I’m a little late with my holiday cheesecake roundup this year. It’s not nearly as long as my Toronto cheesecake roundup from last summer, but I still found a couple while we were away!
1. Orkney fudge cheesecake – Northlink Ferries
Well recommended if you find yourself on a ferry in this part of the world. The fudge taste was fantastic and the texture was just right.
2. Raspberry cheesecake – Waterfront Bar & Grill
The advertised cheesecake of the day was some kind of lime concoction, but they must have run out, because when my brother Malcolm and I ordered cheesecake we got this raspberry flavour with white chocolate sticks on the top. It was a bit too light and tasteless – Malcolm described it as ‘like fat-free raspberry yoghurt’ and I had to agree.
Short but sweet list this year. Hoping for a more cheesecake-filled holiday next summer 🙂
I have been really late with catching up with all my blogging since I got back from holiday. I’m very busy with the day job at the moment and haven’t had much time. However, I finally have a chance now to post all about my travels – better late than never!
Geth and I drove up to Mum and Dad’s in Edinburgh on the Sunday to meet up with the family – my brother and sister-in-law Malcolm and Steff had arrived from Canada on the Saturday – before we all travelled north. On the Monday, it was another long drive up to Aberdeen, with a brief lunch stop in Arbroath for some chippy goodness – separate post to follow at some point!
It was a bit of a wait to get onto the ferry but I was pleased to find that the small cars were loaded first – this meant that once my wee Skoda was in place on the car deck, Geth and I were able to grab a good space for the family in the lounge bar for the evening.
It was a fairly pleasant ferry journey north to Shetland, although first-time sailor Steff found it a bit nausea-inducing. In the morning, as soon as I’d driven to the B&B, I found a space to get on with some work – August has been busy from the off this year!
That afternoon, Geth and I found a nice café called the Dowry for lunch – it was so good that we ended up eating there five days in a row! – and then went for a walk around Lerwick to plot out where we were going to do our long runs the next day. I hadn’t slept well on the ferry so I got a fairly early night before the run.
It was nice running around Lerwick – a good way to see the town again after twelve years, especially as we had to do three laps to make the scheduled 14k we were both running that week! It was back to the Dowry for breakfast, as I’d been eyeing up the waffles the day before, and decided I’d earned them after my run.
I had a fairly quiet Wednesday afternoon – I had a bit of work to do again – before meeting up with the family for a meal at an Indian restaurant where we’d eaten when we were last in Shetland twelve years ago.
On the Thursday, Geth and I drove down to Sumburgh so that we could visit the excavation at Old Scatness. It wasn’t really open when we were last in Shetland as it had only recently been excavated, but they’ve got a nice wee visitor centre nowadays. Geth loved the site and could probably have stayed there for another hour!
Geth and I met up with Malcolm and Steff for breakfast (at the Dowry again, you’ll be amazed to learn) on the Friday morning, and then went to the Shetland Museum. The museum hasn’t really changed since we visited in 2007, but it’s always worth a poke around.
In the evening, we met up with relatives Joyce and Douglas at the Waterfront restaurant. There was a lot of fish eaten by everyone else, but I was pleased to find that the veggie option was my old favourite, pasta and pesto. Cheesecake too, which is always welcome (see forthcoming cheesecake roundup post).
On the Saturday morning, Geth and I packed all of our remaining stuff into the car and then went on foot on the Bressay ferry to get to the start line of Bressay parkrun. After parkrun, we visited Joyce and Douglas for lunch and a brief tour of Bressay in the mist, before heading back to Lerwick so that I could get some work admin sorted out courtesy of the Dowry’s wifi.
Later that afternoon, we all drove back to the ferry terminal, and Geth and I and the Skoda got onboard nice and promptly again! It was a slightly bumpier ride than going up, and again I found it difficult to sleep on the boat, but we arrived nice and early in Aberdeen and the Sunday morning traffic was so quiet that we were back in Edinburgh by ten o’clock.
We had a couple more days in Edinburgh – I had to spend all of Sunday and Monday working, but Geth and I were able to meet up with our friend Kieran on the Monday night, and then we went to the City Cafe with Malcolm and Steff to have breakfast with my cousin Freya and her boyfriend Ryan on the Tuesday morning, before Geth and I headed back to Newcastle in the afternoon.
Hopefully it won’t be another twelve years before I make it back to Shetland again!
