Cake heaven

It was my friend’s birthday last week and instead of trying to think up an idea for a present I decided to treat her and take her to the relatively new Patisserie Valerie in Edinburgh. I pass it regularly on the way to work and it has such a glorious display of pastries and cakes that you feel as if you are gaining weight just looking at the window:

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She hadn’t been in there since it opened so it seemed like a good excuse for a nice birthday treat, plus as I told Mel cakes eaten for birthday celebrations contain no fat or calories, that’s a true (made up) scientific fact. I had the chocolate mousse you can see on the left in this pic (complete with a small profiterole on the top – decorate your cake with another, smaller cake! I like their thinking) and a huge mocha:

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With displays like this you can see why so many passers-by, locals and tourists alike, stop to gawp in the patisserie’s window:

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How fantastic does this cake look? My darling cookie cat Cassie would have gone crazy if she saw this, that kitty loved a bit of pastry or cake. Never worked out where she developed her taste for them, she didn’t care for them when younger but by middle age she was a furry demon for them, if I came home with several bags of heavy groceries she would mieow loudly and unneringly go straight to the bag that had the parcel from the bakery in it. She would have loved this. Anyway, we had a good cakey treat then a nice wander around some of the art galleries afterwards, which as both of us have been dealing with ill relatives a lot recently was a nice, relaxing way to spend a day off and something the pair of us haven’t had time to do lately.

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Magic!

I had one of those really great Sundays this weekend. Melanie and I met up at the fabulous little pastry shop/gallery near my flat I mentioned back in December, the Old Bakehouse. Scrumptious cakes and a wee art gallery, what a brilliant combination. Choux pastry filled with fresh cream and dusted all over (actually covered) with chocolate flakes…. Mmmmmm, choux pastry….. Lovely little independent gallery in the basement. Down the spiral staircase where you can slurp your coffee and harden your arteries with fresh cream in among the artwork. Terrific. The nice gentleman even gave us a goody bag of some fresh pizza slices since he was about to close and didn’t want to waste them. Result.

Skipped off through the nearby subway (newly decorated with cool stencils and art which I must photograph sometime – sure Olly would like it)to the cinema afterwards, full of coffee and cake and arrived in time to watch an amazing film filled with the cream (oh that word just keeps coming up today, doesn’t it?) of British thespian-hood: Sir Ian McKellen, Jim Broadbent, Tom Baker, Joanna Lumley…

Yep, Mel and I went off to enjoy The Magic Roundabout! And it totally and utterly rocked! It was far too good for the kids who were there and I suspect they were left bemused as to why we were so amused by Dylan the hippy rabbit’s references to grass and hot rocks. And Tom Baker as the Zebedee’s evil nemesis Zeebad was perfect, but then Tom is madder than a hedgehog on a motorbike (but we love him for it). Totally groovy – the only fault was they didn’t play the classic Magic Roundabout music! Why ever not??? I was all ready to dance around in a little circle to it. Oh, wait a minute, perhaps that’s why they didn’t play it…

Continuing our perfect timing we skipped back here through the rather chilly evening and caught the opening two episodes of Joey. Mel and I used to watch Friends together so this worked perfectly – comedy is always funnier when you share it with chums. And of course it is even better with chums with wine and popcorn. I thought Joey was better than I expected although his nephew/room mate does seem to be an amalgam of Chandler’s smart but hopeless with girls character and Monica’s neuroses, but we’ll have to see how it goes. And yes, I’m sure some of you will slag me off for liking Friends, but what the smeg…