All good things must come to an end, sadly. It was the morning of our final day in Edinburgh, but we were both very tired and somewhat looking forward to getting back home, and on the plus side, Edinburgh is only a two hour train ride away!
We started the day with an early, light breakfast. Sara had a fluffy pancake with honey and yoghurt, and I had kippers with a poached egg. This was probably the best breakfast we had at the hotel!
Naturally, the day’s plans revolved around food, and our first stop involved somewhere I was very excited to visi after reading about it on Buzzfeed a couple of years ago…
Mary’s Milk Bar is an awesome little gelateria overlooked by Edinburgh castle. The flavours of gelato on offer change on a daily basis with three staples of milk, salted caramel and dark chocolate.
Just choosing two flavours was going to be tough, but a decision was made. Sara had the Hot Cross Bun Spice and I had Salted Caramel, we both also had White Chocolate and Basil.
My god the ice cream here is seriously worth the hype! Playful, creative flavours, and super creamy gelato! If you are visiting Edinburgh, go out of your way to visit Mary’s Milk Bar at least once!
After a walk around the nearby shops to find some Scottish tablet (sure, I can buy it in the sweet shop in Lancaster but it’s not the same!) we strolled over to our last lunch reservation.
These cats had nothing to do with our lunch, but we passed a cat café, Maison de Moggie, and I just wanted to share the photos of these cute squishy bundles of fluff.
Timberyard came at the recommendation of fellow food blogger, FoodGeek who still hasn’t got around to doing his blog of this place despite visiting last year! Come on mate!
Timberyard is a Scandinavian influenced restaurant, naturally plated dishes are served in a cosy but massive space. We were in a toasty part of the restaurant next to the log burner, heat radiated over and around us. The smell of the log burner also added to the warm atmosphere.
Excellent bread came with whipped butter topped with smoked salt, a slice of salami, a piece of pickled golden beetroot and two spears of fermented cucumber.
I would have liked a beer at Timberyard, however their prices for alcohol were frankly extortionate, £6 being the lowest price for a can of 0.3% Mikeller’s Drink’in The Sun. The beer list is exciting, sure, but please don’t price people out of enjoying a beer with their meal because of wanting to have obscure beers available.
Instead we ordered two of the in house made soft drinks, I had a vibrant orange sea buckthorn drink, very tart and palate cleansing. Sara had rhubarb & pickled spruce, which was a lot more gentle but still very refreshing.
Our first “bite” was mushroom broth, spelt, buckwheat, garlic. An earthy and nutty broth, with cute tiny mushrooms and crunchy spelt to add bite.
My second bite was scallop, seaweed butter, artichoke. Sweet scallop sat in the seaweed butter and a delicious smoky hit from the smoked artichoke. My favourite bit of it, however, was the two leaves sat on top. I have been wanting to try oyster leaf ever since I first saw it being used on Great British Menu, I wasn’t convinced that a leaf could taste so much of oyster, but it truly does. It is the EXACT taste of oyster! Amazing!
Sara’s second bite was beetroot, smoked curd, buckwheat, tarragon. Different textures of beetroot with a beetroot broth, and an intensely smoked curd. I tried a little, miniscule taste of the smoked curd and wow, it packed a punch!
We both had the pigeon, elderberry, beetroot, chard for our “small” plate. A stunning plateful, pigeon still slightly pink in the centre, with a bold and sweet elderberry sauce which complimented the iron rich meat well.
This is the exact moment I fell in love with Timberyard, the sheer ballsiness to serve a piece of fish on the bone, alone on a plate. Only a kitchen brimming with confidence would do this, and they backed it up with precision cookery. Sole, cockles, fennel, samphire came with accompanying parts served in a dish on the side, meaning I could try my hand at plating up.
I’ll not give up the day job any time soon. Plump cockles and aniseedy fennel complimented the fish perfectly.
For dessert Sara had almond, malt, pear. A caramelised half pear along with a malted ice cream and almond foam.
I had the buttermilk, sea buckthorn, carrot dessert. A creamy, yet tangy sea buckthorn ice cream, buttermilk espuma, candied carrot and sherbert topped with granita. If I was being fussy, I would have liked a crisp textural element to the dessert, but it was a nice, light way to end a meal.
Palates cleansed after the light and refreshing puds, we ordered some filter coffee.
Coffee came with petit fours, seaweed caramels and fermented berry teacakes. Delicious little sweet treats!
Sadly after this it was time to head back to the hotel to collect our luggage and say goodbye to Edinburgh. We headed to the station and relaxed in the first class lounge for half an hour before heading to our train.
I was a bit disappointed that despite Virgin’s website saying that an evening meal is served from 1700 onwards, apparently because our train departed at 1652 they would only be serving the afternoon choice of sandwiches. It’s just a bit petty, really, and I’m glad I hadn’t forked out a lot more money for first class.
We both chose a chicken ceasar wrap, which was incredibly dry and in need of more ceasar dressing… a LOT more. It was also a shame the drinks trolly only came back down the carriage just outside Carnforth, so we got another miniature booze to take home with us. Next time I’ll make sure to double up on my drinks if I travel first class again.
So with that our trip to Edinburgh was over, we had a fantastic time and definitely plan on returning because there’s so much to do, and so many other places to eat! It’s a beautiful city, full of culture and fascinating history, I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to visit somewhere so close… now it’s just a case of planning the next holiday!