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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Graduation Celebrations at Hotel Colessio!

Celebrate your graduation in the Grill Room at the Hotel Colessio, Stirling’s most stylish hotel, with an amazing menu created specially by our award-winning chef. Enjoy a delicious 3-course Lunch or Dinner for just £30pp - available on Wednesday 28th & Thursday 29th June, 12 Noon until 9.30pm.

Alternatively indulge in a fabulous Celebration Afternoon Tea for just £24.95 including two cocktails. Available Wednesday 28th & Thursday 29th June, 12 Noon until 5pm.

View menus & make a booking http://www.hotelcolessio.com/offers/dining-offers/

 

Celebrate Your Graduation at Airth Castle!

Graduating is a huge milestone in your life, so why not celebrate in style with your family & friends and enjoy a delicious 3-course lunch or dinner in the Grill Room at Airth Castle Hotel? Only £25 per person! Available Wednesday 28th & Thursday 29th June, 12.30pm - 9.30pm.

View menu & book http://www.airthcastlehotel.com/latest-offers/food-drink/graduation-dinner/

 

Artisan café Heaven Scent to open in Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries

Popular Milnathort-based coffee shop, Heaven Scent, is announcing that it will open a new outlet at Dunfermline’s prestigious Carnegie Library and Galleries.

Due to open on 18 May 2017 as part of the major Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries development, the mezzanine café will boast stunning views over the landscaped garden to Dunfermline Abbey and the Heritage Quarter of the town. In keeping with Heaven Scent’s ethos of using ethically and locally sourced products combined with creatively prepared dishes, the new café, which seats 60, will serve a mixture of classic soups and sandwiches, as well treats such as milkshakes and delicious homemade baking. Dishes include toasted flat breads, a warm tart of the day and a range of breakfast options. Free-from catering for those with special dietary requirements (those on gluten free diets, for example) is a particular strength with Heaven Scent a finalist in the national Free From Awards for three years running.

The spectacular £12.4million award-winning new building has been designed by Richard Murphy Architects and has already won the EAA Building of the Year award. It links superbly with the world’s first Carnegie Library and houses a new museum, exhibition galleries, local history reading room and new children’s library. Nestled in Dunfermline’s Heritage Quarter, the building will provide a new home for culture in the town.
Heaven Scent owner, Andrew Scott said:

“We are beyond thrilled to take Heaven Scent to Dunfermline in such a stunning venue. We’ve long had customers that travel regularly from Dunfermline to Milnathort for our barista-made coffees, milkshakes and delicious menu. In a world where town centres have become ever more homogenised by bland international retail and catering outlets, Heaven Scent’s character and success stands out. Our customers seek us out because they know Heaven Scent’s personality is ingrained through its outstanding service, fabulous food and drink and personal approach. We’re really looking forward to developing our menu for both locals and visitors to Dunfermline.”

Heaven Scent was awarded the contract by Fife Cultural Trust, which aims to provide creative, entertaining and learning experiences that enhance the quality of life, through their partnerships and in their museums, galleries, libraries and theatres.

Kirsty Keay, Commercial Director at Fife Cultural Trust, said:

“The Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries is a massively exciting project and one that the people of Dunfermline have already taken to their hearts. We’re delighted to have Heaven Scent on board and recognise the company’s ethos as matching our aims to deliver fantastic service and a great quality product. We’re confident that Heaven Scent at Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries will really add to Dunfermline’s food scene and be at the heart of the town’s cultural quarter.”

The new Dunfermline opening adds a third outlet to the original charming Heaven Scent coffee shop in the Perthshire village of Milnathort and the lively restaurant at Knockhill Racing Circuit. Heaven Scent also operates a professional catering service.

Heaven Scent has won a string of awards including independent Coffee Shop of the year, Excellence in Business Innovation from Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, VisitScotland’s Taste Our Best accreditation and TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for four years in a row.
For more information on Heaven Scent, visit http://heavenscentcoffeeshop.co.uk.
Find out more about Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries at http://www.onfife.com.

