Good day in Edinburgh, production system configured at client. One new error found while testing. Should have that sorted on Monday, and delivered.
Ended up with time to spare, so have bought a coffee and a chocolate muffin from Cafe Nero. Yes a Cafe Nero has opened in Edinburgh airport, and they stamp your loyalty cards. Costa you have to change.
Now a long wait, was not able to change my flight to the 6.00 pm. The last seat had gone.
I feel a complaint coming on. I am on my way to Edinburgh from Luton. Because of the totally crappy bus service from the mid term car park I choose to walk. Now it is an obstacle course with fences in the way. I had to cross the road and scramble over a fence.
I understand what they are doing, keep the traffic moving. They have it wrong though, sort the entrance to the short term, and eradicate drop offs. Put a decent walk way in from the mid term for our sanity.
Thursday night decided it was an eating night. Thought I would have a Thai meal, so walked over to Thistle Street to try Dusit. Dusit is probably the best Thai Restaurant in Edinburgh. It is small and looked rather full with several people hanging around outside. So I gave it a miss, because across the road was a fish restaurant called Fishers in the City. This restaurant has a good reputation. Despite not booking, they were able to find me a spot at the bar to eat. Only just made it in time. It was nice to see many minor celebrities being turned away at the door.
The place serves Fish, but does have meat for those who don’t fancy fish. There are several fish types on sale as well as shell fish, cray fish and lobsters.
I started off with some some Scallops, and Mackerel for my main course. Both these were quite simple, but excellently prepared. The wine was a revelation, it was the house brand Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa. Most definitely not a French brand, because it smelt and tasted so florally and fruity. I don’t know the name of the wine, not that it matters because it is not on general sale in the UK.
I then headed back to the Royal Mile to take some photos. These are in the gallery. Then dumping the camera, I headed to Whistle Binkies for some Rock and Roll. Here I heard the first set of a Scottish band called Three Card Trick. (Myspace) They were very good. Now I have a recording of them as my ring tone.
Yes I am back in Edinburgh for a short stay, and the weather has welcomed me with a vengeance. It has rained pretty well all day. The festival is in full swing, but tonight I have taken it easy, eaten at a dry restaurant. That makes me feel very good. Won’t last though, I am sure I will partake on Tuesday.
The meal I had was at the Kurdish restaurant, Hanams. Ate a starter of Baba Ghanoush, and Chicken Biryani for the main. Both very good.
Up and off to work, no rain today. Today I went for supper at the Petit Paris and ate their special pre 7.00 pm value meal. Terrine to start with, and then tuna for the main course all washed down with a few glasses of vin de rouge.
Forgot to mention, I was proffered a glass of Kir Cassis on entry, a gift for a returning customer. Very thoughtful. Good meal. I will be returning. I see they have a special fondue evening next Tuesday.
Thursday was a warm day, no rain, not particularly sunny though. Started off with my usual cup of coffee at Cafe Nero, and happiness they had Pain Au Raisins today. The last two days have been devoid of this delicacy. So ignoring my pension savings plan, I bought my designer coffee and my Pain Au Raisin, took them to the office and ate my breakfast at my desk.
Supper was at a Thai restaurant on Rose Street called Ruanmai. I have eaten there in the long, dim and distant past. Had a couple of Thai beers, a hot soup and a penang duck curry with sticky rice. Adequate but not nearly as good at Dusit or Mai Thai.
Afterwards had a couple of beers at Whistle Binkies before heading home.
The day remained bright and sunny all day, though a few cumulus clouds crept across the sky at midday. It’s actually quite warm in the hotel.
Early supper at The Outsider. This restaurant is on the George IV Bridge and has a good view of Edinburgh Castle. It’s a recommended eating establishment in the Easyjet on-board reading material. I wonder how much it costs to get a placement in the magazine.
Started off with grilled swordfish topped with a salad of mango slices, broad beans and beetroot leaves. I had some olive oil flavoured mash potato on the side. Rosemary would be impressed, or I expect she considers it normal, the beans were all double podded. It was very nice though, the difference in temperature of the hot fish and the chilled mango slices took one by surprise.
Next I had a cheesecake. Pile of cheesecake filling on a pastry biscuit topped with a strawberry and surrounded with a raspberry coulis.
Tuesday started off with a slight precipitation and overcast skies, ended the day with the sun coming out. At the Petit Paris I managed to get a table before 7.00pm and ate their cheap Plat de Jour, there were even people sitting at the tables outside. Summer is here in Edinburgh.
