German Christmas Market

The Traditional German Christmas Market in Edinburgh:

Mound Precinct
Thursday 24 November – Saturday 24 December
Sun – Wed: 10am – 8pm
Thu – Sat: 10am – 10pm
Christmas Eve: 10am – 8pm

Sausages, fried potato cakes, crepes, German beer, Glühwein, decorations, toys and lots of lovely gifts for everyone.

Photos and information from here.

Also just a reminder for St. Andrews Day tomorrow, don’t forget that Edinburgh Castle and St. Andrews Castle and Cathedral are FREE in honour of the special day.

Edinburgh Castle will be FREE to enter on 30th November 2011 in celebration of St Andrews Day.
St Andrews Castle & Cathedral will also be FREEof charge on Wednesday 30th November 2011.

Opening Hours

Edinburgh Castle, 9.30am to 5pm (last admission 4.15pm)
St Andrews Castle & Cathedral, 9.30am to 4.30pm (last admission at 4pm)

Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle is absolutely gorgeous from the little bit that I’ve seen of it on video clips and looking at photographs.  In early December, for the first time ever the Castle will be open for about a week and if you’re able to get there for a visit, I think it would be very worthwhile.   I have included a few photographs from the website but there are loads more if you’d like to see some more of the Castle and the BBC has a video clip that shows the beauty of the interior.

From the Gordon Castle website:

“Gordon Castle opens its doors for the first time in its history: Enjoy a Christmas Tour with afternoon tea for £10

Historic Gordon Castle Estate, near Fochabers in Morayshire, will open its doors for the first time this December to visitors interested in learning more about the ancestral home of the Dukes of Gordon. Tours will be take place from Thursday 1 December to Sunday 4 December when the castle will be dressed for the festive season in traditional style. Following unprecedented demand, additional tours will be available from 7 – 10 December inclusive.

Angus Gordon Lennox said; “We are really looking forward to welcoming guests to the castle this Christmas. Since restoring the interior for private parties, we have been looking for an opportunity to show it to more guests. The Christmas Tours will be a lovely way to learn more about this incredible house, which has enjoyed a colourful and interesting history, and sample some of our beautiful home-baked cakes.”

Each tour will accommodate 12 guests for an hour-long walk and talk around the castle and its immediate grounds with Andrew Mellon, amateur historian.  Following the tour, guests are invited to stay for tea or coffee with homemade cakes, biscuits and scones in the beautiful Octagonal Hall or Drawing Room. Gordon Castle gifts will also be available to purchase.

Tours will cover the history of the original Castle using a model of the original house as the focal point. Guests will be guided through the house taking in the Games Room, the ground floor reception rooms plus bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs. The lower Octagonal Hall will house an exhibit of photographs and information about the Gordon family history. Guests will have the opportunity to ask questions throughout the tour.”

Instructions on how to get there:

From the South Take the A9 north from Perth and turn right onto the A95 just north of Aviemore.  Follow the A95 to Craigellachie then continue on the A941 to Elgin.  On the outskirts of Elgin follow the signs East for the A96 Aberdeen.

From the North Take the A96 from Inverness and follow the directions above The main entrance to Gordon Castle is situated on the A96 which travels east/west between Aberdeen and Inverness, lying to the north between the B9104 road and Fochabers High Street.

Christmas Lunch at Edinburgh Castle

Now that it is November, the shops have brought out Christmas in full force. I went shopping yesterday and I was surprised to see everything decorated already and so many Christmas presents being advertised. In keeping with advertising for Christmas, I found a lunch menu for Edinburgh Castle and I thought I’d share it with you as it looks amazing and incredibly delicious.

Enjoy a scrumptious 3-course Christmas lunch prepared by award winning caterers Benugo. Entry to the Castle is included in the cost so get together with friends and family and make a festive day of it.

Smoked ham hock terrine, marinated vegetables drizzled
with Arran grain mustard vinaigrette
Oven roasted winter vegetable tart, herb leaves,
red pepper and shallot dressing
Cream of cauliflower soup finished with cruth dhu

Roast Bubbly jock
Traditional roast turkey with sage & onion stuffing,
grilled chipolatas, cranberry and bread sauce
Braised scotch beef steak, Claret jus
Savoy cabbage filled with a mushroom ragout
All served with winter vegetables and roast potatoes selection

Mature Mull cheddar with plum chutney, quince and oatcakes
Drambuie pannacotta, with caramelised orange and toffee sauce
Christmas pudding and brandy sauce
Coffee and castle mince pies