Photo of
June 26, 2018

Grand Café at the Scotsman The opulent interior of Grand Café at the Scotsman.

One of Edinburgh's landmark buildings is getting a new lease of life as Grand Café at the Scotsman gears up to launch.

After a six month restoration, the North Bridge venue will officially open to guests this Thursday (28th June).

Set within the former advertising hall of The Scotsman newspaper, the new venture is inspired by the ‘Grand Cafes’ of Europe.

Visitors are promised 'a welcoming, relaxed drinking and dining experience to suit all tastes and occasions'.

Dating back to 1905, the spectacular double height space will seat 150 covers across its ground floor and balcony.

Original walnut wood panelling, marble pillars and ornate cornicing have been carefully brought back to life by interior specialist Jim Hamilton.

the Grand Café at the Scotsman Head Chef Chris Niven & Head Pastry Chef Philippa Baker.

While the space may date back to the Edwardian era, the menus are decidedly contemporary.

MasterChef: The Professionals finalist Chris Niven is in charge of the kitchen. The Dundee-born Head Chef has created a range of menus that run from breakfast bowls of porridge to 28-day dry aged Buccleuch beef steaks and burgers.

Grand Café at the Scotsman: Scottish produce

Scottish producers are very much to the fore with dishes such as mac and cheese made with smoked Arran cheddar; Loch Fyne oysters and a steamed marmalade pudding.

Head Pastry Chef Philippa Baker has devised The Grand Café Afternoon Tea which includes jams made on the premises.

While the Grand Café will have the buzz of a vibrant modern café bar during the day, it will also stay open until 3am every night.

Live piano music will be played on the balcony baby grand, with in-house pianists taking requests into the small hours. There will also be regular entertainment on offer for guests, including live jazz until late every Thursday.

Commenting on the forthcoming opening, Grand Café at the Scotsman General Manager Kenny Arnott said:

‘Our whole team is very excited to be welcoming guests into the Grand Café at the Scotsman. We are confident that it will be a wonderful  addition to Edinburgh’s buzzing bar and restaurant scene.

‘Our customers can enjoy the relaxed, friendly vibe with a fresh and simple menu full of exceptional quality Scottish sourced ingredients, at any time of day. We also feel exceptionally lucky to be setting our new venture in one of Edinburgh’s finest historic buildings, with an interior that is full of incredible period detail, bringing a magical sense of the Scotsman’s great past but with a very modern ambience.

Late night opening

‘Grand Café at the Scotsman is open from early morning for breakfasts and coffees until very late for drams, bar snacks, live piano, and everything in between. Please drop in, take a table, a booth or a seat at the bar, and enjoy everything that we have to offer.’

We were invited along for a preview and enjoyed the following dishes:

Goat's cheese mousse with beetroot, pickled apple, candied walnuts and raspberry emulsion.


Isle of Arran haggis croquette with roast turnip and whiskey velouté.


Baked Peterhead hake with seaweed butter, tenderstem broccoli, latte potatoes, clams and sea herbs.


Roasted lamb rump with celeriac, wild mushrooms, confit garlic and parsley.


Chocolate and brown butter ganache with coca and raspberry crumble and raspberry sorbet.


Earl Grey crème brûlée with vanilla shortbread.