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Whenever I find myself in Edinburgh with an hour or so to kill, I inevitably find myself in Harvey Nichols. I can waft around the racks of designer dresses and racks of sunglasses for hours, and after all that shopping, you need to somewhere to enjoy a bit of sustenance. Happily the Forth Floor houses the in-store Restaurant and Brasserie, so refuelling can be sone in Harvey Nichols signature glamour. Both also enjoy some of the best views in Edinburgh – something to think about if you’re visiting over the festival period, and want to enjoy some of the nightly fireworks!

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When we popped in, it was a bit of a soggy Wednesday, but our window seats, and glasses of Harvey Nichols Prosecco (a favourite of mine) £6 brightened things up immediately! The Brasserie has recently introduced a brand new all day dining menu – a joint effort of all of Harvey Nichols chefs across the country. Working together, they have created a selection of signature HN dishes, so no matter if you’re in Edinburgh or in London, you’ll be able to enjoy the same delicious menu. We kicked things off with a bowl of Marinated Gordal Olives (£4) which were an absolute delight. Pleasingly salty with a warming paprika kick, they paired well with our Prosecco.

Picking starters took a while, simply because every option sounded so good. In the spirit of the new menu, we decided first to order the Moroccan-spiced fishcake, served with pickled cucumber and red pepper salsa (£8). What came were two crispy puffs, gently spiced with sizeable hunks of fish in them. The red pepper salsa lent a touch of sweetness to the dish which was a wonderfully fresh, summery start to the meal.

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I opted for the Burrata, with grilled peach, raddichio, and honey dressing (£12), which sounded too good to miss. What arrived was a glistening pearl of cheese alongside sweet, charred peached and bitter endive – in short, it was divine.

Cutting into the cheese led to a delicious ooze of virgin cream, which paired beautifully with the sweet fruit and bitter leaves. It felt as if I was enjoying summer on a plate! It’s something I’m already planning on recreating at home, as it’s such a showstopper of a starter!

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Throughout Harvey Nichols Brasseries, the quality of ingredients is of paramount importance. After all, you can taste quality! So, when looking at the menu, we could resist ordering the Scottish Borders Sirloin Steak (£28).

Served with a jug of peppercorn sauce (you can also choose a béarnaise or a garlic butter) as well as watercress and a generous portion of fries, it made for a hearty lunch.

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The beef used by Harvey Nichols is sourced locally from Shaw’s Fine Meats based in Lauder,just 25 miles south of Edinburgh. It’s so lovely to be able to eat out and enjoy the very best produce which is available locally. Served up rare (with perfect charring, might I add), the steak melted in the mouth, and the fries were perfectly crisp.

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I opted for the comfort-food classic chicken club sandwich with tarragon mayonnaise, iceberg lettuce, tomato, smoked streaky bacon, cheddar cheese (£15). I don’t think I’ve ordered one of these for about 10 years, but this was incredible!

Layers of creamy avocado, crisp lettuce and moist chicken felt wonderfully indulgent, and the touch of tarragon in the mayonnaise lifted the sandwich to a whole other level.

Served with a portion of hand cooked potato chips and a lightly dressed salad, it felt like the perfect lunch order!

Alongside our mains, we couldn’t resist choosing a couple of the side dishes. The Rocket and Parmesan salad (£4) was wonderfully crisp and flavourful.

I couldn’t resist trying the Roasted Chantenay carrots with caraway seeds (£4). Sweet and delicately flavoured thanks to the seeds, they made a perfect accompaniment to the meal.

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After having a bit of a digestive ‘breather’, we couldn’t resist jumping into desserts. After some deliberation, we couldn’t resist trying the crispy coconut rice pudding, cardamom, apricot, mango sorbet (£6.5).

This was like no other rice pudding I’ve ever tried before – soft and comforting thanks to the coconut running through it, the pudding was which was perfectly balanced with a hint of cardamom. The bright and fruity sorbet offset the rice pudding perfectly, and the crunchy coconut exterior was a fun, unexpected touch.

I couldn’t resist the sound of the regional cheese selection, served with chutney and crackers (£10). A mix of an aged cheddar, brie and soft blue, it was a real celebration of all things savoury. I lingered over it, enjoying the last sips of prosecco alongside, and it was a gloriously indulgent way to enjoy an afternoon.

The cheeses all worked well together – and the generous portions were enjoyed with the mix of crackers (I was especially enamoured with the charcoal ones) and heaps of spiced chutney.

The new Brasserie Menu is available Sunday and Monday: 12pm – 5pm and Tuesday to Saturday: 12pm – 10pm.

