Girl Versus Food

Reviews, recipes and thoughts from a Scottish food blogger

Tag: gin

7 Unmissable Food & Drink finds in Angus

Angus is a wonderful region full of treats for the food and drink lover. Here are a few of my top recommendations.

1.One of the most famous foods from Angus has to be the Arbroath Smokie. The Smokie has Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. In a similar way to Champagne or Parma Ham, this means that the smokie has to be processed within five miles of Arbroath. The haddock is washed, salted and then wood-smoked in a traditional process that dates back to the 1800’s. My personal favourite is having smokies served simply with butter for breakfast but have a look over on http://www.asapsmokies.com/recipes/ for some brilliant recipe ideas.

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2. Who knew that Kirriemuir would be home to an artisan chocolate maker? Johanna Woodhead and her husband have run the gorgeous 88 Degrees café for more than 13 years and I hear that the communal bench seating has led to more than one marriage proposal! As well as being a bit of a Cilla Black, Johanna creates THE most amazing handmade chocolates. She was kind enough to let me sample the Adult Snickers (yep, as good as it sounds!) and even let me have a go at making my own truffles. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be able to give up my day job quite yet!

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3. Angus loves a food and drink event. I attended Taste Angus at Glamis Castle and it was a brilliant day out with artisan food suppliers, celebrity chef demos and live music. Look out for its return next year. Later in 2017 there’s also Brechin Beer & Gin Festival  in September and Angus Brewfest in October to look forward to. Also the Farmers Market Montrose is held on the first Saturday of every month and the Farmers Market Forfar is held on the second Saturday of the month. Lots of great opportunities to try and buy local produce!

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4. I couldn’t talk about Angus food and drink without mentioning the famous Forfar Bridie! Whilst there are conflicting stories about the origin of the bridie, there’s no denying just how tasty they are! The delicious shortcrust pastry, the hot beef filing…. nothing quite compares! The first time I visited Forfar for work, when 12 o’clock came, I was asked the most serious question of the day “Are you going to McLaren’s or Saddler’s for your bridie?“.  One not to miss out on when you visit the town!

5. For whisky lovers, this 360 degree bar in Edzell has to be a little piece of heaven. Situated in the Glenesk Hotel, the bar is home to over 1,000 varieties with the most expensive dram setting you back a cool £195. For those less partial to Scotch, the bar also has a great vodka corner and an excellent gin selection. The lounge is the perfect place to unwind with a drink after dinner in the stunning Fairways Restaurant.

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6. Angus is home to not one, but two of my favourite gin producers! Both Arbikie and The Gin Bothy are based in the county. Arbikie has two gin varieties – Kirsty’s Gin and AK’s Gin. Both distinctly different but equally delicious.

The Gin Bothy currently have four full strength gins as well as a number of fruit infused gins which are liqueur strength. The Gin Bothy is the brainchild of Kim who gave me a sneaky peak of the brand new tasting rooms where you can enjoy a guided group sampling session. She also let me try out the full range; tough job I know! What stood out for me was how ‘real’ the fruit gins tasted. There’s no synthetic flavours added so the Raspberry Gin, my favourite, tastes like real Scottish raspberries. I also fell in love with Gunshot Gin which has won a triple star in the Great Taste Awards

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7. If, like me, you are a fan of fine dining, then Angus and the surrounding areas have a number of restaurants sure to tickle your fancy! The Tayberry in Broughty Ferry was created by award winning chef Adam Newth in 2015. Adam, from Abroath, is also Head Chef at the stunning Kinnetles Castle near Forfar and has recently opened a second Tayberry in St Andrews. My experience at The Tayberry was outstanding – you can read the full review here.

Or how about a visit to one of Chef Graham Campbell’s restaurants? The youngest person in Scotland to have received a Michelin star; he is Head Chef at both Castlehill restaurant in Dundee and the Glenesk Hotel in Edzell. I watched Graham demonstrate some of his favourite dishes recently and I loved his passion for using locally sourced produce and letting the ingredients do the talking.

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Scallops with Corn

Scallops with Corn

Chocolate, Gin and other reasons to visit Fife

Being invited along to enjoy a ‘Feast of Fife’ has to be one of my blogging highlights for 2016! I’m always excited to try local produce, so I was intrigued to find out what delights Fife had to offer. I took the train from Edinburgh and the journey itself was a pleasure; crossing into Fife over the iconic Forth Bridge and along a coastal track, contemplating a day of gourmet treats ahead.

