Chilled afternoon tea and Christmas shopping at National Galleries of Scotland

It’s worth remembering that there’s an oasis of tranquility on Princes Street in Edinburgh. Hard to believe in the run up to Christmas but the National Galleries of Scotland is a calm retreat from the demented streets of the city centre.  Forget the bunfight in the retail hell elsewhere; instead enjoy Christmas shopping in both of the National Galleries’ stores. There’s the shop near the Princes Street entrance which has

Aelder, a new Scottish liqueur made from elderberries

Two inventive Scottish guys have avoided the crowded gin market and turned their attention to neglected Scottish liqueurs. Rupert Waites and Tom Chisholm have created Aelder – a rich liqueur made from wild elderberries, a range of botanicals and whisky. Instead of passing the port after dinner, diners can pass this lighter Scottish alternative. Still complex in flavour,  the subtle addition of whisky counterbalances the sweetness of the elderberries, and,

Manna House Bakery opened in South Queensferry

The excellent Manna House Bakery has opened a second branch in South Queensferry – although baking for two cafes means even less sleep for the owner and baker, Drew Massey. The pastry may be flaky but bakers are anything but – daily 3am rises are not for the faint-hearted, and, in Massey’s case, he’s baking for his original Edinburgh Easter Road branch as well as the new shop.  One consolation

Tasty tacos at La Bodega, Leith Walk, Edinburgh

After eating their way around the world the guys who opened La Bodega on Leith Walk, Edinburgh applied what they learned in New York, Sydney, and even London, to their street-style soft flour tacos. This diminutive restaurant may at first glance appear to be Mexican but the fillings are inspired by food from pretty much everywhere including Japan and Korea. The portions in this taqueria are delicious but small –

Dishoom & The Refinery, two new restaurants, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh

Dishoom and The Refinery open in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh Until 11pm on Sunday 4 December Dishoom, the brand new Edinburgh branch of a London indian restaurant,  is offering a 50% discount on food and drink as part of their soft opening while they fine-tune service and systems. During this week they’re not taking bookings so it’s a question of turning up and hoping there’s a table. The other new

Royal Highland Show – new gin bar with gin tastings

One of the new bars at this year’s Royal Highland Show is The Botanical Garden run by Edinburgh catering company Hickory. There will be talks and tastings by mixologists, 13 Scottish gins for sale such as Isle of Harris, Rock Rose, Arbikie and Pickering’s and a range of gin-based cocktails.  The Show is open until 8pm today, Saturday 25 June and 6pm tomorrow, Sunday 26 June.

11 Brunswick Street; boutique hotel & restaurant in the centre of Edinburgh

No11 Brunswick Street was opened in 2012 following a £900,000 refurbishment to the grand town house by husband and wife team Hamish and Susan Grant. The boutique hotel and restaurant is in the centre of Edinburgh, close to The Playhouse and down a quiet street just off London Road. Originally built in 1822, the Georgian Town House was designed by the famous architect William Playfair. In the 1930s the building

New look interior for Purslane, Stockbridge

Paul Gunning, chef and owner of Purslane in St Stephen Street, Edinburgh has just completed a redesign of his Stockbridge restaurant. After four years of building up the clientele and a reputation for the food Paul decided the interior of the small intimate space needed a refresh. Together with Rebecca McClement, an interior design graduate from Heriot Watt University they created a cleaner look with the help of local joinery

Howies Restaurants, Edinburgh celebrate 25 years

An Edinburgh stalwart Howies restaurant celebrates 25 years since the first one opened in 1990. Named after its founder David Howie Scott, who deliberately eschewed fine dining to create an informal bistro, the restaurant has been sold and bought back by the owner in the intervening years. During that time it has been a consistently popular venue for groups and office nights out which is probably down to a number