August in Edinburgh and the city is buzzing with thousands of fantastic shows. As always, check our Edinburgh Festival Restaurants page for great dining deals. And if you’re feeling a little thirsty…
Over the last few years, the 5pm Dining blog has run a lot of stories about Scotland’s booming craft gin scene.
As you might expect, this huge increase in Scottish gin brands has had a number of pleasant knock-on effects.
One we’re particularly fond of is the spread of pop-up gin terraces and bars in the capital during August.
We have rounded up a selection of 5pm venues which have been ginspired to do something fresh. Plus, for those who like their bubbles to be luxurious, we have news of a five star Perrier Jouet pop-up in one of Edinburgh’s most famous hotels.
Edinburgh Festival Restaurants
And don’t forget that every day, our Edinburgh Festival Restaurants page will feature a special deal to ensure that you can enjoy a mighty fine meal.
The perfect accompaniment to this astonishing banquet of music, dance, comedy and theatre.
Cucina is a very stylish Italian restaurant on the corner of George IV Bridge and the Royal Mile. It is part of the chic G&V Royal Mile Hotel.
Just off the restaurant dining room, there is an outdoor terrace which, if the sun is shining, is a lovely spot to enjoy the regional specialities of Head Chef Mattia Camorani.
Over the course of the festival, the terrace is playing host to a Daffy’s Gin pop-up. As well as delicious nibbles, they serve a menu of inventive gin cocktails.
The classic Daffy’s D&T is always refreshing after fighting your way past the flyering on the Royal Mile. However, we should also point you in the direction of their Monaco Sunset.
Made with Daffy’s Gin, Rinquinquin peach dessert wine and Campari, it’s like a delicate, aromatic Negroni.
Cucina runs various dining deal for people who book via 5pm. For example, book a table for two for lunch today and you can enjoy a 25% discount on Chef Camorani’s new a la carte menu.
Hotel du Vin
A short stroll from the festival hub of George Square, Hotel du Vin is another venue with a secluded courtyard.
To coincide with the festivals, Scottish gin brand Caorunn has set up a gin garden in the courtyard.
The idea is to offer festival-goers a sanctuary in which to sit back and unwind with a handcrafted gin cocktail.
Of course, a purely gin-based diet is not a recipe for a happy festival. Which is where the hotel’s summery al fresco menu comes in.
We also like their afternoon tea. Accompanied by a glass of Champagne, it’s an agreeable way to while away a lull between shows.
Book in to Hotel du Vin via 5pm Dining and afternoon tea with a glass of Champagne is yours for £19.50 per person.
Staying with the themes of afternoon tea and indeed gin, One Square restaurant and bar specialises in both.
Part of the Sheraton Grand Hotel on Festival Square, it is a hop, skip and a jump from the Usher Hall, Traverse and Lyceum
During the summer months, they team up with Edinburgh gin brand Pickering’s to create the Pickering’s Terrace. As well as views of Edinburgh Castle, they serve bar snacks and, of course, lashings of gin cocktails.
One Square also does a mighty fine afternoon tea. It is usually themed around a particular gin.
At the moment, their themed afternoon tea takes its cue from Arbikie’s Gin.
As well as ginspired menu items such as the juniper-infused honey and caramel slice, the Arbikie’s picnic can be enjoyed with a Kirsty’s Fizz or Bee’s Knee’s gin cocktail.
You can view the Arbikie’s Picnic menu, and many more, plus book a table at One Square via 5pm Dining.
Handy for several Old Town venues, including the Queen’s Hall and Festival Theatre, 56 North is a buzzy bar which is well known for its extensive gin selection.
At this time of year, the bar also opens up its Tanqueray Secret Gin Garden at the back of the bar.
We recommend you investigate their Tanq Ten slushies.
Before or after dropping by the Secret Garden, you could also spend some rewarding time with the food menus at 56 North.
Their gourmet burgers are always a big hit but you could also chow down on a Thai salad, steak or our old friend fish ‘n’ chips.
Use 5pm Dining to book in between 11am and 5.30pm, Sunday to Thursday, and you can make the most of a 20% discount on the a la carte menu at 56 North.
Peacock Alley is the sumptuous bar lounge at The Caley hotel. Or the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian, if we’re being formal.
To mark the past seven decades of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, they have installed a new art exhibition.
The exhibition brings together emerging and established local and British artists through a collection of prints, collages, and photography that look at the history and future of the capital’s festival season.
You can peruse the art while sipping on a chilled glass of Perrier Jouet as the much feted Champagne house has opened a pop-up in Peacock Alley.
Prices start from £12 for a glass and from £69 for a bottle.
Peacock Alley also offers a tremendous afternoon tea and you can book in via 5pm Dining.
The 5pm Dining blog will be back next week with more suggestions.
Don’t forget to check our Edinburgh Festival Restaurants every day for the latest dining deals in festival city.
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