ED2016 Columns ED2016 Comedy

Luke Courtier: A guide to lunch on the hoof in Edinburgh

By | Published on Sunday 7 August 2016

Luke Courtier

Luke Courtier’s show is called ‘Lunch’. It’s a “high-octane series of musical comedy vignettes asking that vital question: well what is it that really happens at Lunch, narratively speaking?” Good question.
Now, the rules of Edinburgh Festival journalism dictate that whenever a comedian does a show in anyway connected to lunch, she or he has to write a column for ThreeWeeks about eating your way through the Fringe. It’s actually in the constitution.
So here’s Luke Courtier with his guide to lunch on the hoof in Edinburgh…

There is – it seems – a fine balance to be struck nutritionally up in Edinburgh. Working on an even ratio of 86% potato (⅓ fried, ⅓ boiled and ⅓ found in the fridge, origin unknown), 5% protein, 1% broccoli and 8% other, I’ve endeavoured to pop together a quick guide to some rather damned fine eateries that might just see you through the month. Or at least provide some dietary respite as you hot foot across town from one production of ‘Two Gentleman Of Verona – On Ice’ (with vampires) [1] to another production of ‘Two Gentleman Of Verona – On Ice’ (with vampires) [2].

1. Cairngorm Coffee, Frederick St | cairngormcoffee.com
I stayed round the corner from these guys last year in the New Town and, in regard to nitro caffeine intake, this lot do seem to know what they’re talking about it. Their latte art’s super fly [3] and they make a flat white so shiny that you could skate across it (logistically tricky though). The last time I went, I left with a towering hunk of a sandwich, packed to brim with lettuce, maple bacon and half a merry chicken between two slices of relevantly burly sourdough. The effect, as I recall, was that I spent the rest of the day reverberating like a newly ordained minister. In a good way.

2. The Arcade Haggis And Whisky House, Cockburn Street arcadepub.co.uk
The highlight here would be the aptly named Robert Burn’s Favourite Haggis which comprises of haggis drenched in whisky. Burns, I’ve always thought, quite famously described the process of consuming this much haggis “deep in heart wrung tears I’ll pledge thee, warring sigh’s and groans I’ll wage thee”. Having tried it, I couldn’t agree more.

3. Timberyard, Lady Lawson Street timberyard.co
Seasonal produce, a converted warehouse, exposed brickwork, rugs and handsome men with beards making bread, Timberyard sits high aloft on Edinburgh’s culinary peaks. Smoked roe, raw beef, shallot’s, smoked roe, kale, chard, brioche and all kinds of wondrous charcuterie… This is my Valhalla. There’s also a lovely black and white picture on their website of a man with a lot of tattoos holding a large saw.

4. My Fridge, Near the Meadows
In this, there will be three small cartons of semi-skimmed milk. A Lettuce. More hummus. And some Cornflakes [4]. And some spare charcuterie because you never know when you might need it.

5. That place I first had a battered sausage, not really sure where…
“Is anybody there?” I said, knocking on the moonlit door somewhere along the Mile one foggy eve. I recall the long creak as it swung open. I crossed the threshold tentatively (read: inebriated), wobbled for a moment and then was bid a intensely warm hello by a blurry yet well-mannered battery fellow of whom there were two to three. The air was thick with a battery aroma and the third one of him opened a cabinet of battery goods from which poured forth an abundant golden ray of battery wonder. “It’s all much better in batter”, I thought sometime later as I stumbled merrily home under the dawn sky, battered sausage in hand (too much? – Ed). I couldn’t seem to find that door again after that. Perhaps for the better [5].

[1] Only if you like that sort of thing. You might not.
[2] It does warrant repeat viewing.
[3] Only if you like that sort of thing.
[4] Better chilled.
[5] Batter? (No… – Ed)

‘Luke Courtier – Lunch’ was performed at Underbelly Cowgate at Edinburgh Festival 2016.