Starting the day with cheeseJane Stewart

Jane Stewart from the St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company was an absolute pleasure to listen to. I loved hearing about how Jane and her farmer husband had branched out to start making cheese from their dairy herd in 2008. Myself and the other foodie bloggers got to sample four different cheeses produced on the farm; Anster, Red Anster, Smoked Anster and St Andrews Farmhouse Cheddar. They were all delicious but the smoked cheese really did it for me! The crumbly cheese is smoked nearby at St Monans using oak and beech chips. A great place to try St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese is at the purpose built coffee shop; it’s light, bright and has gorgeous views out to the Firth of Forth. If you visit on a cheese-making day (3 days out of 7) then you’ll be able to watch the action through the viewing gallery. I’m also definitely going to have a go at making the cheese scone recipe which is featured on their website http://www.standrewscheese.co.uk/our-cheese/recipes/

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Lunch in a barn

Next up was a visit to The Balgove Steak Barn. I’d never seen a restaurant quite like this before! The rustic looking barn has walls made of potato crates and a shrubbery lined entrance. Inside there are long communal benches and a fire pit which adds to the cosy atmosphere. Along with my fellow food writers, we started by sampling a selection of the Steak Barn’s tasty starters including chicken skewers and battered prawns. Then it was time for the mains, which of course included fantastic 28 day aged steaks, as well as burgers and huuugee onion rings! The meat is all cooked on the wood fired barbeque which provides a focal point for the restaurant. Whilst I’m normally a red wine with steak kind of gal, I took the opportunity to sample three different beers from the St Andrews Brewing Company. The Crail Ale, a crisp pale ale was my pick of the bunch.

I really enjoyed looking around the Balgove Farm Shop too. It’s a proper foodie paradise with lots of locally produced gourmet ingredients. I couldn’t resist taking home a jar of Venison and Cognac Pate.

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Gin and chocolate

What does everyone need after lunch on a Saturday? Definitely gin and chocolate. We headed to Eden Mill to sample the range of gins paired with chocolates from The Highland Chocolatier. What a treat! The Eden Mill range of gins are recognisable by their ceramic bottles and bold branding. I had the chance to sample four gins; the Original, Love Gin, Hop Gin and Oak Gin.

  • The Original Gin is a London dry gin which was paired with a White Lime and Chilli Truffle. The chilli flavour was subtle and the lime worked really well with this classic style of gin.
  • The dark chocolate Ginger Truffle was an excellent accompaniment to the Oak Gin. The caramel and vanilla flavours in the Oak Gin along with the ginger in the truffle made me think of cosy autumn nights by a log fire.
  • The pale pink Love Gin was served with Rose Lemonade and this made it a little sweet for me, but I have tried it with tonic previously and it was delicious. The White Raspberry and Heather Honey Truffle was just beautiful with a thistle pattern on the outside. It tasted just as good as it looked!
  • Last up was the Hop Gin with a Passionfruit and Mango Truffle. The Hop variety is definitely the Marmite of gin and there were some mixed reactions around the table. Eden Mill have a great range of craft beer and this gin is a bit of a cross-over product which features Australian galaxy hops. I found the smell of this one a bit overpowering but the flavour definitely grew on me.

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Fife Foraging

Over the last year, I’ve developed a growing interest in foraging, mostly brought on by my experience with The Botanist Gin which you can read about here. I had mixed results at the beginning of the summer in my attempts to make elderflower cordial and champagne but that hasn’t put me off! A great way to finish my day in Fife was a guided foraging trip. Along the way we found lots of edible plants and berries and also learned what to be wary of. It’s amazing what you can find on a country walk. I’m now inspired to make some elder berry wine and sloe gin…. stay tuned!

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This was an absolutely brilliant day out in Fife and I would definitely recommend checking out all the fantastic producers in this area! Throughout the day, I saw so much passion from the producers; theyare quite rightly extremely proud of the fantastic food and drink scene in Fife.

5 places to drink in Barcelona

Craft beer, gin and vermouth are all popular on the Barcelona scene and I’ve picked out a few places for you that stood out during my recent visit. One piece of advice for visiting Barcelona would be to avoid drinking on the tourist trap that is Las Rambla. Just a few streets away you will find much nicer places and get better value.

At Fàbrica Moritz in the Raval area, all the beer consumed is produced on-site in the microbrewery. They produce Pilsner style beers as well as artisan beers, limited editions, wheat specialties and ales. The basement area is stunning, I would love to have a party here! So make sure you go downstairs and take a peek at the brewery and strike a pose in front of the lit glass. The place is open from 6am until 3am, so there’s no excuse not to pop in for a drink during your visit to Barcelona.

