In a fairy-tale land far, far away, in the shadows of a magical monument, lies a delightful dining room, and you’re invited. Seriously though, The Gardener’s Cottage in Edinburgh is real, though it doesn’t sound it. The charming, secluded cottage in Royal Terrace Gardens at the foot of Calton Hill – that’s a restaurant. Those herbs and vegetables outside – that’s what you are eating, amongst other things. Built in 1836, what was originally home to the eponymous gardener is now a seasonal eatery that offers up weekend brunch, a la carte lunch and a serious set menu in the evening. Guests sit at communal tables across two cosy candlelit rooms, soaking up the atmosphere and fine wine as superior local produce makes its way to the plate.
We enjoyed delicately smoked chanterelle and auld reekie quiche, perfectly formed lobster ravioli with summer squash, gigha halibut with clams and charred courgette, and generous portions of beautifully cooked duck with kohlrabi and smoked tomatoes. To finish, blackberry mousse with creme fraiche sorbet and thyme was greater than the sum of its parts. Basically it’s all great, and that was just the lunch. Seven course dinner next time I reckon. Who’s with me?
The Gardener’s Cottage – www.thegardenerscottage.co
1 Royal Terrace Gardens, London Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5DX