Edinburgh to Ballater: Sunday April 29

After breakfast of bacon and eggs we packed up and left Edinburgh.

on our way to Ballatar

on our way to Ballatar

We drove through Dundee to Arbroath where we bought smokies and scallops.

Arbroath

Arbroath

We took a scenic drive to Finzean Farm Stall. I had elderflower presse to drink and Dave had an espresso. For lunch I had slow roasted cherry tomato and goats cheese quiche and Dave had chicken pie.

Finzean

Finzean

The food and drinks were about £22 and we spent a total of £44.50 there as we did grocery shopping as well.

on our way to Ballatar

on our way to Ballatar

We stopped in Ballater before heading to our timeshare, and took a slow walk around, stopping for coffee before driving further up the road.

on our way to Ballatar

on our way to Ballatar

We are in the Craigendarroch mountains and snow is visable. Our unit is in the forrest and is huge. We have a two bedroom, two bathroom, 6 sleeper. It has a lounge with a fancy TV and sound system, an open plan dining room and a well kitted out kitchen. We have gadgets galore and a dishwasher. The upstairs bathroom includes a sauna and the washing machine. I’m using a drying cupboard for the first time ever. Our bedroom is downstairs and we have a dressing room and spa bath! I am in heaven. We went to take a look at the gym and spa. The swimming pool is tempting but I don’t have a costume with me. We had drinks in the bar, Guinness for Dave and Gaymers original cider for me. Supper started with scallops, pan fried in butter. Mains were pork sausages with a shallot and tomato mix and mushrooms and courgettes flavoured with garlic greens. Wine tonight is Minervois 2009.

Snow!

Snow!

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Edinburgh: Saturday April 28

After breakfast of kippers and eggs we went to the Edinburgh Farmers Market on Castle Terrace. We bought razor clams, sausages, shitake mushrooms, eggs and garlic greens.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

We then walked up to Edinburgh Castle and walked through a working mill before heading back to the apartment to drop the food off.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

We went to The Advocate for lunch. Dave had Cairngorm Wild Cat to drink and I had Strongbow Apple Cider as it was the only one on tap.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Dave ate steak and ale pie and I had haggis with a whisky gravy. The meal came to about £20.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

We walked to John Lewis and walked around looking at ideas for the house before going to Harvey Nichols.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

It is amazing and the have a conveyor belt bar for cupcakes and champagne.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

We went to Sainsbury’s to buy wine and got a lotto ticket.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

We walked around the National Gallery before coming back to the apartment.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

We went back to Albanach for our nightly whisky. Dave had Ardbeg 10 year old and I tried Dalwhinnie Distellers Edition.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Supper was accompanied by Le Fontegnac Claret.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

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Edinburgh: Friday April 27

We started our day with scrambled eggs, bacon and mushrooms before heading out for a walk. We stopped off at the fishmonger to get haddock for supper and kippers for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

We then went to the harbour and walked around. We decided to get a day pass for the bus at a cost of £3.50 which was well worth it. We were on and off the bus all day.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

We went for lunch at The Kitchin and Tom Kitchin came to meet us! We had an amazing experience and the review is going to be long. Our three course lunch started with crudites, artisan breads and consomme before our starter was served. It ended with coffee, petit fours and whisky after dessert.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

We then went to Oceanview Shopping Centre where we saw naval ships and the royal yacht Britannica. Dave got toffees from Thorntons before we came back to the apartment to drop off our shopping and the signed recipe book from Tom Kitchin.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

We then went to Holyroodhouse to walk through The Queen’s Gallery where the treasures from the Queen’s palaces are on show. We saw a Faberge egg among other amazing jewelled items and paintings. After looking through the gates at the palace we went back to The Albanach where Dave had Ardbeg Uigeadail and I had Isle of Jura Superstition.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

There is a price war between Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer. The sunolive oil we bought was Price Checked! meaning it has been compared to the same product sold by the opposition. The recession is clearly visible not only in this, but in the empty shops and buildings we have seen.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

The haddock was soft and mild and a perfect supper after our big lunch.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

this is the view from our apartment!

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London to Edinburgh: Thursday April 26

We landed at Heathrow terminal 5 and were told by BA staff we could clear customs so that we could see Kim. After half an hour in the queue we were told we could not clear the transit lounge. So, we went to the departure hall and waited for our delayed flight. We arrived in Edinburgh and our suitcases did not go through customs! We caught the bus into the city and walked up a hill to the apartment. Had a shower and unpacked.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

We went grocery shopping, posted Kim’s wedding present and bought a data package for our SIM card. Had a wee dram at The Albanath Whisky. Our choice for this afternoon was The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Dave made lamb chops with tomatoes, mushrooms and carrots for supper and we drank Canti Negroamaro Zinfandel from Puglia.
note: wine is very expensive here!

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

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Cape Town to London: Wednesday April 25

We have checked in and we are now sitting in the lounge waiting for the flight to board. So far there is no-one sitting next to us. I really hope it stays that way. Sadly it didn’t and Dave was sitting in the middle! I took a sleeping tablet when my supper arrived and did not even manage to stay awake long enough to finish my dessert. The young girl who sat next to Dave was very sweet and did not mind that he got up a few times during the night to stretch his legs. Breakfast for me was not exciting – chicken just does not do it!

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