Feast of the Commonwealth

Last week, an invitation popped into my inbox for the Feast of the Commonwealth at Our Dynamic Earth, as part of the Edinburgh Science Festival and Culture 2014‘s GastroFest. After a very quick read through of what the event entailed, I pinged off the fastest email reply ever. Friday came around in an essay-writing, biscuit-fuelled haze, and I headed off to Dynamic Earth in my best red dress, prepared for the best meal I’ve ever eaten. I wasn’t disappointed.

The venue was incredible, I’ve not been to Dynamic Earth before, but it’s definitely on my list now! All of the tables looked stunning, and half of the venue had been turned into a little marketplace, with stalls from Belhaven Smokehouse, eteaket, and The Chocolate Tree, among others. After checking our coats in, we had a wander and a little sample of some of the foods on offer. (The Madagascar 72%, Orange & Pink Lake Salt chocolate might be the best I’ve ever tasted. Or the Equador 55%, Bergamot & Raspberry. I might have to head to the Farmers Market soon to buy some and double check…)

After a little scope around the market, we headed to find out which country we were sat at…


Tony Singh was hosting the evening, joined by Edinburgh Medal recipient Dr Prof Mary Abukutsa-Onyango. After an introduction to Dr Abukutsa-Onyango’s research, the food began to arrive, and oh. my. god.

The starters were designed by David Veal, Head Chef of Our Dynamic Earth, and were amazing. I had Belhaven Smokehouse trout with new potatoes dressed with rapeseed oil, horseradish cream, and roasted beetroot. It was utterly delicious. So, so good. Also, there’s an added bonus to taking a vegetarian +1, in that they get different food to you, so you are obliged to try it even though they can’t try yours. What a shame. Dave had an avocado salad for starters, and it was yummy.


After the starters were cleared, the main courses were introduced by their designer; Neil Forbes, of Cafe St Honore. Carnivore-friendly mains were roasted supreme of chicken with a watercress and herb crust served with buttered vegetables, dauphinoise potatoes, and cafe au lait sauce. It was absolutely delicious, and now Cafe St Honore is on my ever-growing list of Edinburgh restaurants to eat at. The veggie main was a stack of roasted vegetables with pesto, with potatoes and buttered vegetables.


Between the mains and dessert, there was a little break, and people went downstairs to the rainforest for activities! Not the Canada table. Oh no. We opted instead to take part in our own, possibly slightly tipsy, Science Experiments, and took apart our beautiful centrepiece. And de-seeded the pomegranates. And ate them. And they were delicious.  Our table definitely had the most fun wine.


After all the pomegranates, dessert was served. Designed by Tom Lewis, from Monachyle Mhor Hotel, we were served a chocolate and rapeseed oil tear with hazelnut praline, rhubarb puree and chocolate crumb, with Sea Buckthorn curd.


All of the food was really, really delicious, and we had some great company for the evening (hi Doug and Liz!), and had a really amazing evening. The Science Festival things that I’ve been to over the last couple of weeks have all been great, and there are still a few days left. You can catch up with what’s on here.


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