Posts Tagged ‘Edinburgh’

The Cafe Royal, 19 West Register Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

I recently met up with a delightful clowder of Cats: some other authors whose books are also published by Crooked Cat Books. We got together at The Cafe Royal, 19 West Register Street, Edinburgh, Scotland.Cafe Royal

It was years since I had been to The Cafe Royal and I had forgotten what a popular, busy pub it is. Hidden away around the corner at the East end of Prince’s Street, it is a gem. The décor is fabulous: Victorian & Baroque, stained glass windows in the Oyster Bar and Royal Doulton ceramic tiles. The staff were friendly and attentive. The wide choice of beers and whiskys is legendary.  cafe royal inAfter we had drunk our publisher dry, but not under the table, we all ordered meals and the food was excellent. Our main courses ranged from fish to risotto, steak pie. All the choices were much enjoyed and all were very reasonably priced.

Cafe royal outWhen we arrived about 3pm the bar was quite empty: by the time we left to find a different watering hole some five hours later, The Cafe Royal was back to being the bustling bar I remembered from years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to The Cafe Royal. The company, the food and the drinks were all excellent, so whether you are looking for a pub to watch a rugby match or a restaurant to enjoy a meal with friends, I highly recommend Edinburgh’s Cafe Royal.

Val Penny


The Apartment, 7-13 Barclay Place, Edinburgh, Scotland

My husband, my mother and I recently went to The Apartment, 7-13 Barclay Place, Edinburgh, Scotland for a celebration lunch together. My husband was treating us to celebrate a successful year which saw my debut crime novel, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ published by Crooked Cat Books with a launch date of 02.02.2018. ‘Hunter’s Chase’ is dedicated to my mother. The story is set in Edinburgh and two of the main characters live in Gillespie Crescent, just opposite The Apartment.Hunter's Chase book cover (1)

Although there were only three of us, we are not an easy group to cater for. Mum uses a wheelchair. Unfortunately for her, I am not the best wheelchair driver on the planet, but she is very gracious. Access was easy.  I am vegetarian while my husband and mother are confirmed omnivores.

We had booked a table and the staff were very helpful and kind. We were able to choose between two tables and opted for the one nearest the window. We decided against alcohol in the middle of the day, but we all had different drinks. Mum had a diet coke, I chose a soda water and lime while my husband asked for a ginger beer.The Apartment Outside

Mum did not have a starter, but my husband chose the traditional Scotch Broth soup. I went for the pear, blue cheese and walnut salad. We were both delighted with our choices. The menu is not huge, but it is a carefully chosen mix of meats, fish and vegetarian dishes to suit all tastes. I always feel pleased when I have genuine choices: at The Apartment, I did.

The omnivores both chose the rib-eye steaks for their main courses. Mum requested hers be cooked ‘medium’ while my husband wanted his ‘medium rare’. Apparently both were perfectly cooked. They both seemed to enjoy their main courses. My husband’s only complaint was that there was parmasan cheese on his salad. He believes this to be the cheese of the devil! I chose a halloumi, sweet potato and pepper skewer for my main course. It was served with a beetroot coleslaw, green salad and another side. I chose fires. The beetroot coleslaw sounds strange, but tastes delicious. I highly recommend it.The Apartment Food

Neither Mum nor I could manage a pudding, we shared a plate of truffles. They were tiny but tasty. A delicious end to the meal with a fine coffee. My husband chose the chocolate brownie. This was served warm with a bitter fruit couli cutting the sweetness of the chocolate and a fine vanilla icecream. My husband is very fussy about his coffee, but not even he could find anything to complain about with his Americano.

The service was flawless. This was a first visit to The Apartment for all of us, but we thoroughly enjoyed it, so it will certainly not be our last.

‘Hunter’s Chase’ is available to order from Amazon.

