An impressive castle, a mottled history, a beautiful city scape, a famous festival, a fancy whiskey museum; Edinburgh has a lot to offer a traveller…..all bar the weather. At least in January!
We visited(although not my first visit) for a brief weekend trip at the end of January. Within minutes of our first outing we had purchased an additional umbrella, hand warmers and went in search of a new beanie. The weather can only be described as ‘challenging’. I liken it to standing in the shower fully clothed and then going about your business outdoors all day in a temperature of 2 degrees. Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I AM probably the coldest person on the planet and ‘I’m so cold’ is my most overused phrase. As an Aussie living in the UK, I’ve just never acclimatised but then I’d probably be cold in the Sahara!!
I was proud of our efforts in braving the elements that day. Despite the weather we still managed to hit the pavement and canvas most of the tourist spots in and around The Royal Mile. We took refuge at lunchtime in a place called Pumpkin Brown http://www.pumpkinbrown.com/. A small cafe offering raw/clean/organic/plant based food and drinks. Their fridge section contained pre-made salads for takeaway(which looked amazing!), some bircher pots, and some chia pudding pots as well as a host of organic juices and soft drinks. However we were looking for something warm to heat us up! The hot food options were limited to two choices which I assume change daily and seasonally. We opted for a ‘Lentil Bolognese’. While hearty and delicious I probably wouldn’t call it ‘Bolognese’. I’m being picky. I make vegan bolognese which is much closer in flavour and texture to the original so I would say this was more like a Lentil ragu?
Before leaving, I spied some raw slices and cake options and left with a raw Wagon Wheel and a Millionaire’s Slice to eat later. I’m always keen to try other people’s versions of these kind of sweet treats. I hadn’t planned on visiting this cafe. I’d done quite a bit of research before arriving in Edinburgh and had a well thought out plan of attack re food however the weather really dictated our movements that day but it seems we came trumps.
For dinner I had made a reservation at Nova Pizza Vegetarian Kitchen www.novapizza.co.uk. I had read their menu online and was excited by the prospect of an entire menu of meals to choose from. What a vegan novelty! In fact it was almost overwhelming! It contained all the menu items you would expect to find on an standard Italian menu but with a variety of dairy-free cheese options and vegan meats. After much deliberation, I chose the ‘Vegan Calzone’ with salami. It was huge but I savoured every last morsel. The vegan salami looked the business and tasted legitimate too. I’ve never been a fan of trying fake meats because the ingredients are usually a combination of fillers and additives and in no way look appetising, but the more boutique products on the market are really well thought out recipes with prize ingredients. I was delighted with my choice of restaurant for the evening and I cannot wait to return to try something else from their extensive menu! My advice is to make a reservation though because it’s not an overly big establishment.