Add these to your bucket list

You haven’t lived until you’ve heard a beautiful little girl speak with a Scottish trill. You also haven’t lived until you’ve had back bacon. Let’s start with the bacon, naturally.

One of the redeeming qualities of the hotel I was staying at was their breakfast buffet (which thankfully they comped as it was prohibitively expensive – yes, that’s right, I’m still kvetching about the exchange rate). The cold buffet was generous, with lots of fresh and tasty options. But it was the these fluffy baby pancakes and side of perfectly cooked back bacon that really stole the show.

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I am working on a poem to commemorate this bacon. Working title is, “Ever mine. Ever swine. Ever ours.” (Extra points if you can name the movie reference.)

Back bacon is made from the loin of the pig, has a lot more meat and less fat than the typical strips made from the belly, and when sliced thin, trimmed and fried to perfection has a nice chew and doesn’t make you feel like you’re eating pure fat (even though you still pretty much are). I guess you could lump it into the “Canadian bacon” category but when you’re in the U.K. be sure to order “back bacon” as Canadian bacon has a bunch of different meanings over there.  (You can tell I’m really into this as I have devoted an entire paragraph to it in this post. But whatever, it was that good.)

The rest of my morning  was spent in the hotel’s rooftop garden, enjoying the rare Scottish sunshine and North Sea breezes and eagerly anticipating my lunch with my friend L and her family.

I hadn’t seen L in over a decade. We met in Boston back in the 90s while working for the same advertising agency, and while life has taken us in different directions and, in L’s case, to different countries, we’ve managed to stay connected via facebook.

L went to Scotland in pursuit of her M.B.A., fell in love, and didn’t bother coming back. And while I’m sure her family and close friends wish they had her nearer to home, I am quite happy that she is where she is. If she weren’t then I wouldn’t have had the joy of meeting little C and hearing her roll her R’s.

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The lovely lasses. I could sit and listen to C speak for days on end.

We met in front of the hotel and made our way over to VinCaffe for lunch. During our walk over, L and her husband made sure that I understood how truly rare the weather I was glowing about was. “No really, it’s NEVER like this. This is a once in a lifetime kind of summer. Don’t be fooled.”

Lunch was lovely and tasty.

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Antipasto that C shared with her dad. Perfect mix of textures and flavors. C was particularly enthralled with the bread sticks. They were so huge in her little hands that she looked like she was conducting our lunch.

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Arancini. ( I really must get over my fear of deep-frying and learn how to make these.)

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To get a head start on my upcoming Venetian adventure, I had the Bolognese.

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Pane Frattau.

After lunch, C and her daddy went off to the park so that L and I could catch up on the last ten years while she showed me around the city that had changed her life.

We walked the hills of New Town, my memory card quickly filling up with beautiful images.

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All that walking makes a girl thirsty.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the New Town part of Edinburgh was built up between the years of 1765 and 1850 in an attempt to keep the wealthy population of Edinburgh from moving to London in order to get away from the overcrowded and “unenlightened” Old Town. Most of the neo-classical and Georgian architecture has been retained, giving this part of Edinburgh a luxurious old-world charm.

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Many of these historic townhouses have been handed down from generation to generation — they rarely come on the market.

We finished off our long overdue catch up at Eteaket, a favorite spot for locals looking for a proper cuppa. It was a little late in the day for a full afternoon tea, so we settled on a pot of Earl Grey and thick slices of coconut lemon cake.

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I loved this pudgy little kettle.

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Seeing L and meeting her family was the highlight of my time in Scotland. How lucky did I get in life to not only have friends that live in these beautiful places but to also be able to travel to see them?

Next and final stop on my itinerary was Venice.

And oh you guys…….



Categories: NYC & Travel, Yummy

Tags: , , , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. My lovely niece has already figured out the art of accessorizing:)

  2. Wow all that food looks amazing, and those photos are lovely.

  3. Thank you so much for your pictures of Edinburgh and L and C
    L’s mom. C’s grandmother

  4. All your food shots make me hungry!

    As for the quote, I’ve only ever heard the original in “Sex & The City: The Movie”.

  5. I don’t know about you but I’m sure the British Air shrinks our clothes. This is not good. I’m coming back soon just to diet. Off to the Ivy tonight. At the ungodly hour of 930. There goes my reputation. Big hug can’t wait to see you. And send one to J as well Xxx

    Sent from my iPhone

  6. Wow Rio, you really did Edinburgh justice! It was so great to see you earlier this month. Thanks so much for including us in your itinerary. Lots of love from Ecosse. x

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