|Image: Jeff Meade|
All things being equal yesterday was a fine day, and as far as wedding anniversaries go it was one of the best.
After a lovely lie in, the likes of which I have not enjoyed for many months, I arose for a somewhat lazy afternoon. I breezed through coffee and spent most of my day tidying up and organising because with all my book fest events this week, I will not be at home for much of the time to get anything else done.
It felt great slipping on my suit to give it its first outing. I think Gail was very impressed—sometimes it’s hard to tell—but with her in her little black number we looked quite the pair as we trooped out to our waiting taxi in the warm air of an early evening.
We got dropped off on the Royal Mile and went for a couple of drinks in the Bank Pub before walking up to the restaurant. It was still busy with street performers for the Fringe and we had to navigate several crowds that had gathered. Not good if you are in high heels on the cobbles apparently.
I’m not sure quite what I was expecting from The Witchery, but whatever it was, it didn’t disappoint. We were led downstairs by the manager into The Secret Dining Room. With the sun setting outside it made for a lovely venue for dining by candle light, and a very suitable venue for a romantic anniversary dinner.
As for the food, well, there can be no complaints there. I can’t remember the full names of the menu listings I chose, but basically I started off with Ballotine of Rabbit with king prawn, peas and cream—yes, I know, I ate rabbit! For my main I chose the Borders lamb with ratatouille, broccoli, and some other fancy things, the names of which is now lost on me. For dessert I had the Honey parfait with strawberries. All of this was washed down with a fine bottle of Chianti, the smoothness of which I’ve not had since I was in Rome last year.
As classy evenings go it was right up there and worth every penny. To be honest, though, it’s a bit too posh for me to go there often, because while I enjoy getting dressed up for dinner, I felt under pressure to know what I was doing. I was brought up just outside Paisley, a far cry from where I dined last night, and on occasion I felt it.
For instance, I never realised Ballotine of Rabbit came with a king prawn and I told the waiter he had brought me the wrong dish. Eating the prawn was just as scary, as I nearly lost the damn thing off my plate several times as I tried to prise it open with my fork. Still, it was all a good laugh once the wine relaxed me.
Tonight I have two book festival events to look forward to. First, I will be going to see Iain Banks, the Fife author of considerable acclaim and always enjoyable to listen to. Then later on in the evening I will be attending an event with Falkirk author, Alan Bissett and with him, Ewan Morrison.
In between or around both of those events I’m hoping to catch up with a writer pal of mine, who I’ve not seen since last year’s festival. It promises to be another good evening!