 

Sumayya Usmani Chats Culture, Community & Cakes at SocieTEA

EDINBURGH, UK – (18 May 2017) – The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian welcomes Pakistani-born food writer, broadcaster and cookery teacher, Sumayya Usmani as its special SocieTEA guest speaker on Thursday 1st June to discuss her latest book, ‘Mountain Berries & Desert Spice’.

Influenced by her homeland, Sumayya’s award-winning ‘Summers Under the Tamarind Tree’ (2016), and her recently launched second book are bursting with colourful stories and family recipes. In both books, she explains the sensory journey of discovery she has been exploring through certain ingredients and will share some of her anecdotal stories and inspiration with guests attending this special afternoon tea.

Passionate about Pakistani food and culture, Sumayya will bring to life the rich cuisine and diversity of the dishes she enjoyed growing up in a country that has evolved under the influence of its people over the past 70 years.

Dale MacPhee, General Manager of The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian said: “Food and conversation are the cornerstones of our society, we have become increasingly experimental not just when we eat out, but when we cook for family and friends at home. Sumayya’s enthusiasm for Pakistani food is infectious and we very much look forward to hearing more about her culinary experiences and influences to create what I’m sure will be another award-winning book.”

The Caley launched SocieTEA in 2016 with the aim of bringing interesting speakers to an afternoon tea experience at the hotel, that would inspire guests with stimulating and diverse subjects and conversation.

Tickets for the SocieTEA event on Thursday 1st June are priced at £50 and include a donation to Sumayya’s chosen charity, Macmillan Cancer Support.

Time: 1-4pm

Venue: The Pompadour by Galvin

Guests will be served a glass of bubbles in The Pompadour’s Salon on arrival. Afternoon Tea includes freshly cut, handmade sandwiches; freshly baked scones and a delicious selection of sweet pastries.

For further information call 0131 222 8945. Bookings are by email only at afternoontea.reservations@waldorfastoria.com

 

Double Gold for Glasgow Distillery at The World Spirit Awards

Glasgow’s first gin and single malt distillery since 1902 has received two golds at top industry awards that received entries from 70 countries worldwide.

Glasgow Distillery Company received a double gold medal for its Independent Bottling Prometheus 27-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Best Independent Single Merchant. This prestigious accolade is awarded to entries that receive a Gold medal by all members of the esteemed judging panel and follows on from the whisky winning a double gold last year.

World Spirits Competition

2,100 superior spirits were sampled by the director of judging and master mixologist, Tony Abou-Ganim and the 41-person panel at the 17th annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Blending passion and experience, these awards are the oldest of its kind and most influential due to the strict judging methods by industry-respected experts to discern quality.

Gin also brought home success for the distillery as their limited edition Makar Mulberry Wood aged gin picked up a silver medal.

Distillery Gold

Liam Hughes, Co-Founder and CEO of The Glasgow Distillery Company, said:

“At Glasgow Distillery Company one of our main aims is to ensure everything we release - whether the wonderful craft products made at the distillery, or Independent Bottlings we have meticulously sourced - are exceptional for our customers, and these three awards are a testament that.

“Prometheus 27 Year Old is the second bottling in the range following the highly successful launch of our 26-Year-old, and we’re exceptionally proud for it to receive the highest recognition from such esteemed judges. It cements our confidence in this wonderfully rare, aged Speyside single malt whisky which we are extremely proud to be the guardians of.

“To also receive a silver award for our limited edition Mulberry Wood Aged Gin is incredibly rewarding and highlights the commitment from our team of distillers to continue achieving our vision of producing premium quality spirits.”

This achievement follows on from many other award wins this year for the distillery, including silver medals at the International Spirit Challenge.

About Prometheus:

The Prometheus bottlings comprise a selection of “rare” single malt whisky casks, aged for around 30 years, which were acquired by The Glasgow Distillery Company in 2014.

Prometheus is a legendary Speyside with the Titanic strength of barley malted by burning peat. A whisky of sublime sophistication and balance, bottled at the peak of its powers.

Appearance: Rich amber with coppery hues.

