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.

BBQ Boy has been somewhat AWOL this summer as he's been away so much pursuing other interests, however for one night only he was back with a vengeance. On the grill was reverse sear tri tip steak, charred leeks and butternut squash. Both meaty and veggie perfection. His next big challenge will be barbecuing a Barra Bronze Turkey for Thanksgiving. 

The beginning of August is always a stressful time for both parents and young people with the Scottish exam results coming out. A timely reminder that there is #nowrongpath Wherever it says on the text/email/letter there are multiple routes to success. Exam results don’t decide your future - you do. Super proud of my son for passing seven Nat 5's, albeit with some lower - and some higher - grades than he had hoped for. To celebrate we headed out for macarons at Almondine. Exquisite patisserie in beautiful surroundings as always.

It's brunch Jim, but not as we know it! Having headed to St Andrews for the last weekend in July I published a review of our stay. International Sunday Brunch at Fairmont St Andrews. The home of golf, is now home to a brunch like no other. Brunch at the 5 star Fairmont St Andrews Hotel is the only one of its kind in Scotland with an unlimited lavish buffet that is truly a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds. Go hungry. You won't be disappointed! 

I suspect there may have been a few sore heads the morning after the night before at the opening of the new Sandman Signature Hotel and Chop Grill and Bar. Canadian hospitality appeared to know no bounds! Stylish public areas, bedrooms, restaurant and bar with a huge ballroom and whisky bar still to come. The St Andrews Street building looks very different to when I studied Quantitative Business Methods there at RGIT but I’m delighted to have my own personalised loos.

A busy day in Glasgow with my son attending an open day at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland was rounded off perfectly with a visit to Platform at Argyle St Arches. Tucked away in the arches at the rear exit of Central Station its an undercover street food sensation. Fantastic selection of food on offer to suit all tastes and from all cuisines plus a bar and DJ. Both family and doggy friendly it's open every weekend (Fri-Sun)

A family trip to London started in style at Aberdeen Airport where we enjoyed the hospitality of the Northern Lights Lounge. A great line up of local producers feature on their menu including fish cakes from The Bay, lemonade from Summerhouse Drinks jams from Barra Berries and yoghurt from Rora Dairy. Check out my full review for the low down. Aberdeen Airport Northern Lights Executive Lounge. What exactly do you get for your money and is it worth it? (plus there might even be a cheeky wee discount code...)

As always much of the attraction of a trip to London is the huge range of cuisines, dining experiences and markets on offer in the capital. We managed to tick a few more off the bucket list on this trip and to share the love for all those quirky places and things to eat in London I wrote a blog post with my personal recommendations. Avo-lato ice cream, bubble waffles, candy floss, cereal, hotpot, disco fries and more. Hipster places, meaty places, divine coffee, breakfast to die for and a fistful of Instagram worthy eats. There's a whole weird and wonderful selection of food trends out there just waiting to be discovered.

It wasn't just about the food in London, we did do some cultural and touristy stuff too. The main reason for our trip was that we had finally secured tickets to see both parts of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It was amazing. Can't tell you any more #keepthesecrets but it's probably the best piece of theatre I've ever seen. We also visited The Postal Museum and Mail Rail Train which was a fascinating piece of social history and I spent a wonderful couple of hours at the Orla Keily exhibition at the London Fashion and Textile Museum. As the Queen was on her annual trip to Balmoral we popped in past Buckingham Palace to pick up the mail and water the plants. I also purchased a fab addition to my ever growing collection of foodie Christmas tree ornaments.

Another Thursday night another launch part. This time for The Spiritualist. The location is somewhere that I’ve frequented over the years particularly in its Word and Web and Cul De Sac incarnations and most recently as Boozy Cow. Gorgeous decor throughout in it's newest guise, particularly love the stairs up from the toilets. Really creative cocktails including ice spheres with a hammer to smash them, cocktail trees and sharing cocktails. Loved the hanging kebabs and the drama of pouring your sauce over. Looking forward to revisiting on a more relaxed occasion and sampling their brunch menu.

Following the Spiritualist launch party I was feeling ever so slightly fragile. Cue the ultimate hipster Scottish hangover cure. Fried tattie scones topped with smashed avocado and crispy bacon (ideally served on a Tunnocks Caramel wafer plate) Washed down with copious amounts of Irn Bru. THE most perfect morning after the night before breakfast.

Bake Off is Back! Despite the reservations last years move to Channel 4 has been a success and we've taken to Prue, Noel and Sandi just as we did to Mary, Mel and Sue. Although what has Noel done with his hair??!! For a number of years now I've been part of a small group of friends who watch GBBO together taking it in turns to host and bake for the others. The rest of us have a lot to live up to over the coming weeks after Diane hosted our first gathering of the series. Her Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread was the best in the tent! 

Looking forward to September and yet again I've got a pretty full on diary. I've already kicked off the month with a weekend in the East Neuk and this week sees a trip to Edinburgh and the Figment Coffee launch party. The weekend has a girlie theme with a Gin and Fizz night with the Pipe Band ladies and the inaugural Run Portlethen ladies 5 mile race. Following on from that I'll be spending a couple of days in Orkney on a press trip and then it's time for the media preview of V&A Dundee - which I'm unbelievably excited about. Deeside Food Festival and my daughters 14th Birthday are also in the diary along with a Christmas showcase. 

A couple of things coming up this month that YOU can get involved in!
The second Aberdeen Restaurant Week kicks off today and runs until 9th September. 40+ venues with lunch for £10 and dinner for £20. Check out the menus on my facebook page
My dreams are about to come true with the creation of Melt 2. Scotland's first CHEESE RESTAURANT! I've already put my money where my mouth is and made a cheesey pledge. If the prospect excites you as much as it does me then please check out their crowdfunding campaign and do likewise.

Until next month... xxx

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