Christmas really was a festival of gluttony round at the Grumbling Tummy HQ. It started off well but ended with both myself and B rolling around the lounge in a fug of chocolate lethargy, lifted only by the occasional cherry brandy.
I have actually been far too busy actively eating to blog but here is a quick catch up on how I managed to gain half a stone in 2 weeks. Eat your heart out Katie Hopkins.
THE GALS LUNCH – CAFÉ MARLAYNE, EDINBURGH http://www.cafemarlayne.com/
It all began with a rollicking gals lunch at the wonderful Café Marlayne in Thistle Street. It’s a tiny bistro style restaurant and on that particular Sunday afternoon it was occupied (in the main) by our party of girls in Christmas cracker crowns. The food was rather overshadowed by lots of chat, general over excitement and wine. You can read my review of Café Marlayne from a previous and more sedate occasion here: http://wp.me/p2NKGd-gQ
On the Menu: I dined on Boudin Noir with sautéed potatoes, bacon and mustard dressing. I know that the boudin noir is actually from France and it is really lovely. This was followed by a gorgeous beef dish which was melt in the mouth (the wine has impaired my recall of the name of said beef dish but it was delish) served up with seasonal vegetables.
DATE DAY – OROCCO PIER, SOUTH QUEENSFERRY http://www.oroccopier.co.uk/
The traditional Christmas date day with B came a mere two days later. Bravely fighting sinusitis I agreed to earn my lunch by walking across the Forth Road Bridge to our lunch venue – Orroco Pier in South Queensferry. The star of the show at this stylish restaurant is without a doubt the view. It is nothing short of breath-taking. We had the best seat in the house and watched the sun set and the rail bridge light up as we enjoyed our feast. buoyed up by Nurofen with codeine (genius).
On the Menu: we kicked off the date with a mulled cider for me and a mulled beer for B. The Mulled beer won the day both for being unique and for its spiced honey notes. After an acceptable starter of prawns I moved onto a traditional turkey lunch. This is the only time I ate turkey over the whole season and it was lovely. It was all finished off with an enormous cheese plate which included a delectable runny brie. All washed down with prosecco and wine.
THE BIG DAY – THE RUSSELL HOTEL, ST ANDREWS http://www.russellhotelstandrews.co.uk/
Feeling a little rotund at this point, our next big day out was the 25th– Merry Christmas. Following my tradition of eating scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and oodles of lemon juice, we made our way via the folks to the Russell Hotel in St Andrews. The Russell is the sort of hotel that inspires loyalty. On booking we requested the same table as 2013 and lo and behold so did the threesome next to us. It was deja vu but in the best possible way. My only complaint about this stonking 4 course meal is that ALL of the portions were way too big.
On the Menu: It went something like this: duck liver and plum pate served with home-made oatcakes which were curiously sweet but rather nice. I suspect this oatcake would have been just as happy dipped in a cup of tea. This was followed by a spiced sweet potato soup which was pretty good but a wee meal in itself. I then moved on to Roast Ribeye of Prime Scottish Beef with a Wild Mushroom, Shallot & Madeira Jus & Yorkshire Pudding. This was divine and melt in the mouth. Feeling it a bit I considered skipping dessert but in for a penny in for a pound as they say – bring on the Christmas pudding complete with sparkler! All washed down with copious amounts of red wine. Why was my waist band digging in I pondered? Why indeed.
Oh but we were nowhere near finished yet. A trip to our local carvery was the main event on boxing day along with our friends and assorted children. I had quite a lot of wine at this lunch …… because I could! The relatively new Sweet Chestnut which is part of the Marstons pub chain, serves perfectly good fayre in a child friendly environment which was just what we needed.
On the Menu: I wanted to have breaded mushrooms with a garlic dip however most of the little shrooms were naked by the time I ate them. My darling daughter having stolen their crispy coating by the time they got to my mouth. They were followed by a rather pleasant vegetarian fandango with all the trimmings including an oversized Yorkshire pudding.
SPOT OF LUNCH DARLING – KUSHIS, DUNFERMLINE http://www.khushis.com/
On the 27th I was beginning to experience that toxic feeling where everything is just a little bit pudgy and out of kilter. Remember that in-between these meals out there was the chocolate mountain at home. However I did not feel bad enough to argue with “shall we have a spot of lunch at Kushis darling”. I like Kushis as a lunchtime venue – they do a cracking deal and thankfully the portion sizes are relatively small.
On the Menu: vegetable pakora and popadoms of course followed by chicken korma. Washed down with a bottle of beer.
PARENTAL VISIT – THE ADAMSON, ST ANDREWS http://theadamson.com/
A visit to my parents on the 29th marked my favourite meal out over the whole holiday season. The Adamson in St Andrews is just a bloody good restaurant with amazing food which is absolutely consistently fabulous every time you go. It looks the business, the staff are fantastic, the presentation of the food is sublime and it always tastes like heaven. I cannot recommend the Adamson enough.
On the menu: I felt smug starting with their superfood salad – this is a veritable health explosion of beetroot, walnuts, squash, quinoa, lentils, pomegranates and yoghurt dressing. I then ordered the blade of beef with confit potato, pear tart, spinach and red wine sauce. This rendered me speechless. Not an easy thing to achieve.
AULD YEAR’S NIGHT, THE PETTINGER THOMSONS, EDINBURGH
Food and entertainment on this auspicious occasion was provided by the Pettinger Thomsons. We started off by popping in to the free family celidh at the Chambers Street Museum – huge amounts of fun.
There was good food, party poppers, happy children, plenty of fizz, giggles, fireworks and slight hangovers the next day. All good!
On the menu: We started with two of my favourite foods – scallops and chorizo – yum! Mr Pettinger had been busy in the kitchen the day before preparing the main event and his now famous beef bourguignon which was served with Miss Thomsons equally famous potato dauphinoise. This was accompanied by green beans and a delicate swedge of puffed pastry. After a fair smattering of prosecco (we brought along a magnum) I was the only one with space for homemade sticky toffee pudding with oodles of sauce and cream.
So that was it for eating out and being entertained – wafer thin mint anybody?
I didn’t even include the Christmas drinks on the 20th where I gorged on little spiced Thai chicken sticks and camembert or the day when I invited the same friends around to feast on mince pies, chocolate marzipan, cinnamon stars and wine.
Now as wonderful as it has been a line has finally been drawn. Enough is enough. My waist line is bulging (and that is putting it politely), my hair has lost its shine and despite a very posh new moisturiser my skin is flagging. As much of 75% of your body is made up of water I believe, however I fear that most of my water has been replaced with baileys, prosecco, red wine, cherry brandy and amaretto. I am done!
Christmas was a whole heap of tasty fun but like any ride it must come to an end. In January I am ditching the nonsense and trying to eat clean rather than down right dirty. Expect the blog to fill up with clean eating, nutritious soups and stews, refreshing smoothies and salads with pizzaz.
Keep tuned in!