Scottish Pumpkin Patches 2018

Wednesday, 10 October 2018
A comprehensive roundup of the best places to pick pumpkins in Scotland this Halloween. Fun for all the family at locations in Aberdeenshire, Fife, Angus, Perthshire, the Lothians and Stirling. Keep with tradition and choose a neep, get lost in a maze, meet farm animals, dig tatties, clamber on bales and lots more. Grab your wellies and warm clothes this Autumn and experience a Scottish Pumpkin Patch.


Halloween has changed a lot since I was wee. Then it was all about homemade costumes, neeps, apple dooking, guising and not a mention of trick or treating and pumpkins. You had to do a proper turn to get your sweetie. A joke would have had the door slammed on your face. However in recent years I too have turned to the dark side and officially become obsessed with all things pumpkin, fall, autumnal, thanksgiving and pumpkin spice! I do still however bow down before anyone who attempts to carve a neep. Those bad boys are seriously hard work. Simplistic carving is the order of the day and it takes time and dedication to create a neepie lantern. Saying that, the smell of a stubby candle burning the inside of a neep is a childhood memory I would rather forget. The examples below are from Mandy at Mud Pies and Isla at Cool Gourmet. I look forward to seeing what both ladies come up with this year.

Are you #TeamTurnip or #TeamPumpkin 

Whilst its great to keep Scottish traditions alive over the past few years homegrown Pumpkins have been popping up across Scotland! Last year I visited two patches close to me in Aberdeenshire. Udny Pumpkins and Mains of Leask. So far this year I've returned to Udny for a sneak preview and also attended the press preview day at Arnprior Pumpkins who are the biggest, best and original Scottish Pumpkin Patch (est 2014).


I'm delighted to share that a sheet with some my pumpkin recipes will be available this year to visitors at Udny, Arnprior and Westerton Pumpkins so be sure to pick one up when you visit. We need to realise that pumpkins are a valuable source of food and not just for decoration.There’s more than enough flesh to do both. Cut the top off your pumpkin then scoop out the innards (but keep the seeds). Removing as much of the flesh as you can will give you plenty to cook with and will also make carving so much easier as the walls will be thinner. A win win situation! I've found that the easiest way to extract the flesh is to use a melon baller. A grapefruit knife also works well as does a pumpkin scraper or if nothing else is available a large spoon or sharp knife will do the job.


I've done a bit of investigating to try and track down as many Pumpkin Patches across Scotland as I can, so no matter where you are you can pick up a pumpkin (or neep) 

Please do let me know of any others and I'll add them to the list. 

*** PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE double check dates/times/availability and exactly what is on offer to avoid any disappointment ***

Wellies and Warm Clothes advised for all!


Arnprior Pumpkins Stirling 12 Miles, Glasgow 40 miles

Booking essential if travelling by car, parking voucher redeemable against a small pumpkin (or £5 off a larger pumpkin) One ticket per car, not per person. 
No entry fee
13th - 21st and 27th & 28th October, 8.30am - 5pm

  • Pumpkins cost between £3 and £10 depending on size 
  • PYO Pumkins - 8000+ pumpkins! 
  • PYO Neeps and Tatties 
  • Kale Maze 
  • Quad Pods 
  • Bale Mountain 
  • Face Painting 
  • Chainsaw Carving 
  • Pop Up Photography and Floristry Events 
  • Food and Drink Trucks - Pizza, Burgers, Coffee and GIN! 
  • Wellie Boot Hire 
  • Toilets 
  • Photo Opportunities 


ABERDEENSHIRE

Sat 20th Oct to Sun 28th October 10am-4pm (Closed Mon 22nd October)
PYO Pumpkins - 750+ pumpkins
Dig your own Tatties 
Booking not required - no entry fee 
Pumpkins cost between £3 and £10 depending on weight 
Animals to feed (sheep, hens, turkeys), baby chicks to visit, games in the field, hay bales to climb on, colouring competition.


Sunday 28th October 
PYO Pumpkins - 300 pumpkins of all different shapes, sizes and colours ready and waiting to be picked in time for Halloween.
Kale Maze, activities, meet the farm animals, learn more about farming and buy some fresh vegetables grown right beside the pumpkins. 
Booking essential - please book a free ticket per pumpkin you wish to pick regardless of how many people are in your group. 
Prices vary from £5 - £12 depending on whether you pick a wee pumpkin or an enormous pumpkin. 

