We're not saying you have to have a knife in one hand and a
fork in the other to have a good time. But it helps...
Chez Mal Leith
Housed in the eye-catching Malmaison hotel on Tower Place, the Chez Mal restaurant enjoys spectacular views over the Port of Leith. Given a smart refurbishment in 2016, the dining room has a sleek, contemporary look and light, spacious feel. The new look bar is a hip hangout with craft beers and innovative cocktails.
The Christmas Celebration Menu is very appealing. We would have the winter leaf salad with barrel-aged feta, Clementine, fennel and pomegranate to start. Although we could see why the Asian-cured salmon would receive plenty of interest. As to the main course... free-range turkey, daube of beef, pan-fried sea bass or beef Wellington? Tough call.
Dessert would have to be the Chez Mal sticky toffee Christmas pudding with caramel custard. Obviously.
Fancy some Italian in your festivities? Piccolino is a welcoming Italian bistro on High Riggs in Edinburgh’s Toll cross. Hung with hams, sausages and cheeses, it is a compact and laidback space.
If you are going on to the panto - oh yes, you are! - Piccolino is close to the King's and the Lyceum.
To begin, we can't choose between the burrito Pugliesi, the Tuscan chicken liver pâté or the pan-fried Scottish scallops with a black pudding, chorizo and rocket salad.
Actually, we can. The scallops, please.
To follow, how about the veal saltimbocca alla Romana? Or
the ravioli filled with chestnuts and radicchio served with a mascarpone sauce?
If you prefer to go the traditional route, there is turkey with all the
Choose between panettone with vanilla ice cream and melted chocolate, a fresh fruit cheesecake or sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream to round off your meal.
Boteco Do Brasil
Christmas on the Copacabana may well be fun. But it's not cheap. Enjoy some Brazilian atmosphere without the airfare by booking into the vibrant Boteco Do Brasil. Located on Lothian Street in the Old Town, Boteco Do Brasil means visitors can sample the true taste of Brazil. Regular salsa and party nights mean that the fiesta is never far away at Boteco Do Brasil.
The Christmas set menu at Boteco offers plenty of options for diners wishing to step away from the turkey.
Fresh king prawns served with a melon, mint and Parmesan mousse; a Brazilian lamb stew and a beetroot risotto all leap from the menu. Naturally, there is always the option of the traditional roast turkey with all the trimmings.
When Tigerlily launched in 2006, it arguably kick started the renaissance of George Street as the capital’s most fashionable area for eating and drinking. A 2015 refurbishment ensured that the boutique hotel, bar and restaurant stays at the head of the pack.
With mirrored walls, chandeliers, clever lighting and several different spaces, the decor of the dining areas helps make for a memorable meal. An extensive drinks list with innovative cocktails plus much sought after pavement terrace tables all add to Tigerlily’s undoubted appeal.
The Christmas menu is inventive. We like the sound of the sweet potato and toasted cumin fishcakes with tamarind and ginger sauce followed by the slow-braised Scottish ox cheek with olive oil mash potato and toasted peanut.
Offer includes entry to Lulu or Eastside if you want your night to continue until the wee hours.
Part of the award-winning Montpeliers group, which also includes Rabble and Tigerlily, Indigo Yard is a welcoming bar and restaurant on Charlotte Lane, just off Queensferry Road in Edinburgh’s West End. As well as a covered outside terrace, it has a light and airy bar, cosy mezzanine and a dining area with comfortable booth seating. Up-cycled and reclaimed materials give it all an enjoyably rustic edge but, underneath the stripped walls and wooden boards, this is a sleek, professional operation. Craft beer, tank beer, cocktails and interesting wines are all a focus.
The Christmas menu at Indigo Yard is very well travelled. You could start with wild mushroom and cream cheese croquettes in crisp pastry with roasted garlic mayo before moving on to a main course of tikka spit-roasted leg of lamb with star anise, braised Puy lentils, a mint and cucumber yoghurt plus charred flatbread.
Night owls will be delighted to learnt that this offer includes entry to Lulu nightclub or Eastside bar.
Angels' Share Hotel, Bar and Restaurant
The Angels' Share Hotel, Bar and Restaurant is a stylish, Scottish restaurant set on Hope Street on the border between Edinburgh’s city centre and West End.
