February 26, 2018 Bus, Travel No Comments

En Route 18, En Croute

The Lothian Buses 18 is a bus I’d never previously stepped aboard so it was a complete magical mystery tour as I jumped on at Fort Kinnaird, where the service begins.

Fort Kinnaird is a massive and pretty grim shopping complex which offers a range of drab chain options including Frankie & Benny’s, Pizza Express, Five Guys, McDonald’s, Chiquito, TGIs, Costa, Caffe Nero, Greggs, Pizza Hut, Patisserie Valerie and so much less.

Hash topped with poached eggs from The Pantry Colinton

The only interesting looking outlet was McChan’s Chinese food van. I must come back and sample their wares.

As we set sail on our journey, the Duddingston Fry was the first sign of food as we followed the route 2 before turning off and heading up towards Little France and past the Royal Infirmary.

There was then an almost endless expanse of residential streets that were completely new to me before we reached Supper Bowl on Drum Street and the Gilmerton Miner’s Club.

Good Cooking was another fabulously named Chinese takeaway, then there was another barren stretch until we reached Star Garden, another Chinese.

Bag from Caffe Nero

The Fryer’s Delight chippy and Captain’s Cafe were in the little parade of shops at Gracemount.

The Ming Palace brought another Chinese option along the snaking suburban route to Farmilehead.

The Farmilehead Parish Church has a pop-up cafe every Wednesday between 10am and 1pm, apparently. Then we arrived at the Hunter’s Tryst.

This brought us to parallel running with part of the 16 route towards Oxgangs, but we then headed on past the Chip Inn down towards Colinton Village.

There was a chippy called Sugar & Spice before we arrived at the big Tesco.

Farmhouse medley from Westgate Farm

We meandered through idyllic Colinton village passing The Pantry, the Colinton Inn, Pizza Connection, Java Moment, Olive Deli, and Dante’s.

We then twisted and turned our way towards Clovenstone, crossing the Union Canal.

Javit’s and the Westsider pub marked our arrival at Westside Plaza, before we sped past Beijing Banquet, Papa John’s, and then Makro.

Through South Gyle we ran into a profusion of food vans situated to meet the needs of the big offices in that area. These included Nudoru, the Chargrill Co, one called J&W Gathering and an unmarked one.

We passed a Greggs, could see Westgate Farm in the distance, then Naihas, and The Ritz, before finally arriving at the Gyle centre.

So overall, the 18 route was quite the eye-opener for me. It was quite sparsely populated in terms of food options but it was remarkable how many of the places I found I’d never even heard of. I look forward in particular to visits to McChan’s and the Supper Bowl over the coming weeks and months.

Written by BKR