dogs, edinburgh lawyers, abductions and coffee

If, like me, your concept of entertainment has been somewhat revolutionised by the advent of both the ipod and the podcast, you may be familiar with the ‘Itunes meet the author‘ series, which is a superb series of interviews and talks by and with interesting authors such as the ubiquitous Stephen Fry, ‘Paddington’ author Michael Bond, Nick Cave, and recently Alexander McCall Smith.

Being a keen reader of some of McCall Smith’s output (although to be a completist would risk bankruptcy, I would imagine), I particularly enjoyed the part of the discussion wherein the Corduroy Mansions stories were being discussed.  Not having read this book series, I was intrigued by the appearance of the dog (a vegetarian Pimlico Terrier capable of doing up his own seat belt, to be precise), Freddie de la Hay.

Later on in the interview, McCall Smith makes reference to one of the great Edinburgh institutions, Valvona and Crolla, the long established and premier Italian deli situated on blustery Leith Walk.  And all this, whilst making me appear to be rather more cultured than I really have a right to claim, is a rather roundabout way of navigating to my latest source of damn good coffee.

Being in Edinburgh for work recently, I found myself toying with a couple of hours of free time and, being an adventurous sort, I bussed it up to Leith Walk and the heaven of Italian gastronomy that constitutes V&C.

inside V&C

inside V&C

What I was really after was a new bag of espresso beans.  But it took me some time to browse, and experience the twin feelings of overwhelming desire and increasing fear of bankruptcy.  All things Italian are here – and the website also allows you to shop online, albeit with a limited range.

So, I got a bag of the Caffe style beans, and a day or two later on my return home, made the finest espresso I had thus far managed!  I have a burr grinder and so I can make a very fine espresso ground.  The streams of coffee issuing forth from the brew head were of a nature that sent me into deep excitement! A superb, yellowy crema, and an outstanding taste.  And I’ve only just finished it, replacing it last week with a new bag of Monmouth espresso beans.


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