travel blog: edinburgh, scotland
Alright party people – I’m back! I took a little hiatus from blogging and during that time we went on a European adventure that was fan-freaking-tastic. We visited Edinburgh, Islay + Glasgow in Scotland with our friends Dana + Shane and then Dave and I ended the trip with a long and lovely weekend in London to celebrate Sir Dave’s birthday.
The scenery, the food, the whiskey, and all the incredibly kind folks we talked to made this trip one to remember. I’m pretty sure I got more hugs from strangers on this trip than anywhere else I have ever visited – and not, like, in a creepy way either. 😀 Everyone was so welcoming.
So let’s get on with it, shall we? We’re hitting Edinburgh with this first blog post and my other city visits will be coming up next – but I’ve also got a ton of recipes I’m excited to share too, so I’m back to bloggin’ ya’ll! Woo-woo!
First up, look at how darn lovely this place is:
Since this is a food blog, let’s start with the food! The first place we plopped down for a bite was at Roseleaf. It was a quaint pub with fabulous food and a charming atmosphere.
We ordered the smoked haddock soup, which was the best soup I had ever tasted – until the next day…more on that later.
I ordered the Marshall’s Scottish macaroni and cheese which was made with truffled smoked applewood cheddar sauce with sautéed leeks, smokey bacon and an herby cheesy crust. So, so good.
The hubs got the Leith-al Egg which was locally snared haggis coating a free range egg and served with a fruity brown sauce. It was the first taste of what turned out to be a pretty haggis-heavy trip.
After this meal a friendly local gave us a recommendation to check out a cool art show that was happening at the old Leith Theatre called the Hidden Door Festival, so of course we went. It was spooky and weird and wonderful and right up my alley.
While we were bopping around the city we popped into a cute cafe called Relish and I saw a Brownie that I had to have. Hands down, the most wonderful brownie moment of my life. We all keep track of those, right?
The next meal we had was at The Queens Arms. The pub was dark and cozy but also bustling with energy from all the folks just off work who were in for a pint. It was a perfect Scottish pub dining experience.
We ordered leek, horseradish + cheese croquettes that I have to figure out how to make at home.
And you gotta order seafood, of course.
This order of fish and chips was my favorite of the whole trip. If I remember correctly it was fried haddock.
I mean LOOK at this.
After a lot of scotch, and I think maybe some sleep – we were up and at ’em the next day to visit the Edinburgh castle which is stunningly brooding and beautiful.
After the castle visit we headed over to Arthur’s seat for a hike. Okay well, Dana, Shane and Dave climbed the crazy big mountain and I sat around a pond and watched baby ducks and swans.
To end our visit to Edinburgh Dana booked a meal at Aizle. They offer a 5-course tasting menu based on what is in season, and prior to eating all you know are the key ingredients. It was one of the most unique, exciting and delicious dinner experiences I have ever had. You never knew what was coming next, but each course was better than the one before. If you’re ever in Edinburgh, this is an absolute must.
I started with a cocktail that of course I didn’t write down, but it was refreshing and perfectly tart with grapefruit.
Next up was the sourdough bread with homemade butter and onion salt. They even named the bread starter “Roger.” The onion salt was out of this world, and I want to figure out how to make it – but I can’t figure out why it’s black, other than maybe using black salt? Any ideas?
Okay, hold onto your seats. The next dish was a puffed beef tendon with smoked bone marrow and cavier, an ajo blanco soup with almond, grapes and sherry vinegar, and a potato dauphine with miso and katsuobushi. And yes, I pretty much had to google everything to see what I was about to eat. 🙂
While the puffed beef tendon was not my favorite, everyone else loved it – and I must say the presentation was outstanding.
As for the soup – this is the best soup I have ever had in my life hands down forever and ever. I didn’t think I liked cold soup but this little situation right here changed that. It was creamy and buttery, but somehow also fresh and light. We all agreed this was one of our favorite dishes of the night.
Then we were onto the Isle of Wight tomatoes with burrata and white balsamic. Who knew tomatoes could be this exciting?
Next up we had ‘day boat fish’ with summer vegetables, lovage and apple cider. Fantastic.
Then came the chicken dish, which was Gartmorn Farm chicken with onion, yoghurt and XO sauce – which is a delicious sauce that I have to find in the states.
To end this fine meal we got a dessert with strawberries, sorrel, rye and buckwheat. It was perfection.
Whew – we ate a lot in just a few days! That’s a wrap for our fun in Edinburgh, so stay tuned for the rest of the trip and some tasty new recipes.
I hope everyone is having a great summer!