Nose: A warm and welcoming bouquet with sweet notes of butterscotch, aromatic heather, orange zest and smoky charcoal.

Palate: Satisfyingly longlasting, creamy and peppery with aromas of roasted nuts, nutmeg and clove entwined with hints of Madagascan vanilla, dark chocolate, rich fruitcake, heather honey, candied fruits and smoke.

About Makar Mulberry Wood Aged Gin:

A limited edition offering, Makar Mulberry Wood Aged Gin, is made by filling Mulberry Wood casks with Glasgow Distillery’s Makar Glasgow gin and then storing it for approximately 10 weeks before bottling.

During ageing, the gin gains complexity and flavour as well as a little colour and the result is an intriguing hint of lemon, thyme and sweet vanilla and a peppery finish. Try it as a dry martini with a classic olive garnish.

For more information or to buy Prometheus 27-year-old whisky or Makar Mulberry Wood Aged Gin visit www.glasgowdistillery.com

 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Stewart Brewing Celebrates Radical Road Win at the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards

Leading Scottish craft brewer, Stewart Brewing, is celebrating after winning a top prize at the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards last night. The brewer’s popular beer Radical Road fought off tough competition to win the Brewing award, which was introduced for the first time this year and is sponsored by Heriot Watt University.

The awards ceremony, which took place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 18 May, recognised businesses and individuals in Scotland who are leading the way with innovation, enterprise and quality. There was a record number of 820 guests in attendance with a grand total of over 270 entries across all the award categories.

Jo Stewart, Stewart Brewing co-founder, commented: “It’s such an honour to be recognised at this prestigious level so we’re incredibly proud, especially when the competition was so strong. It’s been a huge team effort to get us to where we are today and it feels great to know all our hard work has paid off. Thanks so much to our customers and to Scotland Food and Drink for their continued support.”

Radical Road pours golden with long lasting white foam. The nose is bursting with American hops; tonnes of pine, grapefruit and citrus combine to make a tantalising hop cocktail. The taste is medium bodied with long lasting smooth bitterness and alcohol kick. Waves of hop flavour come from the triple hop brewing technique which gives a complex flavour profile.

Radical Road is available in the Stewart Brewing brewery shop in Loanhead and the new Stewart’s Dockside Tap shop in Leith, as well as in select Edinburgh pubs and bars.

The Stewart Brewing brewery is located at Bilston Glen Industrial Estate, 26a Dryden Rd, Loanhead.

For more announcements, follow Stewart Brewing on social media:

www.facebook.com/stewartbrewingedin

Twitter @StewartBrewing

 

New Beginnings at Seasons Restaurant and Bar

This spring, Seasons Restaurant and Bar is enjoying its own rebirth - one year on from opening. The fresh new frontage at its home on Edinburgh’s Broughton Street heralds the new beginnings within the form of a brand new bar with its own bijou a la carte menu.
The new menu has been designed by Executive Chef and owner Matt Urry with the help of new recruit, Head Chef Cameron Laidlaw, who has recently joined from Restaurant Mark Greenaway. The new style menu sets the 10 seater bar apart from the ethos of the main restaurant: Small yet perfectly formed it has been designed for casual dining in mind and will be available from 2pm until 8pm accompanied by a list of 30 wines by the glass. The new bar wine list has been carefully selected by Matt who aims to make more inaccessible wines available to drink by the glass.
Bar Menu
  • White onion veloute, burnt onion, seasonal herbs - £4.50
  • Wye valley asparagus, gremolata and roasted hazelnuts - £7
  • Aged beef carpaccio, whipped goats cheese and wild garlic, crispy shallot, parmesan granita, beef fat flat bread - £10.50
  • Slow cooked Lamb leg, beer pickled shallot, charred spring onion, pomme puree, celeriac - £11.50
  • Poached Langoustine, quinoa, burnt apple, channel wrack, Langoustine bisque - £12
  • Rhubarb, custard honeycomb, gingerbread, doughnut - £7
  • Chocolate, pistachio, granola - £7
www.seasonstasting.co.uk
To book call 0131 466 9851 or email bookings@seasonstasting.co.uk
Images courtesy of David Brooks Hall Photography

Friday, 19 May 2017

Summer Offer at The Wee Restaurant Edinburgh


The Wee Restaurant has a fabulous offer at their Edinburgh restaurant this summer. Every Saturday in June and July between 3 - 5pm, 2 people can each enjoy their famous Shetland mussels with bacon, fresh basil, pine nuts & Parmesan cream with a glass of wine for £15.

