Dog friendly Edinburgh

Snozzling

As a sausage dog obsessed woman it is always great when you find a gaff your hairy pal is made as welcome as your two legged one. Miss Dynamite and I as ever were stomping the streets this week with Doris Schnauzer and her admirer Charlie ChoriZo Sausage dog when we fell into Water of Leith Cafe relocated from its very successful Coburg Street address to the main drag of Inverleith down to Canonmills at 1 Howard Street it has been reborn and reopened which is a delight to its many many fans.

I knew a warm welcome, a sticky cake, a light lunch and a smile were on the cards but I didn’t realise they are dog lovers to boot.

An area is designated for the 4 leggers an immediate bowl of water produced and as you can see a little love nest blanket.  Everyone was very happy and we stayed for hours.

I can recommend it for you and your Hairy pals – 2 and 4 legged like. 
The Water of Leith Cafe

1 Howard Place

Edinburgh.

 
  

    
 

Dine in Edinburgh’s newest restaurant. DINE.

Dine with Stuart Muir.
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The new kid on the block in place of Blue the much loved and missed groovacious bar restaurant of the early 90’s has been refurbed and reborn as
Dine with Stuart Muir.

The high heid yin comes from down south and had the sense to poach Stuart who was the head chef at Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor restaurant in Edinburgh to head up the team in the kitchen. Yum.

Muted lighting, warm, caramel, colours, high backed leather banquettes and delightfully sociable round tables create a warm inviting atmosphere and seats up to 80. The cocktail/champagne bar which seats up to 30 has slouchy low down comfortable leather chairs facing a bar glistening with a fine array of bottles, liqueurs well kent and eclectic.

We started with a cocktail. The list is extensive and the Santana ”
100% agave Casa noble crystal Tequila – cointreau – blue curacao – lime juice – cinnamon.” I can recommend highly. Pal Dynamite had a winter warmer which happily was not a big slipper but a chi-chi wee tea cup offering a warm concoction that made her cheeky chops smile. Lick your lips and have a gander at their creative list of cocktails here.

And so to dinner.

The a la carte menu read very well. Not too big, not too fancy and not too expensive. We were out for an impromptu girls meal on a Monday evening so requested the market menu which at £14.50 for 2 courses or £17.50 for 3 including coffee is a billy bargain.

Some went a la carte. Some market menu. And regardless of what we chose – there was nothing but praise, smiles and compliments to the chef all round.

Starters included pork rillete; two generous quenelles of rillete served with chargrilled toast – yum yum yum – toast has never toasted or tasted so good. Homemade Humus (yes you can spell it like that) and a pickled thing too set the rillete off to perfection.
Friend Janes a la carte wild mushroom risotto disappeared like snow off a dyke with oohin and aahing noises so – “excellent” was the verdict from her.

Main course I went for the veggie option – a bean casserole – don’t be so beanist – this was a belter. I am not a veggie but just fancied something warming and this hit the spot. Rich, delicious, warming and a mighty portion too for the Aberdonian tum.
Salmon was chosen by two and the presentation was impeccable as was the taste. Cod enjoyed by our a la carte girl also got top marks.

Sadly my phone had spent a few seconds face down on Princes Street earlier in the day so my camera was not up to the mark. I took a few but they would in no way do the food justice. So you will have to take my word for it.

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So get thee to Saltire Court, Cambridge Street upstairs from the foyer of the Traverse. Go on up you go.

It was first of many a Christmas night out and this one will be hard to beat.

Tonight I am off to meet the Tesla – the amazing electric car which is taking the car world by storm. I will report back.

Bendy men, margaritas & broccoli.

Yes.

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Yup I am still doing the yoga – in case you are in any doubt this is not me, this is a bendy man. A very bendy man with small pants.

And the yoga had a hiatus as a night of margaritas took their toll. Even posting the photo of the cocktail is giving me an undulation of the belly. Yuk.

Unknown-5You see we had agreed to have just one wee cocktail and then received the lovely news my wee niece had had a baby – (Jack, 7lbs 8oz, mother and baby doing well). Well it is the first baby in our family since my now 20 year old son was born so of course we wet the baby’s head. Extensively.