The Angels' Share is a modern venue with a unique interior decorated with the faces of Scottish screen and stage stars. There is a large bar area and a second dining room hosting the restaurant.
Named after the whiskey lost to evaporation during the distilling process, Angels' Share has, as you would expect over 200 whiskies to choose from as well as an extensive cocktail list.
The festive menu has a choice of three starters, three main courses and four dessert courses. How about the duck liver parfait with roast red onion chutney and oatcakes and then the escalope of Scottish salmon with roast cherry tomatoes, spinach, rosemary and a lemon beurre blanc? Mind you, the Tweed Valley beef brisket braised in Orkney ale looks very appealing.
If you fancy something light to finish, check out the lime and coconut panna cotta with a pineapple salsa and granola.
Enjoy a festive meal in the Angels' Share by booking now.
Agua Restaurant - Apex
Christmas lunch at home can be great. Apart from the shopping, cooking and washing up afterwards. Take it easy on Christmas Day with a three course meal in Agua Restaurant.
Part of the Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel, Agua Restaurant is in Edinburgh’s city centre. Sitting in the shadows of Edinburgh Castle, the restaurant is a bright, contemporary space with striking yellow banquette seating and wall mounted candle lights.
The menu features a choice of two starters: cauliflower and black truffle soup with a Parmesan crumb or the chicken liver parfait with onion jam and toasted brioche.
Main course options include a haddock and Atlantic prawn fishcake with seasonal vegetables and Hollandaise sauce or the vegetable Bourguignon. Of course there is also the option of the traditional roast turkey accompanied by pigs in blankets, seasonal vegetables, roasted potatoes and a garlic and onion jus.
Rabble is a cosmopolitan restaurant and bar with rooms on Frederick Street, right in the heart of Edinburgh city centre. A glass roof and lots of vibrant green plants give the dining area an enjoyable outdoors-but-indoors feel.
In the bar, a glowing wall of bottles catches the eye as do the two gleaming copper tanks which dispense fresh, unpasteurised Staropramen. Classic and modern cocktails, highballs, great wines and bespoke gin and tonics complete the picture. Rabble is part of the award-winning Montpeliers group.
This offer includes entry to Lulu nightclub or Eastside bar.
But before hitting the dance floor, Rabble's Christmas menu has many reasons to tarry awhile. Say yes to the hot-smoked Scottish salmon with a lemon, apple and ginger jam and brioche croutons. We would follow that with the crispy twelve-hour confit duck leg with braised red cabbage, rosemary-roasted new potatoes and green peppercorn sauce. Or maybe the wild mushroom and pearl barley risotto with toasted chestnuts, rocket and Parmesan.
11 Brasserie @ No 11
11 Brasserie at No 11 is a stylish, Scottish restaurant in the classical setting of a Grade A listed Georgian townhouse, on Brunswick Street in the heart of Edinburgh. Ideally located for the Edinburgh Playhouse, 11 Brasserie @ No 11 has a classic wooden decor and inviting, comfortable seating. The relaxed, welcoming ambience of the restaurant make it the perfect venue for celebrating the season with friends, colleagues or family.
11 Brasserie specialises in using the best Scottish ingredients so we would be very tempted to get our meal underway with Cullen skink, the traditional Scottish soup of smoked haddock, cream and potatoes. After that, it would have to be the roast turkey breast stuffed with black pudding, parsnip purée, roast carrots and pancetta, sprouts and a turkey and sage jus roast. If you are looking for a vegan option, think about the Portobello mushroom and vegetable entrecote, with spinach velouté and walnut pesto.
Book your festive meal at No. 11 here.
No 35 at The Bonham
Recently refurbished, No 35 is the name of the restaurant at The Bonham, a gorgeous boutique hotel in the West End of Edinburgh. The Bonham’s townhouse interior features striking and dramatic art by Tilo Stengel. Although you may not want to be distracted from the French-influenced food on the plate.
To start, we are torn between the celeriac, hazelnut and truffle soup and the smoked salmon pâté with cider jelly and warm treacle bread. A turkey, onion and sage ballotine is on offer but we might just be swayed by the cauliflower steak which comes with a purple cauliflower purée and kale chimichurri.
Or maybe the blackened sea bass with a duck consommé,
vanilla carrot purée and Cevennes onion. It would have to be the Valhrona
chocolate ganache to finish. It is served with a
thyme meringue and honeycomb ice cream.