Improv Dancing

Ivan, Lil Dave and I got the bus into the centre on August 16, 2012. 

Ivan wanted to check out a cool pop up café called Hunt and Darton Cafe


When you walk in, there’s a table filled with goodies like sweets like cakes and Ribbon wafers.

Ivan ordered regular tea while I got the mint tea in two big teapots.  I got one with the Queen on it and Ivan got a teapot that looked like a building. 


We both got the roughage plate which is a wonderful salad with beet, pumpkin, goats cheese and sunflower seeds. 

On the table, there’s a triangle plastic paper which had different things on it like games that you could play with your food and how to drink tea properly.  This is not your run-of-the mill café.  There’s music playing on an old record player.  The table has a real pineapple on it and salt & pepper holders that are Ken’s head on a Barbie doll with clothes on.  The owners Jenny Hunt & Holly Darton wear pineapples on their head.  This is my kind of place.

They have guest spots who do something different everyday.  Unfortunately, we missed the fortune teller who reads your fortune with asparagus. 

I love this café.. why can’t we have a cool cafe like this in Las Vegas?!  We will definitely be back here again for lunch, tea or maybe both. Apparently this café just spends a few weeks in each town, then packs up shop, and moves to somewhere else to open for a few weeks! Such a cool concept!

Next, we went to The Greatest Walking Tour in Edinburgh.  Ivan likes to surprise me and only told me that we were going on a walking tour.  Our tour guide was a man named Cuth and his assistant a girl who wasn’t very bright.  The man told us that there would be a tour guide inspector on the tour.

We were given red balloons with The Greatest Walking Tour in Edinburgh on it. 


Cuth had a long, closed umbrella that he used so the tour wouldn’t lose him.  It kept getting caught on things like a lamppost or construction railing.

The group was listening to a story about Bobby the Skye Terrier in front of Greyfriars Bobby pub.  John Gray was a man who worked as a night watchman who died in 1858.  His dog Bobby spent the rest of his life (14 years!) at his master’s grave at Greyfriars Kirk graveyard.  What a loyal dog!  Anyway, the tour guide was asked the name of John Gray which he didn’t know (I just wikipedia’d the information to give you information on the great story).  He realized that the man might be the ‘tour guide inspector’ that he was trying to impress in order to get into the tour guide’s union.  At this point, I realized this wasn’t a REAL tour, but a spoof of one.  I should have known since we were at the Edinburgh Festival which is filled with all types of theatre.

At one point, I noticed somebody was following us who looked like a detective.


Ivan didn’t see her.

The guy who Cuth thought was the ‘tour guide inspector’ actually turned out to be another tour guide who didn’t want Cuth trying to move in on his tour guide territory. 


They fight which was funny since it was like watching a video game.  Cuth tells us that he recently broke up with his girlfriend who he still seems to love.

We actually see the real ‘tour guide inspector’ (which was the lady I saw earlier)  later on and she tells us to act normal, so that she can judge him fairly.

This tour spoof was funny with misunderstandings.. but the story at the end was a bit daft (silly).  Ivan and I think they could have written a better plot.. it was entertaining though.

It was time to see some improv at the show Paul Merton’s Impro Chums


We got seats off to the side in the front row, but we were sat too far.  Ivan and I are used to seeing Paul Merton with The Comedy Store Players in the first or second row (oh, so close!) at The Comedy Store in London.  The Impro Chums consisted of Paul Merton, Suki Webster (Paul’s wife), Richard Vranch, Lee Simpson and Mike McShane.  Almost the group of The Comedy Store Players.  It was funny, but not as funny as The Comedy Store Players.  Funny improv and some singing.  It was my first time seeing Suki Webster live and Ivan’s right.. she’s not very funny at all.  Paul Merton was, as always, very funny… The bit where he has to translate for the foreign language is always funny.  Lee Simpson was doing the language (which he’s always very good at) and he’ll say something very long winded and Paul will say something very short and funny. 

We had to leave the Improv show early to get to our next show.

We hurried to go see the free show The Dark Room which is based on a text computer game.  Do you remember those?  I remember the game Zork.  The host John Robertson would say in a dark, spooky voice ‘You find yourself in a dark room. What do you do?’  There would be a few different options to do like Go North, Sleep or Find a Light Switch.  Each option would lead to more options and sometimes it was a dead end and you die.  Ivan said that it was poking fun at old text-based computer games.  It was a bit weird.  An annoying part was a guy named Brendon Burns an Australian comedian, who thought he knew the right way to go because he’s played before.  He didn’t seem to know anything though.  The show was okay, a bit odd and unfortunately nobody won which according to the host Is a rare thing indeed.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I walked around Edinburgh.  Ivan went to Top Man and I bought a few things for Ivan’s birthday that’s coming up in September.

Later, we went to the Festival Fun Ceilidh Dinner which includes a 3 course meal with a band playing and line dancing. 

Ivan got the vegetarian meal while I got to try haggis for the first time, Lil Dave got the banana option.  Our starters were the same being organic leek and potato soup which was actually quite big and tasted good.

Ivan got a vegetable tart which looked alright.  I got the Findlay’s Portobello haggis fritter with mashed potatoes.


It was fried and looked like black rice inside.  Ivan and I both had no clue what was in haggis… I knew it was something gross similar to a hot dog in America.  It tasted alright, but it was really heavy dish especially with the mashed potatoes it came with.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.. but I don’t think I’ll have another go.  We enjoyed our meal with a lovely red wine.

Dessert was traditional Scottish Cranachan with fresh local raspberries.  It reminded me of a parfait and it was tasty.

Everybody seemed older than us.  We didn’t think anybody would know any of the cielidh dances, but we were wrong.  Everybody knew ALL of the moves – in fact I think we were the only ones there who didn’t! We were amongst all the pros!  I had no idea, but Ivan knew a few of the dances.  It didn’t matter though since the band named the The Sensational Jimi Shandrix Experience would teach us the dances. 


There was a big birthday party group, all Canadian, that was most of the dinner guests.  It was a good thing they were there since they loved to dance. 

It was fun learning the moves although I don’t think I was really that good at some of the dances…plus it would have been nice to have let the food go down a bit, before we started going crazy on the dance floor and spinning our stomachs around like a washing machine on fast cycle.  Ivan wanted to keep going, but it was getting tiring dancing so much.  Line dancing is fun, but it requires a lot of movement which makes you knackered (tired).  I took a break between songs and then we were off to dance again.  One song was super fast and we were going round and round in a circle.  I couldn’t believe how fast the dance was.  The band was right that it would be like running a marathon afterwards.

I had fun at the Festival Fun Ceilidhl Dinner.  I really enjoyed the line dancing and the food was good.  I’m glad I got to try the haggis since I like to try the local food.

Credits: Paul Merton’s Impro Chums photo

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