There are many joys to being in Edinburgh – and not just the various arts related festivals at this time of the year.
Friday night, as I was waiting for my bus on Princes Street, the city staged a firework display to keep me entertained. You don’t see that in Cambridge! The buses, once they arrive, are also substantially cheaper than their Cambridge counterparts (and more frequent). OK, I’ll admit that the fireworks might have been related to the Tattoo – but in my solipsistic world they seemed timed for my personal pleasure.
Whilst the south-east of England has been roasting in unpleasantly high temperatures (in my opinion), Edinburgh has been much more temperate – and surprisingly dry. Yesterday afternoon, it did rain for a while but I managed to miss most of it filling my face with a truly prodigious volume of vegetarian fare at Henderson’s Bistro. I seriously approve of their portion sizes: a starter for two which lives up to its name, rather than being a disappointingly small snack for one. I also hope this single incident will cover two concerns for readers relating to previous coverage of this year’s Festival which apparently lacked sufficient references to food and rain. No-one should fear that I am suffering any lack of sustenance.
But the best thing about Edinburgh is the drinking policy. Down south, pubs throw you out at around 23:00 – but here they throw you in at 22:00. It doesn’t seem to be that important if you were already drinking and are just choosing to enjoy the cool evening air, or are merely passing by. I think the policy is that it is now 10pm and you are in Scotland, so you should be drinking.
I have also been introduced, for the first time, to the work of Messers Innis and Gunn – Edinburgh brewers to toffs and gentry (and me). In those venues where the draft drinking options are limited to over-chilled, fizzy yellow muck, the work of I&G is available in bottles and very potable it is too. Quite strong though – and I haven’t been brave enough to try the “Rum Finish” yet (though it does look a lovely colour and the tasting notes are tempting. Actually, the whole Innis and Gunn website is rather fine, I particularly recommend their spider graphs!). In conjunction with a rewed acquaintance with the fine folk of Brewdog, I fear my alcohol consumption might best be measured not so much in units but tens (assuming we are working in decimal).