Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Castle, Golf, and Haggis

I am pooped after a full day of running around in Edinburgh today. We woke up early to have a traditional Scottish breakfast (with black pudding!) and headed down to check out Edinburgh Castle.
The castle was magnificent, and is said to have been built around the 11th Century on a base of an extinct volcano. Despite the dreary weather we had an educational and exciting walk around the castle. I especially enjoyed gazing upon the crown jewels and walking through the prison chambers.
Afterwards Hubby, Otousan, and I went to go play a round of golf at a golf course near the Edinburgh Airport. I was amazed at how deep green the grass and vegetation was. The course was so wide open, and you could see ruins of castles and watch towers afar.
I'm not a great golfer... but I was happy how I played today. I had such a fun time that it didn't even matter that I lost 5 balls in the shrubs.
After the 18th hole we went into the clubhouse and had some drinks. Mmm... Scottish Lager. I have been quite curious about Scottish cuisine for a while... Especially HAGGIS! So otousan took us to a creative and classy Scottish restaurant called Stac Polly. For drinks we had Champagne Kir Royales, which I've never had before and absolutely loved! It's simply champagne poured over a shot of red Cassis liquor. As a result the champagne turns a Rosy pink color and has a hint of sweetness.

We started off with little crackers topped with rabbit pâté.
We also had the mussel bree: a traditional Scottish mussel soup with spring onions. It was creamy and similar in taste to clam chowder.I finally got to try Haggis! Haggis is the national dish of Scotland and I just HAD to try it. Haggis is made with bits and pieces of lung, liver, and heart of sheep mixed with spices, onions, and oatmeal stuffed in a sheep's stomach. Doesn't sound very appetizing... but I came all the way to Scotland so why not try something new right? Stac Polly was serving a less traditional version of Haggis so I assume it was much easier to eat than the kind served straight up in a pub. Above is a plate of baked filo parcels stuffed with haggis served on a sweet plum and red wine sauce. It wasn't bad but I admit that it is an acquired taste. For main course, carnivore hubby had to try the famous Aberdeen prime rib eye Angus beef steak. This dish came with skirlie mashed potatoes and smoked bacon with red wine sauce.
Otousan had the pan fried sea bass with baby new potatoes, and capers.
I had the baked fillet of plaice set on potato and white crab meat cake with east Lothian asparagus in herb dressing. All of the food at Stac Polly was sooo good! I really loved the fresh flavor to my fish dish.
Of course we still had to have dessert. Otousan had the bramble and vanilla creme brulee with almond shortbread. I guess bramble is some sort of Scottish blueberry? Hubby and I had the chocolate Mille Feuille served with raspberry sorbet and shortbread. It was very yummy indeed. I thought that this restaurant was so much fun because the chef really put a creative twist on traditional Scottish cuisine. I loved the presentation of each and the combination of flavors. And I'm glad I got trying haggis over with...

38 St. Marys St.
Edinburgh, Scotland
Tel: 0131 557 5754


VeggieGirl said...

Black pudding, eh? Intriguing!! Wow, EVERY single dish you had is plated so beautifully!! Impressive!!

Kevin said...

Edinburgh castle sounds like fun! Scotland is on my list of places to visit and I will have to try the haggis as well.

Mrs. L said...

i was leaving you all these comments but apparently i never entered in the word verification...!!!

dude. scotish food looks delicious!

lina said...

Haggis still sounds dreadful to me, it totally scared me when I was in Scotland (which was when I was 13, not really a connoiseur age). But in this version at least it looks beautiful. Hope you're having a great time!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

i wanna try the Haggis and rabbit pate! ^_^

rowena said...

Rah! Rah! Rah! You go girl on the haggis! Why not if you've flown all the way to Scotland? I just did a post on brains and was actually surprised that readers commented--calf brains are tasty!

Daziano said...

Nice photos!!! And what a dinner you had!!!

What else is there in a traditional scottish breakfast?

That Girl said...

I live off of kir royales whenever I'm in Paris!

Capt. Pink said...

haggis sounds goood.

Sophie said...

Wow, what a fun-filled day...a castle, black pudding for breakfast, then later a pretty sip of pink wine? Sounds like the perfect day. I wish I lived in a castle! I'd save so much on air conditioning!! :)

Dhanggit said...

you ate all those food,?hmmm im jealous!! your photos are great!!

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