Sunday, May 17, 2009

Traditional Sunday Roast

Today is Sunday, and Mom wanted to go to church, so we made a point of going to Services at St. Giles (Presbyterian) Cathedral. This church has been in use since at least 1559, and parts of it date from 1495. Right now it's being renovated, but I have a feeling that's been a constant over the centuries as much of the church has been altered since the 16th century. What most impressed me were the modern halogen chandeliers, which float like UFOs in the vaulted ceilings.

As part of my personal effort to help change people's perceptions of British food, we headed to yet another New British Cuisine brassiere, Hadrian's at the Balmoral Hotel. We were also there as part of Mom's personal effort to find the ultimate roast beef. She reports that hers was cooked perfectly and quite tasty, but it should have been sliced thicker. My lamb steak in red currant sauce was interesting and enjoyable, and was accompanied by tiny delicious sauteed green beans.

Aside from needing to walk off lunch, I figured that climbing Arthur's Seat is one of the traditional that one cannot miss doing in Edinburgh. It had been (partly-somewhat-mostly) sunny all morning, and I figured now would be a good time because the ground would be in its least-damp-between-the-rains condition. I tramped up the steep paths, every so often stopping to take in the views of the Firth of Forth, Edinburgh Castle, and the surrounding city and countryside. Arthur's Seat is but part of the very large and very bucolic Holyrood Park, behind the high crags hides a lovely valley with two little lochs and what looks like a bit of ruined castle. It's wild and windy and I could almost imagine myself out on the moors in the countryside.

It was also cold, and I took a wrong turning on the path down, ending up on a mountain-goat-friendly descent that wore me out. Once back on level ground I strolled past the ultra-modern Scottish Parliament, arriving back in the hotel room to collapse on the sofa in happy exhaustion.

Mom revived me with some shortbread and a banana, and promises of a whisky and soda downstairs, so we made our way to the bar and enjoyed more Isle of Jura and some Glenkinchie (single malt from near Edinburgh), accompanied by fish cakes and a hot carrot-coriander soup.

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