Eats and treats in Edinburgh

A week ago, having business to attend to in Edinburgh, delightful assistant no.2 left his dear spouse in the capable hands of his eldest daughter, while he and his chauffeur popped down to the capital.

They set off just before 09:00 and made their first stop at Le Jardin Cafe, near Kinross, to partake of morning refreshments.

The cafe had not long opened for the day and they had their pick of the tables. Choosing a quiet corner, they perused the drinks menu and both opted for Darjeeling tea. After a look at the sweet counter, delightful assistant no.2 decided on a cherry and coconut traybake, while his chauffeur fell back on her old favourite, the fruit scone.

supping at Le Jardin cafe
Supping the champagne of teas at Le Jardin Cafe, near Kinross.
cherry and coconut traybake
Cherry and coconut traybake at Le Jardin Cafe, near Kinross.
fruit scone
Fruit scone at Le Jardin Cafe, near Kinross.

Refreshed and invigorated, they drove on to Ingliston Park & Ride, next to Edinburgh Airport, where they planned to leave their car and catch a tram into the city centre.

To their dismay, the car park was absolutely stowed out, with vehicles parked up off the road on pavements and daringly positioned along double yellow lines. Undeterred, delightful assistant no.2 encouraged his chauffeur to follow suit. Although not quite brazen enough to park on a double yellow line, she compromised by parking on the only bit of free pavement available. Happy to have succeeded in this venture, they hopped out of the car and made their way to the tram stop a few minutes’ walk away.

hand out for a tram
Delightful assistant no.2 putting a hand out to stop the tram at Ingliston Park & Ride.
Inside the tram.jpg
The inside of an Edinburgh tram, March 2018.

After the stresses of the car park, they enjoyed the smooth and soothing half hour journey into Edinburgh city centre, spotting familiar landmarks on the way.

Jenners depository
Now in use as a self storage facility, this landmark next to Balgreen tram stop was built in 1925 as a storage space for Jenners department store.
Murrayfied
Murrayfield: Scotland’s biggest stadium and home of Scottish Rugby.

By the time they had concluded their business in Edinburgh, they were ready for a spot of luncheon. Being in the unusual position of not having to find a parking space, they stayed in the city centre and tried a Turkish restaurant they hadn’t been to before on Hanover Street.

They settled themselves in at a table by the window in Yeni Meze Bar and perused the tempting lunchtime menu. While they waited for their food to arrive they enjoyed the drinks they had chosen: elderflower and pomegranate juice for delightful assistant no.2 and a glass mug of steaming Turkish apple tea for his chauffeur. The tea came with a piece of Turkish delight, which they sawed in half to share.

pomegranate and elderflower
Pink pomegranate and elderflower juice being poured with aplomb by delightful assistant no.2.
Turkish apple tea
A glass mug of Turkish apple tea with a bonus bite of Turkish delight.

The restaurant had a special lunch deal of 3 mezes (small snacks, like Spanish tapas) for £10.50, and there were plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.

It being a cold day, the corba (lentil and vegetable soup) was appealing to both diners. It came in an interestingly-shaped bowl with a slice of lemon on the side, and was unlike any lentil soup they’d had before. It slipped down very nicely with pieces of complementary pitta bread.

soups
Lentil and vegetable soups in nice bowls, with pitta bread, at Yeni Meze Bar in Edinburgh.

Along with the soups they both ordered falafel, and borek (fried filo pastries stuffed with a savoury filling). Delightful assistant no.2 tried the sweet potato and roast red pepper borek, while his chauffeur opted for the feta and spinach.

falafe
Falafel with a mayo dip at Yeni Meze Bar in Edinburgh.
borek
Sweet potato and roast red pepper borek at Yeni Meze Bar in Edinburgh.

Neither of them had ever had borek before and agreed that the sweet potato and roast red pepper version was a particularly delicious dish.

a borek
Borek: filo pastry wrapped round a filling and deep fried.
inside borek
Spinach and feta borek at Yeni Meze Bar in Edinburgh.

