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mari's scotland trip highlights, recommendations and pans

mari's scotland trip highlights, recommendations and pans

Jun 15th, 2001, 02:25 PM
  #1  
mari
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mari's scotland trip highlights, recommendations and pans

i'm basically topping an old post titled 'food in edinburgh' that got a dismal response, i think bc the angle was too narrow or bc the perception persists that scotland is not a place to go for good food. actually, it is--two of my happiest discoveries were restaurants w/ rooms (what a concept! and filled w/ appreciative, like-minded eaters) and eateries boasting the 'taste of scotland' distinction.

details from fellow travelers on this board helped immensely in planning an unforgettable trip, and i want to return the favor for others. the actual writeup is too long to give here, but here's a nutshell-in-a-nutshell version:

took the gner from london-kings cross to edinburgh-waverly station (no complaints save for the cramped seating--and i'm 5'1") and stayed at 9b scotland street, a b&b in new town (i can recommend better). walked the royal mile, chilled to the bone but thrilled at the medieval facades. next day was for glasgow and my homage to charles rennie mackintosh--fascinating tour of glasgow school of art that emphasized the functionality of his designs, tea at willow tea rooms (a crashing commercialized disappointment), shopping at the ultra art nouveau princes square. found that scottish city taxi drivers can talk ur ear off, but btwn their accents and ours, we cd be talking abt entirely different things, and often were.

ah well, part of the fun of travel. we rented a car the next day and started an ambitious 6-day tour to loch lomond, spean bridge, skye, glenshiel, grantown-on-spey, stonehaven, fernie and back. i will never forget the gourmet 5-course feast at old pines restaurant w/ rooms, or the heart-stopping sunset view across loch duich from kintail lodge hotel. in the highlands the scenery was stark, rugged and unforgettable; further east, we were in elysian fields. did everything from nature walks to castles--both inhabited and ruins--to mass at pluscarden abbey. i already have a list for my next trip!

if anyone has questions, i have detailed notes/recommendations/pans re sightseeing, lodgings, eating and driving. thanks again to all who helped me, and to those who expressed concern after my mom's fall (doc says she shd be fine)--

mari
 
Jun 15th, 2001, 02:55 PM
  #2  
janis
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Mari - I am new to this board so I didn't see your previous posts. Too bad - I know many wonderful restaurants all over Scotland. But it sounds like you found your way around just fine. I think my fav restaurant in all the world is Peat Inn in Fife. Fabulous food -- and rooms too. The village (hamlet really) is also called Peat Inn.

Since you went north via Loch Lomond did you make over to Helensburgh to Hill House? That is the place that truly displays C R Mackintosh's brilliance.
 
Jun 15th, 2001, 05:15 PM
  #3  
mari
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aaaarrghhh!! can't blv i overlooked hill house. oh well, one more to add to the list for next time. peat inn, too--but janis, is there a chance u remember the details of a favorite dish there? in perusing menus of dozens of taste of scotland restaurants i've developed a pretty good sense of which ones are likely to suit my taste. most memorable from old pines: home-smoked salmon-crab pate topped w/ a sheet of translucent salmon, served w/ a dab of quince-crabapple jelly and a very direct gewurztraminer. also, if u make it to dunvegan on skye, don't miss three chimneys restaurant w/ rooms!
 
Jun 15th, 2001, 08:07 PM
  #4  
gene
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is it too much to ask that you write using some semblance of the english language?
 
Jun 15th, 2001, 08:16 PM
  #5  
janis
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I've been able to eat at 3 chimneys a couple of times over the years -- the last time about 4-5 years ago. You MUST go to Hill House sometime. It is in the care of the NTS and is in superb shape. It is sooo modern and 100 years old. Amazing!

Peat Inn presents Scottish fare with traditional French techniques and has an unbelievable wine list. I have eaten there 3 time over about ten years and each meal was superb. I've had venison, a tasting menu which blew me away, and quail plus all the side dishes which are all great. The desserts are really good too - the Chocolate pot w/ rosemary is almost too rich to eat but is wonderful.
 
