Restaurants/Pubs in Edinburgh Vicinity

Nov 29th, 2007, 02:21 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 33
Restaurants/Pubs in Edinburgh Vicinity

Hi,

I am having a long weekend (4 days/4 nights) in Edinburgh in about two weeks, and was looking for the must go to places. Some people have mentioned the Witchery (although, most posters on this site didn't have good comments, maybe it's become a tourist trap). Also looking for good pubs to check out, any other must see sights, etc. Since it will be mid-December, will things be festive/holiday like, or is that not a big thing in the UK?

Thanks in advance,

Valerie
Valerie427 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 06:21 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 169
I've visited Edinburgh in December and enjoyed this wonderful city! There is a great Christmas market/fair (you can't miss it) with skating, a few rides (including a giant ferris wheel), stalls with good eats and shopping opportunities. Very festive - dress warmly especially if your not used to the damp.

There is a little pub on the Royal Mile called the "End of the World" -nothing fancy by any means, but the staff were friendly and the food was very good.

I really can't say enough good things about Edinburgh. I really think I just fell in love with the place. Perfect to just walk and walk and walk...

Have a wonderful trip.

MollyBrown
MollyBrown is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 11:58 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
It will be very festive.

What sort of restaurants do you like? There are a plethora.

There are lists of pubs on here already. My favourites would be the Barony, the Oxford, the Starbank, the Old Chain, the Cafe Royal, and Sandy Bell's.
sheila is offline  
Nov 30th, 2007, 01:21 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,282
The Witchery is quite good - not the best - but it is a tourist trap and rather expensive.

What sort of food do you like ?

Here are some of my favourites places to eat in Edinburgh, roughly in descending order of price.

If you want gourmet, there are three restaurants with one Michelin star.

Martin Wishart's in Leith is fantastic, especially if you have the six course tasting menu (which will all be cooked by the man himself) now also available in a veggie version. The tasting menus are £60pp for food, £50pp for a wine to match each course - £10 less for each at lunchtime. Three courses £50, bargain set lunch at £22.50 available Tue-Fri. It's very high class but friendly and unstuffy. Book 2-3 months in advance for weekend dinner, less for weekday dinner and lunch. IMO should be 2 stars.

The second starred restaurant was Number One in the Balmoral : food nothing special IMO, ambience is more formal & traditional.

The Kitchin, also in Leith, opened last July & got a star this January some going ! It's really good but not as good as MW. Also does a bargain lunch at £19.50 for 3 courses, Tue-Sat.

If you want 'modern Scottish', Stac Polly on Grindlay Street used to be good, but I've read mixed reviews in the last year. Also branches on Dublin Street and St Mary's Street.

La Garrigue on Jeffrey Street is a small French restaurant specialising in cooking of the Languedoc where the chef-proprietor is from, as are all the wines. The food & the chef are both lovely and the ambience is correct but relaxed. If you sit near the window there is a view of Calton Hill & its monuments.

For Italian, La Partenope on Dalry Road was wonderful - the best Italian food (especially seafood) I've had outside southern Italy - but it has changed hands and I haven't been since. The former chef-proprietor has a new place called Bella Mbriana - I haven't been yet but it's bound to be excellent.

Centotre on George Street is a busy, buzzy Italian caffe-bar offering everything from a coffee & cannolo to cocktails to a full slap-up 4 course meal. Can be expensive for the full works but v. reasonable for just a pizza or a bowl of pasta, both of which are very good (best pizza in town IMO).

When we have visitors we've always taken them for Sunday lunch in Leith (the old docks area - which I have now moved to !). There are lots of nice waterfront places, notably the Shore, where you can eat in the restaurant or in the pub; the Waterfront (more upmarket) and Skipper's. All of these are particularly good for fish but do other things too - the Waterfront does vg steak from the Duke of Buccleuch's estates. I used to think Fisher's in Leith was the best for fish but had a very disappointing experience there last time we went. I haven't tried Fisher's in the City for some time so won't judge it, but other posters here have praised it recently.

Both Black Bo's and David Bann's do very interesting & innovative vegetarian cusine. BB's is very casual, studenty even, & DB's is smart casual & v. modern . Both v. reasonably priced.

