August in Scotland. A mixed bag of blistering sun punctuated by hellish rain Armageddon and interspersed with the occasional “haar” (sea fog) that looks like white walkers and death eaters combined on an assault over Arthur’s Seat. So as we sail towards Autumn quite clearly, it only seems appropriate to start wheeling out some more comforting foods that still whiff of sweet sun, but are distinctively more sofa-worthy…
This luscious pasta dish combines two of my favourite flavours, fennel / anise with sweet pork in a velvety rich sauce. The vermouth really gives it a depth and warmth I love and it is flavourful enough it doesn’t need Parmesan on top. I cook this as a one pot when I am feeling extra lazy.
In the Old Pump House building, at Queen’s Dock on the banks of the Clyde river, the first Glasgow distillery to make single malt whisky in over 100 years has risen like a phoenix. The pump house itself, a glorious Victorian red brick structure dominating this stretch of the riverbank dates from the mid 1800s when Glasgow was the centre for whisky export to the world and it’s marine shipping and trade industry was booming. The docks would have been bustling with activity, and the city of Glasgow boasted up to 40 active distilleries distributing the water of life all over the British Empire. Today, it has one: The Clydeside Distillery, opened in 2017 to develop a new, metropolitan, singularly Glaswegian style of whisky making. Continue reading “The Clydeside Distillery – Glasgow”→
Summer is here and dishes in the kitchen are begging for some sunny vibrant colour and zesty spice! Rustle up the below in batch for midweek cheap meals or for a big dinner with friends… ideally in a garden! It is vegan and great for budget-conscious eaters, so it works for everyone!
Those who know me well will know I am a beach nut and love the water. Most recently I have discovered wild swimming, taking my weekly dip locally with The Wild Ones, a popular group in Portobello, Edinburgh.
“Dolphins!” came the shout from Skipper Nikki Alford at the bow of Bessie Ellen. We were whipping along at a nifty 7.6 knots – a cracking pace for this beautiful Cornish ketch as she sliced through the Hebridean waves like scissors through silk on her merry way to Canna. Dolphins were in sight, and not just a few. Hundreds!
The sun is out, it is day 3 of my first (and by no means last) tall ship adventure, fulfilling my childhood dream of sailing the seas on an historic ship. The wind has toasted my cheeks red, the salty sea air is bone cold, my clunky million layers make me feel like the Michelin man and I’m wearing the Mountain Warehouse equivalent of a tea cosy on my head. I reluctantly had to put my sea bands on on day two because – guess what folks – I ain’t no pirate. (yet). But I am as happy as a seagull with chips. On crack.
One of my first seafood meals in Edinburgh after moving here was a barbecued plate of clams and scallops cooked for me in a sun-dappled garden in Leith. Those clams and scallops, which had me silently weeping with all kinds of nostalgic joy (also, eye-watering amounts of garlic) were picked up that morning by my host at Welch’s Fishmongers in Newhaven. Eight months on, I – embarrassingly – had still not ventured down to Newhaven to marvel (read “drop serious dollars”) at this amazing fishmongers which had since acquired legendary status in my mind.
Sonder is a marvellous collection of things. Beautifully clean Scandinavian lines and big windows, an open kitchen bustling with Chefs and visible from all quarters, impeccably warm and convivial service by cheery young things dashing about in suitably trendy clothing. And most importantly – big, bold, curious flavours and textures delivered through locally sourced, seasonal ingredients poached from across Scotland and the UK. I’ve eaten in a few “Scottish” restaurants since arriving in Edinburgh and most I have loved, but there is a definite pattern of traditional, hearty, wholesome. Here this is replaced with light, beautiful, different, quirky with no compromise on quality of primary ingredients. Continue reading “Sonder -Seasonal Cuisine in Edinburgh”→