My expectations regarding Scottish food were quite low which was unfounded. Hadn’t Ottolenghi, Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson revolutionized the English cuisine and couldn’t the same have happened in Scotland? Before going to Edinburgh we booked a table at Angels with Bagpipes for Sunday night but the rest of the weekend was wide open.
What do you know of Scottish food besides haggis and porridge? Not much else, no? Yeah, I didn’t know any better either. So I was going there with no idea of the local cuisine and a healthy respect for the national dish. In the end I was taught once again that the open-minded approach is as usual the best. Scottish food turned out to be delicious.
We had dinner the first evening at Cafe Marlayne, a small and nondescript place from the outside and then so surprising on the inside. Not just the decor also the food that was served. Ahh, it was heavenly and tasted delicious. We were off to a good start.
On Saturday we didn’t have time for breakfast and had to make do with coffee. After the exhausting free walking tour we were more than happy to fall into the Saint Giles Cafe and order the lunch special of tomato soup and a grilled croissant. Not memorable but filling and there we were introduced to the “hot toddy“, a drink that warms the coldest bones.
Also not memorable was our dinner that evening at the pub Lebowskis. We passed it already exhausted from the walking tour and the day in the cold and it looked so warm and inviting that we walked it. Cradling our beer we decided to stay for dinner and ordered typical pub fare. A haddock and scallop burger, fish and chips and a steak. This was the only disappointing meal on this trip at least for me and also the fish didn’t fare well. The steak was good or so I was told but the rest didn’t live up to the enticing pictures. My haddock burger was really greasy and with the bacon a combination to best to be forgotten.
A lot better then was our breakfast the next day. The typical Scottish breakfast looked more like a full meal and it included a portion of haggis. Except for the bacon to which I already took exception in Dublin the combo of beans, mushrooms, eggs and sausage was perfect. Haggis was a revelation, it tasted really yummy. Such a breakfast goes a long way and keeps you energized the whole day. Patisserie Valerie was a great place to try it since it was near the meeting place for the whisky tour. Yours, Pollybert
PS: More Scottish food coming soon!