What a difference several hundred miles make. Rosemary rang several times during the day with panic stories about the floods that were about to engulf our home. The water was within 10 millimeters of coming in through the front door. She was unable to get to the DFAS meeting at Westcott where the road she had to pass through had water halfway up the nearby garden walls. Those who did get through had to walk through inches of water to get into the lecture hall and had to contend with a collapsing ceiling. In her words:
I was in work this morning and then had the dentist in Winslow at lunchtime. I was staggered at the water during the slightly scary drive back along the back roads. But I was in Westcott for DFAS just gone 14:00 and it was so flooded (especially at the turnoff just after the derestricted sign) that the van driver ahead suggested I shouldn’t attempt it and we all turned around. I don’t think I’ve ever seen everywhere so flooded. I was a bit worried about our front and the sitting room cos the front garden was very flooded. I was also worried over the 10 day old lamb in our field. I couldn’t see him anywhere and feared he had fallen in a ditch and drowned. Risking the elements and suitably garbed, I went out in search of his tiny corpse. Scattering sheep to all sides and struggling against the suction of the waterlogged land on my wellies, I found him snoozing in a patch of long grass.
Meanwhile DFAS’s Lecture Secretary says she “had to get the lecturer there! It was certainly bad in Westcott but the car is reasonably high. However, the front entrance was totally flooded and everyone had to go in via the fire exit through 2-3″ water, necessitating a number of people having to take off shoes, and quite a number turned for home. The hall was flooded down one side, a piece of ceiling fallen in near the entrance and we had the lecture in the room past the kitchen! It will certainly be memorable.”
Back to reality and the Petit Paris, good starter of Cray Fish Tail salad and salad potatoes, followed by a Salad Nicoise and then the Creme Brulee all washed down with a binge of red wine.
Ed’s update on floods: The next day, all visible water has gone from around the house and the sun has shone. The local rabbits all seem to have survived and I bet the wretched ants have too.
Another early start for the flight up to Edinburgh. Not sure how long EasyJet will keep the 6.55 flight going. It cannot have been more than one third full. As I left home it was a pleasant morning with roosting pigeons on the A41. By the time I reached the Chilterns it had turned foggy. Despite this the flight got away on time and I was in work before 9.00am.
Not a lot to report, other that a nice meal in the Mussel and Steak where I ate their soup of a day, a bean and tomato soup, followed by two fillets of sea bass cooked with a coating of sesame seeds on a salad base.
Rosemary had another man in to look at the Esse. It had been causing us some serious problems, not least the cost of running it with today’s high oil price. Today he was in to cure the smoking problems, he adjusted the flows, tested the flue and lit the cooker. Alas several hours later the same problems came back, smokes and the temperature drops to nothing. The next day he rang with a quote to replace the fuel regulator and put a flue balance in. Over £800. I am afraid the cooker is going to be scrapped and we are going green (?) with a wood burning stove. But how much will it cost to remove the thing? Anyone want an oil-fired Esse – buyer collects?
Met up with Ravi and Maggie in the Oxford Bar at 7.00pm for pre dinner drink. Then onward to Dusit Edinburgh Thai restaurant where they seated us this time. Booking a retaurant is a new concept to me.
We shared two starters between us:
Miang – Secret Garden
A light salad of apples, mangoes, melons and leaves with a tamarind & coconut dressing
Koo Saneha – A Loving Couple
Char-grilled scallops and jumbo king prawns served with garlic and chilli dip
I especially liked the Miang salad.
We then shared three main courses. Much argument, I was going to order duck, but was persuaded to order beef, and Ravi then ordered duck!!!
A rich, creamy medium red curry with fresh chillies, kaffir lime leaves and holy basil.
Pad Ped Prig Tai Ong
Stir-fry of meat with baby aubergine, imported fresh peppercorns,
fresh chilli, grachi and holy basil, with beef
Ravi’s choice, I can’t remember [Ed’s note: thought you said it was duck?]
The Panang was lovely, nice thick creamy sauce to it, and enough bite to know you are eating a curry. The other two dishes were beautiful as well.
This Thai restaurant has a reputation amongst my friends of being the best Thai in Edinburgh, and I think it is well deserved. The service was good, the waiters were friendly and the food arrived quickly and on time.
Afterwards we parted our ways, but will be meeting up in Essex in a couple of weeks time.