On Perth

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Home again, home again.

Two days in Perth and the surrounding area have passed, and we are home in damp, dreich Hamilton. It’s good to be home, but the food just isn’t quite the same… more on that later.

First to Pitlochry!

Actually, first I should explain why we were away. Ten years ago I was a young man, standing in a room full of friends and family, waiting for a beautiful young woman to walk into the room. She did, she was wearing white and the rest, as the saying goes, are events that have happened in the past.

Now, where were we? Ohh yes, Pitlochry. A charming little town in two parts. Firstly the ‘old’ part which is mainly a slightly quaint old main street, lined with shops of the usual small town variety; Blockbuster, Woolworths and a curry house or three.. you know the type. We browsed a little then headed to the new Festival Theatre, and lunched by the River Tummel. A brief stroll later and we ventured to the disappointing Scottish Plant Hunters Garden. I’m hoping it was just because it was out of season but the plant life was sparse to say the least, the saving grace being some nice sculptures and outhouses. A visit next year might be more fruitful.

From there we decided to visit a fairly prominent building, namely Scone Palace. That’s “Scoone” not “Scoan” or “S’con”. Home to royalty, visited by Queen Victoria, and site of The Douglas Fir. Note that capital T if you will. Very old, full of history and no cameras allowed inside.

To celebrate our anniversary, we had dinner at Deans at Let’s Eat in Perth. Starters of Cannelloni of Haggis and Glamis Asparagus with Serrano Ham were delicious and light, allowing the main courses to shine. And ohhh how they shone. Louise had Roast Fillet of Halibut and Langoustine, beautifully cooked and presented, where as I treated myself to the Fillet of Beef, cooked medium to rare which melted both under the knife and on my palate. Simply delicious and to quote my wife: “That must be good, it’s taking you ages to eat it” (there is another quote about orgasms which I’ll leave unmentioned).

If you are ever in Perth I can highly, VERY highly, recommend it. The staff are attentive, knowledgeable yet unpretentious, and the entire restaurant has a very welcome feel to it. It has won awards and rightly so. The only minor let-down was dessert but only because we both agreed, with hindsight, that whilst we shouldn’t have had one, the dessert was delicious.

Friday morning and we headed into Perth itself for a lengthy, coffee and crepe filled wander. It’s a lovely city which feels much more like a large market town than a city per se, it has all the usual city trappings along with several smaller local shops, and that’s before we mention the flowers.

The place is positively dripping with hanging baskets, beds and all are wonderfully maintained. Even driving around the outskirts, the roundabouts and corners are full of vibrant displays and dazzling colours. Quite wonderful.

The afternoon found us wandering round another garden but this one, in contrast to the feeble effort we encountered yesterday, was astounding. The National Heather garden doesn’t sound like it will be up to much but the range and vibrancy of the displays was sumptuous. The photos don’t do it justice at all, but as we already have a small heather patch in the front garden it was enough for us to change our plans and decide to rip up the remaining lawn and go for a heather-laden garden.

To close out the afternoon we decided to pander to more child-like wants and headed to Blair Drummond Safari Park. Many pictures of large and wild animals taken through fences will not be shown here but it’s always interesting to drive slowly within three feet of a large male lion. Even more entertaining is the sign as you enter their enclosure.

If a lion approaches your car, drive away slowly.

HAHAHA… yes that’s exactly what I’d do. I’d drive away slooowwllyyyy… I certainly wouldn’t panic, slam the car into gear and take off like bat out of hell… honest.

Completely knackered on Friday night we had dinner and a few drinks in the hotel then retired for the evening. Home again this morning, relaxed and refreshed.

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