Outlander and the Scottish Highlands

We took a two day tour of the Scottish Highlands and the Outlander fangirl in me kept squealing  because we got to visit a lot of places that were mentioned in the book.

 Town of Inverness.. the gateway to the Highlands…

We passed by this pub and decided to eat here because there were a lot of people drinking on the patio..it must be popular!

Bangers and Mash / Fish and Chips / Beef and Mushroom Pie… we ordered the classic pub dishes and weren’t disappointed…

Glencoe..

We also visited Clava Cairns, the Bronze Age burial site that was the inspiration behind Diana Galbaldon’s best selling book series Outlander.

I hoped I could travel back in time by squeezing between the rocks like in the books… but it didn’t work…..  I wasn’t the only one going crazy at the rocks.. there were so many other fans doing the same thing!

We also got to visit Culloden Battlefield, the site of the last bloody battle of the failed Jacobite Rising.

I got quite emotional while visiting; even though Outlander is fictional, the battle did occur and so many lives were lost.

We also visited Loch Ness and look.. is that Nessie????

Our last stop in the short trip to the Highlands was to the town of Pitlochry, a small charming town that somehow reminds me of Harry Potter?????

I’ve never had such a large piece of fried fish!!!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

The Castle Tavern

1 View Pl, Inverness IV2 4SA, United Kingdom

+44 1463 718178

Mussel Inn – Edinburgh, Scotland

Found the best seafood restaurant in Edinburgh! It’s so good that I ate there three nights in a row!

The seafood are mostly all from Scotland so it’s really fresh.

These Scottish oysters are soooooooo sweet! I haven’t seen / tried these anywhere else yet….

probably the most filling seafood chowder ever…. it had CHUNKS of fish.

Surf and Turf .. not really liking the steak….

Mussels!!!!!!  I became famous at the restaurant because I first ate dinner with my friends…. then immediately after, I ate another meal with my family, at the next table! The staff was shocked that I could eat another kg of mussels….. he has never seen anyone eat so many mussels before!

Hot Seafood Platter (scallops, tiger prawns and mussels poached in seafood sauce topped with grilled sea bass fillet and crème fraiche)……

Shellfish Pasta (Mussels, tiger prawns,  scallops and fettuccini in a shellfish bisque)….

scallop risotto….

This was my best restaurant find in Edinburgh.  Mussel Inn has fresh seafood for an affordable price!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Mussel Inn Seafood Restaurant

61-65 Rose St, Edinburgh EH2 2NH, UK

+44 843 289 2481

Howies – Edinburgh

Seriously… I love Edinburgh because it feels like stepping back into time… just look at Edinburgh Castle and all the old buildings around Royal Mile.  Apart of that, lots of hotels and restaurants are also located in renovated old buildings.

We had lunch at Howies and it’s located in a gorgeous Georgian building.

The lunch set is a pretty good deal.. appetizer + main for 10.95 pounds!

Traditional Scottish Haggis (minced sheep’s heart, liver and lungs)….  This is THE NATIONAL DISH OF SCOTLAND and because of that, I had to give it a try (even though the ingredients are given me the pukes already)….. I wasn’t sure how haggis would smell and taste like but I can say now that it tastes like regular ground meat! It didn’t smell and didn’t had any weird gamey taste.  If it weren’t for the constant reminder in my head about it being sheep’s innards, I could have finished it.  It really wasn’t so bad… just don’t tell me what it is!

Grilled fillet of Shetland Salmon….

After lunch, we also wandered to the cementary where people claimed J.K. Rowling got her Harry Potter influence.  Can you see whose grave it is?

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Howies

29 Waterloo Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3BQ, United Kingdom

Phone:+44 131 556 5766

The Scran and Scallie – Edinburgh

I didn’t get to try Edinburgh’s  Michelin starred restaurant, The Kitchin, but I did try their other venture, a gastropub.

I love trying out gastropubs because they mostly serve classic pub dishes, but with a twist.

BBQ pastrami ribs & chips… This was their newest creation.  The meat was tender but was too salty.

fish pie…. Their famous classic fish pie but it tasted like normal fish pie.. carbs overload!

steak pie with bone marrow….. This was quite interesting! I’ve never seen bone marrow jutting out from a pie before… The pastry was so flaky but the steak was a bit too tough….