Pumpkin Patch from Saturday 20th to Saturday 27th October 
Fairy Finding and Orienteering. 
Hot dogs, hot chocolate, marshmallows. 
Pick a pumpkin to take home. 
Booking essential 

Westerton Farmers, Laurencekirk
PYO Pumpkins and Neeps Weekend
10am - 4pm, Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th October
Fancy dress encouraged!
Booking not required
Vegetables for sale in the Spud Hut

Join the full Halloween experience at Wynford Farm Park throughout the October Holidays and right up to Halloween.
All Children's Tickets are Access-All-Areas and include picking your own Pumpkin, ALL of our Animal Activities, a spin of our Trick or Treat Wheel of Fortune, facing your fears with our Fearful Mystery Boxes, our Silly Selfie Booth, and lots more fun.


PERTHSHIRE

PYO Pumpkins
13th-28th October
Ticketed event to allow for traffic and pumpkin management - redeemable towards purchase of pumpkins 
Pumpkins cost between £5 and £10 depending on size 

FIFE 

Homegrown Pumpkins for sale 

PYO Pumpkin Patch from 6th October 
10am-5pm daily 
Halloween Torchlight Maze 26th-31st October 

ANGUS 

Cononsyth Farms, Arbroath 
PYO Pumpkins Saturday 20th October 2018, 10am - 2pm 
Ticket required for car parking - redeemable towards purchase of pumpkins 
Pumpkins cost between £4 and £8, depending on size 


House of Horror and Pumpkins for sale 
10am-4pm until 31st October 

LOTHIAN 

Narrowboat Farm, Linlithgo 
Pick your own Pumpkins. The field will be open for picking from 10am until dusk from 19th – 31st October 2018. When the field is unavailable the wee shed will be stocked up with pumpkins and an honesty box in place. 
Free carving workshops for pumpkins purchased on site - book in advance. 
Pumpkins cost between £5 and £10, depending on size. 


PYO Pumpkins


Kilduff Farm, North Berwick
Booking not required - no entry fee
5000+ pumpkins
Pumpkins priced from £2-£10 according to weight
Straw bale maze
Toilets
Hot Drinks & Tasty Treats from Sinclair & Rice 


*** PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE double check dates/times/availability and exactly what is on offer to avoid any disappointment ***

Wellies and Warm Clothes advised for all!

🎃 Happy Pumpkin Picking 🎃



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A Peedie Taste of Orkney

Monday, 8 October 2018
Post in collaboration with Orkney Food & Drink


It's not just its Neolithic origins stretching back some 10,000 years that Orkney has to shout about, there's also a fantastic food and drink scene. Land and sea provides an abundant natural harvest and skilled producers and chefs turn those raw ingredients into fabulous cuisine. 2 whisky distilleries, 3 gin producers, beer, cheese, oatcakes, lamb, fudge, ice cream, bere meal and more. You won't go hungry on an Edible Orcadian Adventure.




Those following me on my social media channels may have noticed that I recently headed to Orkney for a peedie edible adventure. Orkney Food & Drink invited me to travel to the Islands along with a group of buyers and writers to discover a peedie bit about what makes Orkney special both in the food and drink sectors and beyond. Confused? Perhaps I should explain a peedie bit...

Peedie is the most commonly used dialect word in Orkney and means little or small. Go back and read the paragraph again - ideally with a lilting Orcadian accent - and you'll get the gist of what I'm talking about!

Edible Scottish Adventures - September 2018

Monday, 1 October 2018


I can't quite believe that here I am once again doing my monthly roundup (and publishing it on the 1st of the month #polisheshalo). We're definitely into full on Autumn now and with Halloween on the horizon I can officially change my logo to the Pumpkin version. I think this wee chap might be my favourite of them all. As always designed by Camilla at mimihammill.com (Aberdeen based designer extraordinaire of print, pattern, funky yoga leggings and silk scarves). 
Time to take a look back to September and share what you might have missed. The algorithms of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook don't always want to let my followers see everything I post so this retrospective monthly roundup is my cunning way of attempting to beat the system. Expect coffee, gin, pumpkins, rice, birthday celebrations and gallivanting to the East Neuk, Edinburgh, Orkney and Dundee.