 

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BierCaB is located near the University in the Eixample area and has a staggering 30 beers on tap! A list of the beers is displayed on screens in the bar. I hear the patatas bravas is pretty good here too. However, a word of warning: if anyone with you isn’t a beer fan, they may struggle to find an alternative drink at this bar. The barman looked at me like I was nuts when I asked for a glass of Cava!

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Garage Beer Co is a newly opened microbrewery which is just around the corner from BierCaB. With eight beers on tap, there is a smaller selection than BierCaB. However, the consensus from our group was that Garage Beer Co felt much more down to earth and a place that you could comfortably relax for a few hours. Make sure you check out their signature beer, Riba, which is a refreshing Pilsner style beer.

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Negroni cocktail bar is a tiny place in the Raval neighbourhood that you could easily walk past and miss out on the most fantastic cocktails. There is no menu but the bartender is happy to whip you up your favourite cocktail or invent one for you based on your preferences. My Bramble cocktail was to die for and one of my friends said that he had “the best Negroni” he’d ever tasted. This is serious praise indeed considering he is a bartender himself and has very high standards when it comes to cocktails. The bar has a great range of spirits including a gin selection that made me green with envy! This place is perfect for pre or post dinner drinks and the cocktails average around €8.

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Last but not least, Alsur Café in El Born district of Barcelona has a lovely terrace area in the square which is perfect for afternoon drinks in the sun. Inside there is quirky decoration and plenty of locals utilising the free wifi! This felt like a trendy neighbourhood and during our drinks we got to listen to a gypsy punk band who were playing in the square. The mojitos are delicious here and only €3.60. I can also highly recommend the Tom Collins! The Café is a five minute walk from the Cathedral and is worth stopping by if you’re in the area.

 

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The London Gin Club, Soho

A visit to London for my 30th birthday was always going to involve gin! After a bit of online research, I stumbled across the London Gin Club. The bar stocks 130 varieties of gin and is in a great location in Soho.

The website recommended booking a table and I’m glad I did as the place was really busy when we arrived on a Friday evening. I loved the quirky décor with vintage signs decorating the walls. The only thing I wasn’t so keen on the steep stairs down to the toilets. I can imagine these being a little tricky after a few drinks! The menu made it perfectly clear what kind of place it was:image1

There was an excellent list of gin cocktails but we both opted for a blind tasting which was £26 each and included four different gins for us to try. My attention has been very much on Scottish gins recently so this was a great way to sample some new gins without being biased towards the homeland! The waitress brought over the gins along with Fevertree tonic and a selection of garnishes. She suggested tasting the gin neat, before adding some tonic and tasting again and then choosing a garnish.

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I absolutely loved tasting the four gins with no preconceptions and choosing which accompaniments I thought went best. The garnishes included orange, lime, raspberry and thyme. Mr GvF and I had some great discussion about the gins and ended up going for totally different garnishes. They great thing is, there’s no right or wrong answers; you choose what you think goes well together.

As they change the gins on the blind tasting menu regularly, I can reveal the ones I tried without ruining the surprise for you!

Brokers – a 40% English gin

Chilgrove – a 44% English gin

Berkeley Square – a 40% English gin

Da Mhile – a 42% Welsh gin

Each gin was very different and it was difficult to choose a favourite; I would have been happy to drink any of these again. However, I think the Da Mhile just edged it for me. It has notes of pepper and I opted to garnish it with thyme which I think was a great combination. I’ve since read up on it and discovered that it is one of very few organic gins produced in the UK and is very reasonably priced at £30 for a 70cl bottle.

The London Gin Club is a must visit attraction for gin lovers and makes a great date night. I’m looking forward to visiting again the next time I’m in the capital. Cheers!

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Review of Moonfish, Aberdeen

I was glued to ‘MasterChef The Professionals’ which finished just before Christmas. The main downside to watching it was that each episode left me starving and I found myself rummaging in the cupboards to complete my own invention test! I enjoyed the show even more this year because local lad (and friend of my husband) Brian McLeish made it all the way to the final with his incredible cooking.

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No surprise then, that a visit to Brian’s restaurant in Aberdeen was on my Wish List to visit for 2015. Moonfish specialises in seafood and gin – clearly a match made in heaven! We visited the restaurant with two good friends who moved to Aberdeen last year. The place isn’t massive so it’s important that you book in advance, especially if you’re visiting on a Friday or Saturday. The interior is light and airy and made me feel instantly relaxed.

