I enjoyed a wonderful food tour in Edinburgh with Eat Walk Edinburgh, and it was exactly that: eating wonderful Scottish specialties while walking around the beautiful city of Edinburgh. This was the Old & New Town tour, and I loved experiencing the two sections of the city with completely different personalities.
I met up with the group at the Radisson Blu on the Royal Mile in Old Town, just steps from my hotel. There we enjoyed the first tasting of Scottish smoked salmon in the hotel restaurant. I had actually never had smoked salmon before, and while I liked the strong fishy flavor, I couldn’t get past the texture of it. Glad I got to try it, because I’ve always been curious about it.
Next we headed over Makars Gourmet Mash Bar to sample some ox cheek with mash, which was absolutely delicious. I would have loved to go back for a full entree of that for sure! There was also a bite sized portion of black pudding on a wedge of pita. I already knew that I love black pudding, so I was excited about this. It was amusing to watch others in our group wrestle with the thought of eating it, knowing what it’s made of. In Edinburgh, not only do they have a strong whisky tradition, but they are also known for some great gins. We were served a lovely drink made with Raspberry Edinburgh Gin and prosecco. Light and refreshing!
Definitely loving this tour so far, we walked a fair bit to the next top which was the Scottish Malt Whisky Society on Queen Street, in a beautiful Georgian townhouse. It was a real treat to get to visit this venue since it’s a private club and not open to the public. We climbed the stairs to an upper floor and enjoyed a proper Scottish experience with whisky and haggis. I surprised myself with how much I loved haggis and black pudding on this trip, and I ate it every chance I got: for breakfast, and dinner if I could also. This small plate of haggis with tatties and neeps disappeared quickly for me!
It’s interesting to note that the whiskies at the SMWS are presented in a way that you don’t know the name of the distillery. The bottles are numbered and given a taste profile only.
We continued our stroll through the New Town, and I enjoyed the beautiful upscale neighborhoods with lovely townhouses, many of which have been home to notable figures. We even walked through the ritzy Charlotte Square area. Our next stop was a fun and unexpected place: Le Di-Vin, a French wine bar where we enjoyed wine and charcuterie.
The final stop for dessert was at the Ghillie Dhu, a fun restaurant and music venue, where we enjoyed a modern deconstructed version of the Scottish classic cranachan. It’s an old fashioned layered dessert made with cream, oatmeal, raspberries, and in this case, served in a fancy chocolate cup. It was a sweet ending to a very fun evening with new friends.
When the tour was over, even though it was almost 9pm, there was still plenty of daylight at the end of May. I enjoyed the rather long stroll right along Princes St. on the way back to my hotel. The whole way back I was in complete awe of the incredible view of the castle looming close by. I absolutely love Edinburgh, and this food and history tour just further sealed the deal.