europe,  scotland,  travel

A last toast to Embra – Day 6

It was a bit of lazy morning, as I stayed at the apartment for most of the morning packing and getting our affairs in order. David attended the second session of talks at the conference, and I came up not long after that for the poster session. I did manage to find a few interesting posters, though not directly related to my current work, and chatted with some friendly presenters before finding a quiet corner to wait for the other NU folk to finish. The two faculty from NU (my advisor and David’s advisor) had arranged to take us all out for a celebratory drink nearby. We trouped down several blocks eastwards to a previously undiscovered part of town that seemed to have a number of fun-looking restaurants and pubs, including our destination, Barony Bar. As it was just after 2 o’clock in the afternoon, we had our choice of tables, and we chose ones in close proximity to the beautiful bar. Each of our advisors ordered a round of drinks (whisky for everyone, though I opted for a glass of white wine), while I ordered a few orders of cheesy garlic bread for the table. We loitered for a time, over our several rounds of drinks, chatting and swapping stories before parting ways.

As seems to be the case on this trip, Artisan Roast (perhaps one of the only real coffee roasters in Edinburgh) happened to be just a few doors down from the pub, so we had to stop in have a look. It didn’t appear to be the roastery itself, but we nonetheless had our requisite caffeine/chocolate fix. We weren’t huge fans of the space as much as some of the other places we’d seen–a little too cluttered for our taste, almost a bohemian aesthetic. We spent some time debating the relative aesthetics of the various places we’d been to before heading off to Bramble again, just down the street, as it was still somewhat early for dinner. Both of the bartenders we’ve had previously were behind the bar, so we were sure to chat with them. David was in search for a good “spirit-forward” drink and tried a couple very tasty options, while I went with a favourite from the previous evening (Mint 500) along with a new delicious drink called a Foxtrot Fizz (gin, grapefruit cordial and citric acid). David also grabbed a couple small bottles of the Aged Affinity drink he’d had on our first night at Bramble as souvenirs.

We asked for a recommendation for some good pub food nearby, and our bartender suggested a place just a couple blocks over called the Queen’s Arms. It was a darling little place–a dim, candlelit, book-lined space with leather chairs and dark wood. It was also bustling with folk, which was promising for at least it’s perceived quality. We waited a table that was reserved for 20 minutes later until another spot opened up. David had been craving fish and chips, so that was a no-brainer for him, and I decided on roast chicken with mashed potatoes (I suppose also a no-brainer for me as well). Our food and drinks were tasty, and we amused ourselves by watching and marveling at two televised matches of sports we basically never see back home, rugby and cricket. I’d played some rugby in high school, which is not uncommon in Canada, but I’d never really seen it in all its brutal glory.

After we’d had our fill, we made our way back to the apartment. Our hosts, Calen and Dani, were home, so we enjoyed a nightcap with them while watching the men’s semi-final match of the US Open and being nostalgic about Vancouver and mutual friends from SFU before calling it a night.


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