Monday, 21 March 2016

Edinburgh sightseeing, Stockbridge Market, Peter's Yard, Botanic Gardens and Epic Chalk Day

It was Epic Chalk Day that inspired today's fun day in Stockbridge and surrounds.  It was a day of markets, a vegan butcher, a Swedish baker, chalking, gardens, friends and charity shops.

It started with a bus trip to Stockbridge to visit the market.  I went early because I had heard there would be a vegan butcher there.  Who could resist!  E came later with Sylvia and her cousin.  It was great to wander about the market, tasting and chatting and trying to resist temptation.

The first stall I saw made me do a double take!  Easter eggs for dogs!  Do dogs really need easter eggs?  (Does this mean I should be sending a postcard to my cat in her cattery while I am away with apologies that she doesn't get an easter egg from me?)

I really liked these pictures and was so tempted to buy one.  Perhaps if E had been there I might have but I wasn't quite sure which one to pick as I loved so many of cats and robins and Scottish streetscapes.

The market had lots of expected offerings.  Pretty cupcakes, tempting slices, large wedges of cheese and beautiful bread.

I was really there because I was fascinated upon hearing there would be a vegan butcher there.  Which was very odd.  Normally I avoid all the meat stalls but today I paid careful attention just in case they were vegan.

The vegan butcher was easy to find.  It was run by Sgaia Foods.  I enjoyed chatting to the people who ran it as they were friendly and happy to discuss the products.

I tasted some of the steak and was taken aback at just how meaty and smoky it tasted.  Pretty impressive.

Their display of meat was interesting to look at, even if slightly disturbing if you are veg*n and not missing meat.  I chose a packet of streaky bacon and am planning to fry up some for breakfast.  Will report back on it.

Shire snax, the store next door was vegan, raw and gluten free.  But I would have stopped anyway because that dragon is really cute.  They sell raw energy bars, cakes and brownies.  I bought a Jaffa (the Hutt) bar.  I really liked the chocolate orange flavour.

The I was pretty excited by some superfoods salts.  Superfoods aren't my thing but I love fancy salts.  I bought a Ghost Lava salt.  It is black salt with chilli.  I really need to sprinkle it on a soup.  The saleswoman read my information about it being lower in sodium and good for me but I regret to say I was too excited about buying black salt to take it in.

They had other interesting salt mixes, sauces and vinegars. 

The last stall where I made a purchase was the Considerit chocolate maker.  They had a great range of vegan and dairy free chocolates.  When I asked about the basket of cream eggs, I was told they had fondant in them and were for people who hadn't been able to eat Creme eggs.  I bought a chocolate with a madagascan vanilla truffle centre and one with honeycomb chips.  Delicious.

After the market, I walked down Raeburn Place to browse the shops.  This was where E caught up with me.  We could not believe how many charity shops there were and that most of them were open on Sunday.  It never would have been like that in E's granny's day.

The reason we had gone across to that side of town was the Epic Chalk Day in Inverleith Park.  We had stumbled across it while looking at what was on while in Edinburgh.  The organiser Paul Togneri is a local street artist who brought lots of chalk and encouraged everyone to draw on the footpath.  It was really busy and according to their facebook page, they ran out of chalk but everyone seemed friendly in sharing chalk.

Then Sylvia was hangry.  And we were so close to the Botanics Gardens that we went over.  It is a place that is dear to E who loved visiting as a wee boy.  The Terrace Cafe that we have visited before was closed until next weekend.  The cafe was temporarily relocated to the main building as a pop up.  It was chaotic but warmer. 

I had a lovely lentil, carrot and carraway soup with a cheese scone.  Sylvia and her cousin had the kids packs with sandwiches, babybel cheese, juices and grapes.  E shared their sandwiches and Sylvia had some of my scone.

We had planned to meet Scottish blogger, Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes, at the Epic Chalk Day but instead met her and her wee boy Cooper at the Botanics.  They went through the Glasshouses but we didn't.  We were surprised and disappointed that it now cost £5.50 for an adult to go through.  Last time we were there it was free.  Which seems right and proper in a public place like the Botanics.

However we met up with Jac and Cooper and had a relaxed time wandering around the grounds and stopped at this tree with the huge roots.  The kids had a lovely time playing there.

Then we walked back to Stockbridge along the Water of Leith.  It is interesting that this walkway was opened as recently as 1981 in such an old area of Edinburgh.  E remembers that you couldn't walk this way when he was a boy though he also said he would sometimes squeeze through a gap in the railing when he was quite small.  He was very pleased to see a dipper in the water.  Apparently it is rare to see this bird.

E was ready for a coffee and I had already checked out Peter's Yard earlier that day.  The cinnamon buns were magnificent.  So soft and fresh and flavoursome.  It was close to where we came out from the Water of Leith.  This is a Swedish bakery with a small cafe attached.  On both visits I shared a table with strangers as there isn't heaps of seating.

E tried a cardamom bun.  He was likewise smitten with it.  He also said his soy latte was one of the best he had had in Edinburgh.  Sylvia and her cousin had ice creams and they were delicious.  I had had enough sweet food and asked if I could have bread and cheese.  They were only too happy to oblige.  The bread was delicious and the cheese was rather tasty.

I really loved Peter's Yard.  They also do a cheese and bread basket and pizzas that I would love to try.  There is another Peters Yard bakery close to the Meadows near to where we are staying.  It is very tempting to go there and buy a loaf of their lovely bread and perhaps a bun or two to take home.

There were a few cafes I would have been happy to stop at for a bite in Stockbridge.  We are unlikely to get back there on this visit but were pleased to spend some time there today.

Terrace Cafe
Royal Botanic Gardens
Inverleith Row
0131 552 0616

Peters Yard
3 Deanhaugh Street
Stockbridge, Edinburgh
0131 3222901

Peter's Yard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. The weather looks lovely! Hmmm, Easter eggs for dogs - not sure I am into that.

  2. Looks like a scrumptious food day! I've tried a vegan or is it vegetarian butcher in Sydney. Some of the items are really quite good!

  3. These look like great markets and a beautiful day. I find the idea of a vegan butcher odd (like you I don't miss meat) but would be intrigued to visit one too. And is it bad that I like the sound of that carob Easter egg for dogs for myself?!

  4. "a vegan butcher"??? Nice! One just opened up not too far from where I live and I've been anxious to go check it out.
    Dog easter eggs, huh? I have to admit, I would probably buy one if I saw it for my pup ;)
    The butcher looks cool. And I love the the Shire Snax too. It seems like you come across a fair amount of vegan foods when you got to markets and such. We don't have that so much here.
    The salts sound great too! I have some black salt (different from yours I think) and I love it. It's particularly good in tofu scrambles.
    And vegan chocolate? I'm starting to think this should be an upcoming vacation destination of mine.


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