Banana, Bramble and Almond Traybake - Gluten Free

Saturday, 29 September 2018
This gluten free Autumnal bake is ideal to use up black bananas which otherwise may go to waste. Combined with brambles (blackberries) forraged from the hedgerows it's an economical treat. Moist and moreish, Banana, Bramble and Almond Traybake is perfect served with a cuppa or as a dessert with lashings of custard.




Brambles have got to be the original foraged food. Everyone knows what they are and they're easy to find and identify. I have vivid memories of picking them along old railway lines as a child with my Grandma Corntown - plus the inevitable accompanying purple stained fingers and scratches from their thorns (and the occasional nettle sting into the bargain). There's been a bumper crop this year and its not too late to head out to the hedgerows and take advantage of free food! (for any sassenachs brambles = blackberries)

Scotch Lamb Mac and Cheese

Monday, 24 September 2018
Post in collaboration with Quality Meat Scotland


Lamb Mac and Cheese is Scottish comfort food at its best and then some! Scotch Lamb PGI stirred through creamy macaroni cheese before being topped with lashings of Scottish cheddar and baked in the oven until ooey and gooey. The best bits of macaroni cheese and shepherd’s pie all rolled into one midweek meal which the whole family will enjoy. 




Pastitsio is a Greek pasta bake made with spiced lamb mince, tomato sauce, bechamel sauce and layers of macaroni. As lovely as it sounds, I reckon the constituent ingredients could be made even better by giving them a Scottish twist. How about Scotch Lamb stirred through creamy macaroni cheese before being topped with lashings of Scottish cheddar and baked in the oven until ooey and gooey? Doesn't that just scream out midweek comfort food to you? The best bits of macaroni cheese and shepherd’s pie all rolled into one. What's not to like?

Beetroot and Chocolate Muffins

Saturday, 22 September 2018
One of your 5-a-day in chocolate and cake form. These Beetroot and Chocolate Muffins are quick and easy to make and super moist and moreish. Use beetroot to make a naturally pink icing to finish them off to perfection.


One of the runaway successes this year in our wee garden vegetable patch has been beetroot. So far I've roasted it, frittered it and I've got some chutney plans still to come. It's not so long ago that carrot cake was seen as a wee bit out there however now it's a fairly standard bake. Following close on its heels was beetroot and chocolate cake which is the inspiration for today's recipe. (for more vegetables in cakes inspiration do check out my blogger buddy Kate at Veggie Desserts) My go to for a fuss free bake are always muffins. I've got a fab wee cookbook that I bought from Lakeland years ago which the basic recipe came from and I've adapted it into a multitude of others.

75 International Rice Recipes from Around the World

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Post in collaboration with The Rice Association



Take a culinary journey around the globe in rice with 75 international recipes which showcase the versatility of rice from breakfast through to lunch, dinner and dessert Featuring dishes from India, Mexico, Greece, Asia, Spain, Japan, Thailand and more. Whether you’re looking for inspiration to use up leftovers, rustle up a quick midweek meal, or discover a new go to salad there’s something for you below in this selection of globally inspired rice based dishes.






#RiceWeek2018 National Rice Week is this year being celebrated between Monday 17th and Sunday 23rd September with an exotic journey around the world via rice. Rice is the perfect partner for any dish and is enjoyed all over the globe from risotto in Italy to curry in India. You can quite literally travel the world in rice dishes. In the UK we now eat five times more rice per person than we did forty years ago and consumption is still on the rise as more of us enjoy its taste, versatility and take advantage of convenient microwaveable packs. Surprisingly, as its not grown in the UK, rice is a true British favourite and features in so many of our most loved dishes from egg fried rice and chicken tikka masala to Granny’s favourite rice pudding! Outwith the home kitchen rice based restaurant eating accounts for 21% of all restaurants in the UK – with Indian food being the most popular, followed by pizza then Chinese.