Chef owner Craig Wood developed the unique recipe for the menu at The Wee Restaurant in North Queensferry when they opened over 11 years ago, and they've been serving them every day since. They are very popular indeed.

61 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1LH

Tel 0131 2257983

www.theweerestaurant.co.uk

 

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Upmarket Steakhouse Opens in Lanarkshire

A new steak house is open for business in Lanarkshire. Cocktails and Steaks, is located on Uddingston’s Main Street in a former newsagent. The building has been stripped out and refitted as part of a dramatic renovation, costing £200,000.
The one-time busy newsagent, was once a traditional tobacconist store. David Mungall, owner of Mungalls Newsagent, sold the shop to family-run business, Uddingstons, who acquired the building in July 2015.
The new owners, the Cowley family, are local to the area. They are Florence Cowley and her two children Anthony Cowley and daughter Renee Smith.

It was mum Florence who noticed the building was for sale and she saw its potential. While the ownership is under the Uddingstons company, the family members have a strong track record in property developments as well as the hospitality industry. Anthony Cowley is Property Development Director for the Manorview Group. The Manorview Group own nine bespoke hotels across the Central belt of Scotland, which include Cornhill Castle near Biggar in Lanarkshire, Boclair House in Bearsden, Glasgow and The Busby Hotel in Glasgow’s south side.
Although Anthony was instrumental in getting the restaurant up and running, from redevelopment to becoming fully operational, looking after the day-to-day business will be Anthony’s sister, Renee, and mum Florence will also be on hand. Renee, who runs her own catering company has a proven track record of delivering a smooth efficient service to large high profile external events.
Anthony said, “This has been a long-running family project which has taken a while because we’re all busy elsewhere. The initial idea came from my mum, who fancied getting herself a coffee shop, but the idea evolved and changed, and I’m delighted I’ve helped my sister and my family. It’s now over to Renee to run the business, and I know she’ll do a great job”.
As head of development Anthony was responsible for the vision and project management of creating a working kitchen area and fully functioning restaurant and bar. Space was tight and the basement floor, where the kitchen is housed, had to be lowered to create a comfortable working kitchen area. A totally new mezzanine floor was added to create an additional upper level which can cater for an extra 16 people, and provides excellent space for a private party.

The feel of the restaurant is upmarket but inviting. Sit inside and you could be in any of the trendy eateries in Glasgow’s Finnieston area. Cocktails and Steaks is Uddingston’s first restaurant with a strong focus on steak, and the Cowley family were keen to give the Lanarkshire people more choice for staying local when it comes to dining out.
Renee explained, “Uddingston Main Street is thriving, we’re a local family, we know the area and the customers. There’s lots of great places here and we want to encourage people to stay local. If you want a good meal, a great steak and an accompanying cocktail, you don’t have to go to Glasgow to get it, and we also hope to attract more people outwith the Lanarkshire area to come to Uddingston and visit”.
The décor includes lots of interesting touches. Anthony is adept at picking up random pieces during his many redevelopments and he’s always looking for ways to recycle. At Cocktails and Steaks, you’ll find an old cistern which came from a bar in Glasgow, an old bicycle which was used to deliver ice cream in Perth. What Anthony is most proud of however – are the tiles on the staircase wall. These date from the 1960s and they were ceiling tiles, sourced from an old apartment in New York and shipped over. Once they arrived they had to be specially prepared and lacquered.
The light fittings were custom made to fit the low mezzanine ceiling and a fantastic spider-like chandelier spans the downstairs area. Dark wooden surrounds and comfortable leather effect seating complete the look, while lots of old black and white photos of butchers create an air of nostalgia. As you walk downstairs from the mezzanine floor, you’ll be met by a portrait of Daniel Day Lewis, as Bill “The Butcher” Cutting from the movie Gangs of New York. An addition from Anthony, who is a fan of Martin Scorsese.
Cocktails and Steaks, takes its meat seriously and are supporters of Scottish Beef. Produce is sourced from two Scottish farms with a long legacy of raising grass-fed cattle. Beef is aged for a minimum of 21 days and cooked using a Josper. This combination of a grill and oven prevents food from drying out or burning, and ensures steaks are cooked to their most tender and juiciest.
Renee, said, “We’re very focused on serving good quality meat, food and drinks. We’ve put a lot of thought into everything, from the décor, to the menus, the service and all the little unique touches. We’ve only been open for a few weeks and already we’re seeing lots of repeat business and great feedback from customers”.
Cocktails and Steaks, 193 Main Street, Uddingston, G71 7BP
Phone number: 01698 768118
http://cocktailsandsteaks.co.uk

