Eurotrip 2019 - Scottish Food, Part 2
We left Wick pretty early, and decided to skip breakfast and just get something along our drive when it seemed right. And boy am I glad we decided to do this. As we were driving, we saw a sign for a coffee shop, and (because I’m me and I’m addicted to coffee) we decided to stop. It ended up being Coast Coffee, Tea & Treats, the cutest little coffee truck in the most idyllic spot you could imagine. The owner lived right down the road and had chickens and donkeys on her property. We each got a drink (coffee for me, breakfast tea for Nathaniel), and a scone (more like a biscuit than what an American scone is) with butter, jelly and cream. We got in the car again, and continued on our way. Not too far down the road, there was the perfect little spot to pull off with a picnic table and a view of the sea over a cliff.
For the rest of the day, we just munched on snack food we got at the rest stops, and decided to do a nice dinner on Skye once we got there. Nathaniel did some research and found a place called the Old School Restaurant. As you might have guessed, the building used to be a school! We drove there before heading to our hotel, because we wanted to see if they needed us to make a reservation, which we did! We made a reservation for a couple hours from then, giving us time to check into our hotel (and have a beer to unwind from the drive).
Finally, though, it was time for dinner. This restaurant is super cute and has a good Scottish menu, but with a more modern twist. We each got a cocktail, had a couple fresh rolls of bread, and we split mussels and haggis as appetizers. Yes, I ate haggis (I WAS in Scotland, after all!) and it was delicious. For our mains, we got lamb shank and a fish of some sort (I forget the type of fish, but it was served with cherry tomatoes and watermelon! Very interesting combo!). Each came with a side so we got truffle potatoes and a cauliflower gratin. This was the best meal of our trip and we will absolutely come here again the next time we visit.
The next morning we had breakfast at our hotel (it was a nice traditional Scottish breakfast that was included in the price), plus we had a lovely view of the water.
We survived on car snacks until we got to Glasgow that evening. We decided to check out Mother India, because Anthony Bourdain loved it. We made reservations online - again, there seems to be a weird NEED for reservations everywhere in Scotland - doesn’t seem like any place accepts walk-ins. Their gin and tonic menu was fun - you get to choose a gin, tonic and garnish. We had a prawn appetizer, and then had a stew and butter chicken - all with naan, of course, and it was delicious. However, it took FOREVER for us to get our food. We ended up not getting our entrees until the table next to us (which came in just after we did) had already paid. We were ignored most of the time, and no one even made any sort of apology or provided any excuse for the poor service. It was extremely frustrating as we were SUPER hungry since we hadn’t eaten a real meal since breakfast. I’m guessing it was just a fluke (since the table next to us got in and out nice and quick), but I was unimpressed with the lack of caring from the wait staff. So many times people would walk right by us (including someone who looked like a manager), but pay attention to the surrounding tables. The food was great (and bountiful - we could have just split one of the entrees), and I’m glad we had some good Indian food while in the UK, but it’s hard to say if I’d go back again because of the terrible service, and the lack of any worker caring about it.
The next morning we slept in - I woke up to a pastry and coffee Nathaniel brought up from Cafe Nero (another European coffee chain). We explored the city for a while and then decided to grab a bite to eat in a pub where we could watch some soccer. We went to Drop, and got some local beer and cider that we’re on tap. We split some fish and chips and sweet potato fries, and while it might not have been the most gourmet option, it was tasty for pub food, plus I got to try some yummy cider!
For dinner we decided to first stop by the restaurant in our hotel, Tempus, for a drink and an appetizer because the menu was posted in the elevator and they had an interesting scallop appetizer listed. It came breaded and baked in the shell and the waiter who brought it to us opened it for us at the table. It was definitely the most interesting presentation of scallops we had!
For dinner, we headed to Rogano, an oyster bar that Anthony Bourdain went to (we do like trying to go a few places he went on his shows). We were excited to get more oysters, but they were OUT! We couldn’t believe it - how can an oyster bar be out of oysters?? We decided to stay, though, because it was our last night in Glasgow, and we wanted to try the food there. Hopefully we’ll get to go again soon and they’ll have plenty for us. They brought a small amuse-bouche of smoked salmon on a cracker with some cheese (is this the Scottish version of lox on a bagel?), and we split a bottle of white wine. For our mains we got scallops and lobster thermador. The scallops were amazing, and the lobster thermador was tasty, but a very different lobster dish than I’d ever had. It was a half a lobster smothered in cheese, which seemed weird until I remembered how yummy lobster is in mac & cheese. We got a two desserts - something delicious with blueberries and lavender meringue, and a chocolate mouse with honeycomb. Then we got some espresso, and little did we know that it came with a few chocolate truffles! This restaurant was a lot of fun, and our waiter was very friendly - we chatted about where we were from, and he was SO excited that we’re from Boulder because his favorite runner lives in Boulder. I hope he gets to visit someday and meet his idol! Service-wise, this was a much better experience than the night before and a great note to end the trip on.
The next morning we grabbed pastries and coffee below our hotel at Gordon St. Coffee, then headed to the airport. At the airport we had a little time to kill so we split a Scottish breakfast before getting on our plane.
This trip was incredible, and I am kind of surprised (but also very happy) to say that all three of our favorite meals were in Scotland. We try to be adventurous eaters in general, and we love the opportunity traveling gives us to try new things.
I cannot wait to go back to Scotland 💜