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Storm Eunice is outside, so hunker down and eat cheese, says Gaby Soutar

Food provides comfort on stormy days like these

Published: February 19, 2022

Dudley and Eunice sound like a smashing couple, but they’ve got a lot to answer for.

They’re the sorts who turn up uninvited, then leave your house in total disarray in the middle of the night, with a Post It note on the fridge that says, “We’ll be back”.

Except we know their reign is nearly up, and it’ll be Franklin and Gladys coming to Rubik’s Cube your roof tiles next time.

Still, I will not be letting Storm Eunice’s shenanigans ruin my Saturday. Quite the contrary.

On dreich weekends like this, if weather warnings allow, you’re provided with the perfect excuse to seek out refuge in a restaurant, cafe or pub.

The torture of freezing temperatures only increases the gratification of eating.

I know this because I just walked a mile for a bagel, while Eunice blew hail into my right ear. My lunch tasted all the better for it.

This is maybe not the time for our freshly Michelin-starred restaurants - sorry, Unalome and The Glenturret by Lalique. We plan to visit them on balmier days, when we can wear nice clothes. Instead, this climate suits comfort food.

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Cheese boards, ramen, steak, roasts, curry, chips, custard and cinnamon buns, all washed down with red wine, old fashioneds and hot chocolate. If not eating these items a la casa, I’d like to be listening to the wind outside at Edinburgh venues, L’Escargot Bleu Wine BarThe Palmerston or Smith & Gertrude.

I visit these places for cockle-warming menus. I’m not too bothered about the surroundings, though others feel very differently.

If I had 50p for every time someone, when the weather is vaguely stormy, asked me where they could find a pub with a roaring fire, I’d be able to afford a pint of lager and a packet of crisps. Someone will undoubtedly ask me this question over the weekend - another 50p in the kitty - and I’ll provide my stock answer: The Sheep’s Heid Inn, where I imagine people fight over the best hot spot by the hearth, like feral cats.

As long as it’s dry at my destination, I’m happy.

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Just hand me the cheese.

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Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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