Ultimate visitor guide to the Dundee V&A

Friday, 14 September 2018
The ultimate practical guide for those wishing to visit Dundee's new V&A Museum of design. Located in the regenerated Dundee Waterfront area, open daily from 10am-5pm with free entry. Designed by acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and built at a cost of £80 million. Exhibits include Scottish Design Galleries, Charles Rennie Mackintosh Oak Room and Touring Exhibition Galleries (Ocean Liners: Speed and Style until 24 Feb 2019). Full onsite facilities with cafe, restaurant, picnic room, accessible for all toilets and gift shop.





Edible Scottish Adventures August 2018

Monday, 3 September 2018
Pinch Punch Slap Kick - just like that we're in September! 'Tis most definitely now the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness with the schools back and the nights fairly drawing in. It will be the C word before we know it! Time to take a look back to August and share what you might have missed. The algorithms of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook don't always want to let my followers see everything I post so this retrospective monthly roundup is my cunning way of attempting to beat the system. Expect opening parties, hungover breakfast, celebratory macarons, the return of BBQ boy, Glaswegian street food, adventures in London and Bake Off shenanigans.


My top 10 quirky places and things to eat in London

Friday, 24 August 2018
A collection of quirky places and things to eat in London from Borough Market to China Town. Avo-lato ice cream, bubble waffles, candy floss, cereal, hotpot, disco fries and more. I'm sharing my personal recommendations for hipster places, meaty places, divine coffee, breakfast to die for and a fistful of Instagram worthy eats.


First off a disclaimer. This is by no means anywhere near a comprehensive guide of quirky places and things to eat in London. Instead it's where we have eaten and enjoyed on our last two trips to the capital. Expect some hipster places, meaty places, divine coffee, breakfast to die for and a fistful of instagram worthy eats. Please do leave me your own recommendations of where we should head on our next visit as I know that there's a whole weird and wonderful selection of food trends out there just waiting to be discovered.

Aberdeen Airport Northern Lights Executive Lounge

Thursday, 16 August 2018
Post in collaboration with Aberdeen Airport

Start your trip in style at Aberdeen Airport in the Northern Lights Executive Lounge. Located on the first floor of the main terminal, guests can enjoy a relaxed pre-flight atmosphere with a complimentary selection of proudly local food and drinks.




The Northern Lights of old Aberdeen, mean home sweet home to me
The Northern Lights of Aberdeen are what I long to see
I’ve been a wanderer all of my life and many a sight I've seen
God speed the day when I'm on my way, to my home in Aberdeen 

Perhaps best known now on the terraces of Pittodrie sung by AFC fans, my Mum used to sing this traditional Scottish song to me as a lullaby. Alas despite a trip to Iceland I've never seen the Northern Lights so they remain on my bucket list. Something else that many folks may wish to tick off their bucket list is to make use of an airport lounge prior to a flight. Once seen as elite and exclusive, only for those travelling in first class or suited and booted business travellers, many lounges are now available to all airport passengers on a paid for basis. You too can escape the hustle and bustle of the departure gates and chill out in style before you fly whether that be for business or pleasure.

International Sunday Brunch at Fairmont St Andrews

Wednesday, 8 August 2018
Post in collaboration with Fairmont St Andrews


St Andrews, the home of golf, is now home to a brunch like no other. The International Sunday Brunch at the 5 star Fairmont St Andrews Hotel is the only one of its kind in Scotland with an unlimited lavish buffet of continental charcuterie and international salads. A variety of entrees from the land and sea complimented by live cooking and carving stations. An impressive array of desserts, patisserie and ice cream completes the feast.


What does brunch mean to you? For me I'd say it's a late morning meal eaten instead of breakfast and lunch. (Often on a Sunday after a particularly heavy Saturday night...) But what about an International Sunday Brunch? At Fairmont St Andrew's it's SO much more than a late in the day full Scottish breakfast! Instead it's an unlimited lavish buffet spread of hot and cold dishes covering everything from salads to seafood, charcuterie to roasts, global flavours to traditional Scottish with a twist. All rounded off with a sumptuous choice of desserts, patisserie and ice cream. I'd been warned to arrive hungry and in preparation told everyone to skip breakfast in anticipation of the feast that was to come. There were a few dissenting voices and rumbling bellies at this request however upon our arrival in the Squire Restaurant for the start of brunch at 1pm and seeing the immense spread of food available we were all very glad to have complied.
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