Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > U.K./Ireland >
Jul 23, 2010 08:48 AM

edinburgh fine-dining advice

i'm off to edinburgh in september and managed to pick a week when 21212 is closed. we're already in at the kitchin and wishart but are looking for a 3rd fine diner to round out the trip. plumed horse and the balmoral are the obvious alternatives, but i've been to the latter and wasn't that impressed and, although i am not decor driven, remain unconvinced about the pictures i've seen of the ph interior. are there any other non-starred placed we should be looking at? has anyone been to atrium? should i over-look the decor and give the ph a go? all advice is welcome, help!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. you might try the Wichery just down the hill from the Castle.

    1. Also run by the same group as the Witchery is the Tower Restaurant in the Museum of Scotland and Rhubarb, where the decor is impressive. Another Leith spot is the Plumed Horse.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Watson

        thanks guys. we are staying at prestonfield and am tempted to go to rhubarb. i've been before and def think it's one of those 'overall' experience places; the decor seems to go a long way to make up for the food. i haven't been for 3 years though so it may well have improved.

        watson - what is the plumed horse like? my reticence to go there is p'field to leith is a treck and i don't really want to have to do it 3 times over 2 days unless we're going to be missing out on something quite spectacular.

        1. re: marcus james

          We were at Plumed Horse two years ago on a visit where we also went to Kitchin. While Plumed Horse was very good, it didn't seem to me to be as impressive as Kitchin in terms of both the food and the ambiance. Both seemed a little less refined. I also think it would be a shame to limit yourself to the Leith area.

          Rhubarb was a bit of a kick. At first I was put off by all the deer antlers in the sitting room where we were served pre-dinner drinks, but I still remember a lively and fresh asparagus starter and a similarly lively citrus dessert. And the peacocks and highland cows outside the window also remain memorable.

      2. By all accounts the Witchery is meant to be really good.The rooms look awesome , real gothic horror stuff and the restaurant, proper timeless classics.Cant wait to try.Xmas sounds good to me.

        1. If you're looking for good food then I'd avoid the Witchery. Even more so than Rhubarb it is style over substance. The vaulted rooms are really impressive but the food gets no where near the prices that they charge.

          Plumed horse is ok but considering that it's Michelin starred never blows me away. Go for lunch would be my recommendation.

          Other than the ones you mention, Tom Kitchin has just opened a new place which is slightly more refined. I've only had the lunch menu so far and the starters/mains have been excellent with only desert lacking. Details are on his web site.

          Not quite in the same league but still decent cooking are The Grainstore and The Vintner Rooms (although this is Leith as well so requires a trip again!). Hopefully you can find the details on these and let me know if you want specifics. The Fourth Floor at Harvey Nichols has good views over to the castle and food is respectable. If you're a fan of fish I'd suggest Ondine as it's been getting rave reviews (although I confess I've not eaten there yet). Roy Brett did great stuff out at his previous restaurant. I'd say all of these (other than The Forth Floor maybe) are better than the atrium which has somewhat stood still while everyone else moved forward.

          Such a shame about 21212 being closed, it's great!