While in Edinburgh I spent a morning with my friends partaking in a food and walking tour and it was a most delicious and terrific time. I am a big fan of walking tours because you really get to see the city you’re exploring and you have time and the mobility to get all the different types of photos that catch your eye. I’m also a big fan of eating and whenever possible I enjoy trying some local delicacies and different dishes which the destination is known for and proud of. There is really no better way to combine a tour of the city and an array of different dishes than a food and walking tour.
The tour we took was with Eat Walk Edinburgh Tours and it mainly consisted of exploring the Royal Mile. It also involved stopping in different shops and restaurants and of course uncovering some interesting areas which you’d never know existed if it weren’t for the knowledgeable guide showing you the way. Before we get into the stops we made and the dishes we tried, I would like to mention that I loved the fact we were given an earpiece so we could always hear what the guide was saying. This was incredibly useful because it gave us the liberty to further explore the area and get the shots that caught our eye without missing a beat.
The first stop we made was at Cranachan & Crowdie and we sampled different types of food from all over Scotland. It’s a small store which has an incredibly large personality and selection of Scottish products. It’s also a wonderful place to purchase some sweet or savoury souvenirs to bring home and share with loved ones, give to a friend or selfishly enjoy by yourself at a later date. Of all the things we tried, the Scottish honey mustard and the red onion relish really stood out. This was not the first time I’ve tried the honey mustard and most certainly will not be the last either. As you can see from the photo above, there was a group of us and we all had a different favourite. Also, the staff was incredibly social and welcoming so if you’re on the Royal Mile, give it a gander.
The next stop was to try something sweet and what better than The Fudge House?! We learned a little bit about fudge but to be honest, my mind was preoccupied with trying to pick which type of fudge I’d soon sample. Ultimately, I went for the peanut butter and chocolate because I love peanut butter, simple as that. For what it’s worth, I don’t really have a sweet tooth so I’d be more excited about someone bringing honey mustard to a party than say a plate full of fudge but I did thoroughly enjoy the choice I made; I chose well which is nice as I often have food envy.
One of the stops we made was at Canongate Kirk and this stop was most memorable to me because I studied business in university and graduated with a minor in economics. As it happens, one of the most well known figures in that world is Adam Smith, the man, the legend really who wrote The Wealth of Nations. Adam Smith is also responsible for the “invisible hand” theory which explains how free markets work. His final resting place is in the cemetery and it was a nice surprise as he is arguably one of the most influential minds ever in the arena of economics.
A food and walking tour wouldn’t be complete in Scotland without sampling some whisky, would it? We stopped in a shop called Cadenhead’s which is Scotland’s oldest independent bottler, established in 1842. There we tried some whisky, were given a small sample to enjoy at a later date and learned a little about the whole process. This was a great preamble to the Scotch Whisky Experience which was coming a few hours later. On the topic of drinking, we also stopped in at The Holyrood 9A and tried some different beers and cheeses to end the tour but not before my favourite part, which was a stop at spot called Hemma.
The stop at Hemma was the highlight of the tour for me and we had a smorgasbord of Scottish foods, all of them tasting great. I’m a huge fan of salmon and I also love different types of mayonnaise rich salads so this stop was a huge hit for me. The ham was also great but it was the fish which stole the show. Of the fish, I tried the herring which was something I was a little leery of from the onset. Let’s be serious though, part of the fun of traveling is trying new things and coming home with an expanded mind and palate, yes? The herring was actually delicious and I found myself having more of it before the meal ended. Let this be a quick reminder to try new things as much as possible when traveling; you’ll never find new favourites if you don’t.
That basically sums up the tour and I know I can speak for everyone with us when I say it was good fun. The tour we took lasted most of the morning but there are other types of tours and all sorts of other stops one can make. I think the tour we took was perfectly timed because it kept us very pleasantly engaged for an entire morning and left us feeling full and satisfied. A possible combo for you to do is the tour and when you’re finished, go straight to to The Scotch Whisky Experience and perhaps even explore the Edinburgh Castle afterwards…
In closing, I’d like to thank the fine people at Visit Scotland for their hospitality; it was appreciated.