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The following morning was grim. Puckered mouth. Scaly skin. Road map eyes. In fact if you can imagine the polar opposite of any supermodel you can think of then you are still no where near the hideous state of poison we were sporting.

When I say “we” my dear friend is staying with me just now and she announced she had lost a good bit of weight juicing. So inhabiting the world of the clichéd middle aged woman once we found our discarded clothes we put them on and walked straight to an electrical shop and bought a juicer and then off to buy our body weight in vegetables.

Yoga and juicing. Have I been abducted by aliens? Well let’s see  Well…well… well….I am off to rest before taking the plunge. The shock might kill me. Raw broccoli in this body ? Help.

Yogaholic.

 

Not me. Yet.
Not me. Yet.


For those who read this blog you will know I love food drink, dogs, music, dogs and my long suffering family and dogs but the one thing which has eluded me over the high days and holidays, low times and desperate days is the love of exercise. The need to don lycra and thunder over the pavements, inhaling great lungfuls of exhaust fumes or standing in a gym with the waft of rubber and old socks all around as forever been a mystery to me and my undulating thighs. So it has come as a bit of a surprise – nae shock – that I may have found my”thing” I am not claiming to be good at it, or changed outwardly – yet – but for the past couple of weeks I have been doing yoga.

Oh hark the middle aged Aberdonian has discovered yoga surprise surprise.

But I Have.

And I am so convinced that this will be a life – body changer – I am going to document my journey here.

From stiff, lumpy, stressed and hunched to a long languorous lithe young thing – no ok fair enough I got a bit carried away with the superlatives there but change is gonna come…..wish me luck!
P.S I know you don’t believe me

 

PPS written with a glass of wine in my hand – you could have apoint.

A tail of two Schitties (Schitzus)

Dog friendly places are a joy to find and Edinburgh is just getting more and more dog friendly. Initially keepers of the canine were used to being cast out to stand in the dreich weather giving the dog the evil eye for being so unwelcome  but now they are welcomed with open arms, bowls of water and a clap on the head. Joy.

Recently we were in The Raeburn in Stockbridge where they are welcome outside but also in the bar area. It was like a dog crèche. Big ones, small ones, multiple leads all tangled, spaniels, a pug, a scottie, two schitzus, two westies, a couple of labs, a labradoodle, 2 schnauzers and of course Charlie Chorizo Sausage dog. Fellow dog lovers understand the overwhelming love you feel for this hairy crater on the end of the lead and know only too well why you are not enjoying a drink in the pub round the corner after the barman barked at you “Nae dogs in here, oh for Gods sake just tie it up outside”.  Huh I think not.

So as the places we are all welcome multiply tails are wagging wildly.

The Raeburn on Raeburn Place Stockbridge, we would highly recommend and with the lovely summer months ahead but there may well be a queue of canine owners jostling to get in – including me – see you there!
 

The Kelpies sculptor work has been in our gaff for 10 years – until today!

 

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Its amazing the things you find or forget about. 10 years ago when we were designing and building the interior of Howies in Aberdeen we commissioned 3 pieces of cast iron work from a little known Scottish sculptor. They are stunning pieces of work 2 large screens fixed to the floor to separate off part of our large open plan eating area and a balustrade. They have been there since then, walked past, admired, used every single day. In the day to day business of a restaurant its all about the food, the customer, the service and so we sort of took them for granted. That is until this January when we refurbished the restaurant and a designer remarked on them and it was with eye popping surprise we remembered they are the work of Andy Scott – sculptor of the Three Kelpies. – yes those kelpies!

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They are incredibly heavy and stunning in their place – we just got so used to seeing them being part and parcel of our place and thus forgot to see them for what they are. Remarkable.

I expect its like living with George Clooney – after a while you get used to him so you don’t stare at him all day and all night.

In order to open up our space we had to move the screens so with a selection of strapping young men we did. So the screens are now wrapped in swaddling clothes and appearing in Edinburgh today for the Bonhams, Scottish Sale. Lots 540 and 541. Pop in and see them if you are in Edinburgh – otherwise have a look online…..

Here’s the catalogue   amongst some of the best art in the country – they find their rightful place.