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First of all, I was really excited about the HUGE list of gins available! Lots of lovely Scottish craft gins including a number I hadn’t come across before. Secondly, I was really surprised at how reasonably priced the menu at Moonfish is – £35.95 for three courses. This has to be one of the best value, high quality menus in Aberdeen! The menu is changed every four weeks to keep the emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. However, we were in for an extra treat as Head Chef Brian McLeish had designed an eight course tasting menu for us!

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If you fancy trying out a Moonfish tasting menu for yourself there is a special night coming up on the 4th of July. It’s a seven course tasting menu with matched wine and champagne on arrival. Places are limited and priced at £120 per person, give the team a call to get booked in on 01224 644166.

So… onto the meal itself, or should I say FEAST! My mouth was watering when we were presented with this amazing menu…

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First up was crab accompanied by a ‘Sweet Corn Royale’ which was like eating a delicious little cloud, so delicate and fluffy! A light vegetarian dish followed with courgette, yellow peppers and tomato accompanied by the creamiest of feta cheese. The presentation throughout was stunning; vibrant colours and contrasting textures.

Crab and Sweet Corn Royale

Confit tomato, feta and courgette

 

Next up was a mackerel dish and my first time trying seaweed (salty and tasty FYI!). The fish was cooked to perfection. The subsequent sweet potato curry which had a runny egg hiding underneath was one of my favourites and I couldn’t believe it when the Chef told us later that he had whipped this course up from things he had to use up in the kitchen. Ingenious!

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Sweet potato curry

 

Is it weird to look at lambs frolicking in the fields and think “Oh, you look tasty”? If so, I’m weird. The Moonfish lamb came three ways; belly, loin and kidney. The kidney was a wee bit rich for me but Mr GvF wasn’t slow in finishing it off on my behalf! The lamb was in good company with a lovely broccoli puree, a rich jus and an anchovy. It was back to fish for the final savoury course and the halibut with swede puree, fava beans and truffle was to die for. Another set of clean plates all round.
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Then it was time for desserts. TWO desserts, happy days! First a light blancmange topped with raspberries, mini meringues, beetroot and basil dust. An unusual combination, but definitely one that worked. Finally, it was the piece de resistance; the Chocolate Pave with malted nuts and white chocolate fudge.  I kid you not, I would happily eat this dessert every day for the rest of my life and I’m fairly sure that Chef Brian must get proposals after dishing up this treat!

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Chocolate Pave

 

So, full of delicious food and gin, there was only one thing left to do…. time to take a CHELFIE!

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All in all, Moonfish has been my favourite dining experience of 2015 so far. The food tasted amazing, was beautifully presented and excellent value. While the staff were friendly, welcoming and not at all pretentious. If you’ve not been to Moonfish yet, what are you waiting for?

 

Oh and in other exciting other news; you can win a dinner for you and five friends, cooked by Brian McLeish and three more MasterChef finalists and winners. The dinner is to raise money for ABF Soldiers Charity and you can enter by sponsoring the fundraising team here https://secure.soldierscharity.org/registrant/TeamFundraisingPage.aspx?TeamID=63144#&panel1-2 What a great cause and a fantastic prize!

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Review of The Jolly Botanist, Edinburgh Gin Bar

The Jolly Botanist is Edinburgh’s newest gin bar, located on Morrison Street, close to Haymarket Railway Station. As a lover of all things gin, it had been high on my ‘To Do List’ since it opened earlier this month.

When I visited for post-dinner drinks, the bar had a buzzing Saturday night atmosphere. The clientele were a mixture of couples and groups of friends. Despite the place being busy, I only had to wait a few minutes at the bar before being served and I also managed to find a seat at a long table with bar stools.

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I counted around forty different gins on the extensive drinks list which has helpful suggestions on which tonic and garnish would be best paired with each. I decided to try out something different and went for Opihr – an oriental spiced gin which was lovely and warming on a cold February night. I followed this up with a Rhubarb and Ginger liqueur from Edinburgh Gin. Mr GvF opted for a deliciously crisp Scottish Caorunn gin which was garnished with apple. Next time I visit I would love to see even more Scottish craft gins like Rock Rose, Eden Mill and Daffy’s.
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The bar has had a £730k renovation to transform it in into something completely unique. The Victorian style decoration is quirky and theatrical and I loved The Jolly Botanist winged character adorning one wall. In keeping with the shabby chic décor, the drinks were served in heavy crystal glasses. The toilets were clean and beautifully decorated with shiny white tiles embellished with oriental blossom.

