Another item scored off the Bucket List. This was a surprise trip to encompass Half Term, Valentines Day and Foodie Loon's Birthday. Nothing like killing three birds with one stone. We spent three nights on the Blue Hue Houseboat moored on the Union Canal in Ratho, just outside Edinburgh. I was very impressed that the Foodie Bairns managed to keep both our destination and accommodation a secret. Girl in particular is not known for her discretion in such matters.
It was love at first sight when we arrived at our moorings. An idyllic situation right next to a bridge, with our own flock of ducks and a pub literally on our doorstep. It was picture postcard perfect. The ducks provided much entertainment throughout our stay. I'm also able to confirm that the Tooth Fairy does indeed visit houseboats, despite concerns from the newly toothless girl. She brings double on such occasions. Useful to know if you should find yourself in a similar situation.
Blue Hue is kitted out with all mod cons and fantastic duck egg blue decor. It has a surprising amount of storage and is super cosy thanks to central heating and a wood burning stove. Logs, kindling, firelighters and matches were all provided. The kitchen was well quipped with gas cooker, toaster, kettle and fridge and a good range of utensils and dishes.
We were spending Valentine's day on the water so I brought along some romantic foodie treats. Bread, Cheese and Fizz. Godminster Organic Brie stamped - not entirely successfully - with alphabet cutters. Brie Mine. It was more like The Love Boat than a Narrowboat.
Cooking breakfast onboard was a wee bit challenging due to space restrictions and the lean of the boat. The kitchen area was compact and bijou, but it did the job. We had our feathered friends keeping a close eye on proceedings throughout.
Square sausage with haggis and black pudding eyes from Hopetoun Farm Shop. German Mixed Nut Bread from Falko at Edinburgh Farmers Market. Eggs collected from the chickens at Craigie's Farm.
Living on the water brought its own quirks. The foodie bairns were fascinated with the life raft for our keys. Thankfully not required. I loved the fact that we had our own number plate. The toilet facilities were much like those on an aeroplane with the use of a pump system making a bit of a scary whooshing noise. The shower was more powerful than many I've experienced onshore and plenty of fluffy towels.
We took a wander down the canal side tow path on the sunny Sunday morning. A very busy place clearly popular with cyclists, dog walkers, runners and families. Seriously regretted not packing my running gear. A lovely walk with plenty to keep your interest enroute.
Our long weekend gave us a real taste of houseboat living and I'm now more determined than ever to tick off a further item on the Bucket List. Next time we won't be static. Its got to be the full monty of locks, stopping off at pubs en route and sailing along whilst watching the world go by. Rosie & Jim have a lot to answer for. Next stop, the Norfolk Broads.