We had a bit of a lie in on Saturday morning before going in search of the Farmer’s Market. The only problem was that we only had a vague idea of where it was. Still the weather was absolutely stunning, so unsurprisingly it wasn’t long before we found ourselves sitting on the Castle Arms‘s terrace overlooking the Grassmarket.
So what to drink? Well one of my favourite Scottish beers is made by Innis and Gunn. The story goes that the ale was originally produced to impart a beer flavour to oaken whisky casks, before being pored down the drain, then the workers at the whisky distillery tasted it (more like someone caught them trying it I reckon) and Innis and Gunn Oak aged ale was born. I don’t know how true that is, but the beer does have a lovely toffee like flavour with just a hint of vanilla. So imagine my delight when Nick came back from the bar with not one but two bottles.
“They asked me if we wanted the dark or the light, so I bought us one of each”
Now the light one is the traditional oak cask ale, while the dark one has been matured in a rum cask and boy can you tell. The flavour just explodes in the back of your mouth all dark rum caramels. This is definitely one to try again.
So as we were sitting there enjoying our beers, along came a Harry Potter tour. According to the guide the view of Edinburgh’s skyline inspired impoverished. single mum author JK Rowling‘s vision of Hogwarts. Mind you seemingly every cafe in the city is where she wrote Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone.
“You could have made a few quid there” says Nick as they wander off.
“You could have posed as Hagrid for a fiver a shot!”
If only he’d thought of that before they left!
Anyway man can’t live by beer alone, no matter how enticing that idea may be. so we set off towards the Grassmarket, taking the the staircase down into Victoria Street. Suddenly we were overwhelmed by the smell of roasting pork coming from here.
A whole shop devoted to roasted piggies, after two bottles of Innis and Gunn’s finest how could I resist. Bearing in mind that we were still trying to find Edinburgh’s so far elusive Farmer’s Market and it’s grazing potential, I resisted the temptation of the 260 gram Grunter (£4.60) and the 160 gram Oink (£3.60) and went for the 80 gram Piglet (£2.60).
I had mine in a bun with sage and onion stuffing and chili sauce, although haggis and apple sauce are also available. Quite delicious it kept me going while we continued our search. Will we find the Farmer’s Market? Stay tuned for the next installment.