Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A delicious weekend with Johanna

A view from the Edinburgh Castle, September 2006

One of the unexpected, joyful and most rewarding 'side-effects' of foodblogging is the number of new friends I've made, not talking about widening my culinary horizons, knowledge about food and recipe repertoire. Johanna of The Passionate Cook is one of these friends. I first met Johanna, who is originally from Austria, at the 'tiny' gathering of foodbloggers in London in March, kindly organised by Andrew. This was followed by Johanna's and Jeanne's blog birthday party in June, where, after a great evening, I was also treated to a fantastic brunch on the patio the following morning. It was then that Johanna told me she had never been to Edinburgh. As I'm soon leaving Scotland, she thought it would be a good idea to pop up before I go.

And so it happened that Johanna was in Edinburgh just over a week ago, and we spent a wonderful food-packed weekend together. In less that 48 hours we managed to have a cuppa at The Elephant House (supposedly the place where J K Rowling wrote the first of her Harry Potter books), drooled over the amazingly decorated chocolates at Plaisir du Chocolat, stopped for another coffee and lemonade at VinCaffè, and had an enjoyable dinner with Melissa at (the fair-trade/free range/organic/local sourcing restaurant) Urban Angel, followed by a visit to the quirky whisky haven, The Canny Man's, in Morningside. On Sunday, we had a brunch at Centotre (their Cenerentola, a fresh fruit drink made with freshly squeezed orange juice, passion fruit & pineapple is my huge favourite), marvelled at the bounty available and had another cup of coffee at the oldest Italian deli (established in 1934) Valvona & Crolla, stocked up on Scottish cheese at Ian Mellis Cheesemonger and checked out the Mexican delights at Lupe Pintos deli. And finally, after having covered many kilometres by foot walking around Edinburgh, we had a most delicious and luxurious meal (and a great value one at that, £12.95 for the 2-course pre-theatre menu) at The Witchery, the restaurant underneath acclaimedly one of the most romantic and decadent hotels out there.

I didn't take any pictures - Johanna had a great camera with a fancy objective, so I kept my wee baby-cam firmly inside my handbag. But do check out the the pictures and read Johanna's post about The Witchery instead. There is, indeed, so much more to Edinburgh & Scotland than deep-fried Mars bars and haggis, neeps and tatties.


Anonymous said...

oh yes, what a wonderful weekend we had! i have full intentions of blogging about it in the very near future, pictures and all. thanks again for making it possible, i wouldn't have enjoyed it half as much without such a brilliant guide! next stop: tallinn!

CG said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog and copying your recipes.

Here in Dubai we are fasting now for the holy month of Ramadan, so I spend a lot of time searching for new and exciting foods to cook each day.

Yesterday I baked your Christmassy Banana Cake, which brought the whole house together. The smell drifted from room to room (central airconditoning helped) and it took pride of place on the Iftar table.

I added the chocolate but I grated it and chopped the banana instead of pureeing it.

Absolutely beautiful....it was soft and gooey but not soggy....it was fantastic!

The Buddha Belly said...

I really enjoyed ready your blog especially as it highlights Edinburgh/Scotland. I have just started up my own blog and I would really appreciate it if you could add a link to www.buddhabellyeats.blogspot.com on your site. As it is a young blog site I need all the help I can get to encourage others to visit our site. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Nice pics, esp. see kahur sihib kraanat :)

Johannes said...

Well, well... I see You're really making fantastic pics with your tiny camera. And what a remarkable composition you've captured! Girl, you've got talent:)

PS: Both The Canny Man's and Centotre are places which I'd love to visit again (and plan to do so in the future).

Though, haven't really had the chance to get in deep contact with the culinary scene in Berlin. They might even have some secret delicacy hidden behind those piles of bratwursts...

Jeanne said...

Hi Pille

I'm still really sorry I couldn't make it for this wonderful weekend... But I have been enjoying it vicariously through your and Johanna's eyes! And as for the camera - hey, Johanna's camera dwarfs mine, but I whip it out nonetheless. We had some funny stares (again!) yesterday as the two of us snapped away at our gastropub lunch!!

Pille said...

Andrew - sounds good to me:)

Johanna - looking forward to reading your recap! I'm quite impressed how much we managed to pack in (and I didn't even mention the Ron Mueck exhibition and Almodovar's Volver!)

Paz - it was a fun weekend! And this picture is taken by my tiny, but still good, camera!!!

CG - thank you for your comment, and I'm glad to hear you've enjoyed reading my blog. As festive season is approaching fast and none of my friends & family back home had a chance to try this particular banana cake last year, then I'll be baking it again soon myself, too:)

Dear Buddha Belly, thank you for commenting and I'm looking forward to reading your blog. Also - Food Blog S'cool has lots of handy tips for promoting one's blog that you might find helpful.

Aari - aitäh! Loodan Sind peagi Eestis näha!

Johannes - my tiny camera is good indeed, and I knew you could get great shots on that canon ;)
I'm meeting a Mexican friend for brunch at Centotre this coming Sunday, and I'll definitely try to make it to the Witchery once again before I go. Aren't you sad that your favourite eating joint in Edinburgh has now closed down for good? (lol)

Jeanne - we were sorry, too, as it would have been great to have you with us! Oh well, another time, another place. I'll be in Estonia after this Sunday, you see:)