Val Penny

Hunter's Chase banner





The Canny Man’s 237 Morningside Rd, Edinburgh, Scotland

canny man's 1 imagesOn a recent visit to Edinburgh, my daughter took me to the Canny Man’s Pub and Restaurant so that we could celebrate the forthcoming publication of my debut novel, Hunter’s Chase, by Crooked Cat Books. The Canny Man’s pub in Morningside is an Edinburgh institution established in 1871 and passed down through generations of the Kerr family. It is a free house therefore it has no connection with any brewery and only sells the best of each brewers produce.

We found a discreet table in a snug so that we could chat. There are lots of little nookscanny man's 2 and crannies in this old building. This small family run bar and restaurant in Edinburgh has catered to many dignitaries and celebrities over the years. With celebrated seafood chef Rick Stein calling the Canny Man’s “the best pub in the world”. We both ordered gin and slims and each of us had our preffered make of gin the snacks served with alcoholic drinks are complimentary and attention to detail here is second to none. There is even a free of charge buffet that runs Mon-Thurs 5-6pm!

canny man's bar-banner-3My daughter and I sat in the main bar it holds an impressive selection of over 250 whiskies and has seen no change in over half a decade. But there is another bar in the back of the premises is referred to as the ‘back bar’ or ‘lounge bar’, this is a great alternative to the main bar to ensure you will always be served. The Canny Man’s has good disabled access.canny man's restaurant-banner

The restaurant seating in the Canny Man’s is quirky, eclectic and deceivingly big. Dining tables can be found throughout the pub and there are certainly some very sought after seats available, including the Winston Churchill Room. The restaurant offers a selection of menus using fresh, local produce including a variety of tasty open sandwiches .

canny man's lounge-img1The Canny Man’s Bar and Restaurant is a little slice of Edinburgh that I highly recommend to you on your next visit to the City.

Valerie Penny

The Booking Office, 17 Waverley Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland

The Booking Office Waverley BridgeOn a recent visit to Edinburgh, I took the opportunity of meeting up with friends I have known since we counted our age in single figures. That is far longer than any of us need admit to. We needed somewhere central so that everybody could get there easily. As I was getting a train out of the city about 5pm, we chose The Booking Office which is a Wetherspoons bar and bistro near the Waverley Station, the main railway station in Edinburgh, Scotland.The Booking Office out

We met in the mid afternoon, and I thought the place would be relatively quiet. How wrong I was! As The Booking Office is so very near the station, it was extrememly busy. We did manage to get a table, but only because we grabbed it when other people left. However, the bar was well staffed. People ordered hot and cold drinks as well as food at the bar and an army of staff were kept busy serving the drinks at the bar and delivering the food to the tables.

The Booking Office in 2The Booking Office had a lively atmosphere and, as it was so busy, tables would have benefitted from being cleaned more frequently and more thoroughly. This was true of the restrooms too. However, there is good disabled access and service was quick. I was not particularly impressed by The Booking Office, however, as it is so inexpensive and conveniently situated, I may well use it again.

Valerie Penny

Imperial Palace, 36 Inglis Green Road, Edinburgh, Scotland

Imperial palace outIt was important to find a good restaurant for Mother’s Day. There were various requirements: Mother had to like the food, that excluded Indian, Italian and Mexican restaurants, so Chinese it is. The restaurant had to allow wheel chair access: that ruled out restaurants Kowloon, Rendezvous and Lune Town (reviewed on this site 16 December 2013). However, step forward the Imperial Palace. Imperial Palace inside

The Imperial Palace, 36 Inglis Green Road, Edinburgh, Scotland is very close to one of the main Chinese Supermarkets in Edinburgh and is well frequented by patrons of Chinese heritage. The menu at the Imperial Palace is extensive and interesting. Many of the traditional classic dishes you would espect from a Chinese restaurant sit comfortably beside more unusual offerings including Chicken Feet in Black Bean Sauce and Tofu and Fresh Fish Head Soup Garnished with Colianders.

