OG Post: March 15th, 2017
Edinburgh Day3: (Tuesday) Oh how I love this city, I really do. Edinburgh you are great. The morning started off very similar to Monday except instead of stopping by the hotel for breakfast I went straight out to work. After a brisk 15 minute walk, I arrived back at the office and headed straight to the 3rd floor for a breakfast roll. Besides the few text exchange with Red, there was not much more that morning other than work. Lots to do and not much time here so I won’t bore you with the details of that. After a quick lunch in the cafeteria, I went for a walk through the Meadows again. (For more detail on the Meadows see Day2’s post). It ended up being an extra windy day. So windy there were a couple of gusts of wind that almost knocked me off my feet. When coming back up to the Quatermile area from the Meadows I went to Sainsbury’s for some smokes and then to Starbucks for a quick macchiato.
Let's talk about packs of smokes in the UK real quick. First of all, they cannot be displayed in a store. They are on shelves behind the counter like in America but they have plain red roller coverings in front of them so you cannot see them on display. They also have adopted the plain packaging laws here in the UK. They are all a plain color box with just the name and brand on them. about 60% of the packaging is anti-smoking warnings. The strangest thing is, however, the foil on the inside of the box. As any smoker in America will tell you the foil over a pack of smokes is just a flimsy covering that you tear away and don’t give another thought to. In the UK it is this thick molded part of the package. You can’t remove it without destroying part of the pack and it’s only got a little hole in the middle with adhesive sides to help it reseal when the top of the box closes, very weird. As a smoker, I support these measures to deter smoking. It’s a public health issue and I wish I had never started smoking. America should adopt these extra rules cigarettes, smoking isn’t cool kids. Ok enough of my PSA.
Back to me in Starbucks. While getting my macchiato Red texted me that she was at my office. Evidently, she started walking and just wound up at my office. I still had some work to do so I signed her into the guest wifi so she could take care of some business she had to do and I finished my work. We headed out when I was done for the afternoon and I took her for a walk around the Meadows. The wind had died down some but it was still pretty gusty.
After a quick tour around the Meadows, we continued up Forest Rd instead of heading down Lauriston Pl in our usual route to get back to the hotel. After all kind of the point in being in an unfamiliar city is to go get lost. Explore until you find yourself. Evidently the area we where exploring is around the University of Edinburgh. For the Austin, locals imagine “The Drag” but all Scotish. Lots of hip little shops and restaurants. We ended up over by Bedlam Theatre and the National Scottish Museum in Old Town. While we were taking pictures and looking at some of the awesome statues it started to sprinkle.
Not knowing if it was going to actually rain or what we started walking quickly down George IV bridge and cut across on Victoria street in Old Town. This turned out to be the perfect section of town to walk down. All the shops a tourist could want to run into. We stopped by Swish a very cool and cute little clothing boutique where Red picked up a very pretty knit wool hat with a fleece lining. Just what she needed. We went from there into Museum Context which was the shop that inspired Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter books. Tons of Harry Potter merchandise in there along with all kinds of antiques and curiosities. I almost bought a wand but I was good and didn’t spend money on my silly Harry Potter obsession. Besides, they just had the character wands and I want one that is mine. Dragon heartstring core, Hawthorn wood, Hard flexibility, 13’’ in length. :p Ravenclaw 4 life bitches.
After we left Museum Context it had stopped with the rain and we continued down Vitoria street. Turning on to Grassmarket Square we wound our way through the streets in old town back toward Usher Hall and our hotel. After a short period to freshen up and then we went to the Spirit of Thai for dinner. The food there was very good. Super fragrant and full of flavors that I’ve never quite experienced like that.
After dinner, we headed over to the Bramble. For those of you who don’t remember my post in October of 2015 (why would you? creepy stalker much?) the Bramble Bar is one of the top 50 bars in the world. Along with other awards and accolades, it’s won over the years. It’s hard to find. As you are walking down Queen Street at the corner of Hanover you will see a Alterations and cleaning shop. If you open the gate and walk down below street level there is a little Red door that opens into a cave-like series of rooms. All but the bar itself is lit in nothing but candlelight. Loud hip-hop is playing at all times. Nothing but hip-hop, usually with a heavy-handed nod to the late 80’s and early 90’s sounds but an inclusion of all the hip-hop. We took a seat at the same table I sat at in 2015, next to the Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland poster.
They handed over the menu for the cocktails and I carefully read through it as Red grinned and nodded approvingly along with the song selection. I selected a “Final Call” which consists of Bulleit Rye, fino sherry, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, grapefruit herbet & fresh squeezed lime juice. Red decided on a “Only Exception”, Salted caramel green tea infused vodka, grapefruit oleo saccharum, freshly squeezed lemon juice and vanilla syrup. Red squealed as they mixed the drinks because they put on a proper show. The night flowed as David A Embury described a cocktail night should, “A cocktail should stimulate the mind as well as the appetite. The well made cocktail is one of the most gracious drinks. It pleases the senses. The shared delight of those who partake in common of this refreshing nectar breaks the ice of formal reserve. Taut nerves relax; taut muscles relax; tired eyes brighten; tongues loosen; friendships deepen; the whole world becomes a better place in which to live…”
After our first round Red ordered another “Only Exception” and I had a “Kentucky Avenue”. I would be lying if I tried to recall what all was in the Kentucky Avenue. It was as delicious. To close the night I had a “Campbeltown Cocktail” which consisted of Springbank 10 year old Single Malt, Cherry Heering and Green Chartreuse. It was perfect heaven. We walked back along Queen St and through New Town back to the hotel and feel asleep perfectly happy.