August was a bit crazy: between Fringe Festival madness, job interviews, munro bagging, hosting friends from London and several Homestay guests, I felt like I barely had a single moment of down time the entire month. It was an awesome month overall, but I was exhausted by the end, and fairly relieved to see the start of September.
What I’ve been up to
Fringe Festival-ing. August is one of my favourite months in Edinburgh; the buzz and energy that comes with the Fringe Festival is like nothing else, and I love having the world’s largest arts festival on my doorstep. I wasn’t able to see as many shows as last year, but the handful I did see were fantastic.
Climbing Ben Nevis. It’s no Everest by any means, but standing at the top of the highest mountain in the UK was a satisfying feeling. I really lucked out in terms of weather, with glaring sunshine throughout the ascent, and beautiful views amongst thick patches of fog at the summit.
Exploring new (and familiar) corners of Scotland. After climbing Ben Nevis, I crashed at a nearby bed & breakfast in Fort William – a small town in the Highlands, set on the banks of Loch Linnhe. The following day, I drove through Glencoe – one of the most scenic (and one of my absolute favourite) spots in Scotland – on the way back to Edinburgh.
I also spent a lovely day in North Berwick, a seaside village situated an hour outside of Edinburgh. Apart from a leisurely walk to the top of Berwick Law to admire the panoramic views, I spent most of the day meandering along the beach, and sampled some of North Berwick’s best food and drink. Artisan coffee from Steampunk and fresh seafood from The Lobster Shack were a few foodie highlights from my visit.
What I’ve been Eating
Fringe Festival pop-up restaurants and food stalls dominated my meals this month. A few of the best things I ate from Fringe eateries include arepas from Orinoco, creamy crab tagliatelle from The Gardener’s Cottage, and classic creme brûlée from Crema Caravan. The arepas – a Latin American dish consisting of a grilled cornmeal patty stuffed with various ingredients – is a standout dish from August. The patty was crisp and golden, filled with syrupy-sweet plantains and a heaping portion of melted mozzarella cheese. It was a crunchy, starchy pocket of deliciousness – overflowing with melted cheese, sweet and savoury flavours intermingling perfectly.
The Outsider is one of my new favourite restaurants in Edinburgh. Not only is the location fantastic (the far windows provide a stunning view of the castle), but the food is also excellent. I had a beautifully cooked fillet of hake alongside the most delicious crispy rosemary gnocchi, which I’m still dreaming about. (Confession: I returned to the restaurant shortly after first visiting solely to have the crispy rosemary gnocchi again, but they were sold out that particular day. And now I see it’s no longer on the menu.. #devastated.)
Another great find this month was Café St Honoré – a cozy bistro-style restaurant with a focus on organic, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. The daily-changing menu is brimming with local produce – a variety of which is delivered fresh each morning. My dish of pan-fried coley on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes and greens was delicious, and incredibly fresh.
What did you get up to in August?