Delights at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

On a recent trip to Edinburgh, after spending a little time mooching around other bits of the city, the delightful assistants called in at the Royal Botanic Garden for a spot of luncheon.

They settled themselves at a table in the Gateway restaurant and perused the menu.

Gateway restaurant
Inside the Gateway restaurant at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.

Both delightful assistant no.1 and their chauffeur opted for salads: classic chicken Caesar salad, and a broccoli, lentil and feta affair, respectively. Delightful assistant no.2 opted for a Rannoch smokehouse chicken sandwich.

Having enjoyed their savouries, they declined the temptation of puddings on account of wanting to get a bit of a walk in the garden before their parking ticket ran out.

The purpose of their trip to Edinburgh was to take photographs of old haunts from delightful assistant no.2’s youth, to form part of a blog post he was planning to write (his blog can be found here, although there’s no sign of the aforesaid post just yet).

One of the places he was wanting to revisit was the rock garden area of the Botanics, where he had played as a child. The route from the restaurant to the rock garden took the assistants along paths they had frequented during their many years living in the city, but hadn’t toddled along in years.

Assisants walking through RBGE
Assistants toddling through the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.

While enjoying the Chinese hillside, they stopped to pose for the camera on a little bridge next to tumbling water.

Cheeeese
Obediently saying ‘cheese’ for their chauffeur.

Although they were very keen to get to the rock garden, it was impossible not to be distracted by numerous interesting plants and signs along the way.

Paying attention in RBGE

Eventually, they arrived at the rock garden and were delighted to see it looking exceptionally lush.

Rock garden
Rock garden at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.

Indeed, the entire garden seemed to have been transformed from the way all three visitors remembered it. Everywhere they looked diverse foliage was burgeoning and there seemed to be more plants than there could possibly be room for.

DSC03226
Grassy path through the rock garden at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.

The rock garden proved an ideal obstacle course for old people. The assistants rose to the challenge of navigating uneven levels, with their trusty sticks and each other for support.

Assistants in rock garden

Relieved to have traversed the undulations successfully they hot-footed it to the car, and off out of the city to look for afternoon refreshments. Before crossing the Forth Road Bridge, they nipped up to Craigie’s Farm just outside South Queensferry.

The farm cafe had a special offer on, of a strawberry tart and a mug of coffee for £3.50. Rather fancying this deal, delightful assistant no.1 picked up a strawberry tart and ordered the drink. Not feeling so much in the mood for sticky strawberry goo with cream, both her spouse and their chauffeur chose Bakewell tarts, also with coffee. They took their snacks to the quiet section of the cafe, set aside for those wishing to avoid excitable squawking kiddies. It was very relaxing, sitting by a window looking out to the Firth of Forth, away from the hubbub of the city.

Snacks at Craigie's
Ready for their afternoon snacks, delightful assistants relax at Craigie’s Farm, near South Queensferry.

Satisfying refreshed, they headed for home, filled with happy memories of Edinburgh and delighted to have found their old friend, the Botanics, flourishing so beautifully.

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11 thoughts on “Delights at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

  1. As always, wonderful post. Gardens are beautiful, and it is so nice to revisit old haunts that mean so much to us. Loved the pics of the twosome, of course. I thought the salad at lunch looked absolutely scrumptious and quite substantial. I have always heard of Bakewell Tarts but do not know exactly what goes into one. Do you ever make them at home?

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    1. Thank you, Wendy. The lunch was delicious and it was lovely to be back at the Botanics. I have made Bakewell tart, but not often. It’s a pastry base with a layer of jam and then a frangipane middle with icing on top. It’s a bit fiddly to do and I tend to be rather lazy when it comes to baking, but I have it out and about sometimes when someone else has gone to the bother of making it.

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    1. Thank you, Christine. It takes a few hours to see the gardens properly or, preferably, several separate visits. The parents very much enjoyed their time there.

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