Photo of
June 18, 2009

The 63rd Edinburgh International Film Festival launched last night with Sam Mendes and Sean Connery turning up on the red carpet for the premiere of Mendes’ Away We Go. The big question is where did these starry names eat while in town?

The premiere was held at Cineworld in Fountainbridge. The Atrium, Cuba Norte, Bisque, First Coast and La Partenope are all within a short limo ride of the venue and it would be fun to imagine that the former Mr Bond stopped in at Cuba Norte to take advantage of their salsa dinner dance deal.

Hopefully the influx of stars over the next ten days will result in a rash of snapshots in restaurant windows showing grinning restaurateurs with their arms around slightly uneasy film stars. There is something cheesy about these pics of famous diners which some restaurants proudly display but I know that if I had a restaurant and a celeb dropped in then I would be first in the queue for a mugshot.

My favourite example of this in Edinburgh is Lancers Indian restaurant in Stockbridge which has post-curry pics of both Elton John and Billy Connolly in the window. If you are serious about star-spotting in Edinburgh then James Thomson’s restaurants are the best bet.

His Witchery guestbook has entries from Jack Nicholson, Ewan MacGregor, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Pierce Brosnan while his Rhubarb restaurant has fed Shirley Manson, Sean Paul and Michael Stipe. His Tower restaurant has entertained Vanessa Redgrave, Joanna Lumley, the Countess of Wessex, Jeremy Paxman, Iain Banks, J K Rowling, Catherine Zeta Jones, Sean Connery and Helena Bonham-Carter.

What do you mean 'The steak's off'?
What do you mean 'The steak's off'?