The Dubliner Irish Whiskey - A Different Father's Day Present

This year for Father's Day why not give Irish whiskey, known as "uisce beatha" which means the "water of life". Irish whiskey is experiencing a resurgence in popularity with whiskey drinkers who enjoy its fruity aromatics and smooth taste which makes The Dubliner Irish Whiskey the perfect gift!

The Dubliner Irish Whiskey heralds from Dublin, a city steeped in rich culture, distinctive character and vibrant personality. It is a blend of single malt and grain whiskies aged in the finest Bourbon oak casks, which are individually selected for blending, giving a warm and smooth whiskey with a lasting finish.

Available from: Amazon, 31Dover.com and Wine Rack RRP: £22.50 for 70cl. ABV: 40% http://www.31dover.com/spirits/whisky/the-dubliner-irish-whiskey.html

The Dublin Liberties Oak Devil Irish Whiskey

The Dublin Liberties is a premium whiskey for those looking for a more complex Irish Whiskey with depth and spirit. It is a non chill-filtered 46% blend of malt and grain whiskies aged for main years in selected casks. It takes its name from the Liberties area of Dublin, a riotous quarter of the city known as 'Hell' in the 1700s where an oak-cared devil stood watch over the entrance to The Liberties watching the mayhem happening within.

Available from: Amazon, 31Dover.com, www.thewhiskyexchange.com and www.celticwhiskeyshop.com. RRP: £35.00 for 70cl. ABV: 46%

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=dublin+liberties+whiskey

The Dublin Liberties Copper Alley

A very spoiling gift would be The Dublin Liberties Copper Alley which was launched in October 2016. This is a limited release whiskey which is double barrelled for 10 years in Bourbon casks and finished in 30-year-old Oloroso sherry casks, hand-selected by the Master Distiller, Darryl McNally, for six months. There are only 31 sherry casks of this unique whiskey which is non chill-filtered and bottled at 46%.

Available from: Harvey Nichols, www.thewhiskyexchange.com and www.celticwhiskeyshop.com. RRP: £65 for 70cl. ABV: 46%

https://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/p/37806/dublin-liberties-copper-alley-10-year-old

 

Celebrating World Cocktail Day - Why Not Try These Cocktails?

If you are celebrating World Cocktail Day on the 13th May you might want to try one of these delicious cocktails which are easy to make at home.

Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin Negroni - a classic cocktail for a warm summer evening:

  • Combine 30ml Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin with 30ml Sweet Vermouth and 30ml Campari in a mixing glass.
  • Add ice and stir until chilled.
  • Strain into a glass and garnish with orange peel.

Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin is available from: Waitrose, Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, Ocado, Booths, Sainsbury's, seven regional Harvey Nichols stores nationwide and 31Dover.com. RRP: £23.00 for 70cl. ABV: 40% https://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=285353514

Thomas Dakin Cottonopolis - Dakin's take on the Cosmopolitan:

  • Chill a glass with ice and remove.
  • Combine 35ml Thomas Dakin Gin with 20ml Cointreau, 30ml cranberry juice, 1 teaspoon of marmalade, 2 lime wedges squeezed and a few drops of Peychaud or Angostura bitters (optional).
  • Combine all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake hard with ice.
  • Strain into the glass to remove any marmalade pieces and garnish with an orange peel twist.

