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Scotland highlights


I'm lucky to have in-laws who live a ten-minute walk from the beach pictured above. Our recent visit to Scotland's northeast coast was full of quiet charms. Most tourists dawdle in Edinburgh and Glasgow or head straight for the West Coast and the Hebrides, but Moray is definitely worth the detour. I've stolen a leaf from Heidi's book and done a brief round-up below.


Moray highlights: We were greeted by a line of lowing Aberdeenshire Angus cows when we turned into the car park of the Kinloss Farm Shop. The wide array of cakes and slices are all homemade. // Elgin's High Street is slowly dying, but a few gems remain. Gordon & MacPhail is an encyclopedia of whiskies, and its shelves are also laden with sweet treats, including Huntly Herbs' organic raspberry jam. // For kitchenware, MacKenzie & Cruickshank in Forres is fantastic. Can you imagine how thrilled I am to finally own pudding basins? // The Burghead Snack Shack, with its bacon butties grilled to order, is kind of incredible. // The Loft is located down a winding country road. Their nut cutlet (despite that unpromising name) is the best vegetarian main course David's had in ages. // Meanwhile, the Kimberley Inn in Findhorn offers a cozy fireside and stunning views over Findhorn Bay. The beer batter for their fried fish is crisp and flavorful. // Afterwards, you might go to the Blue Angel down the road for a slice of organic almond chocolate cake and a cup of tea. // Wester Lawrenceton's Caerphilly and sweet-milk cheeses are stunning. You can find them at Gordon & MacPhail's or at Elgin's monthly farmers' market. // The Harbour Lights in Lossiemouth brings a Slow Food sensibility to their freshly prepared dishes made from mostly local ingredients. // The Allarburn Farm Shop has the smartest jute bags I've ever seen along with crowdie and locally-made sticky toffee pudding. // And just drop me a line if you're planning a visit and would like to know more!

Edinburgh highlights: I needed at least two hours to look at everything very carefully at Edinburgh's Farmers' Market in Castle Terrace. Favourites included the hog roast, the lamb burgers, Valvona & Crolla's sourdough bread, and the Puddledub bacon. // Sasha loved the rattling plates in the Dean Gallery cafe, while I was partial to the fruit scones. The Redpath room (part of the Four Scottish Painters exhibit) is fantastic.


Reading your opening comment... "I'm lucky to have in-laws who live a ten-minute walk from the beach pictured above" gave me a burst of in-law envy! Mine live near a "Walmart" in the middle of Oklahoma... somehow I think you win!!

Well, my parents live in a ten-minute drive from strip mall paradise, so I suppose it evens out... But yes, I am very lucky!

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