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.
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
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.
I found the charity shop where the painting is thought to be:
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’
Big Lou’s cafe – Glass and Thompson – 2 Dundas Street
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
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?
The Valvona and Crolla cafe – within foodhall in Jenners, Princes Street
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:
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.