EIT Climate-KIC, a European knowledge and innovation community came to Edinburgh for a climate change conference and were looking for a novel way to eat and see the city. Edinburgh Food Safari was delighted to host the group – which started at 40 guests rising to 47 guests- the biggest Edinburgh Food Safari so far! The brief was Scottish food – a whole traditional meal – and see Edinburgh.We split the group of 47 into two groups – 23 and 24 with 12 veggies and vegans in the mix. We started off with smoked salmon flatbreads and a welcome dram of single malt from Wick – Old Pultenay – called the maritime malt as the distillery is located so near the Wick harbour.
We then enjoyed afternoon scones with homemade jam and cream, and Scottish tea blended to suit our soft Scottish water. Then a lovely saunter through The New Town –a world heritage site – and lots of looking through windows to see New Town residents relaxing in Farrow and Ball restrained coloured- sitting rooms.
Then toasted marshmallows on a stick – not traditional – but I challenge anyone not to revel in the absolute pillowy softness of Nicole Roberts aka The Marshmallow Lady’s freshly made marshmallows. This season we are trying to resist too many caramel apple and pumpkin spice marshmallows.
We ended our two- hour safari at The One Place for a plate of haggis, neeps and tatties – with vegan haggis a very delicious option. The second group who had a different start place came to join us – making 47 very happy safari travellers who had indeed tasted and seen a bit of Scotland.
A food safari is a great way for groups to naturally mingle as there are four eating and drinking stops and no one gets stuck in one seating for two hours. Also as we walk in between stops we are building up an appetite so more food can be sampled!
I LOVE SCONES and am keen to start a new safari devoted to the ultimate
scone experience in East Lothian – tracking down the best possible ingredients then cooking them. First stop on my search was Mungoswells Farm just outside Longniddry. I met farmer Angus McDowall and his assistant Alison – pictured below with a genuine Swiss Army mobile flour mill. The mill is really like a giant pen knife as it folds out when stationary to become a fully active mill ready to mill wheat at a drop of a Swiss cocked hat! The mobile unit, which was built in 1977, was originally designed to go out in the field with the soldiers
and provide them with flour to make bread and feed them during missions.
When it arrived at Mungowells it was all ready for action – even with two unused brooms. See Alison modelling with brooms. The wheat is grown on Angus’s 550 acre farm and milled on the site – making it the only mill in Scotland to grown and mill their own wheat.
You can buy Mungoswells flours in several independent retailers in Edinburgh – Realfoods .Next stop is Yesterdairies for cream and milk and hunting down a good jam maker and also a good venue for afternoon teas in East Lothian who can make a scone with some of the best freshest produce you can possibly buy. Stay tuned and follow!
I went to London for a three-day trip – never like to stay with anyone for longer than three days – based on the premis that guests and fish go off after three days.
The reason for my visit was my great friend Genevieve Fox was publishing her first book https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jan/29/milkshakes-morphine-memoir-love-loss-genevieve-fox-review .Milkshakes and morphine is an un-put-downable down memoir – I devoured it one evening pre publication and experienced a torrent of different kind of emotions for the author and also as a friend. Do buy and read: Milkshakes and Morphine: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Genevieve Fox is published by Square Peg (£14.99)
And of course with London I wanted to eat – the in-crowd may have moved on but I wanted to try The Chiltern Firehouse which is a former fire station dating from the 1880s, this refined, high-end hotel is surrounded by bars, restaurants and shopping in the fashionable Marylebone district http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-5319709/Princess-Eugenie-parties-Chiltern-Firehouse-again.html
My friend Lu secured a table – one with a actual fire pole -so we imagined the action that bit of metal had seen as we looked for celebs – Eugenie hadn’t turned up yet…
From the range of starters top pick was this crab doughnut £7
I love to see a bit of London I don’ t know and I would recommend going on an airbnb experience -https://www.airbnb.co.uk/experiences/145488 I thought Roberta’s tour (£20 per person)- a gorgeous mix of economy and history from Bloomberg’s latest scraper to the recently discovered Mitra temple with coffee thrown in in a crypt church and Roberta ended her tour on a high at the Skyscraper Bar in the city.
Coffee in the crypt in St Marys le Bow London
and as Roberta was Italian – of course we got the best coffee and sandwich tips – Panini Gusto in the city from Milan a Parma Ham sandwich packed with ham and mozzarella. And enough walking why not hop – or in my case pour myself into a mini and have a tour of the city – seeing the big names and the lesser known sights https://smallcarbigcity.com/ Samantha picked us up from exposed pipes but cool pan Asian food at Caravan restaurant Bankside where I had just eaten a very fine crispy tofu with fermented black bean paste – through Borough Market in a mini – ‘these are great salted caramel doughnuts’ – Sam said – ‘oh yes please I said’ as I begged the Borough Market bread vendor to pass one through the roof – which was open and then we were off again
Samantha with her whizzy mini – and finally before I let the train take the strain back to Scotland I was delighted to find there is a food market – wednesdays to Fridays at Kings Cross Railway Station http://www.realfoodfestival.co.uk/real-food-markets/kings-cross-market/which is great if you have a hankering for fresh doughnuts – even I had had enough – to Moroccan carrots and felafel and feta and lentil salad with dried apricots for your train journey which I ate as headed north through England’s Green and Pleasant.