Monday, 26 October 2009

a country mouse visits a big city

Country Mouse is still recovering from a big trip to Edinburgh the other day. An old friend and I went to a few of what used to be our favourite haunts when we both lived there. Susie's Wholefood Diner (below) sounds rather worthy but is a fantastic place to eat and the scene of many good times. In the olden days it was called Seeds and had rough plaster walls painted a warm golden colour and huge handpainted pictures of vegetables. Seeds is gone but Susie's is licensed so hey ho. It still has the rickety wooden tables and the same dodgy chairs and the menu hasn't changed in 20 years. If you ever visit Edinburgh and are feeling vegetarianly inclined, it's on West Nicolson Street.
Also on West Nicolson Street is one of the best pubs in Edinburgh, the Pear Tree. It has the most beautiful garden with a canopy of fairy lights in the trees. The house was built by a merchant in 1749 or something and is full of old books, paintings and big squashy couches. Unfortunately we had to give it a body swerve as there was an - eek- TV, showing - eek eeek eeeek - football.And below is a photo of one of the gates into the dark and gothic Greyfriars Churchyard. I couldn't get a decent picture as there was a City of Edinburgh wheelie bin jammed up against it. As a child I was very interested in the story of the loyal little dog, Greyfriars Bobby, who never left his master's grave. How did he eat? How long did he last with no food? Where was he buried? I can see where Little R gets this question, question thing from. If you feel like a good greet, have a read at this: and as a bonus you will find out how he ate and where he was buried, just like I just did when I read it two minutes ago after 35 years of wondering. Not constantly.
After our delicious lunch my long-legged and super-fit friend marched me at speed to Maxie's wine bar on Victoria Street. There is a roof terrace which must be amazing in the summer but as it was a bit cold for us oldies we went inside.
This is Victoria Street at 5pm on the day the clocks went back, so 6pm really. That's the Grassmarket running along the bottom of the street. You can just see in my bad photo a brightly spotlit stone plinth just where Victoria Street meets the Grassmarket. That's where the hangings used to take place. There are eyewitness accounts which tell of Victoria Street being solid with people and the windows and roofs all completely full as everyone jostled for a good spot from which to watch the executions, and the householders used to charge big money. That's Edinburghers for you.
We were good girls, and instead of phoning our husbands and saying we were having such a good time that we were going to stay out for longer, my friend put me on the 6pm train as arranged and DH and Little R picked me up in Glasgow, very happy to be back home after my wonderful adventure in the big city.


  1. What a great trip it looks like you had. Love the last two at night in the city.

  2. Thanks for your comment on my cake! It was from How To Be A Domestic Goddess, although you might have found it already... x

  3. We stayed in Edinburgh on the last day of our honeymoon, almost 13 years ago to the day! I have such fond memories, I want to go back there and visit one day. Your photos are lovely.

  4. Sounds like a great day out, haven't been to Edinburgh for years - since having kids in fact. Must remedy that soon, perhaps next year...

  5. Me again! I've nominated you for two blogging awards - see my last post for details. By the way, you're not obliged to accept them!

  6. Aw I miss Edinburgh! I've been there 2 times! I love Scotland! Never been to that WholeFood Diner, just have to try it once! Being a vegetarian and everything!
    A nice pub too is that pub where JK Rowling started to write the HP books, I think it's called "The Elephant House"!