Saturday, 30 August 2014

Edinburgh 2014

I fringed again! My first Fringe experience was cut short, my second was very frugal  and my third non-existent because of dog-gate (the Explorer was attacked by dogs last summer). It was much needed - both because I needed a break and because I needed to remind myself to DO something. We bought lots of tickets before we even got there to avoid missing out on tickets (James Acaster, you slipped through my fingers) and also so I couldn't wake up in the morning and think 'Do I really want to go outside today?' (I may have previously discussed how my satisfaction with 'just being' could be a sign of my inner peace and more zen outlook on life but it is also at least 70% laziness.) And since the last couple of times we went to Edinburgh we made it only as far as Tesco Davidson's Mains most days and spent our time watching the entirety of the  Bridge, just being in a different city wouldn't necessarily prevent that happening. Still, our 'jam-packed' days didn't stop me having an epiphany about how I've let my social life go to the dogs, probably brought on by seeing some pals from university who remind me that I used to be fun by being fun themselves. They were up past 1! Must be more awake more of the time. Must go and do age-appropriate activities more. Must have a (non-debilitating) hangover on a Saturday soon. I tried my best. Anyway, the food.
The reluctant prosecco from the train up had left me sleepy and out-of-mood for the first and worst (but still alright) show we saw. We followed it up with a burger from the Holyrood 9A. The benchmark I use for all burgers is Honest and it wasn't a patch on that but credit where it's due - they were BIG, moist and laden with interesting toppings. We roasted mushrooms we got on the side were better than the burger though: aromatic with rosemary and with just the right amount of bite. And the coleslaw! So pungent with vinegar and crunch. And a word about the pub itself - it's cosy and cute and has a really broad selection of beers. Edinburgh's good at pubs. They have the art of dark panelled oak and warming fires down, even in summer. But obviously I appreciate that as well as stout decor, there are a few with accomplished but unpretentious food. The King's Wark is a good example of this: daily changing menu featuring seasonal produce but also massive portions. I was (of course) torn about what to get but in the end, my love and seemingly constant craving for mash won out. Also, the fact that we were in Scotland. Good old haggis with neeps and tatties. It tasted comforting and sweet and made me think that it couldn't have been that bad to be a wildling. The star of the show were the mussels though. They were SO plump and so salty and juicy and gorgeous. The sauce was the usual creamy. winey concoction and made me long for a bigger stomach os that I could drench up more with the bread.

On Friday, we saw enough to feel somewhat comedied out. So we had cake for dinner! Well, that's not quite true. We started off with a late lunch at Mosque Kitchen. Now, Curry 2000 might be the closest approximation to home food for me in East London but Mosque Kitchen is a much better attempt at it. It's a little bit lighter and a little bit more fresh - the vegetables are greener. But the lamb is still deep and rich and as tender as appropriate. Probably the best value lunch in all of Edinburgh. We were still so full that we could only stomach gluttonous cake from Mimi's. I had a REALLY rich buttercreamy chocolate raspberry cupcake. It got to the point that I felt really quite sick with cake but it was too moreish to stop. The last (and least remarkable) meal we had was at Yocoko - a very Spartanly seeming 'pan-Asian' noodle bar on Nicholson Street. My meal was indisputably cheap and enjoyable enough - I wouldn't recommend it but I might return.

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