I really love Edinburgh, and a weekend where I have no plans is something approaching perfection for me. Poor Stace has her final exam on Monday, so she’s working like crazy this weekend to revise her term’s worth of work – so I’ve been entertaining myself for the weekend. On Saturday, I made plans for a friend of mine to come round for lunch – and as it was such a nice day, we ended up heading out to the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh.
I’m lucky that Craig is both my work colleague and my friend. He and I met in St Andrews, and whilst he was a year behind me in terms of his degree, he and I stayed in touch once I had graduated. Once he left St Andrews last year, he moved back to Edinburgh (where his parents are from and he went to school) and eventually, was offered a job at my work. Whilst we see each other 5 days a week, we still like to spend the odd evening or weekend chilling together – especially as we’re both big lovers of food, cooking and booze!
Today, Craig came to the flat, and had lunch with Stacey and I. I really enjoy cooking and like to think I’m a fairly good chef (that’s what comes of working in a professional kitchen for two years!) and made a pretty amazing meal last night – pheasant breast garlic kievs, with buttered curly kale, honey roasted parsnips and carrot purée – so decided on something more relaxed today. We had roasted chicken with mashed potato and more curly kale, and an onion gravy – and it was pretty good!
Craig and I then decided to head out for a bit – both to let Stace get some work done without us distracting her, and because it was such a lovely day in recent Edinburgh standards! We went to one of my favourite places in the city – The Botanic Gardens. On route, we stopped off at the Stockbridge I J Mellis – a wonderful local cheesemonger – and grabbed a few different types of cheeses and some oatcakes, to eat in the Gardens with a nice bottle of red wine Craig had brought with him.
Now, I LOVE cheese – and Craig and I discussed how sad we’d both be if we found out we were lactose intolerant on route to the Botanic Gardens, so I think he feels the same way! We managed to grab three type of cheese from the cheesemonger – a slice of French Bree, a lump of 18 month of Comté and a very salty slice of blue cheese we were recommended in the shop. We wandered along to the Gardens and found a comfy spot, within the rock gardens area. If you’re ever in Edinburgh, I totally recommend a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. As well as the huge range of different plants, trees and garden areas, there’s a couple of café’s, a wonderful entrance area with a shop and exhibits and even a lake with ducks. It’s really relaxing to wander round and explore, and if you have any kids, they’ll love the duck lake, waterfalls and the hillside gardens with little hiding places.
Anyway – I couldn’t rate today much higher – between the great cheese, nice fruity wine, good company and sunny weather, the only thing which was missing was Stace!