Tuesday, 21 April 2015

A birthday outing

It was Mr Gaucho's birthday on Sunday, so we went to town.  There is an exhibition of Roy Lichtenstein's work at the National Gallery of Modern Art, which he wanted to see.  

The grounds of the art gallery are as good to visit as the interior.  There are snake's head fritillaries out at the moment, such fabulous flowers.
The flowers hold my attention rather more than the work of Lichtenstein.  I enjoy comic strips but find the bigger, singular pieces to be rather soulless.  
In front of the gallery there is one of Charles Jencks's landforms.  This is a small piece of his work, as you will see if you explore his website.  (http://www.charlesjencks.com/#!projects
Across the grass from the landform there is this crazy little construction, the Pig Rock Bothy project (http://www.thebothyproject.org/pig-rock-bothy), and on the other side of the road is the Dean Gallery - quite recently renamed Modern Two, which seems a bit dull!  It does, however, have wonderful exhibitions.
We waited for the National Gallery minibus to take us back into town, where it dropped us by the Royal Academy.
We went to The Gardener's Cottage for dinner.  On Sunday evenings they do a delicious, seven course tasting menu, some dishes using foraged ingredients.
One of the jars on the shelf below is a jar of fermenting alexanders, which is a hedgerow plant introduced to Britain by the Romans.  It's a very handsome plant and although I know you can eat it, best in April and May, I haven't tried it yet!  The Gardener's Cottage chefs are obviously great preservers, with a telltale stack of Kilner jars on a sideboard behind our table, and the array of jars in front of us as we walked in the front door.
Here's the cheese course of Keen's Cheddar, apple jelly and two kamut crackers - one with nettle and the other with leek.  Really good!

The restaurant is in a B-listed building, designed by William Playfair.  It was built in 1836 as a cottage for the gardener in Royal Terrace Gardens, at the foot of Calton Hill.  It's a delightful little building which, since 2012, has been rejuvenated by the restaurant, and now buzzes with activity, producing delicious food.  Well worth further visits, maybe to celebrate other birthdays!

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