April 25, 2018
Oh, to steal thy heart away…
The last week has been quite the whirlwind. I’ve seen, tasted, and experienced much of this beautiful town and have found myself to be rather smitten. Ireland will always hold my heart, but Scotland has definitely made a lasting impression. As an avid history lover, I, naturally, had to visit every museum that Edinburgh has to offer. From the National Library (do yourself a favor and read up on Muriel Spark), to the National Gallery filled with artwork, to the National Museum of Scotland where relics of the battle of Culloden to the bones of a T-Rex are made available. If you find yourself there on a sunny day, make your way up to the rooftop terrace for impeccable views of Edinburgh Castle and the surrounding city.
After having seen his image on a significant number of paintings and sculptures, I am convinced that the poet, Robert Burns, was in fact the real Mr. Darcy. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of good fortune (obviously not a writer) must be in want of a wife—or not. Depends on what city the man lives in…
And thus, we move onto the good stuff. Here are my top five must-try cafes in Edinburgh (besides of course taking yourself on a tour of the Scottish Highlands—highly recommend Timbertours):
Makers Gourmet Mash Bar: Holy haggis this place is delicious! Grab a dram of whisky and order the haggis (or veggie haggis), which is served on a bed of creamy mash and a river of gravy so good your granny will weep with envy.
Hula Juice Bar: Avocado toast in Scotland? Don’t question it. Just order the avocado toast and thank me later. Served on hearty slabs of grain toast, the mountain of avocado gets a pinch of spice and an alfalfa topper for those days when you just want something a little less…potato. The quirky café also serves a mean acai bowl and fresh juices that pack a punch.
Deacons House Café: Named after the infamous Deacon Brodie (a businessman by day and a thief by night), this little café is just off the Royal Mile and down a small alley. Don’t be alarmed if a fussy Frenchman tries to explain how to properly pour yourself a cup of tea, he’s just trying to be helpful…even when you haven’t asked for his help. Deacons’ is a gem among gems. The scones are absolutely sublime and the pastries are both traditional and funky. Take the orange sponge with pistachios and almonds, topped with a layer of dark chocolate. It was quite tasty, if I do say so myself.
Papii: You’ll have to travel to the edge of New Town for this one, but Papii is a carb-lovers paradise. The menu offers waffles, crepes, pancakes, and oodles of pastries. The strawberry waffles come served with a dusting of powdered sugar and truly some of the biggest strawberry slices I’ve ever seen. Yum x 1000.
Whisky Bar: Self-explanatory (and conveniently located next to Makers Mash), this gorgeous bar is home to dozens of whiskies from around Scotland. I tried a whisky flight from the Highlands and wow did it knock my socks off. From the smooth embrace of the Clynelish 14 Year Old to the fiery clutches of the Edradour 10 Year old, my whisky flight was paired with local chocolates that gave each of the Scottish drams a unique and fascinating personality. *Pro Tip* If you find yourself a bit too drunk to leave the bar, order some chips. Tends to do the trick.
So I could talk about Edinburgh for a few more years, but I have no intention of boring you for that long. But if you do have the chance, visit this incredible city full of history and charm.
See you in Prague.
As always… Choose compassion, be kind, live with your eyes open and your ears ready to listen.