We were up in Edinburgh at the weekend. DorkySon and I have been back once since we left, and DorkyDad has been up a couple of times for work, but this was the first time we’d all been back together. It was only a quick visit for a family wedding, but we packed in as much as time and the weather would allow.
There have been a few wee changes in the city. Getting off the train at Waverley Station feels a lot like you’ve accidentally stumbled into a building site, and then when you finally find your way out the first thing you see are some enormous Olympic Rings that have been deposited on the Mound. It was very sad to drive past the Forest Café and see the shutters down, and equally odd to see a Sainsbury’s where Peckhams used to be. I also found out that the Green Room at Bennets has been renamed the Skean Dubh, which I can’t get my head around at all.
But some things remain constant. It still rains all the time. The cab drivers still talk a lot about what a disaster the tram project is. And standing on the Meadows looking up at Arthur’s Seat and the Castle still makes my heart sing.
It is odd to be in Edinburgh as a tourist instead of a resident, but we had a lot of fun. We were all hugely impressed with the Bruntsfield Hotel – chosen on the basis that it was in a convenient location, and the manager is the brother of our old local butcher. The room was huge, DorkySon loved his special new bed, and all the members of staff were hugely friendly. My highlight was having black pudding and tattie scones for breakfast on both mornings – a rare treat!
We had dinner at a friend’s house on Friday night, which was lovely, and then dinner with another friend at Papillio on Saturday night. It remains one of my favourite restaurants in Edinburgh, for the kindness of the staff as much as anything else. They laughed, and reminded me how I’d had to squeeze between the tables in there when I was pregnant with DorkySon.
On Saturday morning, my brother got married, which was just as lovely as you’d imagine. We had a brilliant lunch afterwards at Angels with Bagpipes – the first time I’d been – that lasted well into the afternoon. The food was up there with the very best meals I’ve had in Edinburgh, and I can’t wait to go back, hopefully sometime very soon.
As we got a taxi from Waverley to Bruntsfield on Friday afternoon DorkySon was holding both our hands, and he asked, “Why does this feel so familiar?” By the time we left on Sunday morning he was saying “Isn’t it lovely to be back in Edinburgh?”
It really was. We really don’t know if we’ll ever end up back there permanently, but I hope that we keep finding plenty of excuses to visit. Right now I’m online looking for accommodation for a week in August. DorkyDad has an exciting poetry project that he is involved with (watch this space!), and DorkySon and I are looking forward to a few days wandering around and soaking up the Festival atmosphere.
As ever, we’ll bring our brollies.