 

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Despite what recent posts might suggest, I’m not the world’s biggest drinker. I usually end up as the designated driver on nights out – so you’re more likely to find me nursing a tonic water rather than anything harder. But if I am enjoying a drink, my choice usually tends to be gin and tonic. I love how refreshing they are – and there is nothing better to enjoy on balmy summer evenings! My newest tipple has been Tiger Premium Gin – a ‘Great British Gin’ with a smooth, slightly sweet finish. I’ve been mixing mine with icy cold tonic and a slice of orange – delicious!

Tiger Premium Gin is priced at £37 and is available here

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When it comes to eating out, it’s easy to fall into old habits. We tend to have a clutch of old favourite restaurants which we rotate through every time we go out. The result can be a little same-y, so it’s always fun to have a new spot to visit!

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BiBimBap is one of those places I’ve seen pop up online pretty much constantly since it opened, and I’d been dying to visit. Cute instal-worthy decor and Korean food? Sounds like a match made in heaven! The restaurant itself it a snug little nook right in the centre of town, and during the evening it can get seriously busy, so to beat the crowds we visited for lunch. There was still a buzz about the place, with tables of students and shoppers sharing plates and comparing purchases.

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With a menu filled to the brim with Korean comfort foods, we opted to (over) order a selection and share. Word to the wise – portions here are very generous. The first of the dishes to arrive at the table were the Ya Chae Man Do (£4).

Light and crispy puffs of vegetables served with a soy-based dipping sauce, these were such a great start to the meal. Similar to a Spring Roll, these made a satisfying accompaniment to our drinks, and a tasty starter.

Our vegetable dumplings were soon joined by our order of Dak Go Chi (£4.50) – chicken skewers smothered in a sweet, and sticky sauce. The joy of BiBimBap is that casual manner in which the dishes arrive at the table – just as you’re finishing off one plate, another miraculously appears.

For my ‘main’ dish, I couldn’t resist the signature BiBimBap (£9) – although I asked for mine without egg. A mix of rice, vegetables and pork, it was a spicy, savoury dish which was filled with flavour. Shot through with hunks of Korean favourite kimchi, this is some serious comfort food. Served alongside a bowl of piping hot miso soup, it was an incredibly indulgent lunch!

The final dish to arrive at the table was a Bulgogi Rice Bowl (£9.50). Perhaps the most recognisable of our dishes – beef and kimchi came served with boiled rice and pickled turnip. Covered in toasted sesame seeds, it was a lunch option I wish I could grab daily!

BiBimBap have a killer menu of drinks and cocktails too – so whether you’re after a leisurely lunch or a boozy supper, you can’t go wrong with BiBimBap. You can also find out more about the restaurant here

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When it comes down to it, I can be a bit of an art geek. I studied Art History at university, and it’s something that I’m still fascinated with. So, when everyday items get a bit of an arty makeover, I’m always keen to see the result. The most recent I’ve come across is Remy Martin, who have partnered with digital artist Matt W Moore to create a limited edition of their Champagne Cognac.

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An absolutely perfect gift for Father’s Day, the special edition means that there are only 60 bottles currently available within the UK. The bottle comes housed in a gloriously colourful box, and the label is splashed with grapevine, leaf and sunburst designs. The box even features a QR code which adds an augmented reality interface to the world around you! Through use of the app, you can add the animated designs to your surroundings to Matt-Moorize your reality. It’s such a cool concept, and it makes the whole experience of enjoying the cognac so immersive.

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So, if your dad is a bit of a design-freak, this special edition of Remy Martin VSOP Champagne is certainly going to go down a treat. The brand recommend that you enjoy it either at room temperature or over ice – and when it looks this good, who could resist?

Remy Martin Matt W Moore VSOP limited edition champagne cognac is priced at £44 per bottle and is available here.

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With Father’s Day fast approaching (it’s this Sunday FYI), it can be hard to find the right gift. The shops might be filled with World Cup knickknacks, novelty socks and funny looking ties, but really, who on earth wants to receive that? Rather than going for something that will be shoved to the back of the nearest drawer, I’m a fan of getting something to be savoured and enjoyed. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey certainly fits the bill. Equal parts style and heritage, I can’t imagine there is a bar cart out there which wouldn’t benefit from a bottle of this being added.

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As someone who isn’t the biggest drinker, buying something like whiskey can feel a little overwhelming, but Woodford Reserve make it incredibly easy to pick a classic. Whiskey has been distilled on the Woodford Reserve estate since 1812, and the Bourbon has been developed to contain over 200 flavour notes. On the nose, notes of cocoa, orange and tobacco are all evident, and the complex flavour composition contains hints of vanilla, toffee, cinnamon and citrus notes.

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Thanks to such a balanced flavour profile, Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey can be enjoyed alone or in a cocktail. I particularly like the southern favourite Mint Julep (it’s perfect for summer) or when it gets chillier, a dash of it in Hot Apple Cider is just divine! It’s such a perfect gift for this weekend!

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is priced at £30.50 and is available from Waitrose here.

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