Thomas Dakin is available from: Waitrose and Harvey Nichols stores nationwide. It is also available from Amazon, Booths, Tescos, thedrinkshop.com, Ocado.com, 31Dover.com and GinFoundry.com. RRP: £29.00 for 70cl. ABV: 42%

http://www.waitrose.com/shop/DisplayProductFlyout?productId=485765

Feeney's Espresso Martini - an easy summer cocktail:

  • Add ice to a cocktail shaker.
  • Pour in 30ml Feeney's Irish cream Liqueur, 25ml Espresso Coffee and 20ml premium vodka.
  • Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with three coffee beans.

Available from Tesco's which stocks 1 litre bottles RRP: £15.00 and 31Dover.com which stocks 70cl bottles RRP: £12.50 and 1 litre bottles RRP: £15.00, Amazon and thedrinkshop.com. ABV: 17%. http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=290315622

 

Friday, 12 May 2017

Hotel & Restaurant Review - Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street and 20 Princes St. Restaurant

Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
Myself and Nicola love spending time in Edinburgh so when we were asked to head along the M8 to spend the night at Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, we jumped at the chance. The fact that we were also to be treated to dinner at Twenty Princes Street with drinks to follow at the adjoining Juniper Bar, made the decision to travel to the capital even easier.
Following a multi-million pound refurbishment of Edinburgh's Royal British Hotel, the Cairn Group owned site has has been renamed as Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, a stunning five star hotel which boasts amazing views of Edinburgh Castle.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
On the morning of check-in, we arrived early to be informed that our room wasn't ready but that was ok as we had brunch reservations at nearby Dishoom so we left our suitcase and made our way back out onto Edinburgh's Princes Street but not before having a sneaky peak around the reception lobby, bar and restaurant. It only took us a few minutes to see the attention to detail that had been applied during the extensive refurbishment and we couldn't wait to get back to see our room for the night.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
After a fantastic brunch as well as a trip to the National Museum of Scotland where we enjoyed a glass of wine on the rooftop terrace to the Tower Restaurant, we headed back to the hotel to check in. We have stayed in quite a few hotels in Edinburgh but not at any as centrally located as Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street. As the name suggests, the hotel is on Edinburgh's famous shopping street, and directly across the road from Waverley train station making it very handy for visitors who have travelled to the capital by rail.
After checking in we made our way to our room which was on the third floor and towards the front of the hotel. As soon as we opened the door to room 303, we knew that we would be having a very comfortable stay. The room was huge and decorated beautifully with a super queen size bed and plush leather headboard dominating one side of the room while a dressing table, chaise longue, two occasional chairs and accompanying table helping to create a comfortable space for rest and relaxation. The room felt modern yet very classic, fitting in with the style and grace of the 200 year old building.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
As is often the case with hotels that have been built into older buildings, the bathroom wasn't the biggest but it was fitted out in a way that made best use of the space. The walk-in monsoon shower with chevron patterned tiled wall helped open the room up while a huge circular mirror helped reflect the perceived space back into the room. I often judge the level of a hotel's hospitality and standing on the brand of toiletries that they provide in the bathroom and Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street score highly with a fine selection of Aveda products that Nicola made great use of. (Nicola doesn't allow me to use the good stuff so I made do with my own supplied supermarket own label shower gel)
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
After a couple of hours relaxing in our room (plus a little nap on the giant bed), we headed downstairs to the restaurant for dinner. Twenty Princes Street is located on the first floor of the hotel and doubles up as the breakfast lounge for hotel guests as well as operating as an award winning restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh. Black leather and gold upholstery coupled with hardwood floors work together to create a dining room filled with elegance and grace. Every piece of available wall space is adorned with myriad of framed prints that seem to capture the history and heritage of old Edinburgh.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
