An Edinburgh Visit

Last weekend I had another little trip up to Edinburgh, after booking Florence and the Machine tickets for Rory, Sean, & I months ago. Thankfully, this trip didn’t involve any mega early mornings, or any megabusses, which made a nice change!!

I got to Edinburgh on Saturday, and headed up to Kirsty‘s lovely new flat in the sunshine, and met Fitz. So cute.

fitzy

Kirsty – Manu and Ashwati think Fitz looks like Toothless in the picture on the right!

We went out to The Black Fox on Leith Walk for dinner, and it was delicious. We all had pizzas, and shared some spicy cajun chips, washed down with a couple of rum & cokes. Lovely.

bf

Veggie pizza at the Black Fox

Kirsty had a girly cocktail night planned at her friends, and invited me along. We hopped in a cab and went to Miriam’s where we stayed, chatting and drinking Morrissey’s (I wish I could tell you what was in that cocktail, but I don’t know! We gave all the cocktail equally good names though – ha) until FOUR AM. No idea how that happened, but all the girls were lovely, and I am hugely jealous of Miriam’s vinyl collection.

On Sunday, I headed to the NMS because it is my favourite, and had some breakfast and a little mooch around, before popping to Primark to see if any of my pals were around. I went to meet Kirsty and Adam for some lunch at Treacle and had the biggest banh-mi sandwich I’ve ever seen.

nms

I lovelovelovelove this place.

treacle

Roasted cauliflower banh-mi at Treacle

Post-lunch, we went back to Kirsty’s and decided that an evening in would be nice, being as we’d not gone to bed until almost 5am. Kirsty was knackered, so I curled up on the sofa with Rivka Galchen’s American Innovations. If you like short stories with female narrators, that give perfect, abrupt endings, this is awesome. I’d started it on the plane, and finished it before dinner. In what’s starting to sound like a super foody Sunday, Adam made veggie chili and homemade flatbread and it was amazing. (Adam, can I please have that chili recipe?!)
We watched Pride, and Kirsty cried at the end. If you haven’t seen it – do. It’s about the miners strike, and the lesbian & gay activist group that helped them. It’s so, so good.

Monday was Florence day, and I went to meet Rory and Sean after we all had outfit dilemmas because Scottish weather. After an hour on the bus to Glasgow, we went to find a new jumper for Rory and he was much happier. Haha. A quick bit of dinner, and we went off to the SSE Hydro, which is a much bigger venue than I expected! Florence was, obviously, amazing, and supported by The Staves, who Sean decided to fall in love with (“the middle one because she looks like the Scarlet Witch”). There was lots of dancing, Rory kept making friends with annoying drunk women, and those two are my favourite.

flo1

Florence!!

We magically managed to get straight in a cab afterwards, and debated the difficulties of Rory being a white Scottish boy in a world that won’t accept that he just wants to dance like Beyoncé (“Fuck the highland fling; I want to dutty wine”), and also that slut dropping makes your thighs burn the next day. Very true. Ha.

Tuesday was my last day, so after cuddles with Fitz, I had a wander around town, and then met Kirsty for our now-traditional Taste of Italy lunch. Ha. It was yummy. A quick dash back to hers, and I went to get on the airport bus to go home.

burgh

The Royal Mile in the sunshine, banana bread breakfast at Pep & Fodder, and Ryanair’s finest views

I had an awesome weekend; it was very much needed, and much less rushed than my mad 22 hour trip last month. I didn’t really get to catch up much with Kirsty last time I was up, so it was really nice, and Rory and Sean make me laugh until my stomach hurts. Edinburgh makes me ridiculously happy, and it was nice to have time to just wander around, and eat scones in the museum, and browse through the charity shops. Lovely.