I did my long run this morning instead of going to parkrun, as I won’t have time for a long run tomorrow. I’m getting used to the treadmill now, and it feels a lot more manageable for hours-long runs than pounding the pavements, especially seeing as I’ve got all these BBC4 music documentaries that I need to clear off the digibox.
After my run, I did a bit of tidying and then headed into town to meet up with Mum and Dad (and Geth, who’d been at a gaming tournament all morning). We had a couple of drinks (and I was gratified to find that ginger beer was available everywhere I went) and then went for a meal at El Torero, a tapas place that is one of my favourite restaurants in Newcastle. There’s lots of veggie options and the food is quite Slimming World-friendly (I just need to syn the oil they cook it in…and the cheesecake I inevitably have at the end!).
More adventures about town tomorrow.
Today’s earworm playlist:
Tears For Fears – Change Lewis Capaldi – Grace Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now Khalid and Normani – Love Lies Halsey – Without Me The Proclaimers – Throw The ‘R’ Away The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army Dire Straits – Sultans Of Swing Ariana Grande – Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored Martin Garrix and Khalid – Ocean 50 Cent – In Da Club
It’s my birthday today, but I didn’t go out tonight. I’m thirty-four years old now – I have far better things to do. Things I did do today:
Got up early and went to Slimming World, because it’s important to keep an eye on things over Christmas even when it is your birthday.
Opened presents and cards under Mum and Dad’s Christmas tree, just as I do every year. It’s the tenth day of Christmas and that Christmas tree is still important! Nobody’s ever got me any lords a-leaping for my birthday though.
Drank prosecco and blew out candles on my birthday cake – it was a New York style cheesecake as usual, made by the world’s best dad as usual!
Packed up and left Edinburgh to go back to Newcastle after ten lovely days spent at Mum and Dad’s for Christmas.
Got on a train. Geth was worried about travel stress spoiling my birthday, but it was actually a really relaxed journey.
Got home and put on the heating and both fires to warm up our ice block of a house!
Ordered takeaway pizza and drank more prosecco. It’s my last non-sober birthday, and it’s been a double-prosecco day. I am okay with this.
Spent a perfect birthday evening watching ’80s episodes of Top of the Pops recorded off BBC4. I’m very nearly at the point in the marathon where I’ll get to watch the episode from Thursday 3rd January 1985! So glad I was born on a Thursday. That one’s going to be staying on the digibox and constituting my birthday viewing for many years to come.
It’s been a good day.
Today’s earworm playlist:
Alison Moyet – This House Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:
Kraftwerk – The Model
Plus my awesome birthday playlist that I made on Spotify earlier:
will.i.am and Cody Wise – It’s My Birthday 50 Cent – In Da Club Lesley Gore – It’s My Party Bowling For Soup – 1985 The Birthday Massacre – The Birthday Massacre The Crüxshadows – Winter Born (This Sacrifice) Altered Images – Happy Birthday Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
As promised, here’s a roundup of all the cheesecake I ate in Canada last week!
1. New York style cheesecake – Holiday Inn
Divine, and beautifully baked.
2. Pecan and white chocolate cheesecake – Holiday Inn
I didn’t actually have this one until later in the week, but Geth had it on the first night, which is when I snapped the photo. The cheesecake part was delicious, but I’m not the hugest fan of pecans.
3. Vanilla cheesecake – Pickle Barrel
I was so keen to dive into this one that I forgot to take a picture. It was similar to the New York style one at the Holiday Inn, but the slice was a lot bigger.
4. Caramel cheesecake – Kalendar
I didn’t have this one at all – they have various cheesecakes at Kalendar, and when we ordered, Steff got the last slice of one type, and I got the first slice of a different type!
5. Blueberry cheesecake – Kalendar
The blueberry taste on this one was gorgeous, but the rest of the cake was a little bland.
6. White chocolate and raspberry cheesecake – Pickle Barrel
Again, I didn’t have this one – we didn’t go to the Pickle Barrel enough times for me to sample all the cheesecakes! – but Geth assures me it was delicious.
7. Brown cow cheesecake – Pickle Barrel
A huge slice of milk and white chocolate cheesecake. Absolutely amazing, and so rich. Good thing I skipped the starter!
8. Vanilla cheesecake – Scaddabush
Even more ridiculously big than the ones at the Pickle Barrel – it’s basically a whole mini cheesecake! Even though I’d forsaken the starter again, it was still a real challenge to finish. Delicious though!
