It is just us or has it felt like a long winter?
February in particular dragged like a double maths lesson.
Praise be then that spring is in sight. The trees are hinting at buds and the daffodils are very much out.
And the changing season is beginning to be reflected in the nation's menus.
We're not saying that we can definitively wave cheerio to casseroles and say sayonara to stews but change is in the air.
Seasonal Scottish ingredients
Last week, Colin Fleming, Executive Chef of George Street’s stylish Printing Press Bar & Kitchen, unveiled his new seasonal à la carte menu.
Created with the much-anticipated lighter days of spring in mind, the menu is designed around the finest produce from Scotland’s natural larder.
Butcher John Gilmore hand-picks the best cattle from farms in the Lothians and the Scottish Borders. The pork is sourced from Wellington Farm in the Scottish Borders and the fish is delivered daily from the markets at Scrabster and Peterhead.
Highlights from the menu include:
Cured Scrabster cod loin, broad beans, olives, black rye, basil
Smoked haggis, puréed neeps, crispy potato
Hand-dived Orkney scallops, pea and parsley purée, pickled onion, parsley oil
Wellington Farm pork belly, wild rice, tarragon mayonnaise, smoked pancetta
Roast darne of Scottish salmon, cucumber, walnut, fennel, dill butter sauce
Whole roast plaice, brown shrimp and hazelnut butter, pickled apples
Pan-seared Scottish venison, braised haunch, truffle and Parmesan croquette, king oyster mushroom, leeks
Slow-roasted Roscoff onion tart, smoked Applewood Cheddar, caramelised onion purée (v)
Prosciutto-wrapped guinea fowl breast and braised leg sausage roll, pickled cabbage, smoked almond (main pic above)
Tweed Valley beef
As always, along with the Scrabster cod loins and Orkney scallops, there is a grill section of 28-day aged Tweed Valley beef. Take your pick from a sirloin, rib-eye or Chateaubriand to share.
Executive Chef Fleming, who has previously worked alongside some of Scotland’s culinary greats including Nick Nairn and Martin Wishart says, 'We’re passionate about cooking with produce when it’s at its very best, so we pride ourselves on our relationships with some of Scotland’s best suppliers of produce such as John Gilmore Butchers and Wellington Farm in the Scottish Borders. The menu was designed with something for everyone in mind - vegetarians, seafood lovers, and those with a sweet tooth. I hope people enjoy it!'
Dishes can be paired with timeless classics or signature cocktails from the extensive drinks list, which won Hotel Cocktail Bar of the Year at the Scottish Hotel Awards last year.