Travelling to a new city is always fun – new architecture, new culture, new food, and new people. And it’s particularly fun if you’re heading to a city as rich with culture and history like Edinburgh. I’m not a big fan of tour buses as I always like exploring a city on foot. So A Wee Taste of Edinburgh, a walking food and drink tour that takes you off the beaten track, was pretty perfect for me.
I’ve been on walking tours before, but I’ve never been on a food and drink tour. Can you imagine anything more amazing? You’re walking, so you’re getting your 10 000 steps in, you learn a little about the city you’re in, and you have frequent stops to try the city’s traditional cuisine!
Introducing A Wee Taste of Edinburgh
A Wee Taste of Edinburgh is led by a lovely lady by the name of Karly. Her passion and enthusiasm for all things Edinburgh is evident, and chatting to her about all the delicacies and history of the city thoroughly enjoyable. She’s a real gem of a person too, and while the tour itself is fun, her personality definitely adds a sparkle to the entire experience.
Our first stop on the map was 181 Delicatessen, a gorgeous little deli shop and café, where we sampled traditional Scotch Egg. I’ve had Scotch Egg numerous times before, but never in Scotland, so this was a treat. Haven’t had a Scotch Egg? It’s a little fried ball with an egg in the middle and a meat or veggie coating.
Cheese & Wine
After Scotch Eggs, we moved on to I.J Mellis Cheesemongers for a cheese and wine pairing. This cheese was delicious! All locally sourced, we tried a variety of cheeses, including the best Blue Cheese I have ever had. I’ve never been a particular fan of Blue Cheese. It’s always way too, well, ‘blue’ for me and I don’t like that overpowering taste. But this one was divine and may have changed my overall opinion of blue cheese!
The Edinburgh ‘Tablet’
The next stop was A La Carte, where we tried traditional Edinburgh ‘Tablet’. It’s similar to fudge, but slightly harder and crunchier, and (apparently) only comes in the original flavour. As normal fudge, tablet is superbly sweet but really enjoyable, and definitely worth a try if you find your way to Edinburgh.
Famous Cupcakes … And Hamish the Coo
This was followed by another sweet stop, Cuckoo’s Bakery, an award-winning bakery well-known throughout Edinburgh for its delicious cupcakes. We tried a variety of the flavours – chocolate, caramel, apple strudel … and they were all delicious. My favourite one though was an Edinburgh local decorated with Hamish the Coo – a famous Highland cow that’s available everywhere in Edinburgh. I mean, available as a statue or magnet or fluffy teddy bear. It really is very cute!
Beer, Gin, and Whiskey …
I was already pretty full at this point, but there was still much more to come! But at the next stop, we took a little break from the eating, and had a beer, gin, and whiskey tasting at Café Grande. Scotland whiskey obviously needs no introduction, and any whiskey drinker will be very familiar with the many famous Scottish distilleries. But beer is also massive, and gin has evidently taken the entire world by storm. This was a fun and insightful tasting to lead you through the best of Scotland!
Our next and final stop for the journey was The Golf Tavern, where we ended for a final beer and traditional Scottish haggis. I’m not a beer drinker but the adventurer in me wouldn’t say no, so I had a pint of Innis & Gunn (one of the few beers I actually really enjoy). The Golf Tavern had both veggie and traditional haggis available. I tried both and, surprisingly, preferred the meat-based haggis.
What is haggis? Well, if you’re sensitive, skip this paragraph. If not, read on. Haggis is a savoury pudding made from sheep’s pluck (heart, liver, and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, and spices. I don’t like liver and that taste for me was quite evident. But overall it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected, and I ended up having two or three of these. I wouldn’t necessarily have them again, but I do think you should try everything at least once. And if they’re on offer, I’ll probably grab one just because.
The Details of A Wee Taste of Edinburgh
A Wee Taste of Edinburgh was supposed to last about four hours, but we had so much fun that we were still hanging out with everyone six hours later! It was definitely an afternoon and early evening well-spent. I learned so much, got to try everything I needed to try, and met some amazing people! So if you’re planning a trip to Edinburgh, I couldn’t recommend this tour enough! Tickets cost £40 and include all the food tastings, as well as the whiskey, gin, and beer tasting. Additional drinks aren’t included.
For more information on Karly and A Wee Taste of Edinburgh, see below. You can book tours directly through the website.
A Wee Taste of Edinburgh
Article Date: September 2019
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