Five Go Mad

Thursday 5 January 2012

FiveGoMad in… Edinburgh

Not that we needed an excuse, but Simon's birthday seemed like the perfect time to travel from one capital to another. 

We couldn't have picked a better weekend to go, the weather was Winter perfect, sunny, cold.

After dropping off our bags at the Bruntsfield flat, kindly lent to us by Clare's parents, we hot footed it over to Prestonfield House, where Clare had booked the birthday dinner. It's quite an amazing place, perfect for Christmas, being the acme of Gothic luxury. We sat upstairs in their delightful sitting room, watching people enjoy the pretty fantastic looking Afternoon Tea.
Clare was especially taken by the kilted uniforms the (male) staff wore. A great look, she told me, somewhat made slightly sinister by the Matrix like earpieces everyone sported. On enquiry it was explained that this was to make life easier for the staff, as the house is big and rambling and people can be hard to find. Isn't technology wonderful?

After a couple of heart starters we headed downstairs to the Rhubarb restaurant.
It has a beautiful dining room, with big windows looking out onto the grounds. Not that we could see them, it being dark, but we could hear the cry of the peacocks that roam around the place. Boy, do they look much better than they sound! The meal was fantastic and the hospitality embarrassingly good. We'd love to return, but this time to stay at the hotel.

Saturday found us heading first for a bit of culture, searching in vain for a Dou painting which I swear I'd seen before at the National Gallery of Scotland. Oh well, in that case  a fortifying Gluhwein was called for

from the Christmas market just outside. Top tip, whatever you do, don't breath it in. Started a coughing fit with me, which drew some very funny looks, not sure why. Maybe the locals aren't used to someone who can't inhale alcohol.
As Christmas was just around the corner we thought we'd have a look a Jenner's, the renowned department store.

We spent all our time there at the top floor, rummaging through the delicious goodies at the Valvona & Crolla concession. Fortified, and decidedly over ambitious, we decided to walk up to Arthur's Seat. Not the best of ideas given the time of year, day, cold and our footwear. Funnily enough it was harder coming down than going up! By now we were pretty shattered, but managed to drag ourselves back into town for dinner at The Dogs

Pretty friendly, but the food was unmemorable. Time to head home through the nighttime streets of Edinburgh, looking pretty festive, it has to be said.
After a lie in on Sunday we popped round the corner from our flat to The Chocolate Tree for coffee. 
Interesting jigsaw puzzle on the wall. Now where have I seen that before?

We were going to have breakfast, but as all we seemed to do the previous day was eat, we weren't feeling too hungry. Worryingly so, as we'd booked into The Witchery for lunch! So we decided to walk into town to work up an appetite. Like it's sister, Prestonfield House, The Witchery is gothic in it's appearance with sumptuous leather seats and oak panelled walls.
The atmosphere of the place was perfect for the time of year, and after a couple of glasses of wine we were ready for our food. They did a £35 a head deal for a Christmas 3 course menu. All in all great value. We loved it. By the time we finished it was getting dark and time to head home. The city looked beautiful, lit up for Christmas, so romantic, so festive. We were sorry to leave the next day. But we'll be back.

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