Arthur’s Seat, the Tolbooth and Cafe Truva – Edinburgh

Robert Louis Stevenson described Arthur’s Seat as ‘a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue for its bold design’.

Me in the middle of Edinburgh

It’s actually part of a 350 million year old volcano system that also includes the mount on which Edinburgh Castle sits and it’s slap bang in the middle of Edinburgh. In fact it could be said to be the Queen’s back garden since you get a stunning view of Holyrood Palace as you climb to the summit some 830 odd feet above the city.

Brenda's back garden, bit too misty for her to be putting the washing out though

Legend has it that this was the setting for Camelot and although there are plenty of other contenders for that in the UK,  there are the remains of an Iron Age hill fort on the mound. It’s also the place where the tiny coffins and dolls, which may have been a ritual burial for the victims of Burke and Hare were found in a cave back in 1836.

Some of the Arthur's Seat Coffins

It’s also a great place to get away from the city and see some wildlife.

Spot the weasel

Having nearly made it to the top I found this rock was perfectly moulded to the shape of my bottom,

Simon's Seat on Arthur's Seat

I suspect I’m only one of many people to have parked their arse there, while attempting to get their breath back. the views from the top are stunning, but not that great for photography in the fog.

Edinburgh was somewhere down there

Returning to the city we made our way back up the Royal Mile pausing for a pint of Deuchars at the Tolbooth Tavern.

The Tolbooth Tavern

This boozer dates back to 1820, but the building is much older than that going back to 1591 and used to be the tax collection offices and jail for the burgh of Canongate. I think it’s much more useful as a pub although the last time we ate there I thought the food was a bit average.

However just a short distance further up the Mile we discovered the Cafe Truva (251-253 Cannongate). This little gem is one of a chain of three family run Turkish cafes in Edinburgh and what a delight it was.

I satisfied my hunger with the meatballs in cous cous

meatballs with cous cous

It was lovely, the delicately spiced lamb meatballs came on top of a mound of cous cous with sun dried tomato and mushroom, plus salad, a minty yogurt dip and pitta. Just the thing I needed with a glass of red wine. Mab had soup and borek,

Borek

filo pastry tubes stuffed with cheese and spinach which were equally nice. Our meal for three people with drinks was only about £36 ,so I think we may try this place next time we are in the Royal Mile.

All this little chap needs is a fork in place of that sceptre.

Lion ready for lunch at the Queen's Gallery Edinburgh

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