Incredibly cheap - a) the Mosque, Chapel Street/West Nicholson St (1-7pm I think, except Fridays), for more curry & rice/naan etc than you can eat for £3 (meat & veggie) - outdoors eating, though, so no fun if cold or wet; b) Palmyra on Nicholson Street - £2.80/£3.80 for vg chicken shwarma with salad in flatbread, or even cheaper veggie ones like feta or baba ganoush.

I've never had good fish & chips in Edinburgh from an Edinburgh chippie but it's usually OK in food-oriented pubs.

If you want recommendations for any other specific types of cuisine, please ask.

Also - where are you staying ? So we can recommend pubs / restaurants nearby.

Re festive atmosphere - see www.edinburghschristmas.com. We had vistors last weekend and they loved visiting the German market and seeing the ice rink and Princes Street Gardens lit up. Princes Street itself has no Xmas lights, apart from those in the trees in the Gardens, but Geoege Street does.

If you felt like a day trip to Glasgow (50 mins on the train), George Square (right outside Queen Street station) is quite festive.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Dec 5th, 2007, 04:50 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 17
My favourite meal in Edinburgh was definitely at The Witchery.

A few other positive reviews here
http://trustedplaces.com/review/uk/e...-by-the-castle
melrose4616 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2007, 05:38 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,418
Second The End of the World pub. It's a nice warm-up stop if you're sightseeing on the Royal Mile.
lennyba is offline  
Dec 6th, 2007, 09:18 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 33
Thanks everyone. (especially Caroline!!) I have heard of Martin Wisharts (unfortunately I can't make an advance res. very far because I'm going next weekend!, although since I arrive Thurs. morning, maybe I can get a booking Thursday night or Sunday night. (I am staying in Leith.) Based upon feedback, I do want to get to the Witchery if I can. We like all types of food, so I am open to anything. (I will be with my boyfriend, he's from Aberdeen, so he's somewhat familiar with Edinburgh, but you know you can never leave it to the man sometimes!). The market sounds fantastic - I can't wait!
Valerie427 is offline  
Dec 7th, 2007, 03:48 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,282
Where in Leith are you staying, Valerie - the Holiday Inn ?

MW isn't open on Sunday but you might still be able to get in Saturday lunchtime - they don't do the cheap lunch on Saturday, though, only a la carte or the tasting menus.

Of the Leith pubs I like the following best br />
- the Shore for casual drinking & Sunday lunch in the bar (a good deal, no need to book)

- the King's Wark for Sunday brunch, which you need to book - served 11-3 I think but you can only buy a drink from 12.30 (nice pub generally but mainly used for eating so difficult to get a table just for a drink)

- the Waterfront (somewhat ditto, so only good for a drink outwith lunch/dinner hours)

- the Malt & Hops for a slightly old-mens's-type trad pub but with vg real ale & cider, q. cheap

- The Port O'Leith for a lively late night atmosphere, if you're brave

There are also several drinking (mulled wine/beer) & snacking opportunities at the German market.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 06:14 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 33
Hi Caroline,
I'm staying at the Harbour Apartments in Leith (have you heard anything about them?). Thanks for the recommendations. As for sights, I definitely want to go to the Royal Britannia, and then I saw a link on there website to buy a pass that also entitles you to go to the Castle (which of course I was planning on seeing) and another place, as well as access for two days on any of there bus tours (seem to be the hop on, hop off variety if you like). Is that a fun thing to do, or should I do my own thing? thanks again
Valerie427 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 06:21 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 33
Hi - one more question...regarding eating at The Witchery...is that where I would go, or is it the Secret Garden (is that a separate restaurant, or just separate area but same menu...when I try and make a reservation, the website asks you to choose which restaurant
Valerie427 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 10:30 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
I strongly recommend the restaurant "Off the Wall" on High Street. They serve refined Scottish cuisine at fair prices. Ambiance is nice.

http://www.off-the-wall.co.uk/edinburgh.html

I share Caroline's assessment of the Number One.
traveller1959 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 10:34 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
I forget to mention a pub. Café Royal is a good bet. On side is a restaurant, the other side a pub. The pub is very atmospheric and serves traditional food like steak pie, oysters etc.
http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.u...eroyalbar.html
traveller1959 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2007, 04:00 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,282
Grr, spent 1/2 hr typing a reply then lost it all.