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I’d definitely like another rendezvous with The Jolly Botanist soon and next time I hope to sample their food and some delicious gin cocktails which come in gorgeous tea cups on stems.

Cheers from Girl Versus Food! ximage4


Food Gifts Part 2: Shimmering Santa Vodka and Bramble Gin

Seeing as it’s the season of goodwill, I’m giving you a 2 for 1 in this post. A BOGOF from Girl Versus Food! Read on for my two flavoured spirit recipes which make fantastic homemade gifts.

My Shimmering Santa Vodka tastes like Christmas with cranberries, clementine zest and cinnamon. The perfect winter warmer.

My Bramble Gin isn’t strictly festive, but anyone you give this to will think all their Christmases have come at once! It’s inspired by my favourite cocktail; the Bramble and is made with blackberries, lemon zest and vanilla.

You don’t have to use premium spirits to make these but I would recommend steering clear of the cheap and nasty stuff otherwise you will taste it in the finished product.

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SHIMMERING SANTA VODKA INGREDIENTS
500ml vodka
100g of dried cranberries
1 cinnamon stick
Zest of 5 clementines
1tsp edible gold glitter

BRAMBLE GIN INGREDIENTS
500ml gin
250g of frozen blackberries
Zest of 2 lemons
1 vanilla pod, sliced open

METHOD (same for both recipes)
1. Pour the alcohol into plastic storage container with an airtight lid.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and put the lid on.
3. Leave for one week, giving it a little shake each day.
4. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a jug.
5. Sterilise some pretty bottles, I like the Kilner flip top bottles. To sterilise you can use a dishwasher on a high setting. I don’t have a dishwasher so I washed the bottles with hot soapy water and then covered loosely with tin foil and placed in the oven for 30 mins at 170C
6. Pour into the sterilised bottles and decorate with a ribbon and label.
7. For the shimmering vodka add your edible glitter.

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Foodies100 Index of UK Food Blogs
Morphy Richards

Bo’Vine Glasgow Review

This weekend I visited Bo’Vine on Byres Road to celebrate Mr GVF’s birthday. The Glasgow establishment is part of the Hilton hotel but is very much a restaurant in its own right. The venue has stylish yet tongue-in-cheek decor with huge painting of cows in ornate frames and cow-print pillars.

Having presented Mr GVF with a gift of Fleetwood Mac tickets earlier in the day (I know, I’m an awesome wife) we were both in good spirits. We had a quick G&T before dinner at BoBar next door which had a buzzing Saturday night atmosphere. Upon leaving we were given the once over by a Mancunian lady sitting by the door. “They really dress smart in this part of town”, she said to her drinking partner. Why thank you, we aim to please!

In the restaurant, we were seated close to the window with a great view of an impressively lit Oran Mor. We cast our eye over the menu and clocked the appealing pre-dinner drinks at the top which included a Smokey Daiquiri made with Islay whisky. I opted for the Tanq 10 Negroni cocktail which contained gin, grapefruit and Aperol and transported me directly to an Italian piazza. Salute!

There’s a big emphasis on Scottish produce on the menu from Perthshire venison to West Coast Scallops. To start I opted for Stornaway Black Pudding with a poached hen’s egg and red wine jus. The egg was cooked perfectly with a runny yoke. Mr GVF opted for the melt in the mouth Ox Cheek Pudding.

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It goes without saying that we both went for steaks for the main – a ribeye for me and a sirloin for him. The steaks come with your choice of two sauces/sides. I would highly recommend choosing the dauphinoise potatoes. Mr GVF also added the Surf n Turf to his steak which comes in at a reasonable £7 to add two scallops and two king prawns.

To finish, I fancied something simple so opted for an ice-cream. This salted caramel treat was so good, I feel I could probably eat it everyday for the foreseeable future. The birthday boy opted for a Prune and Armagnac Tart – presumably he feels the need for more fibre in his diet now he’s the ripe old age of 28. The pud got a big thumbs up and a clean plate.

Service was on point throughout the meal with the staff being attentive but not obtrusive. They were also super helpful in getting us a taxi from the hotel concierge which saved a long wait on a wet December evening. Overall a great night and I’m keen to visit again to try out the Bo’Vine Market Menu which is available earlier in the evening and great value at £18.95 for three courses.