I was really looking forward to this meal but I think the food was a bit overhyped.

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

The Scran and Scallie

1 Comely Bank Rd, Edinburgh EH4 1DT, United Kingdom

Phone:+44 131 332 6281

The Gardener’s Cottage – Edinburgh

I’ve been pretty much obsessed with all things Scottish ever since Outlander entered my life.. to the point I just have to visit the Scottish highlands.  So this year, I planned to visit Scotland before heading to Scandinavia.

Royal Mile

The most anticipated meal in Edinburgh was a 7 course dinner at The Gardener’s Cottage.  When I was researching, I saw that it has a lot of good reviews and recommendations.

It really is a stone cottage and has vegetables growing in the gardens!

The 7 courses tasting menu is more like a tapas meal because the portions are really small.Pinecured trout, BBQ rhubarb mayo carrot, wild garlic.….

BBQ asparagus, fresh cheese….

Rabbit, tomato, smoked mushroom, salsa….

Cod, clams, leek, ricotta and wild garlic agnolotti.…..

Seeded sponge and mousse…..

Scottish cheeses…… I don’t like cheese so it took me forever to finish this…
Chocolate and hazelnut with mint ice-cream….

Petit-four with Scottish shortbread.

We were a bit disappointed with the meal because none of the dishes really stood out.  Even though the setting was homey and cozy, the service was a bit distant and cold.  I think this restaurant is more hyped than it should be….

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

The Gardener’s Cottage

1 Royal Terrace Gardens, London Rd, Edinburgh EH7 5DX, United Kingdom

Phone:+44 131 558 1221

Bullocks Bistro- Yellowknife

Apart from aurora viewing, there’s actually a lot of daytime activities to do in Yellowknife.  Between dog sledding, ice-fishing and snowmobiling, we decided to pick the most thrilling one.. snow snowmobiling on Great Slave Lake!

Afterwards, we decided to have a late lunch.. but which became an early dinner at Bullocks’ Bistro because we had to wait so long for our table.

Bullocks’ is famous for its fish… and also for the most exorbitant prices for fish and chips!

House made cumin feta bread….. freshly made and baked in front of us!

fish chowder... so good! we wanted seconds but was sold out….

Deep fried white fish, pan fried pickerel and grilled Arctic char….. all this fish were so juicy and tender.  It was so good that we re-ordered the fried white fish.

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Bullocks’ Bistro

3534 Weaver Dr, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2S9, Canada

Phone:+1 867-873-3474

Aurora hunting in Yellowknife

To cross off another item of my bucket list, I travelled to Yellowknife to see aurora borealis.  We studied about Northwest territories back in elementary school and the only things I could remember are ice, ice-fishing and more ice.  Because of that, I didn’t think I’ll ever visit that part of the country.  It’s just so cold!!  But for the last year or so, I’ve seen a lot of aurora photos on Instagram and also, a lot of people in Hong Kong has asked me if I’ve been to Yellowknife to see the northern lights.  I guess it was time for a trip to the north!

We traveled to Yellowknife in February, one of THE coldest months of the year. We spent 2 nights outside looking for the aurora in -33 degrees celsius….. if we could survive in that temperature.. cold weather will not faze us ever again!  We were so lucky to see the aurora 2 out of 3 nights.. it really danced in the sky!

We stayed at The Explorer Hotel, the best hotel in Yellowknife (even Prince William and Kate stayed there!).  Their restaurant is also ranked the best in Yellowknife but the food was really average and overpriced. We ate there for 2 nights because we were too lazy to put on our snow gear and walk 2 blocks to the main street.

What we ordered:

duck confit spring rolls……

Mussels meunière…extremely salty……. Don’t know how mussels could be that salty… when I ordered it the 2nd night, I requested the chef to tone down that salt.. but it was still so salty….. really.. I don’t know why….

sacchetti with black truffles….. this was the only good dish because it had strong truffle taste…

grilled arctic char……. it looks like salmon but the texture is a bit different and the taste is milder…

Pan seared lemon pepper whitefish

Shrimp stuffed pickerel with tarragon cream..

FAIM? un peu…

Trader’s Grill @ The Explorer Hotel

4825 49th Ave, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2R3, Canada

Phone:+1 800-661-0892