On Sunday I stopped in South Queensferry to watch abseiling down the Forth Rail Bridge. It was a charity event with a real fun atmosphere. Friends and relatives of the abseilers were cheering them on and waiting with champagne to celebrate their feat.
Although it was forecast to be a wet day, the sun was shining. However, there was fair old breeze and I was a bit concerned that the abseilers might be blown against the bridge support.
As I woke up pretty early this morning and the clocks had gone back for one hour, I decided to go for a walk around Blairgowrie before breakfast at the Royal Hotel. Wellmeadow, the garden square in the town centre, was looking magnificent with the contrast of the morning sunlight against the backdrop of the threatening clouds. The photo below is unedited; that’s exactly how it looked.
We had High Tea at Summers Restaurant in Perth in mid July 2013. It cost Â£10.95 per person for a main course, a selection of toast, scones and cakes plus unlimited tea or coffee.
Exterior of Summer’s Restaurant in Perth
We decided to sit inside as their was a fair breeze blowing down St John’s Street. Alec, the owner, told me that they’d only started serving High Teas three months before and that they were proving very popular.
Interior of Summers Restaurant in Perth
We both had the Steak Pie, which was delicious. The meat was tender and the accompanying vegetables were very colourful and tasty. I had a sip of my husband’s coffee and it was very good.
Steak Pie at Summer’s Restaurant in Perth
The cake stand was made from a dinner plate, side plate, saucer with a cup on top. We both thought that the meringues were excellent; crunchy on the outside and goey inside. I thought that the scones were slightly dry and the base of the Millionaire’s Shortbread wasn’t great.
High Tea selection at Summer’s Restaurant in Perth
Suffice to say that next time I’m in Perth in the early evening, I’ll be heading straight to Summers Restaurant for High Tea.
We’ve visited St Andrews in Fife on many occasions. Our most recent visit in October 2013 was a cold washout. What was planned to be a pleasant wander around St Andrews turned into a mad dash back to the car, as heavy showers were swept in by the chilly north easterly wind.
Old Gala House is a museum and gallery in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders. It was first constructed in the late 15th century as a tower house, becoming a museum in 1988.
Old Gala House’s beautiful garden
It’s free to get in plus there’s free parking at the front of museum with disabled parking access at the rear. There’s also a cafe and shop in the museum.
Sign outside Old Gala House
What I liked about Old Gala House was the eclectic mix. The permanent exhibitions focus on local history.
Collage of local history between 1930 – 2005
Two foxes and a plum tree; Galashiels’ Coat of Arms on the ceiling of Old Gala House
The Painted Ceiling Room is beautiful. Only around thirty of these Scottish style Renaissance celings remain intact, as they were often destroyed when the fashion changed to decorative plasterwork.
Angel on painted ceiling at Old Gala House
The painted ceiling at Old Gala House dates from 1635
There’s also a Painted Wall Room which has some activities for kids.
Painted Wall Room at Old Gala House
Activity corner in the Painted Wall Room at Old Gala House
There’s a room devoted to Thomas Clapperton, a sculptor born in Galashiels. Clapperton’s best known pieces include the Liberty Frieze on the department store in London, a Robert the Bruce statue at the entrance to Edinburgh Castle and several war memorials in the Scottish Borders.
Sculpture of Thomas Clapperton in Old Gala House
Sculpture by window in the Thomas Clapperton Room
I liked the Record Sleeves exhibition in the Museum Room. I remembered the “Island Life” sleeve from the 1986 album by Grace Jones. I was fooled by the trick photography as I thought that Grace Jones was agile enough to strike the pose.
“Island Life” by Grace Jones, 1986
“Bringing It All Back Home” by Bob Dylan, 1965
“More Songs About Buildings and Food” by Talking Heads, 1978
There was an exhibition of photos by Robert Mapplethrope in which photography was forbidden. It’s a testament to Grace Jones’ Influence on 1980s culture that a photo of her, with her body painted by graffiti artist Keith Hardling, featured in the Mapplethorpe exhibition.
I hope that you enjoy your visit to Old Gala House as much as I did.
We visited some of the Doors Open Days venues in Edinburgh during the last weekend of September 2013. It was really hard to draw up an intinerary as there were so many interesting venues, predominantly open between 10am – 4pm.
The Royal Observatory Edinburgh
My priority was to see the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, as I’d never been there. We planned to arrive soon after the 10am opening time to find parking outside the Observatory and secure tickets for the Starlab Planetarium.
East Tower of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh
The views over Edinburgh from the rooftop of the Visitor Centre are wonderful.
View of Arthur’s Seat from the Rooftop at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh.
We then headed in the city centre. I reckoned that it was too time-consuming to visit more venues on the periphery of Edinburgh. It was easy to find free parking in the city centre on Sunday. We parked close to the Fire Museum and walked around the rest of the venues.
Fire engine from Fraserburgh in the Museum of Fire
1901 fire engine from Tullis Russel paper mill in Fife at the Museum of Fire
Edinburgh College of Art
The Edinburgh College of Art has been located in Lauriston Place since 1906. I’ve been in the modern wing during the Degree Show. There were guided tours of the college, but we had a wander around on our own.
Â Exterior of the Edinburgh College of Art
The 1960s Boardroom at the Edinburgh College of Art
Cupola at the Edinburgh College of Art
Exhibition at the Edinburgh College of Art
B+B Edinburgh is a boutique Bed & Breakfast hotel in the fomer home of John Richtie Findlay, owner of the Scotsman newspaper.
Stained glass window at B+B Edinburgh
View towards Dean Village from B+B Edinburgh
Cloud lampshade in the foyer of B+B Edinburgh
Embellished ceiling at B+B Edinburgh
Another unusual lampshade in the Breakfast Room
All in all, we had a really interesting time on the Doors Open Days in Edinburgh. Next year I’m planning to book a hotel room in Edinburgh on the Saturday night, so I can get around more of the venues.
We caught the sunset over Loch Tummel from Queen’s View in Perthshire on our drive to the Macdonald Loch Rannoch Hotel in Kinloch Rannoch. This was a favourite spot of both Queen Isabella, wife of Robert the Bruce, and Queen Victoria.
Me at Queen’s View
Sunset over Loch Tummel
Â Cone sculpture on railing at Queen’s View Loch Tummel
Â Caterpillar sculpture on railing at Queen’s View Loch Tummel
As I was driving to Edinburgh through the Lammermuir Hills, I could see a large plume of smoke ahead. The heather burning had started in earnest on the 1st of October, the first day of the burning season. I decided to park the car and take some photos. It was a pretty windy day, so I didn’t want to go too close to the flames and end up as the burning woman.