Natural light flows into the restaurant thanks to massive triple-height windows which offer stunning views of the city skyline. As it happened, our table for the evening was in one of the bay windows where we were able to enjoy views of Edinburgh Castle whilst we relaxed over dinner.
The extensive wine list has something to suit all budgets and after much deliberation, we settled on a wonderful bottle of Albariño which was packed with the aromatic flavours of peach, honey and apple. We love Albariño and this offering from Orballo had a great balance of floral notes and crisp acidity that worked well with Nicola's starter and main. I probably should have ordered red wine to match my own menu choices but I was more than happy with our Albariño choice.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
We took forever to decide on what to order such is the variety on the menu but in the end, Nicola settled on the starter of Seared West Coast Scallops, Buccleuch Black Pudding, Crowdie Cauliflower Puree. Talk about setting the bar at a high level? This was a wonderful way to start a meal and a great way to show the perfectly cooked scallops. Crispy black pudding bonbons added a crunchy texture and a little spice to counter the soft sweet scallop whilst the purée had just enough acidity from the Crowdie to balance the dish.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
For my own starter, I opted for the Pine Smoked Pigeon, Kale, Pine Nut Purée and Soured Cranberries. Now, I'm in the William Sitwell school of thought in that food should be served on round plates but I can see by that when the right amount of thought goes into the presentation. My pigeon was served on a wooden board on top of a tray of dry ice rocks which were doused in water to create a dramatic misty effect, not dissimilar to a misty morning in the forest. Once the mist cleared, I was able to tuck into my very well cooked pigeon breasts which were rich and gamey, although I did struggle to pick up much pine in the finished dish. The accompanying pine nut purée was well seasoned and brought an earthiness to the dish whilst the sour cranberries were a perfect foil for the richness of the bird and also helped cleanse the palate. I really enjoyed the little amount of kale that came with the starter and could easily have managed an extra forkful or two.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
For her main, Nicola ordered the Roast Guinea Fowl, Kale, Boudin Blanc Baked Jerusalem Artichoke and Hay Hollandaise. This was another wonderful plate of food, like a good Sunday roast dinner. The guinea fowl was seasoned well and cooked perfectly and served alongside the unusual Boudin Blanc, a sausage made from pork but without the blood. Neither of us have ever had this before and both enjoyed the flavour. The baked artichoke was wonderful, like a good baked potato but with much more depth of flavour. Sautéed potatoes, buttered kale and a rich gravy finished this dish off well although there was also a side dish of hay hollandaise sauce that didn't taste too much of hay and didn't really bring anything to what was already a pretty well balance plate of food.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
I had ordered game for my starter, I when it came to ordering my main, I was 'Still Game' as I settled on the Seared Haunch of Perthshire Venison, Potato Butter Fondant, Honey and Parsnip Purée and Scorched Pear. I've eaten some pretty great venison dishes this year and this was right up there with the best. Everything on the plate complemented everything else, the venison had been seasoned well and was cooked medium rare, just how I like it. The fondant potato was wonderful, crispy on tip but soft in the middle and full of Buttery goodness. The irony kale helped cut through the richness of the venison and its accompanying sauce although once again I could have easily managed a larger portion of the buttered greens. The scorched pears was a nice touch and worked nicely with the rich meat. If I were to make any criticism it would be that the honey and parsnip purée, despite been silky smooth, was lost against the other strong flavours on the plate.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
We were asked if we would like any sides with our mains and when we asked for recommendations from our waitress, she pointed us in the direction of the truffled chips and cheese, which we already had our eye on and we also added a portions deep fried mac'n'cheese cubes too.
As it turned out, we didn't really need any sides as each of our mains were pretty well balanced although had we known that the guinea fowl came with sautéed potatoes then we would likely have left not bothered with sides at all.
That said, the chips were wonderful, triple cooked and salted well before being covered with Manchego cheese and a liberal splash of truffle oil. As for the mac'n'cheese cubes - well, I've just found a new guilty pleasure! What's not to like about rich cheesy pasta covered in panko breadcrumbs and deep fried? The golden cubes of cheesy goodness might not have been the best accompaniment to our dinner but they were very tasty. These could easily work as a lunchtime snack with another bottle of cold beer.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
