Scotland is an utterly beautiful place. My first stop was near Loch Arthur. There is a wonderful community called Camphill there, and I decided I would stop in and say hello. While I was there I picked up a Sticky Toffee Pudding ice cream from the wholesome little food store run by the Camphill community. As you can see I had a Sticky Toffee Pudding hankering ever since my experience at the Ramore Wine Bar.
The ice cream overall in the U.K. and Ireland is much better than America’s. It is also more popular. Children and adults alike can be seen rain, or snow licking their ice cream bars, or cones. This ice cream in particular was very good. It was from local cows, and you could taste the freshness. There were also bits of sticky toffee pudding cake in it, which were delightful little surprises!
Driving through Scotland, I stopped at the famous Bushmills brewery. After a fun, and informative tour, we ended at the bar where everyone was given a little shot of whiskey. I chose to try a hot toddy. It was good, as far as hot toddy’s go, but I appreciate a little more sweetness in my alcohol. Call me a child.
The whole point of my venturing to Scotland was to see a dear friend in Glasgow. When I arrived, I was greeted warmly and asked if I wanted a “penguin”. I laughed a little, but said I was up to trying new things. These are what I received (along with tea, milk, and sugar of course!). They essentially are just chocolate covered biscuits, filled with chocolate crème. They are not anything specially really, except for the fact that they are native to Glasgow.
Glasgow is really a lovely place. I was told that it was a shabby art town, but it was a lot of charm. When I asked a local where the best spot for a mid afternoon bite to eat, they recommended an ice cream shop down the road. I was excited to hear of a new European ice cream joint, but when I was there I was shocked. The ice cream shop they so revered was a Cold Stone! I decided I was not going to waste a snack on a shop I could eat at in America, so I went to a little Italian joint next store. I tried this cookie sandwich which was very strange. The crème inside was not fantastic, just fatty, and sweet. The cookie was especially surprising, it tasted very burnt, but I think that was the intention, there was no traces of burn on the cookie.
Irn Bru. A soda that doesn’t even exist in America. I was scared to try it because it smelled rather interesting. The taste is hard to explain – it tasted a bit like Tea Tree Oil. That’s the best I can do, it had a faint hint of the smell of that oil, but it was pleasant.
This face completely explains my confusion/satisfaction with the “Irn Bru experience”.
The next day, while walking down the street, I spied a woman in the window of a cafe. She had a cupcake in front of her. I know that in America cupcakes are all the rage at the moment, but I had never seen a specialty cupcake shop in Europe! I went in and got the ‘sampler’ plate. Here we have Chocolate with Flake, Strawberry, and a Carrot Cake. They were all artfully adorned, and looked so lovely in the display case. I found both the chocolate and vanilla cake to be dense, and harder than I usually like. The chocolate one was just too chocolaty for me, and I didn’t end up eating very much of it. The Strawberry cupcake’s icing was very light and buttery, and I did enjoy the fresh strawberry on top. The Carrot Cake was perfect – and I am very hard to please with carrot cake. The cake was moist and flavorful, and the icing was much lighter and fluffier than typical cream cheese frosting, but tasted the same. The edible sparkles and walnut also added to the visual appeal. They have perfected the Carrot Cake cupcake.
My companion got a gingerbread cupcake which was not extremely impressive tasting, but had a good presentation.
When I looked up Glasgow, and popular foods to try in Glasgow, the first thing I saw were fried Mars Bars. After a while of staying there and not seeing any fried foods at all, I concluded that this was a bit of a fib. However, off the road at a fish and chippie shop I did ask if they would fry a Mars Bar for me, just so I could say I had one. Here is the result. Obviously the presentation isn’t the loveliest, and it is quite repulsive looking. It tasted as one would expect it to taste. It was a bite of sweet, caramely, chocolaty, friedness, but nothing to do back flips for. In my opinion if one consumes fried foods often, it begins to ruin their palate, so I only had a small taste, and was satisfied.
After three days in Glasgow, my friend took me to her vacation cottage in the country. This was our gorgeous view of the sunset from her porch. This is why I never want to go home.