With our daughter at the University we spend a lot of time in Edinburgh. I like the city very much, it’s rich in history and the centre is relatively compact and easy to walk around. It has some great pubs and restaurants too.
Our latest trip started with a beer at Greyfriars Bobby’s Bar in Candlemaker Row.
This boozer is named after the faithful little Skye terrier who kept watch over his master’s grave for 14 years, until his own death in 1872. The grave of Bobby’s owner, policeman John Grey is in the yard of Greyfriar’s Kirk nearby. It’s worth a visit if only to say that you have seen the final resting place of Scotland’s (and some would argue the world’s) worst poet William Topaz McGonagall.
To give you a measure of just how bad a poet he was here are some lines from the Tay Bridge Disaster written to commemorate the night the first Tay Railway Bridge collapsed with the loss of 75 lives in 1879
- And the cry rang out all round the town,
- Good heavens! The Tay Bridge has blown down.
See what I mean.
Bobby himself is imortalised in bronze just in front of the pub and is popular with tourist’s who like to rub him for luck.
The pub itself is split on two levels thanks to being built on a steep hill and has a good range of beers, lagers and malts. I have always found to to have a nice friendly atmosphere and it does do very good pub grub at lunchtime.
However we had something a bit special to celebrate so our next stop was Mother India’s Cafe (3-5 Infirmary Street, tel 0131 524 9801) . The idea behind Mother India’s is an Indian tapas bar. It’s not as crazy an idea as you might think. The individual dishes come in small portions to the table, just like they would in a Spanish tapas bar, everyone can share and you don’t end up with mountains of uneaten food when everybody is too stuffed to fit a wafer thin mint at the end of the meal. The crab fish cakes and the Archari chicken cooked with pickles are especially good.
What’s the damage? Enough for four, plus beer clocked in at £72.
And with that we wobbled off to our beds.