The Gardener’s Cottage is a restaurant in Royal Terrace Gardens at the foot of Calton Hill. Built in 1836 the cottage, which was originally home to the gardener, has been transformed into Edinburgh’s home for seasonal cooking and social dining. Seated at long communal tables our guests can enjoy weekend brunch, an a’la carte lunch menu, or an inventive, set seven course dinner menu, using only the best seasonal, local produce.
This was exceptional.
“The piece de resistance – a very Edinburgh expression, that – was the five-year-old mutton with winkles and a mild onion puree. This was exceptional.”
Can it really be this perfect?
“Can it really be this perfect? On balance, I’d say yes. It can. The restaurant is located in a building dating from 1836 that was once the cottage of the gardener. Out front, on either side of the gravel path, are vegetable patches. They are as much a declaration of intent as sources of food. The young team here does not just mouth the litany of seasonal and local; they mean it… Lunch in the Gardener’s Cottage is one of those experiences that stops the world for a while, and we can always do with one of those.”
A pretty magical experience.
“Despite an evening of eating, no-one is too full. There is nothing too rich or heavy throughout – inventively wholesome springs to mind, while the focus on seasonal and fresh is apparent. When we forgot we were sharing a table with six other folk, I’m not too sure, but we all agreed the food and atmosphere, plus the £35 a head food bill, all combine to make this a pretty magical experience.”
Deeply and engagingly quirky.
“And with that, we were done. This was a perfectly balanced meal that left us feeling sated but not unpleasantly so, which was healthy but not Spartan. It wasn’t even the sort of food that usually pushes my buttons, but it was produced with such care and thought that it was impossible not to be deeply impressed, - and that was without even thinking about the price or the surroundings.”
Best meal I’ve had this year.
“I’m bored with the city, I want to move to the countryside, please. And by that I mean this magical cottage in Royal Terrace Gardens, where Mailley and Murray can feed me every day (except Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when I will grudgingly cook my own dinner). That was the best meal I’ve had this year, and it’s almost autumn.”