If you follow TLE you will know we love our food and thankfully Edinburgh is one of the key food and drink destinationS in the UK. We recently had the opportunity to try out a restaurant that has been on our list for a while, Wedgwood. Located right in the heart of the Edinburgh’s old town and guess what? we loved it so much it made its way onto the TLE best Edinburgh restaurants guide. Read on and find out more.
Background and Concept
When a product is so good a brand should put it’s name on it and that’s exactly what Paul and Lisa Wedgwood did when they opened their eponymous restaurant back in 2008. The duo have created a fine dining experience that has stood the test of time, Wedgwood is unpretentious and relaxed, staff are friendly (I loved the enthusiasm of the staff as we chatted to them during the evening, it was infectious) and food is creative and imaginative.
Choose from two areas in the restaurant; upstairs is more informal while the downstairs I would say has a slightly more traditional feel to it, in total the restaurant has 48 covers so is small by some restaurant standards, but this just adds to the quality of service you receive. And don’t think that by small this means the need to turn tables and get you in and out, Paul and Lisa’s ethos is about customers enjoying and taking time over their meal, so there is never the pressure to rush you dinner.
Food inspiration comes from Paul’s travels from around the world; expect fusions of flavours on the menu like the Sound of Mull diver caught scallops with cauliflower korma, a perfect example of mixing Scottish ingredients with Asian flavour. Add to this Paul’s use of foraging wild herbs and unusual salad ingredients as well as including ingredients from their own market garden and you have the perfect combination for an extraordinary dining experience.
The menu changes four times a year to reflect the seasons, so ingredients are completely in tune with the nature.
As the À la carte menu changes with the seasons so to does the wine list. Lighter wines in the summer, change to richer more full bodied in the winter, with wines designed to match the flavours and character of the seasonal food menus.
We were there on a Saturday night, the restaurant was alive with chatter and laughter and this is what we ate.
To start some homemade bread and oil was brought out while we were still deciding on what to eat. For wine we chose an Argentinian Mendoza Chenin Blanc, Torrontes Villa Vieja Chenin Torrontes £22.50 (it is actually one of my favourite countries to buy wine from I have never had a bad glass of Argentinian). The wine list is extensive with a good balance of old and new world wines and also wine by the glass too, which came in very handy when we polished off the bottle in next to no time.
When savoury bread and butter pudding is listed on a menu as a starter it’s hard to look beyond it so my choice was easily made. It was delicious! The richness of the Isle of Mull cheddar shone through and the savoury ice cream with a touch of fennel which shouldn’t work, but does and does so beautifully, finished the dish off. My dining partner is a seafood fan, so what could be better than fresh Scottish diver caught scallops which are balanced in flavour with cauliflower korma, pineapple, capers, pistachio and peanut dust, all of which comes presented in a beautiful shell.
In total there are nine starters on the menu – with a wide range of meats and fish coming from Scotland – Skye Langoustines and Buccleuch estate beef fillet were also down as my dining partners potential starters and I was pleased to see three vegetarian starters on the menu too, not many restaurants offer that range.
Before mains a moment to rest and refresh your palate is provided with a shot of raspberry and ginger beer.
Mains were as delicious as the starters. I opted for the butternut squash and spinach roloto, which are small rolls of pasta, that hold together the butternut and spinach filling. A little like a vertical cannelloni, it was accompanied by asparagus and pistou and every mouthfull was incredible. My dining partner opted for the venison which also came with venison haggis in the centre, beetroot, butternut squash and a truffle jus and I was told it was incredible.
The dessert menu is packed full of delicious treats, but my two favourite dessert items were on there so there was no need to look further. A delicious old fashioned sticky toffee pudding served with a cornel of fresh ice cream and a cheese board with four Scottish cheeses; an Isle of Mull, Old Lochnagar, Hebridean Blue and Westray Wife which is made in Orkney. Both dessert and cheese were a generous size and perfect for sharing.
The Finances and Details
Prices are on par with other fine dining restaurants in the city, three courses and a bottle of wine will set you back around £100 plus tip.
My only critical point about the whole experience – have more side dishes on the menu, one salad is not enough! Apart from that I thoroughly enjoyed Wedgwood and would recommend a visit, pre-booking is essential as it is fully booked at weekends.
Address: Royal Mile, 267 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8BQ
Phone: 0131 558 8737