Cadzow Place

Cadzow Place is the origin of the world famous Cadzow Butter Biscuit, balanced daintily on the edges of fine bone china saucers by decaying aristocrats all over the world. Even to this day, the main road at the top of Abbey Lane is decorated with the distinctive yellow and black Cadzow tartan.

Back in the seventeenth century, shot was expensive but cereals were cheap, hence a combination of flour, sugar and lard baked twice, a `biscuit', made the ideal coarse projectile for quelling agrarian riots and whathaveyou. Biscuits could be manufactured in enormous trayloads and stored for months on end in barrels. In use, they would either be fired from huge blunderbusses or catapulted high into the air. Although biscuits were undoubtedly effective at riot control, nobody could explain why they were so much more so than other similarly available projectiles such as peach stones and oyster shells.

It was the seventh Earl Cadzow who made the crucial observation. Several hundred of his peasants were agitating for a midweek lottery, so out came the biscuit barrels and blunderbusses to put them in their places. Cadzow noticed that the rioters, facing a barrage of bakery, would stop rioting and actually start eating the biscuits.

`How odd.' he thought, snapping his telescope shut, and he strolled over to his bombardiers to have a nibble at their ammunition. `Not half bad, these.' declared Cadzow. `What the devil's in'em?' `Lard, sugar and flour,' said Lieutenant Drambuie, `cooked twice.'. `Is that all?' asked Cadzow, rhetorically, `How ridiculously inexpensive for something almost edible. Get armoury to send a barrel up to the house by teatime. Have'em made with butter though, not lard. Fat extracted from animals already dead, that's the trouble with lard. Can't taste the cruelty.'

The buttery churned and the armoury baked and at just gone four, the barrel went up from Abbeyhill to the big house. The tea was poured and Earl Cadzow tried one of the new butter biscuits. `Damn fine, Agatha,' he said to his wife, busy embroidering money from the company finances, `damn fine. Try a nibble. Tea will never be the same.' And he was so pleased with himself that he ate the entire barrelful, trying them in various orientations. He even drowned a few in his tea, allowing them to become soggy and only loosely held together before straining the tea through his teeth and eating the biscuity residue with a sundae spoon.

Unfortunately, eating a barrelful of butter biscuits left poor Cadzow's digestive tract in something of a state. This is not the place to discuss such distasteful matters. Suffice it to say that, in the fine Edinburgh tradition of naming each side of the road differently from one another and from the road itself, the other side of London Road is at this point known as Earlston Place.

The picture shows the `Pretty Woman' bridal boutique, which, owing to public outcry, has had to move to these new expanded premises from its old place just down the road. It takes considerable effort and ingenuity to make a bridal boutique look like a funeral parlour, but these people have pulled it off with style. I am told Julia Roberts is a regular customer.

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