What’s the Haps in Edinburgh


While Cath has been entertaining you with lovely fashion in Atlanta, Matt and I have been desperately trying to soak up the wee bit of sun coming our way in what is known as Scottish summer: a slight breeze, just above 60 degrees — and that’s as hot as it gets all year round. Interspersed between these “hot” days is the usual weather: 38-50 degrees, windy, mostly cloudy and sometimes rainy.

But one way Matt and I are coping with this mostly-winter-all-year-round business is by embracing all things that make rainy, dark-skied living bearable: becoming members of the Scottish Malt Whisky Society (oolala), dragging our visitors around town and reminding ourselves how beautiful ole Edinburgh is, and eating good food.


Last month Matt became an official member of the Scottish Malt Whisky Society. How do you become a member, you ask? Love whisky and hand over some  moola, et voila! Not only do you get exclusive rights to sit in the Society’s leather-chaired club rooms around the city, you also get to swirl more drams of whisky (sniff, sniff, glug, glug) and pretend you taste all the 32 different notes you are supposed to taste in each cask.


whisky-smws   asiancajuns-whisky

These days I’m not actually tippling (the above photo is all a farce! deep sigh) but I still love going with Matt to the whisky rooms. The arm chairs are so comfy, I love the smell of whisky (and think you can get tipsy after a few deep inhales of this 60% cask strength dram) and you get to read all the descriptions and tips for how to drink the stuff. The text is all a bit tongue-and-cheek (or at least, I think it’s supposed to be!). Here’s one suggestion for a whisky from the peaty regions of Scotland:


And here are some of the descriptors I pulled from another cask entry in their whisky bible. Even if you aren’t a big drinker and particularly dislike the intensity of whisky, doesn’t this make you want a tipple?


So good, isn’t it? The doughnuts are just on there because I liked the way they looked and think a whisky that tastes of doughnuts would be pretty high up there on the lists of things I would drink daily.

If you aren’t a big whisky drinker and know very little about the stuff, the next time you want to impress someone do this: pour yourself a wee dram (no water until after the first sip, and definitely no ice), swirl, sniff (with mouth partially open — yes you will look a bit dopey, but impressively so), sip and then say something like “a note of vanilla with a bit of peatyness.” Not nearly all whisky is either of those things, but hopefully the person you are trying to impress won’t know that, and vanilla and peat seem like fairly common notes in whisky. Or you can be inspired by the descriptions above and make up your own favorite meal and pretend you taste that in your dram.

Ever wonder what peat is/looked like anyway? Now you know:



I leave you with one last delightful swirl of a description:


But we aren’t just pretentiously sniffing amber liquids over here, Matt and I have also been playing tour guide to our lovely friends from the states! Here’s a classic Edinburgh Tourist Photo:


Edinburgh very rarely looks this (above) sunny, but I’m so glad she was all sun-shiney and almost-T-shirt weathery for Alison and Greg (note: the hardened Scot in the T-shirt on the right, reasonably attired Atlantans on the left).

And of course, no good haps wrap-up is any good without food pics! These are a little subdued on the food front because I’ve been following a wheat-free, mostly dairy-free, meat-free diet for months and months. At times the old foodie in me cries a little at having to eat another bowl of beans and rice, but it’s all in the name of hopefully going pain free one day. And it’s not all bad — just look at the deliciousness below:




I hope you guys have been enjoying a lovely spring/summer too. And if this kind of weather isn’t your thing (you love layers and roaring fires), come for a visit in Scotland the other 11 months of the year. You’ll be in love!


Dear Cath,

I’m sorry that you always have to slog through my mishmash posts. You always have such beautiful fashiony things going on in the ATL. My fashion awareness I believe is at an all-time low. The strange thing is I don’t miss it until I see how lovely you look and I’m like “ooo I should wear a dress again.” I blame it mostly on the chilly weather here and my inability to wear contact lenses any more. I will give it a try once we are in Italy though! Speaking of which, I’m actually getting really excited for our trip. It seemed too far away to dream about until recently.

