Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Scottish Review of Bookshops: Pitlochry Station Bookshop

Supporting five different charities by selling donated second hand stock, this is a genuine gem tucked into the perfect location.  Made possible by Scotrail’s ‘Adopt a Station’ scheme (similar to BT’s campaign for communities to Adopt a Kiosk) the Pitlochry Station Bookshop has adapted the disused space in a way that creates a welcoming image and preserves a truly lovely old-fashioned train station.  I managed to nab a quick browse and a cup of boiling hot coffee as Him Indoors and I waited for our train, and the selection did not disappoint.  Bigger than it appears at first glance, there is a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, and a separate case for those trendy orange penguin classics people tend to buy more for interior design than for reading.

I wish my bookshelves were this tidy.

However, the real joy of this bookshop, for a bibliophile like me at least is its focus on classic and antiquarian books.  When I visited there was a varied collection of fiction, poetry and drama and some interesting first editions.  All the stock is £1 unless marked otherwise, and this is the section where things are most likely to be pricier, but I was pleasantly surprised to only have to pay double that for one of the selection that I ended up carting home with me.  While I could have easily bought half the shop, I instead opted for a two volume penguin classics set of War and Peace and a copy of Robinson Crusoe which served as birthday presents for a friend, and a book of poetry by Browning for myself, featured below.


Omnomnom coffee cake.

The Pitlochry Train Station Bookshop is definitely worth a visit if you are ever passing through Pitlochry, although I might recommend Hettie's Tea for a cuppa instead.  Cute china cups, a selection of hand-blended teas (available online) and cake cut into ‘doorstop’ sized slices; this tearoom ticks all the boxes and does proper lunch as well (when I visited the special was stovies). And its only five minutes from the train station, so very doable if you only have a brief stopover and are in need of something more substantial that coffee and old book smell.

Friday, 1 March 2013

German Friendship Cake and Sourdough Giveaway!

My healthy 7 day old Herman.
I have recently become parent to a sourdough culture called Herman. He will, given care and attention grow up to become a delicious german friendship cake.   I know this because I have had the pleasure of raising a Herman from gloop to cake before, and trust me, he grows up to be a moist, tasty cake that is a King amongst noms.  First, however, comes the raising. Literally.  You must stir your Herman daily, and feed him milk, sugar and flour on the days indicated on the simple instructions that come with him, and watch him grow and get more bubbly as the sourdough starts to make your kitchen smell more and more like a brewery.  On the 9th day of Herman he will require feeding again before you set about the best part of getting a Herman – giving him away again! Once you have fed Herman, you split him into four and spread the german Herman love by giving away three of them to your friends.  Then, on the 10th day, you bake! But more on that on Monday.  In the mean time, if you’d like to know more about Herman he has a website, and I have a few Hermans looking for homes if anyone would like to claim one.