Is there a better way to start your vacation than to go out and have some local breakfast? I’m pretty sure there isn’t and that’s why we strolled up through the Meadows to the city center, with no specific place in mind, yet an empty stomach to fill.
We ended up at MUMS great comfort food, a small diner on Forrest Road. Even though I’m not a vegetarian, I have to admit I don’t find the thought of haggis, a Scottish delicacy made of “all the entrails of a sheep“ as our Airbnb host put it, very appealing. More precisely, haggis consists of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs. Yum… I’m generally very open to trying new things but traveling with a boyfriend who doesn’t eat meat turns out to be much more fun if we are able to share our plates. Anyway, we went with the vegetarian version of a typical Scottish breakfast, consisting of vegetarian sausages, an egg, tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, vegetarian haggis and toast. Not the most healthy breakfast, but delicious it was. We also went with creamy scrambled eggs, topped with smoked Scottish salmon (so good!) on a toasted bun. And, well, as my boyfriend can’t stop eating, he thought it necessary to order an apple crumble as dessert. I mean, seriously, who eats dessert after breakfast?! It was delicious, though.
Later on, we spent quite some time at Greyfriars Kirkyard. Those of you who are a bit familiar with nordic languages will know that it’s a graveyard. Yes, we spent at least an hour at a graveyard and we enjoyed ourselves very much. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the grass green and the graves, well, most of them looked rather nice. Plus, there were small plots with medicinal plants everywhere as well as small boards telling what those plants were used for in former times. Quite awesome if you ask me.
In the afternoon, we went on one of those free walking tours. I’ve never been on any of them but always heard that they are supposed to be rather good, so we gave it a try and weren’t disappointed. We learned a lot about the history of the city (most of which we both don’t remember), the making of Harry Potter, etc. etc. Did you know, that J.K. Rowling borrowed many of her books’ character names from real gravestones in Greyfriars Kirkyard? We actually visited Tom Riddle’s (a.k.a Voldemort) tomb stone, cool, ay?
One last thing: Whoever visits Edinburgh absolutely has to have dinner at Under the stairs. It’s a hidden gem on Merchant Street with genuinely great food. Especially the starters absolutely blew my mind. I mean, doesn’t this sound amazing: sea trout gravedlax, buttermilk, dill, lemon; salt cod, tomato, rapeseed oil or beetroot carpaccio, soy milk & hazelnut aioli, smoked aubergine fritter. Take me back!! Since it was quite dark in there, I wasn’t able to take any usable pictures of our plates, but trust me when I say, not only was it a feast for our taste buds, but in equal measures delightful to look at.