I’m trying to make sure I have things planned to do, because it seems to be working much better for my head, to have things to look forward to, and it makes me much happier. Next month I’m finally going to Canada, and I can’t even think properly about how excited I am; then Ella Eyre with Polly in November; another quick trip to Edinburgh with Madden & Jack (and Francis if he ever buys his ticket!); and then maaaaaybe New York with Dave in January. It’s kind of a double edged sword, having friends in all different countries, but it does mean lots of trips. Ha.

Vegan Life : July/August

vl1
I’ve just had a cup of tea and a read through of the latest issue of Vegan Life Magazine, and now I have designs on attempting to make vegan pizza. Moreover, I’m now pencilling a trip to Colchester in for the Vegan Fest next weekend, and desperately want to go back to Berlin after making food recommendations on Twitter earlier this week, and now reading about Berlin being the best vegan city (it totally is. I’d be vegan in a heartbeat in Berlin).

VL5

vl4

Vegan Life are sharing some vegan pizza recipes over on their site – I’d love to know if you have a go at making one!!

vl3

Berlin is best! TAKE ME BACK!!

Vegan Life offer subscriptions from £24.50 for 10 issues over 1 year.

**I was asked to become a Vegan Life blogger, and receive a digital subscription in return for my reviews and/or blog posts. All writing and opinions are, as ever, my own.

Café Rouge, Loughton

I was invited to have dinner at the newly refurbished Café Rouge in Loughton this week as a little midweek treat, and it was looooovely. I took Mumbly with me, and we had a very nice Wednesday night out!

I’ not massively familiar with Loughton, but it was a much quicker drive from Brentwood than I thought it would be, and we found the restaurant really easily. There’s a little car park dead opposite, which was handy being as my shoes were ridiculously high. There were outfit pictures, but Mum somehow timed every single photo to coincide with how often I blink, so I deleted all of them. Ha. I basically wore all my new things and super bright pink lipstick. 😉

We headed into the restaurant and sat in a little booth. The decor is gorgeous, with blown up posters of vintage French films and glamourous film stars. There’s outside seating both at the front and back, and a huge area upstairs with it’s own bar for big groups.

crc

As well as having been refurbed, there’s a new menu too. I tried my hardest to convince Mum that she had to have snails, but she was having none of it. We decided on wine, and our lovely waiter brought us over some bread and olives while we decided what to have to eat. The olives were lovely, mixed in with tiny little gherkins (which I’ve found a sudden, inexplicable love for), and roquito chillis. Decisions made, we ordered and happily munched all the bread while we waited for our starters.

cr4

Mum had opted for the king prawns in garlic and smoked chilli butter, and she’ll never forgive me if I put the photo of her eating them on here, but she looked very much like she enjoyed them. Haha. They were enormous, and she gave up on her cutlery pretty quickly.

cr6

I wasn’t going to have a starter, because I was going to save some space for dessert instead, but I am a piglet, and I couldn’t decide what to have for my main, so when our waiter said that I could have the risotto as a starter, I jumped. It was DELICIOUS, and my only regret is that I didn’t eat it all because I would have been too full to eat anything else. Champagne risotto with roasted butternut squash, petit pois, plum tomatoes, pea shoots, and lemon dressing. It was gorgeous.

cr5

We both went for fishy mains – I am a terrible vegetarian, I know, but saying I’m a pescetarian (I can’t even spell it) is even more pretentious than saying I’m a vegetarian and then ordering fish. ***Flawless. Ha. Mum had the salmon fillet, and I had smoked haddock fishcakes. Yummmmmmmm.

cr7

I was so full that there was no way I could even contemplate dessert, and I made Mum eat half of one of my fishcakes, because my eyes are always bigger than my belly, so *sadly* we’ll have to go back for desserts another time.

Café Rouge is on Loughton High Street, and is open from 7am until 11pm. You can find directions, read menus, and book tables on the website, here. We had a great evening, the service was amazing and the food was all delicious. Thanks for having us Café Rouge, we’ll definitely be back!!

We were invited for dinner in return for a review, but as ever, all opinions and writing are my own!