The Tartan Stag
I’ve talked about The Tartan Stag once or twice on earlier posts. I have not talked about it enough. If you’re looking for something about the big sites in Edinburgh, the castle and the palace and all that, I direct you to the list of lovely other bloggers at the left of your screen. Don’t get me wrong. The big, fancy sites are great. But when I go back to Edinburgh, I’ll be going back for The Tartan Stag.
It was my friend Dan who found them, on the first day or so in our dorms. Dan, if you hadn’t been so exhausted from travelling that you went without food for eighteen hours, wandered hungrily into the streets and into the first cafe you saw, we might never have found the Stag. Points to you.
It’s run by Emma and Guy, a married couple and my Scottish parents. They welcomed us immediately, and we became superregulars. That’s like being a regular, but super. It means that they’re knowing your order is the smallest thing. It means clearing your own plate and chatting with Guy in the kitchen. It means arguing with Emma just to get her to let you pay full price (I rarely suceeded). It means staying a few minutes after closing to chat with both of them just because.
It means learning how to work the cash register. It means knowing the secret menu, which definitely doesn’t exist. It means going to the zoo with them on the Monday before two of your exams, because studying can wait, but penguins cannot.
The Tartan Stag is my Scottish home away from home. If you are a student considering studying abroad in Edinburgh–and you are not ridiculous and/or stupid, because I don’t want to send ridiculous and/or stupid people to darken Emma and Guy’s doorstep–look up The Tartan Stag. It gave me a sort of base of operations, a Scottish home away from home, somewhere I could go to meet other regulars and just hang out.
Also–and this is important–they have Belgian waffles now, which you can get with bacon and maple syrup or with ice cream. These waffles are delicious, and, in my opinion, an important part of any healthy breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner.
Oh, and I’m a published author because of them. They make cards for different occasions, and they’re all hilarious–although I still can’t think of the cheesy one without groaning. Actually, it’s cheesy. As in, it says “This was the cheesiest card I could find” or something (can’t exactly remember), and has pictures of a bunch of different cheeses underneath that.
Anyway, back to me being published. One of these cards reads “We wanted to make a card for any occasion, so we left this one blank for your message.” On the back of this card is a tiny trademark-esque symbol that reads “FR” for Fain Riopelle. Who is me. They were kind enough to use my idea for a card, and in so doing, give me my big break into the world of published authorship. When I get my book published and become a widely successful author with houses all over the world and a small condo on the moon, you can bet money that it’ll be my second published work. But you know, don’t bet too much. Gambling’s not the best of habits.
But yeah. The Tartan Stag. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the reason I went to Scotland. The rest of it was great, but it was all just a bonus. The Isle of Skye, the fencing, the castle, Argyll forest. I’m not exaggerating when I say I would take the Tartan Stag over all of it.
Why are you still reading this? Go there. Now.