We arrived nice and early to Edinburgh Castle, which opens at 9.30am. Already there were long queue already! Tickets are a little expensive (£16.50 for an adult ticket) but this is a must see attraction if you visit the city. There is the option of the audio tour for a little extra cost, but we chose to go on the free guided tour. Our tour guide, Liz, was a friendly and knowledgeable guide who took the group around the key highlights of the castle grounds and their historical backgrounds.The tour took about 30 minutes, after which we perused the castle at our own leisure.
There is so much history encapsulated in Edinburgh Castle. St Margaret’s Chapel is the oldest building in the city, built in honour of one of the Scottish royals’ wives. She was famed for her benevolence and generosity, always seeking to make sure the poorer people were well fed and clothed. After her death, she was made a saint.
The War Monument contains books dedicated to those who fought bravely in battle, and the war and regimental museums provide an insight into what conditions were like. The castle also features a pet cemetery for soldiers’ pets, which I thought was quite interesting. It places quite a big importance on animals and their relationship to the soldiers.
There is also opportunity to view the military prisons, a chance to see the Scottish crown jewels and so much more – I couldn’t possibly fit everything in! There is too much to see!
Edinburgh Castle is a large part of the city’s history but it is still hugely important to this day. Some of the buildings are used for military meetings.
Nearby is Castle Terrace Restaurant, which we visited for lunch. We selected the 3 course lunch set menu at £29.50, which for Michelin starred dining is fantastic value!
Also included was an amuse bouche – three things to sample on one dish: black pepper pork, mini hamburger and a “Caesar salad”. This was followed by a pre-starter of jelly and tomato gazpacho with a black olive cracker on the side.
For starter, I ate the ham hock trifle: ham underneath a pea puree topped off with savoury ice cream and a crisp.
For main course, I chose the free-range chicken with chicken ravioli, a buttery sauce and summer vegetables.
Dessert was the Eton mess, very unusual compared to a normal Eton mess. The components are there, just re-imagined in a different way. A new addition is the sesame seed casing around the cream.
Although not included, I had a Breakfast tea (from the Eteaket range, which I spoke about previously). Alongside my tea, a selection of sweet treats were included – a praline macaroon, salted caramel chocolate and carrot cake.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The service was excellent and the food was fantastic. It was beautifully presented and the flavour combinations worked very well. Food for the eyes and the stomach!