We’d love to ask you to Edinburgh. To remain in probably the most lovely resort, eat scrumptious meals, participate in a gin tasting, expertise one thing completely magical and extraordinary that takes place underground, at evening, that gives you goosebumps. With extra gin. And eat a scrumptious breakfast whereas overlooking the most effective views of the town. Oh and there can even be cake.
You couldn’t get me on the practice quick sufficient.
The prospect of an evening away in a giant mattress with no 7am Isabelle wakeup name (or 1am, 2am, 3am and so on…) was simply so thrilling, that if the only goal of the journey had been to stare at a blade of grass, I’m fairly certain I’d have nonetheless leapt aboard the practice with glee.
I arrived on the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh and was greeted with goodies and a really particular new pal for Isabelle, (whom she loves). The resort itself is completely GORGEOUS. In-built 1903, Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – the Caledonian is an historic icon within the coronary heart of Edinburgh’s Princes Road and has the biggest variety of rooms with views of Edinburgh Fortress within the metropolis… and my toilet had the very best view of all of them!
It’s a beautiful instance of a British grand railway resort, previously known as The Caledonian Resort, and nicknamed ‘The Caley’. It’s fantastically grand with the right Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers staircase to tap-dance down in your solution to breakfast… (Simply me?)
We headed off for afternoon tea at The Outdated Curiosity Distillery – a brief taxi trip from the resort and a really magical place certainly, located on the Secret Herb Backyard, the place they produce their very personal (distinctive) gin, fully naturally, utilizing their very own hand-harvested botanicals.
Scotland’s love affair with gin truly began in Leith, Edinburgh. All of it started method again within the 1700s when the primary bottles of fiery Dutch Jenever have been traded into the Port of Leith.
Leith’s dockside location allowed for simple entry to uncooked supplies and unique spices, because the Scots traded with the Dutch in trade for wool and different provides. And now, Scottish gin accounts for 70% of the UK’s general gin manufacturing – this I didn’t know.
They develop over 600 various kinds of herbs and flowers, so are continually experimenting with totally different flavours and combos and creating new magical gins!
“Hamish, a wine service provider, started to pursue his lifelong ardour for vegetation by gaining a Herbology Diploma. Alongside Liberty’s ardour for all issues classic the overgrown lowlands grew to become an award-winning herb nursery, native arts centre, store and café.”
We sat with Hamish (the proprietor) and his daughter and loved a scrumptious afternoon tea at a big rustic farm desk, whereas we tasted their superb gin, discovered all in regards to the course of, the color altering magic-ness (that is high secret – you’re going to must go to search out out) and heard the story of how Outdated Curiosity got here to be.
“Starting with Apothecary Rose, an historical ingredient in tinctures and tonics, Hamish found a pure response that may solely be defined by the magic of nature: a pure color change, the magical starting of Secret Backyard Gin.”
We have been then let unfastened into their unbelievable herb backyard, the place we wandered round consuming within the unbelievable aromas of the a whole bunch of flowers and herbs they’ve rising on web site. I felt a little bit like Alice in Wonderland , with my cake, my magical potions and scampering across the gorgeous rose gardens… (though if the Queen of Hearts had appeared to cut off my head I’d have been in hassle – my legs weren’t working as quick as after I’d first arrived…#gin)
Then it was time to go again to the resort to get showered and adjusted, prepared for dinner at The Pompadour within the resort.
We met for cocktails within the bar first, the place we have been additionally handled to some champagne… which was made all of the extra particular because the employees at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh are educated in Sabrage!
After which it was dinner time…
Dinner was completely gorgeous – the restaurant itself is seemingly the recent spot for engagements within the metropolis! They also have a desk reserved for such events, with the right view…
After teas and coffees, we have been again within the taxi once more and on our solution to the Actual Mary King’s Shut, for probably the most extraordinary expertise and a really particular gin tour… with our new favorite gin, Outdated Curiosity.
The Actual Mary King’s Shut is Edinburgh’s solely preserved 17thcentury avenue, now buried deep underground and hidden beneath the Royal Mile.
Shrouded in myths and mysteries, the Shut (named after a girl (!) Mary King) and its warren of streets, properties, and passageways are nonetheless there to be found, and that’s what we did, late at evening, sipping gin and being led via by a lady in full costume and character… we wandered via a labyrinth of Outdated City alleyways, realized in regards to the cry of gardyloo, the tales of the individuals who lived, labored, and died right here… and naturally, the nice plague that took so a lot of their lives.
We have been on the Outdated Curiosity Gin Tour which is working all through August and September. The botanically impressed gin tour explored the life and occasions of Edinburgh’s first plague physician – Joannes Paulitius and we learnt why herbs have been thought to guard the physician from the lethal plague epidemic…
The tour, which lasted an hour and a half, was distinctive and I’ve since advised everybody I do know in Edinburgh, or going to Edinburgh, to e-book the tour instantly. I used to be extraordinarily impressed and the historical past is so thrilling… to have the ability to stroll these 400 12 months previous streets, and see the properties of people that lived and labored in that point, was an enormous privilege. In between the varied twists and turns of the tour, we’d cease and be launched to a different gin – we have been launched to 4: Apothecary Rose, Lemon Verbena, Chamomile & Cornflower and the color altering Pink Elderflower and Jasmine Gin and Tonic. We tasted all of them and skilled them underground within the quiet, beneath the hustle and bustle of the town.
We bought again to the resort late, filled with tales to inform (and gin) and I flopped into mattress.. and Isabelle didn’t wake me up at 3am. As an alternative, I awoke at a really respectable hour of seven:30am, showered and packed and headed off for breakfast at The Lookout by Gardener’s Cottage.
Breakfast was scrumptious and we wolfed eggs and drank espresso and talked about all of the great issues we’d seen and performed the day earlier than.
Then it was a fast hop again within the taxi (an enormous thanks to Central Taxis for ferrying us everywhere in the metropolis!) to the station and again on the practice, the place I made a couple of buddies and advised all of them to return to Edinburgh and do all of the issues that I had performed.
Thanks Edinburgh, for being great, for transporting me again in time and for sharing your secrets and techniques.
I shall be again quickly! And I can’t wait…
E book the Outdated Curiosity Gin Tour at Actual Mary King’s Shut right here.
I used to be a visitor of every of those superb locations in Edinburgh,
and all ideas and opinions are my very own