Anyone who’s ever tasted a fresh cream scone will know, there’s nothing quite like a bloody nice meal. It lifts your spirits, gives you a warm hug from the inside and sends endorphins through your veins, hitting you with a lightheaded glow.
You might be able to tell, I like my food. No, I love my food. I love food like other people love their wives and husbands, like they love their own children. Food is a ridiculously big part of my life and I think it would be a much sadder world without the chance to indulge in a tasty treat every now and again. OK every couple of days?
So on a recent trip to Edinburgh, I had three amazing meals which I simply had to share with you, so you can get that fuzzy feeling too, if you happen to be in town.
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Breakfast: Eggs Benedict at Southern Cross Cafe
Just off the Royal Mile, close to a stairwell which takes you down to Waverley train station is the Southern Cross Cafe, a small and unassuming café from the outside, but deceptively, absolutely huge when you get inside thanks to a few floors of space.
They serve amazing coffee and all manner of cakes and sweet treats which you can take away for later, but the thing to order here is the eggs benedict. Eggs bene is probably one of my favourite breakfasts, and when I find a good one it makes my heart sing.
A crispy, buttery muffin, perfectly poached eggs, salty bacon and a rich hollandaise made this one to remember. And only £6.95 too.
Lunch: Three Course Set Menu at No11 Brasserie
I love choice, so when I saw how the lunch was pitched at No11 Brasserie, I have to admit I flipped out a little. The three course lunch is a starter and a pudding, and for your main you get to choose your meat (or fish or veggie option), your sauce and your side from a large menu, meaning that you can mix and match to create whatever you want. The restaurant is close to Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre so it’s a great place to get a pre-theatre meal as well as a great lunch.
I fancied trying a few Scottish specialties so opted for the Cullen Skink to start, a creamy leek and potato soup with chunks of tender smoked haddock. On a Scottish road trip a few years ago I got obsessed with trying Cullen Skink but couldn’t find it anywhere and Cullen itself was too far from our route, so I never got to try it.
Thank god I waited because this one was well worth waiting for. I could have eaten two bowls.
For the main course I chose lamb rump with a red wine jus and fresh greens (Alex chose potato fondant so we could go halfsies on the veg, I’m not a total idiot!). The meat was tender and cooked to perfection, with a punchy meaty flavour which was enhanced by the sweet jus and soft, buttery potatoes. Perfect!
Finally I chose Cranachan, which is kind of a Scottish take on Eton mess: Whipped cream, raspberries and a subtle whisky flavour, served with a chocolate spoon. Let me tell you, this didn’t last long. My favourite pudding is Eton mess so I wasted no time finishing every fruity mouthful!
The three course set menu costs from £25 including a glass of red or white wine at the time of writing.
Afternoon Tea: At the Café at The Palace at Holyrood Palace
Quite simply the best afternoon tea I’ve ever had, bar none. The Queen’s Palace is the classy setting for this luxurious meal, and the café is just outside the palace gates.
After a warm welcome and a glass of dry Champagne, we were served an incredible selection of sandwiches and sweet cakes ad treats alongside our choice of tea. I’m an English Breakfast kind of girl, so picked accordingly and when it arrived (in a cutesy teapot) I was also presented with a sand timer, designed to show you when your tea is brewed to perfection (the green, white and black timers all stop when their respective teas are ready).
Particular favourites for me were the tangy strawberry tart, the fruitcake which tasted just like Christmas and the two types of scones served with fresh cream and home made black currant jam. The savoury sandwiches weren’t bad either… Make sure you fight your dining companion for the beef and horseradish open rolls. Amazing.
Afternoon tea costs £18.95 per person or £27 per person including a glass of Champagne at the time of writing.
Disclaimer: Thanks to No11 Brasserie and The Café at the Palace for hosting me.
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