Our second destination in Scotland was Edinburgh which was a beautiful town with so much to see. This is a view above of the main thoroughfare in Edinburgh which connects The Holyrood Palace at one end to the Edinburgh Castle at the other.We stopped by the Highland Games in Burntisland and saw competitive events that have been going on since the 1600’s.
We toured all around the city and then went on an extended tour of HMY Britannia, which is the former royal yacht of Queen Elizabeth II. It was launched in 1953 and decommissioned in 1997 after carrying the Queen and her family over 1,000,000 miles. Most impactful was the attention to detail on the ship, both in form and in procedures followed, and also how small and tight everything was, including the royal quarters.
For lunch we took a gamble and decided to go to a restaurant called Rhubarb which I had heard wonderful things about. We did not know exactly where it was but ended up making our way there as it was a good ways out of town. What a wonderful surprise we were in for. Those always turn out the best- when you have no idea what to expect and suddenly this amazing world opens up to you.
It is located on the Prestonfield Estate which was just delightful with peacocks strutting about and Highland cattle grazing the grounds. The interior was incredible, sort of like entering a lavish costume drama. When a space so obviously throws caution to the wind and just goes for it, it is quite exhilarating.
We were told a couple of interesting stories while touring the property. One is that they always place the forks on the table with the prongs down. One night at dinner, back in the 18th century when this was a private house, guests got into an argument and one hit the table so hard the forks flew up and caused some injuries. So now ever since, prongs down.
A second story was that another evening around the same time period, guests got into an argument and one took a shot at the other across the table. I’m not sure how he (she?) missed, but the little pellet shaped bullets were permanently embedded into the painted panels on the wall. Dinner seems to have been a dangerous occasion back then. Maybe the opulent furnishings allowed guests to camouflage themselves in the room so as not to be as easily shot at.
Just incredible. What a fantastic city.