Looking At Edinburgh

3 September 2008

Coastal Edinburgh: Fun Park and Fried Food

Porto Restaurant

This is the other side of coastal Edinburgh: the deep-fried food and shiny fun parks. There are fairly obvious reasons why this is so: if you go for a sunny day on the beach, it will probably rain. All of these places have been around for decades – if they’ve changed ownership in twenty-five years, they haven’t changed name or function.


Fun Park Amusements, by Pipe Lane, faces a breakwater: it’s been years since I went inside, but it looks just the same as it did when I used to dig out my spare change, figure what I could afford to lose, and gamble on something like a copper waterfall or a six-horse electronic racing machine. Mainly, it’s shelter from a wet and windy beach.

Fun Park

Round the corner from the main entrance, facing the beach, is a vendor’s window:
The window where you can buy Fun Park chips, ice-cream, or coffee

A closer view – note the signs:
Fun Park's kitchen window

(The ones saying This is not Burger King. You don’t get it your way. You take it my way, or you don’t get the damn thing. and Prices subject to change according to customer’s attitude. as well as the ads you’d expect for Flake 99, the aerated “ice-cream” that is supposed to become a luxury treat by having a short stick of flaky chocolate stuck into it.)

As far as I can remember, the kitchen looks just the same as it always did – complete with a sign praising the virtues of granny’s kitchen.
Fun Park's kitchen

Further along by Figgate Lane is Tower Amusements. This also sells fried food, but for some reason, I never liked it as well as Fun Park. (The Tower, behind Tower Amusements, is the oldest surviving building in Portobello: built in 1785 by William Jamieson.)
Tower Amusements

I stopped to look for the public safety notice I remembered, and it’s still there, or it’s been replaced with one exactly like.
Public Safety notice

Reassured, I went back to Fun Park’s window and ordered a small portion of chips from the boy working in the kitchen, who may not even have been born when I last bought chips from the window: I think they cost 60p then. They cost £1 now.

a historical portion of chips

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