I hope those celebrating Thanksgiving had a good one. This year Nick and I celebrated by going on a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. It wasn’t about eating a plant-based version of Thanksgiving, although we did use Thanksgiving as an excuse to binge eat on this trip. Our eating adventures were fun, but we equally enjoyed exploring Edinburg as well and appreciated the relaxing holiday. Below, I share only the highlights of each day.
We got up well before dawn to catch a train from King’s Cross Station to Edinburgh Waverley. Four hours later we arrived in the capital city of Scotland and ate lunch before doing some heavy sightseeing.
Lunch at Pumpkin Brown
This all organic, vegan cafe in Grassmarket serves both raw and cooked dishes. This was one of our favorite spots, and we returned here several times during our stay because it was conveniently close to our hotel.
Nick had their hot-dish-of-the-day, which was a Vegetable Bolognese over red rice. He enjoyed it very much, but the portion was small.
I had the Fiery Pumpkin Salad: pumpkins, chickpeas, puy lentils, raw kale, pumpkin seeds with a vinegar dressing. I paired this with the soup-of-the-day, which was Sweet Potato Coconut Chili. Both dishes were extremely delicious.
Edinburgh Christmas Market
The market is small, but full of Christmas spirits. This was the last thing we did before heading off for dinner.
The highlights on day two were exploring Edinburgh Castle and eating dinner at the vegan restaurant, Henderson’s Bistro.
Bruntsfield neighborhood showed us a more residential side to Edinburgh, away from the touristy section. We came here for lunch at Moon and Hare, another favorite spot of ours, which I will be sharing later.
We noticed the sunset here lasts a lot longer because it’s further north, and daylight is shorter than what we’re used to. We were lucky to have sun the entire time during the trip, even though it was really cold. Another thing we noted was that the sun was always at eye level because of where Edinburgh is positioned to the sun. It makes us wonder about other places that are even further north, like Iceland where daylight is only about 2 or 3 hours long at this time.
We were surprised by Edinburgh’s vegan options. What they have are such decent selections, and Henderson’s Bistro is another favorite of ours that is all vegan and organic. Dinner here was fantastic and we tried going back another night, but it was so booked that we couldn’t get in. Nevertheless, we were happy to have tried Henderson’s. The service is exceptional, and the food was superb and of good quality.
Nick and I ordered the same thing for our three-course meal. Everything we had was so tasty. For starters we had the soup off the special menu: Carrot Coconut Chili. The flavor was amazing — so delicious, and the chili flavor was strong and a nice touch.
Our main dish was a vegan version of Scotland’s national dish: Haggis, a savory pudding. Even before our vegan days, we wouldn’t have tried haggis. The vegan version definitely is more appealing, as the traditional dish is made in sheep’s stomach, containing heart, liver and lungs, minced with onion, oats, spices and salt, and mixed with stock. The dish is usually enjoyed with mashed neeps and potatoes. The plant-based version we had was made up of pulses, beans, oats, onion, mushrooms, and spices, and served with mashed roots and red wine gravy. The dish was very tasty and hearty. I came close to finishing it but couldn’t. I had to make room for the best part, which was their special dessert that evening: Carrot Cake.
The carrot cake was very scrumptious. We enjoyed it very much and paired it with vanilla ice cream. Nick even added coconut whipped cream to his, which made it extra decadent.
We both stuffed ourselves and enjoyed our dinner at Henderson’s very much. I’d highly recommend a visit for everyone when visiting Edinburgh!