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Dalkeith’s Restoration Yard has been a real favourite of mine since it opened. Far enough away from Edinburgh to feel like a bit of a day out to visit, but close enough to be convenient Restoration Yard mixes the best of food, beauty, lifestyle and fashion, all in one (very photogenic) package. If you’re lucky enough to have a dog that needs walked, there are rolling parklands around Dalkeith House (an absolutely stunning country house) whilst little people can run off any extra energy at Scotland’s finest treehouse – Fort Douglas. We were feeling a like a bit of indulgence though, so we headed to the Restoration Cafe for lunch.

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Having just released a brand new lunch menu, our timing couldn’t have been better! The Restoration Cafe aim to source as much local produce as possible, and neither of us could resist ordering the beef Restoration Burgers (£14.75). Coming in a pretzel bun (my favourite, and something rarely seen outside the US) along with a fresh salad and hand cut chunky chips, this was a meal to be savoured!

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Grilled to perfection, the burger was smothered in oozing cheddar, and would make the perfect antidote to post-walk munchies. The fresh salad served alongside cut through the richness of the dish, whilst the chips were piping hot and perfectly crisp.

We couldn’t resist trying a couple of side dishes, so opted for a bowl of Buttered Veg (£3.50) and an RY Salad (£4). Both absolutely delicious – the veg was a perfect mix of green beans, courgette and broccoli, whilst the RY Salad felt like summer in a dish thanks to the heirloom tomatoes, hunks of beetroot and lettuce leaves.

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Even though we had absolutely stuffed ourselves on burgers, we couldn’t resist the dessert menu. After chatting over fresh mint teas, we made our choice – Restoration Cheesecake with ice cream (£6.25) and Orange and White Chocolate Panna Cotta (£6.45).

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Served alongside strawberries and some homemade shortbread rounds, the Orange and White Chocolate Panna Cotta was a study in indulgence.

Wonderfully rich and creamy, the panda cotta was silky smooth, and I loved the richness of white chocolate contrasting with the freshness of orange and fresh berries. The shortbread melted in the mouth, and the whole dish felt perfect for summer.

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I couldn’t resist a slice of Restoration Cheesecake served alongside a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. I think the type of cheesecake might vary by the day, but when we popped in it was Vanilla and Raspberry. I had been craving a proper pudding for weeks, so this certainly fit the bill!

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Despite looking quite hefty (who are we kidding? It was a huge slice!) the cheesecake was incredibly light, with clouds of cream cheese sitting atop of a salted biscuity base. The raspberries on top were suspended in a crystal-clear jelly, alongside a scoop of the most delicious vanilla bean ice-cream. It was the most indulgent way to end a meal, and it was so fun to be able to relax, enjoy some incredible food, then enjoy a little shopping after our meal.

Thank you so much Restoration Yard for having us! You can find out more about Restoration Yard here.

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When finding places to eat in Edinburgh, it can sometimes feel like there is somewhere new popping up almost daily. The newest, and most buzzed about restaurant to open in recent weeks has to be 83 Hanover Street. Located bang centre in the middle of town, at you guessed it, 83 Hanover Street, the restaurant is an easy location to reach for Edinburgh locals and alike, which is a good thing, because you’re going to want to visit. A lot.

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The brainchild of Juan José Castillo Castro, and a sister restaurant to 99 Hanover Street, 83 is the city’s new favourite foodie spot, combining Chilean cuisine and Scottish produce. The combination may sound like an odd one, but weirdly, it makes a whole lot of sense. Castro’s dishes are seasonal, emphasising what’s in season, and subbing in local fish and meet for their South American counterparts. He has also flown his mother on from Chile especially so she can teach kitchen staff the proper bread-making methods. If that’s not dedication, I’m not really sure what is! A table of Edinburgh’s most enthusiastic foodies, we kicked things off with an introduction from Juan himself, cocktails, and a bowl of salted Scorched Padron Peppers covered in Grated Pedano (£5). Soft and delicately singed, these were the perfect nibble to enjoy over introductions.

Over the course of the evening, dishes came thick and fast. 83 Hanover Street is open from 12pm-12am daily, with a menu split into Bites and Plates and Charcuterie Boards. The result is a menu made for sharing – order some wine, a few plates, and enjoy the evening.

Hot on the heels of the Padrons, came Sopaipillas and Pebre (£4) – fried savoury donuts with a sour, zesty salsa. A Chilean street food classic, they were deliciously moreish.

Pork Belly Chicarrones with Roquito Pepper Jam (£6) were up next.

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Swiftly followed by the Braised Lamb Croquettes and Lima Bean (£7). The crisp breaded outside gave way to fluffy lamb interiors, and the lima beans created a sort of Chilean hummus – delicious!