So that’s my Canada cheesecake roundup. I’m starting to understand why I put on so much weight while I was away!
Geth had left on the Saturday – he had a conference in Toronto that we had used to schedule a family trip – but I headed off for my holiday the Sunday before last, carrying two very heavy bags that turned out to be a bad idea when I had to lug them up and down a railway bridge near where I live in order to get to the Metro station. After a cumbersome Metro ride, train ride and taxi ride, I arrived at Mum and Dad’s in Edinburgh and managed to get a few hours’ sleep before a 4am wakeup call.
The flight from Edinburgh to Toronto was nice and straightforward – I read my Kindle the whole time – and after collecting our bags and meeting up with Malcolm at the airport, we got a taxi to the Holiday Inn, where Mum and Dad were staying, and I dropped my bag in their room before going to the St. Louis Diner, where Geth was meeting us after his morning conference session.
A couple of ciders later – logged here – I went with Geth to our hotel, the Grand Hotel, where I was really glad to get out of my comfy plane leggings and put on something lighter (Toronto was a bit muggier than Edinburgh had been that morning). The Grand is lovely, and they’d upgraded Geth to a suite, which had an awesome view:
The suite was great – it had a separate bedroom and loads of space for sitting around. After I’d got unpacked, we headed back to the Holiday Inn for a meal to celebrate Mum and Dad’s wedding anniversary:
The cider they serve at the Holiday Inn is Strongbow, but the bottle looks different in Canada, so I took a picture of it anyway.
After some amazing pizza (the pizza at the Holiday Inn is of the perfect texture, and the sauce is insanely yummy), a couple more Strongbows, some cheesecake (see my cheesecake roundup) and a bit of a wait while a heavy thunderstorm was in progress, Geth and I headed back to our hotel, where it turned out the view by night was pretty awesome too:
Then I got some much-needed sleep. Part two tomorrow!
I believe it was in New York City in 2004 that cheesecake became my favourite dessert. This would make sense, as New York is of course famous for its cheesecake. My brother Malcolm and I would go out at night to the street vendors that were selling it and bring it back to our hotel room. Later that year, Dad found a recipe online, and for the last fourteen years he’s been able to make a pretty good New York style cheesecake himself. I have it every year for my birthday.
Probably the best non-New York style cheesecake I’ve tried is at Artisan Cheesecakes in Edinburgh:
I keep meaning to go back when I’m in Edinburgh but have not got round to it yet. Being on Slimming World kind of gets in the way of being free to stuff your face with cheesecake, so I have to plan for it. Maybe later this year.
I’ve got a lot of meals out to go to this week, so am sticking to my current strategy of ‘skip the starter so I can have cheesecake at the end’. As such, I’ll probably have a cheesecake roundup for you next week.
Like the rest of the UK, we’ve been enjoying glorious weather here in Newcastle for the past fortnight. Last weekend, we were able to make the most of it; as I mentioned previously, we were celebrating Geth’s birthday a couple of weeks late, and so on Saturday we went into town for some shopping and food, interspersed with a visit to our favourite beer garden seeing as how it was so nice.
We were fairly lucky to get a space in the Free Trade Inn beer garden – it was a hot Saturday afternoon, which is a rarity, and so the people of Newcastle were out in force in the centre of town – but we did manage it, and Geth immediately made a start on the bar snacks.
I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the light in these pictures – I blame the sun. Clearly my smartphone camera has become accustomed to British weather and can’t cope with bright light!
We’d got all our shopping done fairly efficiently, so we were able to enjoy a good few hours in the sun before our restaurant booking.
We then headed to Uno’s Trattoria, one of our favourite Italian restaurants in Newcastle, which Geth had selected for his birthday meal.
The reason Geth chose Uno’s Trattoria is that, for the last year or so, they’ve had pork belly on the menu, which is one of his favourite foods. Apparently most Italian restaurants don’t cook meat dishes properly (being a vegetarian I’m generally unaware of these things), but this restaurant must be an exception, as the pork belly went down very well.
I, meanwhile, went for my favourite Italian restaurant treat of pizza:
We also had dessert – we both went for the white chocolate cheesecake – but we were so keen to get stuck into it that I forgot to take a picture.
A lovely day out overall. Happily the weather has continued, and it looks like it’ll be similar this weekend – so we’ll need to take it carefully when running the Great North 10k on Sunday!