Spoon (Edinburgh): Haggis and Harry Potter

Jams

J.K. Rowling, as you might imagine, is big in Edinburgh.

The Elephant House, with its sweeping picture window views of Edinburgh Castle, is constantly packed with camera-toting tourists, as Rowling wrote bits of Harry Potter there — back when she could still wander the world incognito, of course.

Besides this cafe, however, there is one other spot that is something of a Rowling shrine — though one that’s considerably less mobbed, as it’s morphed into something else since its Rowling years: Spoon, a bright and cheery first floor restaurant that used to be Nicolson’s Cafe, otherwise known as the place where Rowling wrote some of the early chapters of Harry Potter.

As much of a fan as I am of the series, I’ve never wanted to get in the perennially long line at the Elephant House. Spoon, on the other hand, not only doesn’t have the lines but is also a restaurant whose food I’d heard good things about.

So on a drizzly Sunday, D.B. and I set off for a little look-see …

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James Cockburn & Son Family Butcher (Scotland): A Date With The Pie Man

James Cockburn & SonsI have great appreciation for any man who understands my massive love for meat.

In the U.K., meat pies, to be precise, have been my obsession for years. When this happens to slip out in conversation, Dorset boy merely says: “I have a man — a pie man.”

What follows then is weeks of (at first) gentle inquiring about this pie man, then outright pestering, and then a fair amount of wondering aloud if he actually exists. (A girl has to be careful, after all. I may not be the first to have been smitten by some mention of a fictitious pie man.)

Finally, one morning, it becomes clear that proof is in order. Which is how I find myself pulling up in front of a tiny butcher on a side road of wee Bonnyrigg, Scotland

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