Monday, November 30

Summer 2014 - Scotland Recap 1

I love seeing and sharing travel diaries, vacation photos and sightseeing tips and tricks! It's an awesome way for me to relive the trip after the trip! In the next few weeks, you'll be seeing a few posts from my trip last year to Scotland!

Tuesday, June 17/Wednesday, July 18  - Travel to UK 

The flight to London was relatively uneventful. However, it was my first time flying with Virgin Atlantic—what I’ve always seen as somewhat of a hip new airline, so I figure I would share my experience with that. It’s not like I have ample experience with British Airways, etc so don't use my experience as a comparison point there. Overall, I abhorred Virgin Atlantic’s website. I found it difficult to navigate and even do something as simple as check-in online. While Virgin offers a plethora of connection options with other airlines, these airlines do not seem to talk to each other. I was left in the dark about terminals, gates, seats and even boarding times. 

Now, in the actual flight, I found the flight staff young… however, absentminded? There were times when they tried waking up guests for meals, and other times when they let meal service pass by. I thought it was pretty normal to have a sticker on your seat that would say “Let me sleep.” Or “Wake me up for dinner.” Is that not actually common? What really annoyed me was that my row would be skipped in trash collection, only to have a flight attendant come back 15 minutes later and say that my tray table needs to be up. Perhaps if you took the food or do you expect me to have it in my lap?

The inflight entertainment really had no equal. I ended up watching “Her” on the flight over, but they had all the recent Oscar movies, blockbusters and even a few foreign films for their international audience. 

My main gripe is partially with Virgin, particularly with the StudentUniverse site where I got my tickets, and partially with myself. Here's the issue. For the return trip, I booked my ticket from Edinburgh to Heathrow, landing at 10:45am. My flight from Heathrow to the US was scheduled to leave at 11:15am. That's... not a lot of time. In LAX, the lady behind the ticket counter tried to change it, but said that the ticket was based out of London and the system would not allow her to. When I reached London, the Virgin representative said I had to wait until the following morning to change it and there would be a fee of $100. I'll keep you waiting to see how I resolved it. Let's just say it was significantly more than $100.

When we landed, I found myself on the journey to my friend’s house. I realized how much of a luxury it was to have family pick me up in foreign countries. Travelling from the airport to a specific address seemed very difficult all of a sudden. Despite being a spoiled traveler, with weary feet (more due to the uncomfortable cobblestone than anything else), I did find my friend. In this harrowing journey, I'd like to thank Evernote, Google Maps and the nice British policemen.

We went out to dinner at a close restaurant and ended up trying their Set Menu. I think that these menus are only reserved for very nice/very European restaurants in the US but are fairly common in the UK. Travelers/British folk, feel free to correct me! At 35 pounds a head, I found it very pricey and entirely too much food for one night. 

 A few iphone pictures for you:


Radishes Dipped in Butter and Goat Cheese – I’ve had all of these ingredients, just not in this particular combination. I’m a big fan of radishes, so I enjoyed this dish. The radish had a most satisfying crunch. 





Pork with Pickled Vegetables - Despite the weird "tuna" appearance of the pork, I really liked the dish. The slightly salty pork paired well with the fresh veggies. I have no idea if this counts as British home cooking or some fancy restaurant dish, but it was good!



Leek in Tomato Sauce with Cheese - Okay. This was NOT the official name of the dish. I have forgotten the official name of the dish. What looked like a really sad and not very promising dish was actually quite good. The leek (I think that's what it was) was not bitter or soggy. The tomato sauce was absolutely amazing. I can't decide if I love British food or not. 

Salmon with Lima Beans - Again, I'm sure that this had a much more sophisticated name, but this is all I got. I loved the lima beans in this dish but was indifferent about the salmon. 




Blackface Lamb – Oh my gosh. I’m generally not a fan of large meat dishes at all, but this dish included leg and shoulder. The meat was so incredibly tender and moist. It came along with some side dishes like potatoes, roasted vegetables and fried bananas. 



Earl Grey Cake, Strawberries and Vanilla Ice Cream – Not a particularly exotic dish, but I do love earl grey cake. A lot.

17 comments:

  1. Love it!! All that food made me hungry!! I am dying to visit Scotland!!
    xx
    June Wants It All - Indian fashion and lifestyle blog

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  2. yum! that all sounds incredible. I'd love to go there.

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  3. Hey, lovely blog!
    Wanna follow each other??

    Blog: http://missunderstoodstyle.blogspot.com/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Miss-Understood-Style/1404591476502298?ref=hl

    Waiting for you darling!!

    xxx

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  4. I would love to visit Scotland with my family. My husband's family has Scottish roots, so it would be nice to visit and learn more of the culture. I wouldn't mind eating like you either :)
    XOOX

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  5. Wow that is a ton of food! Yeah I think pre-fixe / set course meals are pretty popular in europe, a least from what I've seen too. That's a lot of food just a random dinner out but you got a lot for the price so that's good :)

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  6. I love Scotland! It's been a long time since I was there though - 1999. I'm due for a trip back. The food looks amazing! I don't remember it being that good.

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  7. Sorry to hear you had so many issues with your flight! But hopefully the food made up for it :)

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  8. Eeep, so sorry to hear about the sub-par plane service. I've never heard of the stickers, but I definitely think it's general courtesy not to wake anyone sleeping up during flights, for anything but safety procedure.

    I'm happy to hear that you had contacts in Scotland, though--it's comforting to have people you know nearby when you visit a foreign country.

    The food looks scrumptious--that radish dish is so cool, and the last desert looks like something right up my alley.

    Wishing you the best!

    imperfect idealist

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  9. Wonderful post, love Scotland. ;-)
    Lovely greets Nessa

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  10. Shame that you didn't have a great experience with the airline, but how nice you had such a yummy looking dinner at the end of your trip to cheer you up! :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

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  11. loved reading your travel diary from your trip. i do them too, and still have them from trips in 99! your food looks way more interesting than what i ate when i was there!

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  12. food looks delicious! thanks for sharing and yay for Scotland - I love it so much!

    Lyosha
    Inside and Outside Blog

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  13. Wow, amazing shots from your I-phone! I am glad you were picked up and got to that lovely destination without fuss, since the flight seems complicated. Enjoy!
    xx, Elle
    http://www.theellediaries.com/

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  14. Everything looks so good and fresh! The leeks dish doesn't look that appetizing I agree, but I'm sure it was yum!

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  15. Food! Oh mi gosh, food! I love it. :)

    http://ahleessa4realz.blogspot.com/

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  16. Yum the food look delicious.
    Happy New Year!
    Beautetude

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Thanks for your comments!