Jun 16th, 2001, 01:39 PM
  #6  
mari
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janis--

thanks for those details. the more i hear from u, the more i wish we cd have been in touch before my trip!

and gene--

i AM using some semblance of the english language.
 
Jun 16th, 2001, 02:11 PM
  #7  
Nick
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To Gene:
I think that Mari is serious when she says she's using some semblence of the English language. Isn't that pitiful?
 
Jun 16th, 2001, 02:27 PM
  #8  
Ginny
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Mari - I am going to end up in Glascow
for a few days in order to fly back to
the states on frequent flyer miles. I'
will be there with my 14 year old
daughter. We will be coming up from
London - I believe I can fly up for
$84.00 - but maybe a train would
be interesting. You obviously love
Scotland, do you think Edinburgh
castle would be a must see? Any other
suggestions? Thanks
 
Jun 16th, 2001, 03:06 PM
  #9  
mari
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ginny--

wish i were going too! if u're going from london city center to glasgow, flying is probably not worth the hassle since airports are located well outside both cities. don't know how much time u have in glasgow, or whether u plan to spend it all there or spend some nites in edinburgh, but the train from london kings cross to edinburgh or glasgow is very convenient. edinburgh takes 4 1/2 hrs and glasgow another 50 minutes or so; trains runs frequently thruout the day. www.thetrainline.com has great prices for reserved seats if u book in advance and have the tkts mailed to a uk address. and the scenery is gorgeous, esp once u cross the border. be sure to bring a picnic lunch/dinner on board.

i didn't have much time in glasgow, but in edinburgh, w/ a 14-yr-old, a good day trip might be to take the train from glasgow (abt $12 for an adult same-day rtn, 50-minute ride), short taxi ride from station uphill to castle, see castle, then walk down the medieval royal mile. it's lined w/ small, well-themed museums, shops, restaurants, not to mention tiny 16th-century alleyways and courtyards w/ intriguing names that u can explore. a walking tour of some of these is also a good idea; there are historic ones, haunted ones, etc., and they leave thruout the afternoon and evening. u can sign up at tourist info right outside waverly station on princes st. if u don't like walking much, also just outside the station are hop on/hop off dbl-decker bus tours w/ guides (mac tours is known to be funnier). have a great time w/ ur daughter!
 
Jun 17th, 2001, 04:34 PM
  #10  
pam
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hi, i'm new to this board, but i have been reading as much as possible on scotland and london. i will be going to scotland the first week of oct. (4ovn) then fly to london(4ovn.) i will be staying in edinburgh. plan to take day trip to loch ness area, day trip to St. Andrew's and do the royal mile ,castle in ED. my mom knits, any gd yarn shops to check out? any sugg. would be helpful. thanks.
 
Jun 17th, 2001, 07:44 PM
  #11  
johnhedge
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Message to Gene and Nick

I have followed Fordors boards for years and always appreciated the lack of "flaming" by the users.

I think what we are looking for here is travel information not dotted I's or crossed T's

I had no trouble understanding Mari's post and enjoyed it very much

johnhedge
 
Jun 17th, 2001, 09:39 PM
  #12  
mari
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pam--

i think others are more qualified to respond re the yarn shop and day trips, but loch ness might not be doable in a day--takes abt 4 hrs to get there from edinburgh by car. and even tho 8 hrs' driving in one day is survivable, i wdn't recommend it unless u're experienced on uk roads. i loved driving there, but this was the first time i didn't rely on scotrail for long-distance journeys, and i found my limit (and my passenger's) to be abt 5 hrs a day. anyway, i had some other ideas that i emailed u bc they wd take up too much space here.

and johnhedge -- glad u enjoyed the info!
 
Jun 17th, 2001, 10:07 PM
  #13  
Pat Myers
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re: stayed at 9b scotland street, a b&b in new town (i can recommend better).

Hi, Mari! We are going to be in Edinburg 30 June. Which b&b would you recommend? Where should we eat? I'll be with my "kids"(ages: 23,22,20) -- do you know of any night clubs they would like? Thanks!
 
Jun 18th, 2001, 01:50 AM
  #14  
Tony Hughes
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I went to school with the Peat Inn owner's son. Good food.
 
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