Christmas is a time for enjoying some of life’s luxuries.
And few occasions are quite as enjoyable as sharing good food with friends and family.
Here are ten Edinburgh restaurants where you can eat very well this festive period. Some of them are very luxurious in terms of the surroundings or style of the service. Others less so.
They all produce menus which show the best of the Scottish larder and it doesn’t get any more luxurious than that.
Whatever the setting.
Tower RestaurantContemporary Scottish restaurant in the Old Town
Tower Restaurant is a sleek and elegant rooftop venue in Edinburgh’s Old Town. It is located within (or should that be on?) one of Edinburgh’s most visited buildings – the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street. The restaurant is glamorous, chic and oozes quiet luxury. Joanna Lumley called it ‘Fab’ which is more than good enough for us.
Under the guidance of Head Chef Jose Dalto, the kitchen brigade at Tower Restaurant likes to make the most of Scotland’s produce. The menus often feature items such as hand-dived scallops from the Isle of Mull; salmon from Loch Duart; or calf’s liver with Ayrshire bacon. Some guests have been known to treat themselves to the indulgent Isle of Mull lobster thermidor or the restaurant’s expertly grilled chateaubriand steak.
The three course festive lunch is £29.95. Tables can be booked via 5pm Dining.
The AthollFine dining in Edinburgh New Town
The Atholl is part of The Howard hotel on Great King Street, right in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town.
Originally a private dining room for guests, this elegant, Georgian room is now open to non-residents.
Filled with flowers and seating just fourteen diners, it is an intimate space offering fine food, a great wine list and attentive service. The restaurant is included in The Michelin Guide and has 2 AA Rosettes.
Christmas lunch starts at £19.95 for two courses. You can book via 5pm Dining.
Twenty Princes Street Grill & Smokehouse
Innovative Scottish restaurant in the city centre
Twenty Princes Street Grill & Smokehouse has a prime city centre position on Edinburgh’s Princes Street.
Triple height windows give the first floor restaurant fantastic views over the city centre to the Castle. With oak floors, ornate ceilings and leather banquette seating, the interior is just as eye-catching.
The menus are local and seasonal at Twenty Princes Street but some dishes are constant. The charcoal-burning Josper Grill is teamed with dry-aged Scottish beef at Twenty Princes Street to produce the restaurant’s signature steaks. Scottish shellfish are also prominent and usually treated simply as in the roast shellfish platter.
At lunch for the next few weeks, £27.50 will secure three courses from the festive menu plus a glass of Prosecco.
Bagsy the dark chocolate Cointreau tart with warm chocolate toddy & whipped chestnut cream. Book in with 5pm Dining.
Pompadour by GalvinClassic French inspired cuisine in Edinburgh city centre
With a gorgeous, listed interior, The Pompadour by Galvin is a much loved Franco-Scottish restaurant at The Caledonian, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, on Princes Street. It combines the best of classical French-inspired cuisine with locally sourced Scottish ingredients to provide a unique fine dining experience.
The restaurant is led by brothers Jeff and Chris Galvin who have earned multiple Michelin stars and AA Rosettes. Acclaimed chef Fraser Allan is the Executive Chef charged with overseeing the brothers’ vision.
This recent 5pm Dining customer enjoyed his experience:
‘If you want the a special experience with great quality food, setting and service try the Pompadour. We’ve been to the Pompadour a few times in the last twelve months… just one word needed – flawless. Thanks to Galvins again.’
If that sounds as though it would tick your boxes, you may want to try this Big Deal on a Chateaubriand steak to share along with a bottle of Montepulciano D’ Abruzzo.
It costs £59 and the offer is valid until the end of February 2017.
North Bridge BrasserieStunning dining room in central Edinburgh
Once the grand entrance lobby of The Scotsman newspaper, the North Bridge Brasserie is the elegant Scottish restaurant of the five star Scotsman Hotel.
With its ornate wood panelling and marble features, it is an impressive space. Large windows onto the street flood the room with light and allow diners to watch the street life on the ever lively Bridges.
Seasonal Scottish cuisine with a contemporary twist is what the highly skilled kitchen brigade at the North Bridge Brasserie aim for. Ingredients are sourced locally and there is a firm emphasis on fresh, high quality produce.
