Edinburgh Local

Purple is the colour of epilepsy research

Staff and students are teaming up with local organisations to turn Edinburgh purple on Monday 26 March.

Purple food on offer this Mother's Day at Cafe Tartine

Purple Day was founded in 2008 to raise awareness of epilepsy worldwide.  In Edinburgh, University staff, students and local people are supporting this initiative by wearing something purple, baking something purple, eating something purple and letting others know by posting a photo online.  Supporters can also donate directly to the Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre (MMEC).

Epilepsy is a common condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures. Seizures are bursts of electrical activity in the brain that temporarily affect how it works. According to Epilepsy Action, in the UK, 600,000 people, or one in every 103 people, have epilepsy.

The MMEC, based at the University of Edinburgh, is a leading centre of research into epilepsy.  Through international research collaborations, it seeks to develop treatments for children with the condition, and to support their families.  The Centre’s motto is ‘No Epilepsy, Better Epilepsy’.


Purple food

On 26 March, University chefs will be adding purple-themed food to menus and our catering staff will wear purple MMEC t-shirts to raise awareness.  So far, 18 University food outlets are going purple, including five café and food outlets in King’s Buildings, The Drum in Little France, the ECCI café and a number of University cafés around George Square.


The Castle is being floodlit purple in honour of Purple Day and a large number of local cafés and restaurants across the city will be supporting it, including:


  • The Beetroot Café – a vegan café operating out of a converted police box on the Meadows
  • Café Tartine – a French restaurant in Leith
  • Frisky – a frozen yogurt shop on Forrest Road
  • The Huxley – West End of Edinburgh
  • Kyloe – a gourmet steak restaurant in Rutland Street
  • Victor Hugo – a deli close to the Meadows.


Food is a central and important part of our lives.  Naturally-occurring purple foods are delicious, great for our health and lots of fun.  Our Purple Food for Purple Day combines our passions for good food and good health in support of this international initiative on 26 March each year, aimed at raising awareness about epilepsy.

Dr Richard Chin, Director of the Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre

How you can help

Purple-themed bake sales will be hosted in homes and offices, so keep an eye out for a mid-morning snack. Even the Edinburgh Dental Institute is going purple – they will be encouraging their students to cook something purple and will also be handing out free purple toothbrushes.


For the full list of participating eateries, see



Anyone can get involved.  Share your photos online using the hashtags below to tell us about your Purple pursuits next week.






To donate, click on the link below: