Thursday, 26 November 2009

Edinburgh - arrival and M&S Cafe

Oh, it is lovely to be in Edinburgh again! So now that we have worked out wireless broadband in the apartment, I can share the good, the bad and the ugly about Edinburgh.

The plane food was rather forgettable other than a chocolate and raspberry cake with quinoa flour. We arrived in Edinburgh and Sylvia immediately charmed E's family. They had keys to the apartment where we are staying and we finally collapsed there on Monday night. My in-laws had done a fantastic job of stocking the flat with good food and making it baby-friendly.

I love the Scottish butter label with the wellies.

On our first morning, we headed out to Princes Street where the roadworks greeted us and obscured the view of the castle. You will noticed that the weather is gloomy grey. Sylvia's rain cover on the stroller has been very useful.

But the Scots are great at Christmas decorations and they shimmer brightly on dark days.

I couldn't wait to check out the food hall at Marks and Spencer. They have such wonderful prepackaged food here - on our first night we had a broccoli and stilton tart with crunchy cheddar topping. But I despair of the 'fresh' food. The sign on this shelf says Fresh Produce. It is not at all my idea of fresh. Why all that packaging!

We had lunch at the Marks and Spencer Cafe on Princes Street. E enjoyed chatting to the old dears who loved Sylvia.

The warm cheese scones are superb with lots of cheese through the scone. I also had a salad of pasta, pesto, tomatoes, spinach and pecorino cheese. It was nice but I was disappointed the tomato and basil soup was unavailable. Also much appreciated was the orange and raspberry juice. Delicious!

We still haven't made it to Gregg's Bakery but have drooled over the goodie in the window.

The UK does have a fine appreciation of vegetarians and I couldn't resist a couple of vegetarian cookery magazines. I did manage to avoid a purchase from the "tragic life stories" section of W.H. Smith!

The kids clothes are also great. Here is a little hat we bought for Sylvia. Isn't it so cute! We are off to lunch now so I will tell you about the fry-up at the top of the page another time.


  1. Welcome back to Edinburgh.

    The vegetarian magazines are quite new. They were both launched late last year.

    I have family coming up from Wales this weekend, so there is a possibility that I will be visiting Edinburgh too. I love the continental markets that usually appear around Christmas.

    Enjoy your stay!

  2. I know what you mean about the food in M&S you need a huge tool kit to break into the stuff!
    Im going to look out for that tea, its sounds yummy :)
    Hope you enjoy your time in Edinburgh

  3. It looks awesome - Christmas in Scotland! Looking forward to seeing more of your food adventures.

  4. I hope you enjoy your stay in Edinburgh, I did not know that about the new additions to the magazines, will have to look into it myself. Hope Sylvia was ok on the flight (was it her first flight ?)

  5. Glad you're having such a lovely time!

    (I think I had one of those QANTAS quinoa muffins recently too - I was impressed.)

  6. Hope you are having a fab time in Edinburgh. You must look out some Scottish shortbread, fudge, oat cakes, farles and special cheeses while you are there. Look out for some specialist bakeries too.

  7. Oh please, please stay away from Greggs. Nasty mass produced food (and I use the term in it's loosest form). Edinburgh must have lots of independent bakeries, seek one out and enjoy,

  8. Thanks for giving us a little piece of Scotland! Everything looks beautiful. How sweet of your in laws to furnish that apartment with so many yummy foods for you! Looks like a great trip already :)

  9. Oooh! Exciting. :) I was in Edinburgh earlier this year, but only for a short time. We only got one whole day to spend there.
    I highly recommend the Baked Potato Shop, I think it is in Cockburn St from memory in the old section. Also David Bann for the best smoked tofu of your life!

  10. welcome to the UK Johanna. Enjoy your stay - there are some fab eateries in Edinburgh (none that I can name of course having been far to cold and dark when I was there to notice anything but the inside of coat. N x

  11. I'm so glad you guys made it there okay and are getting settled! the food you've been eating looks quite delicious, although I did laugh at the fresh produce section.

  12. Thanks Mangocheeks - enjoy your time in Edinburgh - the markets are great but so busy

    thanks fleur - I got a laugh imagining you with your toolkit trying to have a piece of fruit :-) the tea is delish

    thanks katie - we have had oat cakes and shortbread - but I am not aware of any specialist bakeries - will let you know if I find any

    Thanks Lisa - we will be home before Christmas but get a bit of Christmas at this time of year - love it!

    Thanks Kiran - sylvia did well on flight considering she is teething - it was a long one for her first flight

    Thanks Cindy - have had quinoa muffins on QANTAS and loved them - these were on emirates and very good

    Thanks Lisa - I know I know - I love my good sourdough bread but in Edinburgh had to just accept it wasn't the same here - I hope to get to Valhvona and Crolla but E loves greggs and we will have to go there for nostalgia. I did have a great french bakery in Victoria street I used to frequent but sadly it closed many years ago. happy to hear about any other specialist bakeries

    Thanks Ricki - the in-laws have been very helpful and we are eating some great food

    Thanks Joanne - I really appreciated fresh produce when I lived in Melbourne after living in Edinburgh

    Thanks Nic - it is cold and dark here - and hard getting around to cafes with a baby but have found a few nice ones

    Thanks Susan - the baked potato shop on cockburn street is an old favourite of mine but not sure we could get the stroller in to sit down there - and I am not sure if Bann's have closed or moved but the place it used to be is now Le Sept - was quite sad to see that!

  13. What a lovely time of year to be in Scotland - Christmas in Europe is magical full stop.

  14. I've heard that the UK is much more vegetarian friendly than the U.S. I guess I'm lucky as I live in a very veg friendly part of the States so most of my friends just think of my new journey into vegetarianism as me being enculturated... or they think it's a fad. Either way. Glad you're having a good time!

  15. Thanks Cakelaw - Christmas in Europe is magical - the darkness is such a bonus when it comes to Christmas lights

    Thanks Toni - the UK is very veg friendly - much more so than Australia (and more than I have found in my brief visits to the US) - glad your transition to vegetarianism sounds like a smooth one

  16. Looks like a lot of fun! Such a cute hat for Sylvia and those magazines look like they'll be full of lots of great recipes.


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