We had been on the go all day and after our earlier hearty lunch and a very satisfying dinner, not to mention a few alcoholic beverages along the way, so we were declined the chance to look at the dessert menu, instead we decided to finish the evening with a drink next door at bar.
Juniper is also located on same floor as the restaurant and also shares the same breathtaking views of the skyline and we were lucky enough to find a table near the window where we could see Saturday night revellers wandering along Princes Street below. Juniper presents itself as a vibrant and sophisticated cocktail bar and I have to agree because when we went through to the bar, it was heaving busy and looked like the type of place that 'the pretty people' like to hang out.
I have to say that the drinks menu at Juniper is one of the best that I've seen with a fantastic selection of craft beers, premium spirits, wine and champagne, classic cocktails and inventive home made creations too. The drinks prices at Juniper are great too with the most expensive vodka just £4 per shot, the priciest gin was just £4.50 and the costliest rum at £7 per shot but that was for Ron Zacapa XO, the Ron Zacapa 23 was a bargain at just £4 per measure. If I wasn't so tired, I would have happily worked my way from top to bottom without breaking the bank!
Instead, decided to end the day with an Espresso Martini which had been mixed with Angostura 1824 instead of vodka. I'm a massive fan of the standard espresso martini but sometimes find that the drink can be a bit one dimensional depending on the coffee or vodka used. This doesn't happen when you use rum as the base spirit because the natural sugars and spices add layers of flavour that work incredibly well with the coffee. The 12yo bourbon aged Angostura 1824 is packed with vanilla and warming honey flavours - a mighty fine rum on it's own but works incredibly well as the base for grown up cocktails too. As after dinner drinks go, my rum espresso martini was the perfect way to end a great evening and it took all my strength not to order another.
Nicola ended the evening with a crisp G&T although did struggle to settle on which gin to go for as some of her favourites were sitting behind the bar but finally plumped for Seaside Gin from the local Edinburgh Gin distillery. Seaside Gin includes a seaweed, scurvy grass and ground ivy to give this gin a slightly sweet yet refreshing mineral taste which is perfect for mixing in with tonic on a long summer day although it seemed to work well on a cool spring evening for Nicola too.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
With our drinks finished it was time to head to bed and we made our way back to then third floor where our huge bed was calling us. After such a long day of walking, eating and drinking I think I could have slept standing up but the comfort of the huge super queen size bed was very much appreciated and we both drifted off to sleep very quickly.
In the morning we were up early and felt remarkably fresh when we made our way downstairs for breakfast. With both continental and cooked breakfast to choose from, we were spoilt for choice but for those who like a little luxury in the morning, the kitchen serve up a mighty fine Omelette Arnold Bennett which is cooked to order and packed with flaky smoked haddock.
With breakfast behind us, our trip to Edinburgh was coming to an end so we said a final goodbye to our room before heading back to reception to check-out.
Our trip to Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street was complimentary, as was our dinner and drinks at Twenty Princes Street and Juniper respectively but my review about be is an honest account of our time in Edinburgh.
I really couldn't fault any aspect of our visit as we were treated brilliantly throughout but I would expect that from a five star hotel regardless of whether I'm a paying guest or invited guest.
So to sum up, Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street is a stunning five star hotel, perfectly located for the best shopping, dining and drinking in the capital.
Twenty Princes Street might double up as the hotel restaurant but it is quickly gaining a name as one of Edinburgh's best restaurants. So whether you are looking for a quick lunch or a fancy dinner, there's sure to be something on the menu to suit your mood.
Juniper is one of the best stocked bars in Edinburgh, great for a quick after work drink, meeting friends or chilling out. Don't be mistaken into thinking that Juniper is a hotel bar - it's anything but. This is one of Edinburgh's hidden gems and well worth a visit.
We would like to thank the staff and management at Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street for their hospitality and generosity during our visit and wish the hotel, restaurant and bar all the best for the future.
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