Edinburgh with a 4yo?
My wife, 4yo son, and I will be in Edinburgh for two nights at the end of August, after the Tattoo is over. We'll arrive on Thursday via train from London, and leave on Saturday via rental car. We'll be staying downtown at the Sheraton for those two nights. My wife and I very much enjoy food, but my 4yo son is not very adventurous.
I would appreciate recommendations for the two dinners and one lunch that we'll be eating. Would like everything to be walkable from our hotel, if possible.
- I'd like one dinner to be upscale; are there any nice places that can handle kids ok, either with a dedicated kids menu or an ability to do something off-menu when the main menu is just too "out there" for a kid that survives on PB&J and oatmeal, with an occasional hotdog or chicken nuggets thrown in.
- We'll be wandering around the Royal Mile on Friday, so need a lunch option somewhere around there.
- The other dinner can be casual, but good food is the key.
As others have said, fine dining with a non adventurous 4yr old probably isn't the easiest. Even the Grainstore would not have a kids menu so you'd have to go off what they have on they're standard a la carte. Hotdog and nuggets won't even exist in most fine restaurants. Hotel based restaurants may be the more flexible options. The Sheraton has just been done up and the food was adequate when I went whilst not been exciting. Hadrian's Brasserie is attached to the Balmoral Hotel and is potentially your best bet.
What style of food are you looking for with the other dinner? Relatively close to the Sheraton there is a good "authentic" Chinese and a nice Vietnamese place. There's also a Mexican that may be perfect for dining with a child but having said that, I'm recommending that on the basis of the standard UK Mexican that I've experienced and it may be a poor relation to other countries.
What kind of thing are you looking for at lunch; a proper meal or snack? Howies is pretty laid back for kids and could be accommodating on the menu. The Story Telling Cafe is of course geared up for kids and has home baked cafe stuff or you could take a different approach and try Barioja for tapas.
We're fairly open on the cuisine for each meal. In general I prefer "local" food (native cooking and/or locally sourced ingredients). For lunch, more of a proper meal than a snack, although I'm hoping that we'll have had a good sized breakfast at our hotel. In general I'm not a fan of eating non-breakfast meals in hotel restaurants, but I understand that is more common outside of the US (but still would rather get out and explore).
Thanks for all the recommendations, please keep them coming if you think of something that hasn't been mentioned!
In general, I think you're right to want to get out and explore. However, don't instinctively discount a restaurant just because it's in a hotel. There's been significant changes in a number of European countries in recent years - Spain and here in the UK to name two - where high end (or at least high endish) restaurants have been established in partnership with the hotels. In my own metro area (Greater Manchester), I'd probably rate two of the best places in the city centre ti be hotel based.
For what its worth, we had a nice dinner at the Grain Store a couple months ago. Right near us was a family with young kids - one of them was about 4 years old I'd say. They did fine there. I think they ordered the kids the Chicken or the Grouse.
I wouldn't say the restaurant caters specifically to young children but it was certainly do-able there.
Upscale places in the UK are most unlikely to offer a children's menu and, when you have recommendations, I'd suggest you contact the restaurant to see how they might accommodate him, Children's menus are really the sort of thing you'll see towards the much more casual end of the market.