Thursday, 17 March 2016

Edinburgh Sightseeing: Cafe at the Palace (of Holyroodhouse)

Today we walked down the Royal Mile to Holyroodhouse Palace where the Queen resides when in Edinburgh.  It was a chilly day and we were hungry.  It was lovely to eat in the Cafe at the Palace before doing a tour of the palace.

The Cafe at the Palace is a large building in the Palace Mews.  It reminded me of a summer house with the glass roof and light open windows.  Outside are seats under large umbrellas.  Quite optimistic for today's weather.

As the hardest one of us to please is Sylvia, I am always grateful when a cafe caters to kids.  The cafe did great kids meal bags.  It also offered me a warming soup and E a generous plate of haggis, neeps and tatties.  We were all pleased with our meals that tasted good and weren't too expensive.  Other than soup, there were some vegetarian sandwich options and a goats cheese tart.

The most amusing aspect of our meal was that E had to wait for his haggis.  He was given a crown to show the staff that he was very important and must be served as soon as possible.  (Note to others: these crowns will lose jewels if they fall to the ground while having fun taking photos as they are actually too small for even a small child's head and can only balance there precariously!)

Sylvia's child's bag was very good.  It cost £3.90.  For this she got a small cheese sandwich, a packet of teddy bear crisps, an apple and pear juice, a small packet of strawberry fruit chews, an apple, a bag with activities on it and some crayons.  Most bags had ham sandwiches but when I asked for one with a cheese sandwich the staff made one up for her (hence it is not pictured here) and were happy to make it without butter.  This is one of the best lunches we have found for her in Edinburgh.  Even though I ate most of her apple.  Minion case not included!

I had a cream of cauliflower soup with a bread roll.  It was very creamy and satisfying.

I chose the soup so I could have a cake.  Who could resist this display of Easter cakes!

Sylvia had a "runny egg chocolate cake".  It was a nice cake with lots of icing but not amazing.

E and I shared a huge toffee crunch scone.  This was a toffee flavoured scone filled with cream and a toffee sauce.  It was intriguingly and pleasingly different from any scone I have had before.  I enjoyed it so much that I forgave it all that cream and the chill of being in the fridge section.  I scraped off a lot of the cream but E was happy to eat some of it.

Then we headed off to Holyroodhouse Palace.  It is a grand building that took Sylvia's breath away.  We had audio tours as we went through the rooms.  Sylvia had a child's guide which was frustrating as it was hard to know what she had been told and what she hadn't when talking about the palace but she enjoyed her tour.

Once inside, photography was forbidden so I cannot share any photos of the fancy four poster bed with regal red curtains in the King's Bedchamber, of Mary Queen of Scots' impressive wooden painted bedroom ceiling or the wall of portraits in the Great Gallery.

It was all grand and beautiful and fascinating.  Lots of huge tapestries, portraits, spiral staircases, delft tiles in fireplaces, deep window seats and large chests.  Sylvia would have loved to sit on the thrones, I would have loved to have a go at playing the harpsichord and E was fascinated with the curiosities in Mary Queen of Scots' Outer Chamber.  We all could have done without the hoards of French school children.

At the end of the tour is the ruins of Holyrood Abbey which dates back to 1128.  It is always such a mystery to me as to how these grand solid buildings can fall into ruin.  A reminder of how nothing lasts as long as I expect.

And then we headed back up the Royal Mile to catch our bus on the Bridges.  We stopped at Mimi's Bakehouse for a cuppa and at Cranacham and Crowdie for some excellent Scottish produce.  We enjoyed browsing in Unknown Pleasures, Ragamuffin and Pinnies and Poppyseeds.  E was delighted to find there is still a branch of Avalanche record shop in Edinburgh.  We also hope to get back to Serenity Cafe and Procaffeination.  So much to do and so little time to blog about it all.

Cafe at the Palace
Palace of Holyroodhouse,
Canongate, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh Old Town
0131 652 3685
website

Café at the Palace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

15 comments:

  1. What a wonderful day!And love those kids bags :)

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    1. Thanks Lisa - the kids bags were great - I wish I could find them more often as it is a great alternative to chips for sylvia

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  2. I'd love to visit there (will have to make sure the Royal Family isn't in that week of course). Love the little crown!

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    1. Thanks Faye - we were talking with sylvia about if the queen ate at the cafe - she thought maybe the queen visited once a year! And the palace is wonderful although it is so much more austere than all the fantasy castles in those books and movies for little girls

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  3. Cranachan and Crowdie is such a great shop! And that scone sounds intriguing indeed-unlike any other I have tried :D

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - glad you reminded me to check out your edinburgh posts - Cranachan and Crowdie is an amazing shop that stands out among all the other tartan tat food shops on the royal mile

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  4. Looks like an adorable little town, sounds like the food was amazing. The kid bags were very nice.

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    1. Thanks Cheri - some really good food here

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  5. The cafe sounds wonderful. I like the orange tree and the toffee scone looks really good. I haven't been to Holyrood House.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I was a bit disappointed to find that the orange tree was fake - and the toffee scone was delicious

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  6. Another wonderful adventure you have treaded upon, Johanna. Kudos to that Cafe for considering the children. I can think of quite a few places that should follow suit. Perhaps they are akin to it because of all the child visitors they have:)

    I often wonder how buildings with such history remmain standing through the elements. These building are spectacular! I'm sure the places where pictures were prohibited were the same.

    Thank you once again for letting us tag-a-long Johanna...

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    1. Thanks Louise - yes there are lots of child visitors at these tourist attractions so the kids meals are a smart move by them.

      And yes it is amazing buildings remain - perhaps I should be more amazed that the palace is still standing rather than sad the abbey is in ruins!

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  7. We didn't make it to Holyrood palace when we were in Edinburgh so it's nice to see it through you. I often see children's lunch bags a bit like the one you found here in National Trust property cafes - the child part of me is drawn to them and wishes they could have a hummus sandwich or similar so I too could get a cheap lunch with lots of components :-)

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    1. Thanks Kari - we have been to the castle the last couple of visits to edinburgh so we decided to go to the other end of royal mile this year - and thought sylvia would enjoy it as she is fascinated by mary queen of scots.

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  8. Haha the crown is cute. And I like the photobombing minion case - that made me giggle.
    The easter cakes are so cute! I would have wanted one of those for sure. Sylvia had a good pick.
    The castle is beautiful. I've read a couple of books about Mary Queen of Scots and would love to see where she lived.

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