It had been difficult to choose from the menu, but when they had finished their meal they left content with the prospect of returning on another occasion to try different dishes.

feasts
A lunchtime feast at Yeni Meze Bar in Edinburgh.

Well-filled, but surprisingly not over-full, they trotted out into the sunshine and took a short stroll along George Street and into Frederick Street. Rather than have a pudding and/or coffee at Yeni Meze Bar they fancied the idea of calling in at one of Edinburgh’s chocolate cafes for a hot chocolate.

They plumped for Hotel Chocolat, and found seats at the back of the shop in front of a serving counter. While they were sitting there considering the drinks on offer, the chauffeur’s camera batteries ran out. Thankfully, she had her mobile phone and was able to snap the drinks when they came along.

Delightful assistant no.2 chose a dark mint hot chocolate, while his chauffeur went for a hazelnut affair. Each drink came on its own wooden tray with a shiny silver spoon and an interesting serviette describing the different parts of a cocoa plant.

2018-03-20 14.07.53
Dark mint hot chocolate at Hotel Chocolat in Edinburgh.
2018-03-20 14.08.06
Hazelnut hot chocolate at Hotel Chocolat in Edinburgh.

The hot chocolates were sublime: just the right temperature for swift consumption, and not too sweet, but subtly flavoured with their chosen ingredients.

While they were sitting in the cafe, a young man came up from the shop adjoining it, carrying a large tray and offering free chocolate bunny samples. Delightful assistant no.2 and his chauffeur gladly accepted a bunny a-piece.

bunny head
A free bunny at Hotel Chocolat.

The bunnies were filled with runny caramel and were very sweet. On being offered a second bunny as they left the shop, the delightful assistant and his chauffeur both declined, feeling that one had been just enough.

Having a little time available before they needed to catch the tram back to the car park, they decided to call in at the Scottish National Gallery, to have a look at some pictures and make use of the rather grand facilities.

McTaggart painting
Delightful assistant no.2 admiring William McTaggart’s The Storm painted in 1890.

They both enjoyed revisiting this old haunt that had, at various times in the past, provided a place of peace and contemplation for their more youthful selves.

They departed the gallery feeling relaxed and ready for a pleasant journey home in the late afternoon sunshine, well pleased with their day and looking forward to telling delightful assistant no.1 all about it.

Edinburgh
A sunny afternoon in Edinburgh, with the Scottish National Gallery on the right, the Balmoral Hotel with its clock tower straight ahead, and the Scott Monument on the left.
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12 thoughts on “Eats and treats in Edinburgh

  1. What a wonderful outing with your dad. I love the items at the Turkish cafe. All things I would love including the drinks!! Of course, the hot chocolate would be welcome as well. Nice to take the train into town.

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  2. Well, what a nice outing. Edinburgh must be such a beautiful and ancient city of stone. Lunch looked wonderful. The scone looked like an unusually good one. I have never heard of borek, but it sounds and looks good. Of course, good hot chocolate and chocolate bunnies are always welcoming!🐰🐰🐰
    Assistant #2 looks well, and all best to sweet Assistant #1. Hope she will be able to join you for later excursions. Thanks for having us along on this one.

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    1. Thank you for coming along, Wendy. Edinburgh is an attractive city, and there is some lovely warm-coloured local stone. Both the scone and lunch were tasty, and the hot chocolate was a perfect ending. Delightful assistant no.1 is doing well and will soon be appearing in another post. 🙂

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  3. What a lovely day out! I remember those landmarks on my own trips by train into Edinburgh. I’m surprised that the Park and Ride was so full, yet the tram looks empty! I guess it’s used mainly by commuters. The meze lunch looks so tasty!! All of your choices look delicious, and nicely presented as well.

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    1. I think you’re right that the Park and Ride is used by commuters. It’s a big car park, but not quite big enough. The tram was fairly empty at Ingliston but almost full by the time it got into Princes Street. I wouldn’t mind returning to Yeni Meze and trying some of the other dishes.

      Liked by 1 person

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