I hit up the library yesterday and got all of this:


That Eat, Pray, Love in Rome book is actually by the guy (Luca Spaghetti) that Elizabeth Gilbert met in Italy. I thought it would be kind of cheesy and as if he were just coat-tailing it (maybe just a tad), but it’s totally gotten me so excited to go to Rome. You should see if the DeKalb Library has a copy. Unofficial AsianCajun Book Club, book one.

Hope you are having a wonderful time at the Southern Blogger Society brunch today! Wish I could be there with you!



16 thoughts on “What’s the Haps in Edinburgh”

  1. I can’t tell you how much I like this recap – it almost makes me feel like I’m right there with you! I love the the whisky society descriptions – Scots are so witty and Matt looks so content with his dram. Is that the proper use of the term?

    I’m looking up to see if my local library has a copy of Eat, Pray, Love in Rome. I’m soooo excited to see you in just a few short months!

    xoxo, Cath

  2. It feels like ages since I’ve stopped by. Haven’t been blog hopping like I normally do. Looks like you & Matt had a fab time. Not a whiskey gal, but I could see myself having a drink with y’all in the whiskey room. 🙂

    1. Tamika, I used to not be a whiskey drinker either, but it’s grown on me and now I love it. If you had told me two years ago that I would love whiskey I would have thought you were crazy!
      – Cath

      1. Me too Tamika and Cath. I love the smell of whisky though. I can usually manage just a few sips before I feel like my throat is burnt through with Scottish peatiness ;D

  3. AUGH Rome! My favorite city in the world besides Edinburgh 🙂 I hope you enjoy it! Lar, can you eat gelato?? If so, man do I have recommendations.

    1. Hi Maggie! Ooo yes please recommend away! I’m cutting out some dairy, but I will eat at least one or two cones of gelato when I’m there. I just learned a new word “grattacheche” which is how they say granita in Rome. Did you have any last time you were there?
      xoxox, L

  4. Hello!
    Really excited that I stumbled across your blog whilst googling ‘Japanese ramen edinburgh’!
    I’m a Korean New Zealander fairly recently moved to Edinburgh living in Bruntsfield – so it is really cool to see you mention all the places I walk past every day!
    I’ve never visited the Bollywood Coffee box but will definitely do so next week!
    Keep up the good work, and maybe will bump into you at Falko one day!

    😀 J

    1. Hi Jin!
      Thanks so much for reading! I love “meeting” other recent Edi transplants.
      Do definitely go to the Bollywood Box and have you had Fernando’s Brazilian Crepes (he’s in the policebox right by Forest Road on the way to the meadows).
      Also just down the road from Bruntsfield is my all time favorite restaurant in Edinburgh, Indaba. Let me know if you go or have been and what you think.
      Thanks again for reading, Jin! Hope I bump into you soon!
      xx, Lar

      1. So yesterday I had a massive Margherita Brazil crepe for lunch – then a vege daal from Bollywood Box for dinner! It was sooo good!
        Yes I’ve been to Indaba – went there for our wedding anniversary in April, yummy crocodile, meatballs and molten chocolate cake!
        Have you been to Three Birds on Viewforth? Great spot for lunch on a weekend, they serve foraged greens which were delicious!

  5. Beautiful post, Lar. Makes me want to live in Edinburgh! (oh, wait.) I bet your posts are luring people near and far to pack their bags and move to Scotland’s capital. I mean, sunshine AND whisky? What a combo!

  6. Ay yi yi! I’ve been doing my own traveling and not reading as often, so just catching up now. Do you know how dumb I am? I didn’t realize Scotch is just whiskey made in Scotland until I got to Edinburgh and a certain someone had to tell me that. in the liquor store.where the owner just shook his head at the dumb American. LOL.

    The picture is lovely and it really sounds like you’re settling in – recommending places to eat and pretending to drink whiskey and all 🙂

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