John Gibson: You can have your cake and eat it

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Call it The Great Royal Mile Bake Off. To be more specific, Mimi’s Picnic Parlour, launched a month ago at the top of the Canongate.

Mimi are Michelle and Mike Phillips. First two letters of their Christian names and there’s a distinct Mammas and the Papas and Maurice Chevalier flavour to it all.

And you can hear the native Canongaters, the locals, heave a collective sigh, saying thank God it’s not another tartan tat shop for the Royal Mile rubber-stamped by the city council.

Originator Michelle, a cake specialist, did all the baking. Now done by daughter Gemma, 23, at Leith. Essentially a family concern with Natalie behind the counter and sister Ashley coming be from Dubai soon to join them.

Trills Michelle: “Mike, who was second chef at the Mount Royal, and I have wanted for set up another branch, so to speak, in the city centre and this is it.

“This place is tiny compared with our 100-seater in Leith but it’s busy. We’ll have three daughters getting married within three months, so there’s lots of wedding cake to be made.”

Bye for good?

Possums, can you wait that long? It’ll be early November before Barry Humphries hits Edinburgh with his so-called Farewell Tour at the Festival Theatre. That’s directly before he begins an eight-week run in London’s West End.

Now, are you sure, Barry, honest and truly, that this means farewell? Or will you be back among us next year, having adjusted your glasses, to wish us “g’day, strewth and this time it’s for real?”

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