They say you’re too old for a fashion trend if you remember it from the first time round.
Follow those rules and, once you get to a certain age, you may as well wear a comfy mumu, since you’ve seen it all.
I’ve done flares, paillettes, faux fur, pelmets, normcore, dungarees, underwear as outerwear, duster coats, frills, rara, legwarmers, epaulettes, turtlenecks, boob tubes et al.
Some were ill advised, but others I did twice, maybe thrice.
If it was open, I could walk around Edinburgh’s Harvey Nichols and there’s a good chance that no style would seem new to me. I’ve been round the fashion block.
Still, I’m feeling slightly less jaded as the seasons change.
Someone once said that the older you get, the happier you feel to have made it to spring. Even more so this year.
I want to smooch the crocuses and gambol in the fields as if I wasn’t a sturdy piece of stewing mutton.
Sadly though, for someone who wants to celebrate the new season, I accidentally scored the very last day of [email protected]’s Winter Dining menu.
In the mode of fashion trends, they’ve already sped off onto the Spring Dining Menu, though they’re also offering a Steak Night food list, three courses for £40pp, and various themes for special dates.
There’s nationwide delivery to much of Scotland (check website for restrictions), which is £5 per person and will arrive on a Friday or Saturday.
There are suggested wine pairings too, and you can add almost any vino collapso from their website. Maybe you could pop a wee Lanvin frock and a teensy Balmain handbag into your basket too.
The menu I tried was £25 for three courses, which seems like decent value, especially since they also chucked in a cocktail - a vesper martini, old fashioned or a negroni.
However, there’s been a bit of a price rise for spring. The three course list is now £32, and you’ll have to pay a bit extra if you want a cocktail, though there are two choices for both your starter and main.
My order came in a Harvey Nichols box, and I hoped that the neighbours would think it was a nice bit of millinery. I think I’d suit a fez.
The instructions made it seem comparatively easy to assemble and cook.
Our set of ten chicken rillette discs, dotted with pistachios and carrot nibs, were slid out of their clingy bodycon vacuum pack, with its HARVEY NICHOLS label, and straight onto our plates. They were lifted by “last summer’s” russet coloured and fleshy pickled girolles, a thin honey mustard mayonnaise and the only thing that needed to be heated - thick fingers of caramelised-on-top red onion focaccia. Shantay, you stay.
Same goes for the strips of spiced pork belly, which we laid out on an oven tray for five minutes, until the fatty bits turned sweet and slightly crusty.
This came with other elements to be heated, including a mouth-coating rich and salty leek and prune broth, which was also dotted with celery and rosemary. There were tiny cubes of buttery new potato and a frothy Calvados sauce to be poured over the top. The whole lot could be eaten with a spoon, since the meat was so soft, and the sauce as stocky and meaty as Bovril. I ate it with concentration and managed not to drool down the front of my mumu.
A lot of the takeaway menus I’ve tried over lockdown have been same-y, simply because they feature things that travel well. This was a bit different.
Our meal was book-ended by another easy thing, to be eaten at room temperature.
Each of us had an individual millionaire tart, which had snappy pastry, a thick layer of slightly salted gooey caramel, and maple-roasted pecans pushed into the chocolate on top, like brooches on a very fancy cashmere coat.
It came with a large sachet - a ghost’s transfusion bag, filled with a pale vanilla flecked creme fraiche, which we inelegantly squished out, grouting style.
Since I demolished that dessert, I’ve been pining for it. (The new [email protected] Spring Menu has something very similar sounding on it - the Valrhona chocolate and salted caramel tart, also with the pecan nuts, and they have a starter of salmon roulade and mains including roasted Scottish lamb rump with various accessories).
I sense a trend coming on, and I’m diving in, don’t care if I do it twice.
Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Restaurant
How much? Three courses and a cocktail, £25
Places to try Nearby
Dishoom, 3a St Andrew Square, Edinburgh (0131 202 6406, www.dishoom.com)
It may be shut for now, but Edinburgers can still get this restaurant’s classics, including biryanis, ruby murrays and house black daal, delivered to their door. You can also order cocktails to serve two, such as Sonia’s Negroni and a Permit Room Old Fashioned. Read our review.
Fortitude Coffee, 3c York Place, Edinburgh (0131 557 3063, www.fortitudecoffee.com)
This petite cafe is temporarily closed and we’re looking forward to them re-opening so we can sit in and have a brownie. They’re still offering freshly roasted coffee and merchandise via their online shop.
Wahaca, 16 South St Andrew Street, Edinburgh (0131 202 6850, www.wahaca.co.uk)
If you’re a fan of this Mexican chain, they’re doing takeaway, click and collect and Deliveroo until 9.30 daily. Dishes including their pork pibil and buttermilk chicken, with drinks including Tommi’s Classic Margarita.