Gin heaven at Heads & Tails, Edinburgh

On Friday night I tried out Heads & Tails, a new Edinburgh gin bar. The place opened this summer and is situated in the basement of the beautiful Rutland Hotel. Talking about underground – this venue feels like a trip back in time to an illegal speakeasy in Prohibition America. From the outside, you would never know the bar was there and descending the stairs to the entrance, I was nervous that I might need to give a secret password at the door!
The interior is very cool with wooden barrels for tables, dim lighting and comfy leather and fabric upholstered chairs. It also has some intimate side rooms (as pictured above) which would be brilliant for a group gathering. The unisex toilets were a bit of a surprise but thankfully there were cubicles – no urinals in sight!
The bar provides table service (no queuing – yay!) and has one of the most original cocktail menus I’ve seen. I loved the PB & J – a cocktail containing two of my favourite things – gin and peanut butter! The delicious Bees Knees was made with honey and came in the cutest teddy bear glass; what a relief that I only had a clutch bag with me! Staff were knowledgeable and friendly which made for a very relaxed evening. There are a selection of light snacks available and I would definitely recommend trying out the meat and cheese platters along with a teacup full of olives.

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The light entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of cackling banshees on the next table who had been drinking prosecco (in a gin bar, pffft!) since they finished in the office. There was a lot of over-sharing going on at that table. Maggie, if you’re reading this, I really hope your colonic irrigation went well today, sweetie!
Heads & Tails is home to the two Edinburgh Gin stills which are a prominently displayed behind glass. I loved that Flora and Caledonia (what else would you call your gin stills?) were busy distilling the good stuff while I was busy drinking it! Will I return to this gem of a gin bar? Definitely. And no need to toss a coin to decide!

Edinburgh Gin still

BBC Good Food Show Scotland

I had the opportunity to attend the BBC Good Food Show Scotland this weekend; what a brilliant day out! There were dozens of food related stalls along with demonstrations from celebrity chefs including my personal heroes Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry from The Great British Bake Off.  Just as well I didn’t bump into either of them; I think security might have had to escort me off the premises!
I met lots of lovely exhibitors who were clearly passionate about their products. Most stall holders I chatted with were relative newbies with products less than five years old. That’s one of the things I love most about food shows; the chance to sample products from small businesses that aren’t available on the mass market.
There were businesses from across the UK and further afield but I’m always most drawn to the Scottish producers. I couldn’t go home without some delicious locally sourced Heather Honey from Plan Bee. I also picked up some Truffle Oil from Pethshire based Summer Harvest which I’m going to use as a finishing touch for rissotto. Continuing on the Scottish theme I bought some wild venison from the Amhuinnsuidhe Castle (nope, I can’t pronounce it either) estate on the isle of Harris. I’m really looking forward to cooking this and surprised that it wasn’t even that deer ;)

 

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My sweet tooth wouldn’t let me walk past Edinburgh chocolatier The Chocolate Tree where I was intrigued to see their collection included HAGGIS chocolate! The organic chocolate bar doesn’t actually contain meat but has all the traditional spices you would find in the Scottish delicacy. It did leave me wondering if chocolate covered bacon might be the next big thing! Could I start a trend here? I settled for a tub of their Salted Caramel Spread which I’m looking forward to pouring over ice-cream (or maybe just eating straight from the tub!).
I enjoyed meeting Edward and Chris from Glasgow-based Drygate Brewery. They are newly established and producing an IPA, a lager and an unusual apple ale in very cool packaging. Their IPA is light and smooth, I would recommend it to lager drinkers who fancy a change.

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There was a huge gin trend at this year’s food show with offerings from seven different producers. I started drinking ‘mothers ruin’ about five years ago and have noticed a massive surge in popularity of the spirit in this time. My favourites at the show were Warner Edwards Gin and Edinburgh Gin. I’ve also found that using a good quality tonic makes a massive difference – Fever Tree is my preference.
I gave the gadget stalls a wide berth – the back of my kitchen cupboards are testament to the fact that most kitchen aids are the equivalent of fad diets. My garlic peeler is in there right beside the cabbage soup diet!

I had one final stop off to try the most DELICIOUS white chocolate liqueur from Irish producers Coole Swan – yum! Forget Baileys, this is what I want to be enjoying as an after dinner treat this winter.

I headed home slightly tipsy from free booze samples, weighed down with bags of foodie goodies and with a considerably lighter purse.  Safe to say I’m already looking forward to attending next year’s BBC Good Food Show!

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