The drizzly wetness was prevalent as we descended into the bustling life activities of Edinburgh, Scotland. It was the first stop on the UK40 Tour, a clever name for an excursion that has me celebrating a milestone birthday. The flight arrived early on Saturday morning. It seemed a quick and well-serviced flight, an effectively direct route from our origin city of Providence, RI, courtesy of Norwegian Air.
Since my husband and I arrived in the city so early, we were faced with the daunting prospect of having hours of a full Saturday stretched into the distance of dusk. The check-in hour for our AirBnB was not until 5pm. Our plane arrival clocked-in at 8:30am.
A good strategy would be to discover a place for brunch, then do an unofficial check-in with the AirBnB hosts. That way, you can simply drop off the bags, meet the hosts and be free to explore a day in the life of Edinburgh.
We discovered a garden oasis located on London Road just a stroll from the flat. Revealed as The Gardener's Cottage, an apt name for a quaint and folksy dining room. Vintage vinyl records by Paul Simon and Fleetwood Mac were spinning on the turntable. It made for a cozy and homemade setting for a farm brunch featuring meatloaf brioche on sourdough toast with poached egg, pan-roasted kipper (a filet of herring) and a steaming pot of English Breakfast tea.
The diners are a mixture of neighborhood locals and astute travelers dining together on communal tables in an intimate boardinghouse room. Brunch service occurs in the midday, while the evening guests experience a more seasonal seven-course tasting menu. Booking ahead is advisable for both services. This Gardener's Cottage retains its farmhouse charm by only accepting a set number of guests looking to see what's been freshly culled from the kitchen.