Wine bar is as chilled as the drinks
The possibilities were endless with a child-free '¨weekend but spoiling ourselves was at the top of the menu.
Eating, shopping and drinking, in that order, were the choices we made and after a long lie in last Saturday we ambled up to the station where the tannoy announcer told us the train was cancelled and the other one was 14 minutes late.
That was okay, we could handle that, we were in relaxed mode and 14 minutes was nothing. Any other day it would have been a major annoyance.
But then the late train arrives and there’s about two carriages that are full to the gunnels. Mild anxiety kicks in before the short trip to Edinburgh where we were booked into Le Di-Vin in the capital’s trendy west end in Randolph Place.
It’s an upmarket wine bar that offers food, but we fancied somewhere different to where we’d normally go.
It’s an impressively large room in the transformed Oratory of St Anne. It’s the pied-à-terre of restaurant La P’tite Folie (The Little Madness) which offers contemporary French cuisine. It’s spacious and long with bookshelves where bottles of wine replace paper in the boxes and a roving ladder is needed to reach the high up bunks.
It has the whiff of New Town money and is very relaxed with laid back staff who direct us to our seat in the mezzanine which is quite intimate but, surprisingly, can fit 35 guests apparently.
That is until a hen party come in and are shown to the large table across from us and the mild anxiety returns.
This was misplaced, however, the ladies were all impeccably behaved and were quite clearly not your average girly, loud, hi-jinx hen do.
Their uniform t-shirts suggested the day was based on their love of horses so the innuendo in the name ‘Rider Rachel’ wasn’t as literal as it may have been on other hen nights I’ve previously encountered in other establishments.
So, our chill factor remained in check and we perused the menu before deciding on a laidback mixed charcuterie and cheese board to share with a few glasses of wine to kickstart our day out.
The meat featured some Spanish chorizo and lomo, French petit saucisson, Rosette de Lyonshall, Jesus Basque, copa from Corsica and honey roast ham with herbs from Italy.
Cheeses were Brie de Meaux, Livarot, Tonne de Savoie, Mothais, Chaource, Comte, Cure Nantais and Strathdon Blue.
When combined with all the other elements of the board – lettuce, the sausage, the lovely crusty and soft bread – it was a real treat.
I even thoroughly enjoyed the mini gherkins that garnished the board and added a splash of colour. I don’t normally eat gherkins and eight times out of ten would leave them but these little ones were full of flavour with a real bite. A nice surprise.
The food was effortlessly washed down with a few glasses of wine, well, when in Rome as they say ... and we were in a wine bar.
I had pinot grigio while Karen had the pinotage. My choice was crisp and fresh and left me wanting more (what decent wine doesn’t). I don’t like red wine but Karen assured me of its quality.
I have only one gripe – there was only one pickle on the sharing board that I didn’t get it and you can’t exactly half a small pickle.
Next time, make sure there are two please.