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The Fried Calamari with Merken Aioli (£6) was one (of many) highlights of the evening. I’m not usually a fan of squid due to texture issues, but 83 Hanover Street soak theirs in milk overnight to tenderise it, and the result? Melt in the mouth morsels, delicately seasoned and enjoyed with a spiced aloe and fresh chilli.

Next up came the Ceviche with hills, Lime and Coriander (£8). Everyone at the table remarked that it was possibly the freshest fish they’d ever enjoyed in Edinburgh, and I adored the zesty flavours.

The seafood continued with Grilled Swordfish and Chorizo Skewers with Mojo Rojo New Potatoes (£12). The spicy sausage paired perfected with the meaty fish, and the spiced potatoes were an absolute revelation too!

The night’s showstopper, was, undoubtedly the Charred Octopus with White Bean Escabeche (£11). Again, I never usually order octopus, but this was divine. Meaty tentacles were crisp and charred, and the white bean escabeche was the stuff of dreams.

We ended the evening on a suitably indulgent note – Tres Leches Donuts (£5) served in a condensed milk sauce. Light as air, these street-food favourites were spiced with nutmeg, and no one could resist going in for seconds!

Thank you so much to 83 Hanover Street for a fabulous evening – you can find out more about the restaurant here.

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If you’ve been anywhere near Edinburgh in the past week, you’ll know the city is fully in the grip of festival fever. You can’t even think about George Street without facing hoards of shuffling tourists, and if you walk from one end of Princes Street to the other, chances are you’ll find yourself clutching hundreds of flyers. Properly enjoying the festival takes a whole lot of planning, and of course, a few planned pitstops along the way.

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The Radisson Blu’s position in the heart of the Old Town, can’t be beaten, and if you’re exploring the area, it’s a must visit. Not only is it a luxury hideaway in one of the capital’s buzziest spots, but they’re also running a rather cleverly titled ‘Burger’s and Fringe’ all month long.

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We popped in last night to give the menu a go, as well as to discover the new Daffy’s Gin pop up which appears every event from 6.30pm. Coming straight from a day full of meetings in Glasgow, we couldn’t resist kicking things off with a bowl of Nachos (£7.50).

Piled high and loaded with melted cheese, dollops of sour cream, guacamole and a sweet and tangy salsa, if you’re craving some Tex-Mex, these are for you! A word of warning though, we ordered a bowl of these to share, and still didn’t quite reach the bottom – portions at Radisson Blu are the definition of healthy.

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If you’re a burger connoisseur, the Radisson Blu is a must-visit. For Burger & Fringe, there is an entire menu of them – from mushrooms to classic options – there is something for everyone.

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We both opted for the Blu Classic Burger (£9) – a beef patty smothered in melting cheddar cheese, bacon, and a smear of ‘Blu sauce’ this was a offering perfect for beating post-Fringe hunger pangs. For more adventurous palettes, there is the aptly named ‘Sticky Fingers’ option, where a burger comes served up with candied bacon on a grilled ring donut!

You can pick a selection of sides to enjoy along side your burgers (£7 for 2) so we opted for skin-on skinny fries and sweet potato fries.

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After dinner, we headed over to the Daffy’s Gin Den, also in the Radisson Blu, where live music and fabulous Scottish gin flowed freely. There is a menu of cocktails to choose from, and really, is there a better drink than a G&T in the height of summer?!

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The Radisson Blu’s Burger & Fringe event, along with Daffy’s Gin Den runs until August 23rd, and more information can be found here. Thank you so much to Radisson Blu for having us!

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Now that the Edinburgh Festival has fully kicked off, if you’re visiting Edinburgh, you’re going to be looking for the best places to eat, drink and to stay. The Principal George Street Hotel should be a must-visit if you’re new in town – located right in the heart of the action, it’s newly renovated, and is one of the city’s most elegant spots.

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The Printing Press is the hotel’s restaurant, and serves up everything from breakfast to cocktails with everything in between, and it’s a fabulous little spot if you’re looking for an intimate meal in the capital. Snuggled into velvet booths, I love the old school feel of the restaurant, and when the opportunity to enjoy their new menu popped up, I couldn’t resist!

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With a focus on seasonal, local produce, there was a whole lot to decide on. So we did the right thing, and popped open a bottle of Vaporetto Prosecco (£30). Served icy cold, complete with a raspberry in each of our glasses, it was a perfect choice – full of lively little bubbles and with a soft lemon and pear fruit palate, it felt like the perfect accompaniment for a summer supper.

