Monday, 15 May 2017

Edinburgh


This was my fourth time in Edinburgh so I had already done many of the toruisty things. Edinburgh is my absolute favourite place: it's grand, beautiful, the people are friendly, the bars are hip and the views are splendid. It's far away enough from home to feel like an adventure but everything is familiar. The weather could be better but what can you do about that?

Previous posts about Edinburgh

We flew from Birmingham to Edinburgh  and were drinking cider and eating lunch at The Conan Doyle by 3pm. Around 4, we found our way to our Airbnb in the Bonnington area. It was a lovely light apartment at the top of a lovely stone building. I tried to pinch the sofa but it wouldn't fit in my hand luggage.


The Blue Bear 


Breakfast was at near by, at The Blue Bear Cafe. Eggs Royale and cranberry juice for me. The hollandaise was just right: light, creamy and with a just enough citrus. Plenty of delicious salmon too.


Edd had the same but with haggis- an inspired idea.


Edinburgh Gin Distillery

Because 11am is definitely the time to start drinking gin.


You've probably seen these bottles in John Lewis or similar. I was excited to find out that you can visit their distillery near the Royal Mile so I booked into their distillery tour and tasting.


The session began with a brief history of gin. I knew much of it: dutch courage, mother's ruin etc but the guide was funny and knowledgeable. We spent some time learning about the botanicals in Edinburgh gin too. It's a good, standard gin but I was more interested in learning about their special edition gins.


So, the distillery is literally a corridor, which is warm and tiny and you can see the gin pouring out into buckets- yes buckets. It all seems very low tech but why mess with something that works?






After the history and the distillery it was time to drink! There were about 12 of us in the group and we sat in a sweet little alcove, where we had an Edinburgh G&T to sip on, three of their liqueurs, some navy strength cannonball gin and best of all, the seaside gin.


The ticket cost included a 50cl bottle of gin of your choice- Edd chose the standard gin and I picked the Rhubarb and Ginger Liqueur, which is sharp and strong and not too sweet.


Feeling pleasantly mellow, it was time to hop on the tram to the zoo.

Edinburgh Zoo

Home of the pandas, but the pandas were sleeping.

Happily I could spend hours staring at penguins fighting over pebbles so that is what I did.







I mean, there were other animals. You should have a look at my previous post about Edinburgh.



Then home time for a prosecco enhanced by rhubarb and ginger liqueur and out for Mexican food.


Dishoom 

I keep seeing the London branches of this place on instagram so I was pleased to see there was an Edinburgh outpost. An Anglo/Indian breakfast went down rather well. I had a naan wrap, filled with bacon, cream cheese and chilli sauce and it was splendid washed down with a cup of chai.


Edd chose the exciting Keema Per Eedu: chicken keema with chicken livers, fried eggs, sweet light buns and potato chips.


Carlton Hill

In all my visits to Edinburgh, I've never been up Carlton Hill so I thought it was time to see a different perspective on the city.


It was gorgeously blustery up there; a little too cold if anything. I was feeling a little odd and sluggish and really enjoyed having the cobwebs blown away.


The views were beautiful. There's an odd mish-mash of monuments and an observatory that is being renovated. Lots of people and cute dogs enjoying the view and the air too.


National Museum of Scotland

A beautiful building and a lovely way to spend a few hours. I particularly enjoyed the history of fashion and the interiors sections. There were some lovely tiles and tapestries.


Wow, who is this elegant lady with such deep thoughts and feelings?


Afternoon tea at One Square


I haven't had an Afternoon Tea for a while and I'd got it into my head to have one in Edinburgh. There's lots of beautiful teas on offer in the city but they aren't cheap. One Square seemed like the best value at £28pp.


The meal started with a choice of teas- I chose a fragrant and delicate white tea and also a gin punch cocktail. We were also served a little jelly amuse bouche.




Those of you who have read my Afternoon Tea reviews before will know that I do appreciate something a little different in my savoury selection. The Rose Marie prawn choux buns were soft and beautiful. The salmon rolls were lovely but needed more salmon. Beef and horseradish isn't to my taste but the ingredients were good. A little pastry cup of creamy chicken was delicious.


The sweet pastries were absolutely beautiful and there were so many of them! Favourites included a strawberry tart and a caramalised lemon tart but everything was lovely, sweet and delicate.


A second layer of sweets included the obligatory opera cake and a white chocolate and raspberry eclair.

Finally, a basket of warm from the oven sweet and savoury scones, served with plenty of jam and clotted cream. The whole thing was beautifully presented and was a real treat. A lovely, sophisticated way to spend an afternoon.


Ah Edinburgh, you are good to me. I'll be back.

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