Time for my last post about our Eurotrip…
After Iceland we went to Scotland! The main impetus was for Michael (one of Rob’s best friends from high school) and Trudy’s wedding, but really, who wouldn’t want to spend some time in beautiful Scotland anyway? The wedding festivities were happening in St. Andrews, on the east coast of Fife, but we flew into Glasgow and took a bus out a few hours later. We weren’t in Glasgow long, just barely enough time to grab some lunch and do a bit of walking before we had to rush to the bus station. (We were starving after flying all morning, and hey, if you only have a couple hours in a city, what better way to spend them than eating the local cuisine?)
Following the advice of the ultra-friendly bus driver who took us from the airport into the city center, we stopped at Counting House in Glasgow for a true Scottish meal of fish and chips (complete with mushy peas, I love them!) and a spicy chicken pub curry. Despite being part of a chain, this first meal was my favorite fish and chips I tried on the whole Scotland trip. It was perfect!
Their pub curry also hit the spot. It came with a surplus of naan and pappadum. Along with a pint of local beer, it only cost about £7 ($10) which felt like an insane deal after dealing with Iceland’s crazy prices.
Now, let’s talk about St. Andrews! Trudy and Michael met and fell in luuuurve at the historic university there (aww!) and it’s easy to see why they’d pick this town for their celebration. It has an adorable little city center as well as gorgeous old, crumbling castle and cathedral ruins. Not to mention a view of the sea!
Isn’t it beautiful?! Rob’s family and I had a lovely time exploring all the sights. You can see pretty much everything in one day, it’s a very small (and charming, of course) town. I think my favorite was the cathedral with the graveyard by the sea, it was just so romantic and felt like something out of an old storybook.
Now let’s talk about food! If you imagine beer and pub grub when you think of the UK, you would be correct. It fits the climate there (cozy, hearty, etc.) but by the time our trip was through I was craving the Whole Foods salad bar or something. Not to sound ungrateful – trying new brews and checking out all sorts of tasty bars and restaurants is always a good time!
Everyone’s favorite pub was the Cellar Bar – the beers were cheap and plentiful, the ambiance was crowded and jolly, and the bartender was hilarious.
I just wanted to share the name of these cheese board we got for lunch one day: it was a “wee cheese trolley!” So cute. Although it wasn’t actually rolled out to me on a trolley as I was hoping. This is from Mitchell in St. Andrews, a bustling little deli and cafe. All the cheese tasted very fresh and grassy (in a good way).
The rehearsal dinner was at a place called Vic, which has two sides: one is a restaurant with upscale bar food and the other side has a dance floor, bar, and DJ booth (complete with fog machine! You better believe we sneaked back there to fire that bad boy up). It wouldn’t be bar food in Scotland without at least one deep-fried side… my bar steak came with chips, onion rings, and a pitcher of gravy. Hey-o!
The wedding itself on Saturday was so beautiful and fun. Unfortunately I took next to zero photos (I didn’t want to hang onto my phone all night) and I really wish I had gotten more pics of Rob in his kilt (which was surprisingly handsome) and the reception festivities.
Anyway, the ceremony was held in a pretty little church outside the town, then the reception was at St. Andrews town hall. One of my favorite foods at the reception was haggis balls (yes, haggis! It’s not as scary as people make it out to be, but it did make our breath smell – then again, all the best food does) but everything was awesome – we had family-style comfort food served to each table. Macaroni and cheese, fish pie, chicken casserole, fresh bread with amazing Scottish butter, etc. The only dish I snapped a picture of was stovies (the last photo below) – a potato-and-meat dish served as a midnight snack to help us refuel after dancing the céilidh all night long! I was so full from the supper that I could hardly stuff myself with anything else. All food mentions aside, the best part of the night was definitely the dancing. Some of the most fun I’ve ever had at a wedding… or any party, really. The Scots really know how to do it up!
The next day, despite being exhausted from eating, drinking, and dancing ourselves silly, we had to get up early and head to the bus stop to begin the (long, looooong) journey back home to Texas. Scotland was an amazingly beautiful place and I was so happy we could participate in Michael and Trudy’s sweet wedding.