After an hour circuit training at Diamond Gym just off Newhaven road, and with calories at my disposal I smelt the tantalising smell of baking bread. I followed my nose to Taza Bake.
I ordered a few cheese and parsley pastries to take away and before I finished floundering in my gym kit for my purse, the baker was rolling out dough, and filling little circles of pastry with cheese and parsley, then onto a giant shovel and into the oven. Five minutes later, I was tucking in!
Taza means fresh in Arabic and the Syrian bakery has been going from strength to strength since it started rolling out this traditional Mediterranean flat bread four years ago. The machines were imported from the Middle East and the bread is not only baked on the day but within minutes. Many shops will sell the flat breads pre packed, but nothing beats the fun of turning up to the shop and seeing dough turn into savoury bites in minutes and buying for immediate consumption.
30th December 2017 – last safari of the year – join me for cheese tasting, mussels, chocolate haggis and whisky – what a way to eat Edinburgh and get ready for Hogmanay – book online at www.edinburghfoodsafari.com
Baba opens properly on November 15th @Babaedinburgh. I tried all these dips as a starter – I did share! Love the menu and the colour of the walls – deep teal very restful. On the corner of George St and Charlotte Square. Great dining area and also attractive bar area
At the Charlotte Square end of George St on the north side – there is very stylish new coffee/drinks option – Hyde and Son – in the Eden Locke which describes itself as a aparthotel – more than just a room. I did not see the rooms – but they look very cool on website, I was more interested in the drinks option. The entrance to the ‘aparthotel’ looks very much like a very cool coffee shop and bar – which it is and I imagine you also can check in. I tried a hand-pour coffee – which is drunk with NO milk – so no chance for the barista to show off his leaf impressions on your morning caffeine. With no milk, you can really taste the coffee – it looks almost like tea so clear but with a myriad of flavours – according to the packet mine was Rwanda Shyira with pineapple lemon and jasmine. Pictured here is ground coffee from Chipp Coffee Co an Edinburgh based coffee roaster having hot water poured over the grains.
I was very impressed and loved the ambiance Hyde and Son is open for coffee from 10 am till late. I am keen to use this lovely space as a meeting point – great for a coffee for a morning safari and even better to end up here for a Edinburgh-made gin with tonic from Edinburgh-based tonic water manufacturers Bon Accord – Once a dominant brand on the Scottish soft drink scene, Bon Accord was a household name and loved by many. Now, four generations on, the company has been revived and reimagined for modern day consumers and flavoured with 100% natural ingredients and no added sugar
I was camping at Roybridge – near Spean Bridge – near Fort William in the heart of the Autumnal oranged-Scottish Highlands. To make up for sleeping in a pod I brought Primrose’s Kitchen raw beetroot and ginger muesli to ease the pain on a sling mattress in a wooden pod.
I was not the only one to find this designer muesli delicious – this robin was sorely tempted by the lure of: gluten-free oats, raw beetroot, raw agave, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raw virgin coconut oil, almonds, linseeds, coconut pieces, ground ginger, shelled hemp seed and psyllium husks.
This muesli is made in Dorset by Primrose’s Kitchen and I bought it from Real Foods – £5.95 for 400g and a Great Taste winner. Intrigued I googled Primrose’s Kitchen:
Primrose’s Kitchen: Having had a youth of chronic fatigue, M.E and poor digestion, Primrose Matheson set out on a mission to understand her body and what was needed to maintain it in perfect health. This led her into Naturopathic and Complementary health studies and a degree in Homeopathy the knowledge of which she has used to design natural and wholesome food. She started with muesli as breakfast is (as a nation) our favourite meal of the day due to its quick assembly and had a desire to make it into a healthy food for any occasion, not just first thing in the morning.
By including ingredients you might associate more with lunch or dinner such as beetroot and carrot she wanted create a versatile health food that tasted great and could be eaten as a healthy snack whatever time of the day. Ideally for a more balanced diet we should be eating as much or more fruit and vegetables than we do grains.
From this it seemed logical that if she was going to add a healthy ingredient like vegetables why not add other nutritious ingredients not found in breakfast muesli that support good health.
And how was it? Really good especially soaked in orange juice and topped with Greek yoghurt. You could mix it yourself but for a weekend camping trip this was a treat and a bonus – if it attracts wildlife!
I took the train from Edinburgh to North Berwick on Sunday and within an hour, had walked along the beach and got myself to @gelateriaalanda by the Lodge Grounds for an ice cream. Frequent winners at the Royal Highland Show, Alandas make their ice cream from milk from East Lothian cows.
Just had the best hot chocolate and the best view: I am always telling guests on my New Town food safari how the New Town was designed to be a massive improvement from the Old Town with its narrow closes and high buildings and use examples of London Street’s incredibly wide street – you could easily turn a horse and carriage – whereas in the Old Town we could be talking a nine-point turn!
Today I took a free Little Fish walking tour of the Old Town – starts 10.30 opposite St Giles http://www.littlefishtours.co.uk/ and was hugely taken with guide Ben’s humorous and interesting tour with snippets of history but not bogged down with too many dates, we started at St Giles and went down Barrie’s Close – a new one for me to the Cowgate where cows were driven to market, then up through Greyfriars, and great views from upper Victoria Street to end up in the Grassmarket. To warm up after our two-hour walk, Ben recommended Mary’s Milk Bar for ice cream – too cold for me – and real hot chocolate – Mary of the Milk Bar has worked as a chocolatier for the last five years and she trained in Bologna, Italy. The hot choc was fantastic really rich and creamy and perfect after two hours on the cobbles. Also if you sit in the front of the shop you get the most fantastic view of the castle – my top tip of the day for hot chocolate with a view
Littlle Fish Tours
59/5 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, EH11BS http://www.littlefishtours.co.uk/
Just added another stop – smoked salmon from Daniel Bee fishmonger at Something Fishy 16A Broughton St, Edinburgh EH1 3RH.
Daniel dry smokes Scottish salmon from his small shop at the top of Broughton Street. Absolutely delicious just with a twist of black pepper and a slice of lemon. I like taking guests to Something Fishy as a family business which has been well established on Broughton Street for many years and a great example of a local fishmonger.
The Ivy on the Square (St Andrews Square) opens tonight – 20 September – I went last week to an opening – lovely balmy night – and we found ourselves after several truffle rice balls and steak on a stick at the end of the evening sitting outside in Parisian style terrace with a glass of Ivy fizz and to keep off the Scottish September chills a lovely aqua IVY embroidered blanket.
The Ivy, West Street in London opened 100 years ago. This Edinburgh edition will be open seven days a week. The brasserie will offer all-day dining and an extensive cocktail list and always have some unreserved seats so you can be spontaneous – if you feel a espresso martini on the Square mood come upon you.
The Ivy on the Square’s brasserie style menu will offer something for all kinds of occasions, serving breakfast, elevenses, weekend brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, light snacks, cocktails and dinner. Dishes include the iconic shepherd’s pie and the chocolate bomb with hot salted caramel sauce. Definitely worth staying on the tram for – which is just across the Square.
The Ivy on the Square – Edinburgh
6 St. Andrew Square,