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Suitably fizzed up, neither of us could resist plumping for the Hand-dived scallops, carrot remoulade, basil and lemon butter (£12).

With seared edges and a pearlescent centres, the scallops were an absolute treat. Served alongside a crisp and crunchy carrot remoulade, this was truly summer on a plate.

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Since there’s nothing which quite beats a good steak – we couldn’t resist the Sirloin Steak (£26) which came serves with chips and a choice of sauce (we opted for bernaise). The Printing Press only serve up certified, grass-fed Tweed Valley Scotch beef, with steaks aged for a minimum of 28 days, so you know it’s got to be good!

fullsizeoutput_1f50And it absolutely was! Cooked to rare perfection, the steak melted in the mouth, and had a fabulous meaty flavour. The bernaise sauce was rich, and the chips were served up piping hot and perfectly crisp.

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I couldn’t resist the Dry-aged Tweed Valley beef burger, cheese in a sesame bun with chips (£15.50). When we were down at the Principal Hotel in York (full review here) we had indulged in a room-service supper of burgers, and I’d been aching for one since.

Again, the beef is Certified, grass-fed Tweed Valley Scotch beef, and it has to be the best burger in Edinburgh! Again, served with the Printing Press’ moreish fries, this took comfort food to a whole new level!

To enjoy alongside our mains, we couldn’t resist giving a couple of sides a go! We couldn’t resist a classic Rocket and Parmesan salad (£3.50), which was wonderfully fresh and peppery, whilst the Tarragon-braised leeks (£3.50) were a completely new experience. The tarragon give the leeks a hit of liquorice, and they were a delicious, unusual accompaniment to our meals.

After a pause to enjoy some more of our Prosecco, it was time for dessert – i.e. the hardest decision of the evening, because everything on the menu sounds like an absolute dream. The first one we chose was the Duck egg custard tart, rhubarb, white chocolate ice cream (£7.50) which was a study in rich, custard-y perfection. Rich, unctions and completely indulgent, the cooked rhubarb cut through wonderfully.

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I couldn’t resist ordering the Strawberry panna cotta, balsamic marshmallow, strawberry sorbet (£7.50) which has to be Edinburgh’s prettiest plate of food. Between the edible flowers, clouds of meringue and chewy home-made marshmallows, this not only looked incredible, but tasted pretty special too.

The block of strawberry panna cotta tasted like the most wonderful strawberry milkshake you can imagine, and when paired with the slightly bitter balsamic marshmallows, it was summer on a plate. The strawberry sorbet was absolutely incredible too – wonderfully fresh and full of fruity flavour.

Thank you so much to The Printing Press for having us! Dinner was absolutely incredible! You can find out more about The Printing Press here.

 

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Everyone loves a good afternoon tea – there’s nothing more indulgent than getting to catch up over tiers of cakes, sandwiches, and if you’re lucky, some bubbles. So when Radisson Collections got in touch to see if I’d like to experience their new vegan afternoon tea, I absolutely jumped at the chance.

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If you’re not familiar with the Radisson Collection, it’s located right in the middle of Edinburgh’s Old Town, and is the only five star hotel on the Royal Mile. Afternoon Tea is served both downstairs in the stunning Epicurean Bar, as well as the Cucina Restaurant, where we were headed.

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Settling in amongst the modern artwork, we popped open the Prosecco, as we pondered tea choices to enjoy alongside the goodies. Working in partnership with Edinburgh-favourite Pumpkin Brown, the afternoon tea is completely vegan, as well as being gluten-free, so if you’re looking to enjoy a leisurely afternoon with someone who deals with dietary restrictions, this is the spot for you!

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Presented with a whole range of delicacies, we didn’t know where to start! As you would expect from an afternoon tea, there are your traditional favourites – scones, cream and jam. All rather remarkably, completely vegan!

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The lower tier was made up of the savoury options – the BBQ Pulled Jackfruit and Coleslaw sandwiches came on gluten-free bread, whilst the vegan quiche was packed full of vegetables. There was also an avocado & cucumber roll as well as a wrap filled with hummus, almonds and oriental vegetables.

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The top tier is piled high with Pumpkin Brown’s signature goodies. There was lemon blueberry cheesecake and raspberry cheesecake to enjoy, as well as a chocolate nut slice and a lemon raspberry tart.

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All of the goodies were enjoyed over copious cups of Star Exlir Tea (as well as prosecco of course!) and we were amazed at the variety on offer, all of which were completely vegan and gluten free. It was such a lovely way to spend a summer afternoon – thank you so much to Radisson Collection Edinburgh for having us!

Vegan Afternoon Tea at Radisson Collection Edinburgh is priced from £25pp and you can find out more here.

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