Category Archives: Scotland

Floating Heads and Hungry Plants

So a few of you have complained that we are slacking with the blog. To that we say, thank you for noticing!

Froggle’s Fact: “It’s not my fault this time.”

We’re in Glasgow getting a taste of the “real” Scotland, so here are a few photos to hold you over:

 

Heffalumpy’s Hat Tips: 9/10 He’s a sucker for Scotland!

Third Time’s a Charm

It’s almost a good thing that we didn’t write about Edinburgh after our first visit, since we’ve come back for a second (and third!) go round. Here’s the round-up—with special attention to the places that were worth the double-dip!
And, now that we think about it, it’s great that we went back to rectify n00b photo mistakes like this one:

Fancy a dram (or two)?

No trip to Scotland should be without Scotch, so that’s where I’ll begin. Rather than ordering something we had tried in the past, we decided to sample a flight (three whiskies) at Bow Bar, which was recommended highly on Yelp. The demographic at the bar perfectly suited us, as it catered to older folk. Yup, we’re basically 60. Like I said, the flight comes with three whiskies, and Jacqueline took two. That’s classic Jac.
Edinburgh 2015
We are not even close to being whiskey experts, but we’ve learned a few things and tried a few more. Firstly, every American should know that everything you see on TV (Glenmorangie, Macallan, Dalmore) is overpriced plebe whiskey. Ok, it’s not “plebe” whiskey (well, Dalmore is), but it definitely costs more than it should. Yes, we were heartbroken too.
As it turns out, a lot of these bigger-name distilleries have to satisfy such high demand that they are mostly likely depleted of their 10-, 12-, and 18-year stores (unless you’re willing to pay!). That leaves them with “blended whiskies,” which are forced to take the age of the youngest whiskey in the blend. Oftentimes, that’s a wee three-years-old—barely a whiskey.
If you’re lucky enough to be physically in Scotland, you might as well take advantage of smaller distillers that offer just as much flavor at much more palatable prices.
Froggle’s Fact: “Whiskies are classified by region, and there are four: Lowlands (which we’ve never tried), Speyside (Bourbon-y), Highlands (more nutty, supposedly), the islands (smoky!!).”
Unless you speak Snob, you just have to taste the whiskey to know if you’ll like it. Because otherwise, you’re left with descriptions like:
“There is a pleasant sweet bacon smoke on the nose along with some peanut brittle. The whisky is full and soft on the palate with a nice bit of bite. The smoke is more akin to roasting coals rather than wood and finishes with some baking spices.” (By Stephanie Moreno for Distiller)

Oink Oink
We quickly learned that everything in Edinburgh is significantly cheaper than its London counterparts, so we spent a large part of our first trip binge-eating.
Mmmm pasta!
Mmmm pasta!
Oink is a treasure trove for pork-lovers. It’s a modern iteration of the hog roast, and these sandwiches haunt our dreams. Upon returning to Edinburgh for our second trip, it was our first stop after getting off the train—yes, even before we checked into our hotel. Jac came back a third time when she gave her cousin the grand tour of Edinburgh.
Edinburgh 2015
But we do not discriminate against farm animals. After feasting on Oink, we also went to town on wings at a place called—you guessed —Wings. We’ll forgive their lack of creativity when it comes to names because this place is basically a teenage boy’s dream come true. The walls of this establishment are plastered in cult enterprises like comics, super heroes, Star Wars, and other stuff we can’t identify. And, they offer wings, glorious wings!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside
And “cold” is the understatement of the century. We discovered the reason why Scottish wools and cashmeres are so popular. It’s f***ing frigid!
But, not to fret, the world’s greatest hot chocolate is made in Edinburgh! (At least that’s what the sign said). But Jacqueline will attest that it was absolutely delicious.
Edinburgh 2015
Yes, delicious enough for a second trip!
Note the whipped cream AND marshmallows!
Note the whipped cream AND marshmallows!
Coffee shops are not strangers to cheeky signs in front of their cafes, but this one might just take the cake.
Edinburgh 2015
Jacqueline wished that she were just a bit younger and could have been left alone, as she would gladly take a free espresso and kitten.

Feast yer eyes!

Yes, in between eating and drinking and eating, we managed to do some sight-seeing. Here are some photos of some cool old stuff!

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Oh yeah, we also climbed the tallest hill in Edinburgh, but that’s a story for another day.

Heffalumpy’s Hat Tips: 10/10 (We wish we could move to Edinburgh, because Scotland stole our hearts.)