Confession time folks: I am not one of those super-organised people with a proper plan for Edinburgh Fringe every summer, with lists of shows to see and events to go to. As far as my diary goes this month, I have Foodies tomorrow, a couple of exhibitions at my gallery Flamingosaurus Rex, maybe a gig or two…and that’s it. My lovely friend Terry is visiting at the moment, so we’ve been having a good old wander around the city aided by some semi-consistent caffeination, interspersed with episodes of Gilmore Girls, dog cuddling, and eating ALL the vegan food in sight.
This is basically my ideal way to spend August.
Now I love having vegan friends come to visit, as I get to take them out to my favourite restaurants and stuff our faces with endless plant-based goodies. Especially Terry. I have ben so excited to finally meet her for MONTHS. We’ve been friends for awhile now, but we finally met for the first time on Monday night when she arrived Chez Rhod. Rhod is my dog (or I am his human), and he ever-so-kindly lets me live here in exchange for food and belly rubs. Both him and the cat have been vying for Terry’s attention since she arrived, and she is now covered in a fine layer of pet hair to protect her from the elements.
I can’t really write about what shows I think y’all should go see, because I haven’t booked any tickets or even cracked open a Fringe Guide this year. Yeah I suck as a tour guide. YOU tell ME what I should go see, and I’ll tell you what I think you should eat. Deal?
First up was Moon and Hare on Tuesday “morning”. We were a bit hungover after a few glasses *cough cough three bottles* of wine on Monday evening, followed by a rather wonky midnight dog walk that I imagine was just as confusing for poor pooch as it was for us. Caffeine was needed, and it came in the form of an iced matcha latte that I downed in 3 seconds flat. I continued with the green theme with one of their Green Goddess smoothies (spinach, apple, ginger, coriander, cucumber, and lemon), which is the perfect cure for a fuzzy, wine-induced head.
This was followed by a toasted wrap filled with spiced tofu scramble, roasted potatoes and fresh tomatoes. It was freaking delicious. Whoever the genius was who came up with roasted potatoes in a wrap, I applaud you. I am in love with this wee cafe, and the fact it’s within a stone’s throw of my gallery just makes everything that little bit sweeter.
We went for a wander into town to hit the Lush shop on Princes Street, which was on Terry’s list of places she wanted to visit in Edinburgh. Which is pretty close to Henderson’s Vegan. Can you be a vegan visitor to our fair city and NOT visit this place? No, no you can’t. It’s not possible. It’s my go-to place to meet meat-free friends for food, and they’ve got a new lunch menu up that is every bit as tasty and tempting as their last one. We were just popping in for a caffeine hit, so it was more a soup and salad stop than a full meal.
Can we talk about this salad please? Strawberry and spinach with basil, red onion and toasted pecans, with a balsamic vinaigrette. If all salads tasted like this I would eat salads more often. Or, you now, ever. It’s basically summer, on a plate. The only thing that would make this MORE summery is if they garnished it with a giant sunflower, no word of a lie. Oh, and adding dill to the leek and potato soup? Oh my god. YES.
Wednesday was Charity Shop Day, and we had a rummage in every thrift shop between Bruntsfield to Morningside. Every. Single. One. I swear about 80% of my worldly possessions come from one of these shops, and we came home with bags and bags of second-hand treasures. I even managed to find a wee vintage briefcase to hold records in, which was my favourite buy of the day. That all culminated in a wander to Stockbridge for a late lunch at Nova Pizza, which is again an essential on every vegan foodie tour of Edinburgh. Slice of vegan pizza? Yes please. Oh and let’s not forget my first try of the spaghetti all’amatriciana with Sgaia’s smoked Mheat and dairy-free parmesan. This might just be my new favourite pasta dish.
Yesterday we spent the morning at our friend Rachel’s home, hanging out with her beautiful family and taking part in one of her Creative Writing Workshops for young people. This was followed by – you guessed it – lunch at Henderson’s at Canonmills. I had the Thai bean patty with coconut, pasta salad, and rice with tamari. The total star of that meal was the vegan jelly doughnut though, which I started having lustful, hungry thoughts about as soon as I spied the tray of them at the counter. VEGAN. JELLY. DOUGHNUT. I could eat a hundred of these and never be bored of them. In fact, could we arrange to have these delivered to me every morning, because I seriously think these would improve my quality of life.
Stuffed full of wonderful food, we spent the rest of the afternoon at the Scottish Poetry Library. Which was pretty much the perfect ending to such an awesome day. This is how you do stress-free Edinburgh Fringe, folks.
10/10 would recommend. Good food and great company saves lives, people.