The Christmas Mercat mustiness excuse

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Mercat's whisky bar

Graham & the whisky collection

After the exertions of Christmas – the digestive and mental ones involved in eating, drinking and coming to grips with nasty snowmen in Doctor Who – a bit of physical exertion helps to remove the mustiness caused by so much sofa hugging.
So those few days after Christmas are days for getting out; taking a walk to the pub for example or, for those of us with more stamina, heading to the sales. Or you could go to a sporting event where you can lull yourself into believing you are exercising by watching others do it.
So a football or – better still – a rugby match is ideal.
There are lots of matches on but what about watching Edinburgh versus Glasgow on the 29th at Murrayfield? Why? Because this match is an old tradition going back to 1872 and is played over two legs so the excitement at the second leg is more palpable. From the first leg played on the 21st, Glasgow lead by 23-14. With home advantage now in their favour, Edinburgh will want to turn the tables, so a cracker of a match should be on.
And on the way to the match if you stop at the award winning gastropub, Mercat, you can get free soup and stovies (for the uninitiated, a stovie is a combination of savoury Scottish mashed potatoes and minced meat) plus the company of Graham Blaikie, the landlord and former prop. If it’s a cold day, a wee dram from the huge selection of Mercat whiskies will keep out the cold whilst you watch the match. Unless of course you just stay in the pub, keeping warm (internally) and dry (externally) and watch the match on Graham’s box!
the Mercat bar

Mercat


There’s a catch! You can’t just turn up and claim your soup and stovies because how many would Graham and his chef, Claire Allen, know to prepare? You need give them a bit of notice, so pop along anytime from 9am on the day, or at least drop them a line via their website. Between them, they have made Mercat a big hit in the Haymarket end of Edinburgh, so much so that they were voted the ‘Most Loved Gastropub in the UK’. Is it due to the beer? The whisky? The food? The company?
Who knows but if it is wet or cold or windy or I just fancy it Mercat may be as far as my mustiness cleansing will take me on the 29th! See you there.

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