Month: July 2011

The Big Ones – Ben Nevis & Buachaille Etive Mor

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Last week we spent an incredible weekend climbing Ben Nevis and Buachaille Etive Mor. The incredible part? Wall-to-wall Mediterranean sunshine (ie hot, hot, hot!) clear views and men climbing Ben Nevis in their pants!

One  woman who went said that climbing Buachaille Etive Mor was the best day of walking she’d ever had in Scotland. And I have to agree.

We stayed at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel and Bunkhouse. I’d highly recommend both. The food at the restaurant is excellent and staff very helpful. Perfect place to stay and there is so much to do nearby.

Here for your delectation a few pictures of a glorious weekend.

Arriving at Ben Nevis

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On the way up. The path zig zags the mountain so for the most part it’s a gentle ascent.

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But there are some steeper sections.

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Incredible views on the way up.P1060082

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Snow near the summit

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A few of us on the summit of Ben Nevis. It took us 3 hours to reach the summit at a relaxed pace. Great feeling!

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The summit looks busier than Fort William on a beautiful day like this.

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The boys in pants doing their thang!

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Beautiful views as we begin our descent

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Arriving at Buachaille Etive Mor

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Victoria and Robin flying as they approach the summit

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Feeling ecstatic on the summit! The Buachaille is a steep munro. More interesting and challenging than Ben Nevis. I loved it.

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Amazing views…

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The descent was the difficult part, Buachaille’s steep and rocky. Here on hands, and bums we negotiate a particularly tricky section. You can just make us out in the middle of the photo below.

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Our next weekend is in Speyside in September. This time it’s a mix of hillwalking, cycling and sightseeing. You choose how much or how little you do. Last year’s trip to Glen Clova in September was lovely, with brilliant weather.

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To find out more about Speyside in September visit our Speyside weekend webpage.

You can find out more about the the Sunday Brunch Club Walking Group here.

What are your favourite walks in Scotland?

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Martin works his magic at new brasserie The Honours

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Our visit to Martin Wishart’s new Brasserie created such excitement that we increased our numbers from 20-25 and could have easily filled a table of 35.

The reputation of Wishart’s Michelin-starred restaurant in Leith had people chomping at the bit to try his new city-centre brasserie offering.  And The Honours did not disappoint. So good is it that Richard Bath’s glowing review in the Scotland on Sunday last week opened with the line “If you’re lucky enough to get a seat at Martin Wishart’s new brasserie, The Honours, then cancel everything else and go”. Read the review

Along with Head Chef Paul Tamburrini, Wishart has created something very special.

The decor is lovely, a contrast of dark and light complemented by perfect lighting. It feels contemporary without the starkness that can sometimes by the enemy of intimacy and atmosphere. The picture below of of the lounge area (I didn’t take any of the dining area).

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The service was great too. The team were super. It makes dining out such a wonderful experience when you are given the impression that nothing is too much trouble and your pleasure is upmost in the minds of those serving. It’s no mean feat looking after a group of 25 people and Steven and his team  did it beautifully.

And so on to the menu. As a large group, we chose the Prix Fixe menu at £19.50 for 3 courses. Amazingly good value. And wines started at just £15 per bottle.

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The starter of smoked kipper parfait with salsa verde. Rich and creamy, perfectly complemented by the greenery which was dressed very tastily.

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For me, the bavette of beef was the highlight. Just look at the colours. It was cooked to perfection. To do that once or twice is easy but 25 times is a bit more challenging! It was tender. It was medium rare. It was divine. The dauphinoise potatoes were great too. I hadn’t seen braised lettuce on a menu before. It was delicious and I enjoyed it so much I ordered more!

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And another picture so you can see the braised lettuce.

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The Honours earned further brownie points for offering this salmon option for the three in our party who don’t eat red meat but do eat fish.

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The chocolate delice was a delight. It was one of the mmmmm desserts which get your tastebuds very excited. The crispy bits (technical term!) absolutely made it.

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And to finish…

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I was so charmed that I failed to take a photo. This picture is from The List

I met the Marvellous Mr Wishart in his kitchen and we had a chat. He’s lovely. I could see why his service team is so good. He’s clearly passionate about what he does and luckily for us Edinburghers, he’s on our doorstep. If you haven’t already, open the door!

I’ve wasted no time in booking our next visit. And I’m going to need a third to try the full menu. I can see The Honours becoming the kind of habit you don’t want to break.

SUNDAY BRUNCH CLUB RATING: 9/10
THE HONOURS
58a Castle Street, Edinburgh EH2 3LU
0131 220 2513

MORE RESTAURANT REVIEWS…
Read more restaurant reviews

We’d love to hear your comments below.
Have you been to The Honours, what did you think?
If you have reviewed it, please leave a link below.

Gorgeous afternoon at Jupiter Artland

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On Saturday we had a lovely, lovely afternoon at Jupiter Artland the contemporary sculpture garden just 30 minutes west of Edinburgh at Kirknewton. It really is incredible to see these sculptures set against a backdrop of landscaped gardens and ‘wild’ forest.

Here’s our day in pictures. You can find out more about the works and artists on the Jupiter Artland website.

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Jupiter Artland also has a fabulous cafe serving delicious salads and sandwiches. I absolutely loved my chicken, butternut squash and feta concoction.

Though rain had threatened in the morning, we arrived to glorious sunshine and whiled away a few hours in the garden over a long lunch.

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Viv and I having photo fun in the fabulous mirrored caravan/cafe.

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JUPITER ARTLAND
Bonnington House, Kirknewton, City of Edinburgh EH27 8BB
01506 889900
Jupiter Artland on facebook and twitter

C’est Magnifique: A thoroughly lovely evening with My Home Supper Club

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Picture by My Home Supper Club here

What a deliciously fun evening we spent with Aoife of My Home Supper Club and her husband Damian
I simply adore these wonderful secret supper clubs, hosted by people passionate and food, cooking and entertaining. There’s something intimate and special about dining at someone’s home rather than a restaurant. I know many of you love them too as the spaces are booked within hours when we add a supper club outing to our events list.

In a beautifully candlelit room, on a dark and thundery Summer’s evening we enjoyed super food in the Behans’ beautiful home. Here’s our Bastille Day inspired menu in pictures.

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To start, chicory, apple, walnut and roquefort salad

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Coq au vin de bourgogne

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A delicious warm green salad and roast potatoes (not pictured)

And the highlight for me, the croqembouche. Made with lots of love over 2 days a tower of cream filled profiteroles. Over 150 of them! The chou pastry, the cream, the chocolate, the spun sugar combined to produce food heaven.  It was love at first sight.

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Picture by My Home Supper Club here

If you’d like to experience My Home Supper Club you’re in luck as new dates were released today! My Home Supper Club can seat up to 12 people at 2 tables of 6, so why not get a few friends together?

Book early though, as these events are very popular. Find out more here

For up-to-date news of My Home Supper Club find her on facebook and twitter.