So …..see you there?

And most importantly of all don’t forget – how easy it is not to see the wood for the trees.

Travels with a sausage

I have been dreaming of going travelling with a dog for as long as I have been upright and on this earth. It may seem a strange thing to those who are not canine lovers like myself but having been born and brought up with dogs and never been consciously without one in my life it is the only thing – other than a great Rogan Josh – that I truly truly miss when I away from home for any length of time.

So this is the year. With a new puppy on board – a miniature wiry daschundImage I am off travelling with my sausage.

I will update from France, Spain, England, Scotland and any other places we trek from the dogs eye view as well as my own. Its a diary for my own amusement and if you enjoy it, so be it.

 

 

 

Bumping my gums about Teahouse Transport….

Oops – my Mum’s bag was picked up over a week ago and it is………
well I don’t know where.
So please disregard the previous post.
In their defence it worked brilliantly on the way to Spain from Scotland but on the way back?
Well if you see a large blue case packed with jumpers a dog coat and birthday card drop me a line.

Lugging trunks on holiday are a thing of the past – hallelujah.

 

What you want to take.
s What you want to take.


So there I was gas and air getting my legs waxed just before Christmas chatting to the unfortunate girl faced with my hairy extremities. Trying to change the subject.
“So what are you doing at Christmas?”
Off to Poland
“God it will be cold there.”
Yes about -20 but I just take all my winter clothes with me.
“That must cost a fortune to put in the hold”
I don’t
“What do you do?”
I send it with a courier company.
“That must cost a fortune!”
No about £20.
*rip strip *

images-1My attention was diverted to my throbbing legs….yikes.

So I stored this information in my befuddled head until last week when my dear Mum was getting her knickers in a twist about travelling over to Spain. At 83 the thought of heaving and wrestling a large case full of clothes through airport security and then waiting hours at the wrong carousel for it to turn up at the other end of the arrivals lounge was becoming unassailable, then I remembered my waxing chat and decided to investigate the courier option.

Teahouse Transport were the ones my Polish friend used and so I got online put in the dimensions of Mums case, 30” x 20” x 15” and the approx weight 12kg and it came back as a princely £16 & VAT door to door.
Still incredulous that it would work I booked it online, they emailed a bar code within the hour for the case which was duly printed out and taped on.
When would you like it collected?
“Em tomorrow (Friday).” I asked pushing my luck.
OK between 1-5pm?
Well…. YES!
At 1.05pm the case was picked up from my very impressed Mother in North Berwick. Yes North Berwick! Not a big city, a post office or a designated shop – from my mums flat in East Lothian, East of Scotland.
They say it takes 3 working days. So here we are 3 days later in Spain. I have just received a call to say it will be here in an hour. I will unpack it and when Mum arrives tomorrow relaxed with her handbag and hopefully a bottle of gin for me,  her clothes will all be here waiting for her to start her holiday in a Zen like calm.
How do they do it?
I have no idea.
But they do.
And not being bent backwards over a trunk and shafted by the airlines for once is something I thought you might enjoy too!
£16 & VAT. Blimey.

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Teahouse Transport have a look!
Say goodbye to lugging trunks of clothing over the globe – they do it all for you, all you need to worry about are the laddered old trunks you have been trying to get your partner to ditch for 20 years. That may prove a lot harder. Good luck.

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Great British Painting Challenge.

Great.

Love it.

The judges are harsh but honest.

The presenter – Richard Bacon – has it really taken this long to forgive his early misdemeanour and invite him onto National TV?  Bright, intelligent and great to have back on our screens.  (I miss his Radio 5 live show so much I can’t listen to the station anymore)– but ….and this the point Una Stubbs?
She is a sassy, great looking woman so what on earth is going on? Unknown-1

She looks as if she has meandered from Call The Midwifes set? Tiny wee woman, swathed in hospital blue, large blouson long engulfing smock. Tiny tiny feet – can they really keep her upright those alleged real feet poking out from the hem of the voluminous tent?   Add to that, the cartoon round glasses and big owl like magnified eyes.

Gas and air.

With the top toeing and whispering going on I will need an epidural to watch the rest of the series…..

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