend ahead of those who aren't going. 

Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May / Surgeons' Hall, Nicolson Street, EH8 9DW / £26
The Edinburgh Whisky Stramash is not just your average whisky tasting event. The organisers want to do away with stuffy auld fud Scotch whisky cliches and have devised an event to tempt folk into sampling the huge array of drams on offer with madcap experiences and installations. Expect a Heston Blumenthal style molecular sensory lab with whisky, bacon and HP sauce; an interactive virtual tour of the Glenfiddich distillery (where I'm hoping you can give the virtual finger to Donald Trump); and a vintage style pop-up speakeasy with cocktails and lindy-hopping. They're keeping the exact details a surprise for now, but last year's event was a huge party and they're promising to come back bigger and better than ever. There'll be over 200 whiskies to try in a four hour session and you can get tickets here

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