From Flowers to Haggis

The day was full of adventure from an early morning tour of Edinburgh to a flower garden and an amazing Scottish dinner and show!

As we made our way we through the beautiful city of Edinburgh we were accompanied by a tour guide. Being extremely knowledgeable she pointed out all the hotspots and secrets the city had to offer. She showed us the Elephant Cafe, the birthplace of many of the Harry Potter books. The stories behind the city such as the university and town square. With her finale being a sneak peek about the Scottish castle and volcano, a place we will get to visit in a few days. I believe it’s safe to say that tour truly opened all of our eyes to the rich history and opportunity of both Edinburgh and to the country of Scotland.

After the tour, we made our way to “Explorers”, the Scottish plant hunters garden. Which there was so much to see. We first had the chance to see the cafe and store inside, getting a better understanding of the place we had arrived to. The garden was laid out by country of origin. Starting with New Zealand all the way to Japan. Covering seven total locations with thousands of plants. We got to learn the timeline and how many of the famous plants or flowers were brought to the UK and even who brought them. An example being Robert Fortune, a man responsible for many of the plants but the biggest one, especially to the UK, the tea plant from China. Such a fascinating experience, seeing such beautiful horticulture and landscaping along with learning a lot.

After a long bus ride home and a short stop at the hotel to change into something nicer, we headed to the Prestonfield House for the world famous dinner and show “the Scottish Taste.” We were first greeted by a bagpipe and traditional Scottish music. As we sat down, we went straight into the meal. For me, I was able to try their delicious goats’ cheese,  haggis, (with the show including a toast and ceremony specifically for haggis) roast vegetable terrin, Scottish borders Angus beef and Raspberry Mousse. Then after the meal began the show. Consisting of professional dancers, old and young, singers, and instruments like the accordion and Bodhran (Irish drum). The show and meal were incredibly put together and showed us the true essence of Scottish culture especially for the few of us (including myself) that were pulled from the audience to come up and dance with them!

Picture found from the website.


In conclusion, day eight was a blast and a half! While most of it may have been spent on the bus traveling or us trying to stay out of the rain it was a great time of conversation and bonding. It’s days like these I believe we will remember the most because of the relationships we build with each other. Plus, the amazing experience of the tour, garden, and dinner show. Today has set such an amazing tone for Scotland and I just can’t wait to see what tomorrow and the rest of the trip has to bring!


Ryan Matthews


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