If choosing from the a la carte is too difficult, consider the tasting menu which features the cream of the a la carte options over seven courses. Tables may be booked using 5pm Dining.
Blackwood’s Bar & Grill at Nira CaledoniaStylish Scottish restaurant in the New Town
Part of the luxurious Nira Caledonia hotel on Gloucester Place in the New Town, Blackwood’s Bar & Grill is a stylish restaurant specialising in the best meat, game and seafood that Scotland’s splendid natural larder can provide.
The hotel is part of an elegant Georgian terrace and that neo-classical style is reflected in the furnishings of the restaurant. Smart yet welcoming are the key features. Soft candlelight also means that Blackwood’s can be rather romantic.
The restaurant menu is based on ingredients which are natural, fresh, often organic and farmed or caught in Scotland. Pride of place on the menu at Blackwood’s goes to the grill section. Traditional Highland cattle, reared outside on grass and heathers before being aged for 21 days, is seared to guests’ specification in the Josper charcoal oven.
This Christmas, their festive dining menu is from £29 for two courses. Bookings can be made via 5pm Dining.
Chop HouseBritish beef and cocktails in The Arches
Following on from the success of Leith’s Chop House, this second branch opened in the summer of 2016 in a C-listed brickwork arch in the New Waverley project on East Market Street.
Laid out over two floors, it features a staircase and hanging booth seating, both custom-made from steel. Along with highlighted architectural details of the brickwork, these give Chop House a chic post industrial feel.
British beef, butchered in-house, dry-aged on-site for up to 90 days and cooked over an open-flame charcoal grill is at the heart of the Chop House offer.
Available for groups of four or more and designed to be shared, their festive feast menu is £40 a head and features, among many other treats, honey-glazed ham hock and roasted rump beef from Bee-Edge farm with bone marrow gravy.
Divino EnotecaAtmospheric Italian restaurant in Old Town Edinburgh
Part of the family-run Vittoria Group of restaurants, Divino Enoteca is an Italian wine cellar and restaurant on Edinburgh’s Merchant Street.
Blending Old Town atmosphere with Italian chic, it is a warm and welcoming venue for dinner with friends, a family celebration or a great glass of wine from their extensive wine list. Their Enomatic wine dispenser means that Divino Enoteca can offer a wide range of wines by the glass – all served in perfect condition.
A brilliant selection of Italian and World wines is not the only reason to visit Divino Enoteca. The kitchen is expert at using seasonal, local produce to create genuine Italian dishes.
The three course festive menu at Divino Enoteca is £45 a head. Sample main courses include the salted cod with chunks of potato, a confit vine plum tomato, onion and black olives or the roasted venison loin with baked sweet potato, confit black berries and a bitter chocolate sauce.
Stockbridge RestaurantIntimate European restaurant in Stockbridge
The Stockbridge Restaurant is a family-run venue on St. Stephens Street. Exceptional food and attentive service are the aim here, only without the flummery sometimes associated with fine dining.
Clever lighting, including candles and well positioned mirrors, give everything, and everybody, a romantic glow. Paintings in the style of the Scottish Colourists add further panache.
Creative European dishes made with fresh, seasonal produce fill the menus at The Stockbridge Restaurant. The restaurant also has a selection of hand-picked wines and interesting alcohol-free drinks to complement your meal.
The festive lunch menu at The Stockbridge Restaurant is from £21.95 for two courses.
It includes – deep breath – main courses such as roasted pheasant breast wrapped in serrano ham with a cep mousse, creamed leeks, roasted potatoes, wild mushroom, Madeira sauce and a truffle dressing.
Which is enough to convince us. You can book The Stockbridge Restaurant with 5pm.
PurlsaneCasual fine dining in Stockbridge
Run by head chef and owner Paul Gunning, Purslane delivers what the chef terms ‘casual fine dining’. A compact and stylish restaurant in fashionable Stockbridge, Purslane has garnered lots of praise for its modern, seasonal cooking.
Chef Gunning has an impressive CV taking in several restaurants with multiple Michelin stars and he brings that high level expertise, minus the Michelin-style fuss, to Purslane.
As well as the lunch and a la carte menus, there are five and seven course tasting menus packed with dishes such as rabbit raviolis with carrot purée and rabbit roulade.