Tuesday, October 01, 2019

This Week's MENU. MENU's UK Adventure. From Cape Town via Dubai to Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the city from its hill top vantage point

Five and a half weeks seems a long time to be away from home. Looking back on it, the time seems to have gone by in a flash with many wonderful memories of an adventure in which we visited some old haunts and saw many places which were new to us. We visited old friends and family and, towards the end of the journey, visited two South African owned wine estates which are being developed in Sussex. We have many stories to tell and will publish them over the next weeks, interspersed with our reports of current events. We thank our loyal subscribers for their patience; travelling 3700 kilometres, editing 3800 photographs and enjoying many adventures takes time and effort and we could not do all these things and work on MENU. We hope you will enjoy reliving the experience with us. We start this week with three stories about travelling to and enjoying time in Edinburgh

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MENU's UK Adventure 1. From Cape Town via Dubai to Edinburgh

We love travel but, sadly, flying is not the best part. Financial constraints mean looking for the cheapest flight, so we went the long way round with Emirates via Dubai to Gatwick for the start of this year's adventure in England and Scotland. Because John needs a visa, which takes time, it precludes getting any cheap flights early on in the year, which is a major setback. Lynne was born in London, but we had not been back since 2004. And family and friends there are, like us, getting older, so it was now or never…

MENU's UK Adventure 2. Days and nights in Edinburgh

A day in beautiful Edinburgh with soft weather (rain) on and off all day. It started to rain, quite hard, while we were in Prince's Street, so we bought ponchos, expecting to need them at the Tattoo that evening but, as soon as we opened one the rain stopped, never to return - it’s called Sod’s Law…

MENU's UK Adventure 3. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

One of the main reasons we came to Scotland, and to Edinburgh in particular, besides family connections, was to treat John to the famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo, held every August (2nd to 24th August 2019), during the Edinburgh festival. John was a Piper in his school band and we both love the sound of a pipe band. This delivers them en masse. Lynne has been twice in the past and it is one of those very special memorable events. You book tickets on line and we managed to get a night in the last week. The walk up to the castle from our AirBnB apartment was a fairly easy 20 minute stroll uphill, through this beautiful ancient city that has managed to preserve so much. This is where you become part of the gathering crowd all going the same way…

On the MENU this week. Venison Pie

With the strange weather we are having at the moment – from a major heat wave (in September?) to a terrifying gale with rain, it’s quite difficult to plan meals. This is when Lynne dives into our freezer to see what we have. This time she came up with some cubed venison (Springbok) and some good, frozen flaky pastry…

MENU’s Wine of the Week. Leopard’s Leap Culinaria Chenin blanc 2015

Leopard’s Leap is in Franschhoek, but they source many of their grapes from other areas. This lovely Chenin was made with grapes from the Voor Paardeberg, home of so many excellent Chenin blanc producers. It has, as you can see, a lovely rich, golden colour…

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