If you are a foodie, you must try this tasty Edinburgh tour!
Edinburgh tours cater for just about any interest and many different tastes but this is one experience that is perfect for foodies. We sent our intern Maisie out to sample the Edinburgh Food Safari to give you a flavour of this fantastic Edinburgh food tour.
A tasty tour through Edinburgh’s culinary jungle
As I approached Broughton Street, I spotted someone decked-out in a safari outfit and looking eager. Although eccentric dress is commonplace is this wonderful city, something told me this was my Edinburgh Food Safari tour guide, Nell Nelson.
Edinburgh born and bred, Nell has a long-term affiliation with food. She has presented the TV series The Woman Who Ate Scotland, written various cookbooks, eaten and cycled her way around Asia and also runs two cafes in Edinburgh.
When asked how she thought up the idea for the tour she exclaimed: “Why, because I love food, of course!”
This is evident, Nell knew her stuff about local producers, their offerings and all the establishments we visited on the tour were run by people as passionate about food and drink as her.
The ‘Food Safari’ flows from savoury to sweet, starting at the top of Broughton Street and working down. She suggests a ‘light lunch’ prior to the tour, but go on an empty stomach in order to enjoy the experience to the full.
Starting our savoury course
Our four-strong safari began at the Cloud & Soil, situated in a grand Georgian townhouse. We sat down after being welcomed by the hospitable staff and were presented with a delicious game terrine with a helping of Nell’s knowledge on the side. With her stories about the rich history of the surrounding area, even the locals on the safari were learning new nuggets of wisdom.
We continued on our meat course and headed to Crombie’s the Butchers. The lovely woman in charge of us was ready and prepared as we walked through the doors, standing behind a collection of delicious sample sausages and the added novelty of ‘haggis and tatties’. The sausages were just as enjoyable as the names. My personal favourite was the delicious, chilli-infused ‘One O’clock Banger’ – for the flavour and the pun!
Soon enough, we were on to our third item on the menu. As Nell led the way, she rattled off more interesting titbits before we arrived at our next destination – The Riparian Rooms. She told us the origin of the Cullen Skink we were about to eat, seasoned with enthralling stories about Alexander McCall Smith. The creamy and fresh Cullen Skink at this newly opened restaurant was sublime – well worth our wait. The staff, the presentation of the food and the restaurant itself made this place very trendy and enjoyable.
However, we still had plenty of courses left and within no time we were off to our halfway point – The Roamin’ Nose. The five-minute walk was welcomed to allow for some digestion and a rest for our palettes. Set in relaxed and stylish surrounds, The Roamin’ Nose was a real treat. A large, wooden platter filled with Scottish-infused, Italian nibbles arrived onto our table. It was here that Nell really let the group have a chat and get to know each other giving the safari a great sociable buzz.
Some of Edinburgh’s best sweet treats
That was the end of our savoury affair and we were onto the dessert. Our first stop was The Marshmallow Lady. I had never had the chance to go before but have heard so much about it. After one bite of the melt-in-the-mouth, seasonal cream-egg marshmallow, the whole safari fell hopelessly in love with these extraordinarily tasty delights. The cherry on top was The Marshmallow Lady herself. She was a treat and really made the visit something else. Nell even paused for a minute in order to enjoy a marshmallow creation.
Soon enough though, we were off onto Casa Angelina for a spot of afternoon tea. This quirky and nostalgic tearoom, set a few steps down from the street welcomed us in with tea and cakes. In memory of the owner’s grandmother, this cosy cubby has a nostalgic feel along with superb home baking.
Nell’s penultimate stop-off for the safari was Coco Chocolatier. Hot white-chocolate shots infused with lemongrass and lavender were waiting for our arrival, as you can imagine, they went down a treat. You might think that hot chocolate would be far too heavy after my afternoon of consumption but the lightness of Coco’s drink was perfect. Haggis-flavoured chocolate was next on the agenda. With excited trepidation, I took a bite – and to my surprise – it was rather moreish. Those at Coco Chocolatier take their flavours seriously and mixed together with friendly staff, exquisite packaging and a cheeky free truffle of our choice, Nell had hit the nail on the head with taking the group to the quirky chocolate-lovers haven.
Ending the experience with a Scottish delicacy
Nell has an inspired choice to end the tour – a deep-fried Mars bar. Following her, we headed to our final destination, Café Piccante. This was to experience the stereotypical food choice of rowdy Scots coming home from a late night on the town. Nell’s enthusiasm convinced us all to grab a plastic fork and delve into the styrofoam box to grab a taste of this national delicacy. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t half bad to be honest. You could understand the appeal it may have in the early hours of a Saturday morning. It also really helped me appreciate the craftsmanship of the local producers we sampled during our culinary journey.
The safari of bohemian Broughton Street was not only informative and delicious but also engaging. Nell’s obvious passion for food and Edinburgh shined throughout. Although more costly than other tours on the market, this offers a whole new experience. Sociable and ever-so-slightly unconventional, Nell and her safari could be enjoyed by travellers to the city or locals to learn more about their city. Fuelled by passion for food and a love for an incredible city – this is a superb afternoon out.
Want to sample this Edinburgh food tour?
Dickins have some wonderful apartments in an around Broughton Street which are perfectly placed to enjoy The Edinburgh Food Safari. 41a Broughton Street has one bedroom and is a serene oasis of calm, 69 Broughton Street is a delightful two bedroom apartment and 7/4 Forth Street is a beautiful and welcoming two bedroom rooftop hideaway.
Edinburgh Food Safari
Nell Nelson: 07796 298163
Safaris must be booked within 48 hours’ notice however if less than 48 hours you can call Nell to see if it is possible to be fitted in.
£49 for adults
£25 for children (aged 5-12)