Saturday 19 March 2011

A foodie's weekend in Edinburgh

Last Friday younger daughter and I skived off up north to Edinburgh for the weekend.  In the wee hours of Saturday morning it started snowing. By 9.00 a.m., as I made my way out of the city, care of a lovely, chatty taxi driver (is it in the Scottish DNA, or something in the water up there that makes them all such nice friendly people?), we were passing through fields of white ...

I was heading for Kirkliston, a little west of the city, to indulge a birthday present from last year, at the Edinburgh School of Food and Wine, in this amazing location - a coach house (bottom right in the pics above) with views of wooded countryside ...

in the grounds of Newliston House (below) designed by Robert Adam in the late 1700s ...

Inside, coffee and brownies warm from the oven were waiting, followed by a full day of alternate cooking, eating, drinking, demonstrations, more cooking, eating, drinking (did I mention that the Scots love to drink?), ending with a champagne tasting. Staggering out at 6.00 pm, the evening's dinner reservations began to seem like a very bad idea.

I'd had fun, learned loads of new things, and resolved that that would be the first and last time I attempt to make my own pasta (don't ask, it did not turn out well).

On the left, the lovely Tom, one of the school's staff, casts a politely doubtful eye over my cooking partner's and my presentation; on the right, rocket in the windowsill awaits dressing, as snow continues to fall outside.

By Sunday morning the snow had melted in the city and we had a day free to wander, drink coffee and explore, guided by our native Edinburgher, daughter the elder ...

View from Prince's Street across the gardens, left, and sisters wrapped up against the chill in front of Greyfriar's Bobby, right.

Clockwise from top left: David Livingstone in the Prince's Street Gardens (the High Kirk steeple through the trees behind), a young fiddler balancing precariously on one leg on top of a bollard on the Royal Mile,  the green and gold dome of the Bank of Scotland, the Elephant House coffee shop where J.K. Rowling famously wrote the first of her Harry Potter books.

The (Walter) Scott Monument, left, and spires of Edinburgh University's New College, right, home to the School of Divinity.

And look! 24 hours after being blanketed in snow, the sun was shining on spring flowers popping up in Prince's Street Gardens ... 


  1. what CRAZY weather!!!
    I would be downing the champers too if it started snowing here...or hot chocolate I guess.
    No wonder cashmeer is from Scotland.
    Your daughters are adorable!
    Who needs hand-made spagetti anyway?
    I never understood all the fuss.

  2. Karen, you've reminded me of how much I loved Edinburgh, and Glasgow, too, come to think of it. I remember roses in the Princes Gardens in late November.

    What will you take away (geddit) from the cooking classes to use in your very own kitchen?

    Thank your for your visit to my place. xo

  3. What lovely excursion in the company of your sweet daughters!

    Luckily, the sun is shining here, 14°C right now.
    I am looking longingly out my window. ;-)


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