Hi Valerie. I don't know those apartments but googled & found they are at Western Harbour, which is quite a hike from the Shore area where the Leith pubs I recommended are - so you may want to scrub those. Western Harbour is a new development of flats, so I'd guess that these are a group of them which have been bought for investment purposes. The development is on a promontory sticking out (north) into the Firth of Forth, west of Ocean Terminal - the shopping mall where the Britannia is (bizarrely) berthed - which is itself about a 10-15 minute walk west of the Shore.

I'm not sure whether any buses go to the Western Harbour development, but the number 16 and possibly others go past it on the main road south of the promontory. I'm not sure either how long it will take to walk from Western Harbour to Ocean Terminal but lots of other buses go there, including the 22 which is very frequent and runs all night. The 22 also runs along the Shore, in case you do still want to visit that area.

Britannia is very good to visit (do get the audio tour) and I'm sure you'll want to visit the Palace as well as the Castle too, so the all-in-one-ticket sounds like a good idea. (Although I couldn't see how much it is.)

I do normally recommend first time visitors to start with one of the bus tours to get an overview of the Old and New Towns. There are several different companies running them & I usually recommend Guide Friday as I think only they have live guides, But since the City Tour & Majestic buses are included in this ticket you might as well use them instead. All the tour buses follow much the same route, except the Majestic one goes to Ocean Terminal (and I think the Botanic Gardens). In fact since 2 days' use is included, you could use the tour buses to get in and out of the city centre for those 2 days, rather than having to buy a ticket for the 'normal' buses too.

The Witchery and the Secret Garden are indeed separate restaurants, under the same ownership. The Witchery is more obviously 'historic' and traditionl-looking - stone walls, very dark, quite small and cosy. The Secret Garden is double height and while I think it has some stone walls too, it's bigger and airier feeling - there's some sort of glass ceiling/roof, from what I remember.

So it's this coming weekend you'll be here, is it ? Where are you coming from ?
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Dec 11th, 2007, 04:35 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,165
We had lunch at the Witchery and enjoyed it. There was a set menu I think--three small courses and it was reasonably priced. The atmosphere was nice if not a bit touristy. We were told the Secret Garden was only open for dinner. I think we stopped by to make a lunch reservation but it probably was not necessary. Enjoy Edinburgh!
nini is online now  
Dec 11th, 2007, 05:26 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 33
thanks everyone, I have printed out all the restaurant web site contact pages, and I have my little guide book as well.

Yes, Western Harbour had some mixed reviews (but I didn't make the reservations), they supposedly have a shuttle bus, and we'll have a car anyway should we really need it. (most peoples' comments were that it was a bit out of the way!)

Thanks for all the help--I'm coming this weekend (leave tomorrow night), from New York (getting a direct flight out of Newark in New Jersey).

Cheers!
Valerie427 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2007, 08:06 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,282
If you fancy a pint in Leith, let me know
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 01:29 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 33
Hi Caroline,

That would be nice--we could have pint sat. night? write back with place and time (my cell phone doesn'twork here). BTW we went to The Kitchen tonight, and LOVED it! we may go back there Sat. night for dinner! As of now, we are planning to go to the Witchery Sunday night.

Cheers,

Valerie
Valerie427 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 12:56 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,282
Hi Valerie. Great ! Any time would suit us so you decide, when you know where & what time you are dining - pre-dinner pints ? So glad you enjoyed the Kitchin ! Can heartily recommend dinner too & it's not *too* expensive compared to other places of that standard.

If you want to take this 'offline' you can use DH's g-mail address - [email protected]. He will check it periodically & forward your e-mail to me. We both only have e-mail access until c.5pm today though.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 08:12 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,282
Valerie, I'm going home (i.e. away from e-mail) now. But DH will take his laptop & try checking it at an internet cafe in town tomorrow. If we don't manage to contact each other, DH and I will be in the Shore (pub), on the Shore (street) from 6pm tomorrow for at least an hour. Both white British, I have short blondish hair & he has short dark hair. Hope to see you ! Caroline
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 08:19 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,282
P.S. Could still do post-dinner if you prefer - just e-mail.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:58 PM.