As much as I adore family days out with the little one, I do love planning a date night (or day depending on our schedule and childcare) for just the two of us. It gives us the chance to hold hands without having to steer a buggy, chat about something other than nappies and eat a meal without the risk of anything being regurgitated in our general direction. Being a mum is so glamorous, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Recently we were invited to spend the day at Fort Kinnaird (Edinburgh, Newcraighall, EH15 3RD) for a special date night that included a meal at Chiquito and a screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, it’s safe to say that it was the quickest I’ve ever answered an email in my life!
Fort Kinnaird (just off the A1) is a shopping, entertainment and dining destination with over 2,600 free parking spaces, public transport access, a Shopmobility service which provides powered scooters and manual wheelchairs, free wifi and over 70 stores including Mamas & Papas, HomeSense, River Island, New Look, Marks & Spencer, Waterstones and Primark. It has also recently undergone a £13 million extension which has brought a seven-screen Odeon, Five Guys, PizzaExpress, Nando’s, Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito, TGI Friday’s and Caffe Nero to the park.
After dropping the baby off at Granny’s we headed to Chiquito. We were treated to a delicious meal, topped off with wonderful service which I think makes all the difference to your dining experience. Inside was decorated like a Mexican fiesta, with colourful sombreros hanging on the backs of chairs, vibrant murals covering the walls and lively music creating a fun family atmosphere. The staff were rushed off their feet but were incredibly upbeat and friendly during our visit.
We were still in the midst of our heatwave during our visit, so to cool down I ordered a frozen strawberry daiquiri (£6.95) and Ross went for an ice cold bottle of Mexican Blonde (£3.95). We munched on a dish of popcorn covered in Chiquito’s Mexican Salsa seasoning whilst we browsed through the menus, which was a nice touch as I hate it when you are rushed and forced to quickly order. I love Mexican food and I wish I could say that we went for some really adventurous but, well, how could we not order sizzling fajitas and churros?! I ordered from their 2 courses for only £14.95 set menu and Ross tried their new Gluten free menu.
The succulent freshly marinated chicken breast was served over sizzling onions and mixed peppers, with a pile of warm soft tortillas, grated cheese, sour cream, homemade guacamole and pico de gallo salsa. Ross went for the steak fajitas (£15.95) which were served medium rare and a side order of chunky sweet potato fries (£3.95). The portions were very generous and we were absolutely stuffed and barely had any room left for dessert… but we struggled through! I had always wanted to try churros and they were just as delicious as I had imagined. They were crispy and golden with a yummy fluffy centre. The came dusted with cinnamon sugar, served with fresh strawberries and a pot of chocolate sauce for dipping.
We had a wonderful time at Chiquito and we will definitely be returning. I think next time I’ll try out their selection of Street Food. Inspired by the traditional Mexican markets, they have a collection of small plates available called antojitos, meaning ‘little cravings’ in Mexico. They are perfect for sharing (3 for £12.95 or 6 for £23.95) and include Quesadilla Bites, Crispy Tacos, Meatballs, Halloumi Bites, Mini Burritos, Sweet Chorizo Croquettes, Mexican Frittata and Whipped Feta & Honey. To check out their collection of menus including their gluten-free, brunch, kids, drinks and delivery menus click here. I really enjoyed our meal, our drinks were never empty, our food was piping hot and out on time, the restaurant itself was immaculate and we left with full bellies and smiles on our faces – what else could you possibly ask for?
We then headed over to the Odeon to collect our tickets and grab a quick coffee in Costa before our film started. I’m not sure how long the cinema had been there but it looked brand new inside. Everything was absolutely immaculate and the staff were getting into the spirit and dressed up in their best pirate costumes for opening weekend. As for the film, I love it! To be honest I really wasn’t expecting to. I had been really disappointed with the last one but Salazar’s Revenge had all the laughs and heart of The Curse of the Black Pearl. It even had a few jumps and tears in it too, but don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you.
After the cinema, we made a quick dash round the shops. I picked up a dress and strappy sandals in Primark (which I could have spent all day in) and Ross headed over to the newly refurbished Waterstones to see if they had a volume of Deadpool he’d been searching for. Other shops include Fat Face, TK Maxx, The Body Shop, The Perfume Shop and Superdrug just to mention a few.
We both had a lovely time and want to thank the staff from the bottom of our hearts for the service we received during our visit. Fort Kinnaird is open from 9.00am – 10.00pm Monday to Friday, 9.00am – 6.00pm on Saturday and 10.00am – 6.00pm on Sunday. Store opening times may vary. Food and cinema will be open later.
For directions and a full list of stores, restaurants and facilities please visit fortkinnaird.com.