|Back to the Bridge
||[Oct. 15th, 2014|09:13 pm]
When I tried to post about our journey to the US, I was frustrated by a shortage of internets: by the time I was back online, things (and we) had moved on, and I was reduced to saying "But that's another post..." We have moved on again, and this is that post.
Our plan was to fly from Edinburgh, and to overnight there before our morning flight. We emerged from Waverley Station into a dazzle of sunshine, and found a taxi. This was disconcerting: firstly, the driver stowed our luggage with us in the passenger space - it was a bit of a squeeze, but it does appear to be the local style); secondly, he plunged straight into the traffic of Princes Street - again, this isn't as bizarre a route as I thought at first, and I sat back to enjoy a bonus view of the castle, and the drive out to the hotel.
We stayed at the Bridge Inn, Ratho which is as near as we could get without actually being at the airport. It is also on the Union Canal, and there was time before dinner for a walk in the golden September evening. The sun glittered on the water, the trees cast deep shade, the cyclists emerged suddenly from the darkness.
This description of the canal describes most of what we saw, as well as much that we didn't. But it doesn't mention the walled kitchen garden, which I was rather smug at identifying - and then delighted to learn that it belongs to the hotel, and produces many of the vegetables served in the restaurant. Time for dinner, then.
We had a very good dinner, and if it was a bit oddly shaped, that's our fault for some slightly eccentric ordering - but we were very pleased with the results. We both started with the scallops: three delicious, sweet little scallops, with rather pointless accompaniments. The crisped pancetta was good with the pea sauce, but neither had much to do with the scallops (indeed, to my taste the sweetness of the pea sauce killed the flavour of the scallops). durham_rambler chose a main course of bubble-and-squeak: it's unusual for him to take the vegetarian option, but he did help me out with the huge platter of smoked salmon which I had chosen as my main couse (technically, it's a starter to share). It was moist and tasty, and accompanied by a big heap of salad, but the star of the show was my side order of absolutely perfect chips: floury, crisp, hot and salted just right. We had a bottle of Touraine sauvignon (might have been les Mazelles, but I can't be certain), fresh and clean, which we agreed was almost as good as the one we have bought from the Caves de Haut Poitou... I resisted dessert, and was rewarded, because my decaff expresso came with a chunk of buttery tablet, which was exactly what I wanted - that and a glass of Scapa, to tell the truth.
After dinner I wrangled with the wi-fi (the frustration of having not quite enough connectivity to achieve anything, but enough to keep me trying) while the television above my head relayed quite an interesting programme, in Gaelic with subtitles, about living on islands.
And the next morning we were off to the airport, and all the fun that followed.
ETA:</a> A review of the Bridge Inn in the Guardian