imperial palace foodWe were a party of five, Mum, my sister and I and ours husbands. We chose a variety of starters. Mum went with chicken wings, my husband with spare ribs and the rest of us chose vegetarian spring rolls. They were all delicious. Our main courses included Mum’s favourite, sweet and sour pork with egg fried rice, my tofu and vegetables with black bean sauce, my husband’s cantonese style duck and my sister and brother-in-law went with special fried rice, deep fried aubergine,  Singapore Thin Egg Noodles and Mixed Vegetable with Pickled Ginger and Pineapple. We all enjoyed our meals very much. The boys managed desert and my mother was encouraged to a little ice cream.imperial palace food 2

The Imperial Palace allows easy wheelchair access. The table we had was round, giving easy opportunity for everyone to chat. The staff are attentive but not intrusive and there is ample parking nearby. We all had a delicious meal at the Imperial Palace and will certainly use this restaurant again.

Valerie Penny

Olly Bongo’s, 4 Teviot Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 2QZ

christineI met a friend for lunch recently. She works at The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland and suggested that we meet near her work so that I could catch up with her during her lunch break. As I was not familiar with the area, she chose Olly Bongo’s. We were greeted by a friendly waitress on arrival, who gave us a choice of seats. I like getting the option rather than being told where to sit, so that was a good start. The decor was nice with a Mediterranean feel and posters advertising music nights.

We ordered our drinks quickly, but took time choosing lunch from the varied menu. I chose a spinach, tomato and mezzefeta cheese bruchetta while my friend chose a mezze. When our meals arrived, I was amazed by the size of the portions. Our meals were enormous and delicious. The food was freshly prepared and served with a side salad by polite and attentive staff. I certainly could not finish my meal. The portion was so big. However, I did enjoy it very much and my friend finished every crumb. I subsequently discovered that she is such a regular customer she qualifies for a discount!

Access to Olly Bongo’s is easy for those with mobility issues and the cafe is spotlessly clean. We finished our lunch with tea and coffee. Again, it was freshly brewed and outsideserved with individual pots. I had never heard of Olly Bongo’s, but, for the price, it was a real bargain.  This inconspicuous little cafe on the corner of Teviot Place is one of Edinburgh’s fun and quirky places to sit down, have a chat and enjoy a great plate of food. You could easily walk right past it as it does not look like much from the outside. However, if you step through the doors you will get a different impression entirely. I highly recommend Olly Bongo’s.

Valerie Penny


Jimmy Chung’s Chinese Buffet, 17 Waverley Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1BQ

jcJimmy Chung’s is a restaurant in Edinburgh that provides affordable buffet dining experience for friends and family to enjoy Asian cuisine in Scotland. Jimmy Chung’s have Chinese Buffet Restaurants in Edinburgh, Dundee, Stirling, Inverness in Scotland, and Dublin, Ireland. My friend and I met for lunch at the branch on Waverley Bridge in Edinburgh.

The restaurant offers a buffet meal at a set price for lunch or dinner. Young children are charged a reduced price of £3.00. The restaurant claims to pffer an authentic Chinese cuisine experience presented in a buffet style. It is certainly a buffet, but I have visited China on buffet 2several occasions, and do not consider this authentic Chinese cooking. However, it is very tasty.

Upon arrival, we waited for a member of staff to show us to our table. We ordered drinks. (Of course, these are charged in addition to the meal.) My friend and I were then free to help ourselves to the wide variety of buffet food. I am vegetarian and, even for me there were plenty of choices for buffetboth starters and main courses. I started with a selection of vegetarian spring rolls and onion rings while my friend chose some chicken wings and chicken spring rolls. For main course I have noodles, bean sprouts and steamed vegetables while my friend had sweet and sour pork with rice as we helped ourselves from the delicious starters and main courses. I admit, as it is a buffet, we did go back for more! I then finished buffet 3off my meal from Jimmy Chung’s selection of cakes, jellies and icecreams. There was nothing very Chinese about the puddings. friend did not have any room left, but we did both manage a Chinese tea. I was slightly disappointed that this came from teabags.

However, we both enjoyed a tasty lunch and the service was courteous and attentive. I will certainly be back to Jimmy Chung’s. The meal was very reasonable as, including drinks, it was less than £15.00 a head.

Valerie Penny