9 Jul 2009

How to be Swedish in Scotland

When the day arrives that you visit Edinburgh (and that day will arrive, lest you be haunted by these cobbled streets and gorgeous stones forever), then you should chose a bright afternoon to walk down to The Meadows.

If you take aim from George IV Bridge, that means that just before you arrive at the wide, beautiful park with its tree-lined paths, you will see a take-away coffee cart. Ignore the take-away coffee cart. Then you will see a Starbucks. Definitely ignore the Starbucks. Just a little further and there you will be, at Peter's Yard, one of the finest bakeries in the city.

Everything here is just so...good. The food, even the coffee, seems to have been crafted. Here the spirit of culinary alchemy is alive and well, and deserving of your affections.

I have not tried everything they have to offer, but I can, with lurching sensual desire, recommend the chocolate mousse.
On a fine day this is one of the best places in Edinburgh to sit outside and watch the people wander or cycle past. On a rainy day, the open, light space inside the cafe will hold you in warmth for hours. Glance up from your book to let your eyes peruse the shelf of single-source chocolate, then reach slowly for the bowl-like mug that holds your cooling mocha. Your fork punches through flaky pastry, through poached pear and into almond paste. Your mouth becomes a hammock for a commune of flavours.A lingering afternoon visit to Peter's Yard will (and I say this with the utmost confidence, built from intimate knowledge) precede several hours of faraway glances, crooked grins and languid, contented sighs. So when you visit Edinburgh, which you know you will, you should chose a bright day and take a walk down to The Meadows. Just make sure you call me first...

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