A book trail to 44 Scotland Street – and the search for Ian Rankin

Well, We’re on the chase for that painting from the Something Special Gallery – I jumped in a taxi and raced along Morningside Road just as Matthew described:

The taxi arrived and they set off for Morningside Road. ‘Holy Corner’, said Matthew, as they traversed the famous crossroads with its four churches.

Holy Corner
Holy Corner

Then they passed the Churchill Theatre, scene of Ramsay Dumbarton’s triumph all those years ago as the duke of Plaza-Toro in the Gondoliers

Church hill Theatre
Churchill Theatre

Then, my heart pumping furiously in my chest as the taxi sped almost ran the lights at the crossing and raced towards that charity shop in Morningside. I knew the one – I just hoped the painting would still be there.

The taxi crested the hill, and there, dropping down below the well -set houses, the Pentland Hills could be seen, half wreathed in low cloud. It was a reminder that the city had a hinterland – a landscape of soft hills and fertile fields, of old mining villages, of lochs and burns.

The taxi
The taxi crested the hill…of Morningside Road

I found the charity shop where the painting is thought to be:

The charity shop in Morningside where the Peploe painting ends up
The charity shop in Morningside where the Peploe painting ends up

But oh no! The lady there , Priscilla I think her name was, told me that this nice young chap called…now what was his name again? Oh ‘that nice man who writes about Rebus’

That nice man who writes about Rebus
That nice man who writes about Rebus

The cafe

Big Lou's
Big Lou’s

Big Lou’s cafe – Glass and Thompson – 2 Dundas Street

Inside the literary haven that is Big Lou's - booktrails with bite!!
Inside the literary haven that is Big Lou’s

Now in the book , Big Lou’s cafe is just opposite the gallery. Glass and Thompson is also in Dundas Street and both looks and feels just like the cafe in the book. So, wanting to get really inside the novel and its characters I went inside to meet Big lou and to have a coffee and a piece of her homemade cakes. I recommend you taste the ginger cake with rum icing…yum yum yum

I wish this computer was scratch and sniff - or scratch and taste!
I wish this computer was scratch and sniff – or scratch and taste! I only ate this for research purposes you understand hehe

Matthew felt as if he was the discoverer of Big Lou’s coffee bar, although, like anything else that is discovered (America or Lake Victoria), it had always been there; or at least it had been there for the last three years or so. Before that it had been a bookshop, noted for its jumbled stock that observed no known principle in the shelving of its collection

Take a look for yourself: http://www.visitscotland.com/info/food-drink/glass-thompson-p305541#overview

Now when I was here, something a little spooky happened. I had a literary thrill  – my next stop on the tour was back at Jenners – the Valvona and Crolla Cafe where Bertie and his mum go to eat. and what should I see from my window of big Lou’s?

It was as if Bertie and his mum knew I was going to follow their part of the trail next
It was as if Bertie and his mum knew I was going to follow their part of the trail next

The Valvona and Crolla cafe  – within foodhall in  Jenners, Princes Street

I admit I looked for Bertie
I admit I looked for Bertie

Bertie visits here with him mum and wants to speak italian.

They had never pushed  Bertie – not for one moment. Everything that they had done with him ad been done because he wanted it. He had asked for a saxophone. He had asked to learn Italian after they had gone to buy sun-dried tomatoes at Valvona and Crolla. They had never pushed him to do any of this.

Buy something for Bertie hehe:

http://www.valvonacrolla.co.uk/

Well these Alexander Mccall smith tours are very interesting and make you hungry all that walking and booktrailing. Might just have to stay here for a bit and have something else to eat….now what’s that I see. Chocolate cake? Well, goodbye for now.

2 thoughts on “A book trail to 44 Scotland Street – and the search for Ian Rankin

    1. Ahh thanks June! I lived in Edinburgh for a while and I am discovering a new side of the city with these books! But that praise from a native of the city is praise indeed. Thank you very much. Oh and if you haven’t been to ‘Lou’s cafe’ do – as the cake is to die for!

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