The Zulu Lounge (Edinburgh): Finding Bacon Butty

Bacon buttyIt could be said that I’m something of a bacon butty obsessive.

I’m fairly new to this, mind you — in fact, I was a bacon butty virgin for many years. I’d been hearing and reading about British bacon sandwiches, a little frisson of excitement popping up whenever some hungry D.I. mentioned one in the British cop shows I adore. And yet in all that time, I’d never come across a place in New York or Singapore where I could find one. Sure, I could whip out some bacon and bread and make one — but what’s the fun in that?

One day, I thought, a bacon butty will cross my lips. (A girl can dream.)

Finally, on a sunny morning in Edinburgh, it happened …

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Vietnam House (Edinburgh): The Hunt For Pho

photo 2 (1)A few days into any visit to a city that’s not in Asia and the urge always strikes — I must have a bowl of noodles.

In Edinburgh, this proves slightly more challenging than in many other sizeable western cities — yes, the place is filled with cheap Chinese takeouts and Indian curry shops. But the Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese noodle craze that has a firm hold in several metropolises appears to have bypassed this one altogether.

When I text this dilemma to an Asian food-loving friend in Edinburgh — the sweet and adorable¬†Lauren of Asian Cajuns — she immediately replies: Vietnam House for pho.

Well that’s that then — pho it is …

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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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Falko (Scotland): A Lovely Spot of Lunch

IMG_3248Sunny days in Scotland — about as hard to come by as you might imagine. (From my experience, anyway.)

So when a late July morning gives you the gift of sunshine and clear skies, the choice is clear — it’s time to get in the car and just go.

Where to? North of Edinburgh, to a little stretch of tranquil coast along the scenic Firth of Forth …

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