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The Gardener’s Cottage and The Lookout by Chef Dale Mailley, Edinburgh

A decade ago, in 2012, The Gardener’s Cottage by Chef Dale Mailley was born – an Edinburgh restaurant celebrating quality Scottish ingredients, seasonality and sustainability, successfully connecting the diner, the producer and the landscape.  

Located in the capital’s picturesque Royal Terrace Gardens, the 24-cover restaurant is a charming former cottage with kitchen garden, where Perthshire-born Mailley takes inspiration from the surrounding nature and nurtures his home-grown approach to cookery. After recognition by Michelin and numerous AA Rosettes, in 2016 Mailley opened a second 36 cover restaurant, The Lookout, perched on Calton Hill and boasting 360° views of the city skyline. Provenance is key to both restaurants’ food philosophy – local farmers, producers and foragers are at the heart of every dish. 

The Gardener’s Cottage 

A hidden oasis right in the heart of Edinburgh’s buzzing city centre lies in wait, The Gardner’s Cottage. Follow the garden path to a wooden door and behind find a treasure trove of the best in seasonality, a cosy and welcoming atmosphere and exceptional drinks pairings highlighting British suppliers as well as more unusual matches.  

For dinner a seasonal six-course tasting menu with wine pairings offers foodies a culinary adventure, whilst their lunch tasting is £45, offering a social and relaxed setting. 

A recent sample menu includes: 

Rye and Spelt Sourdough with Cultured Butter 

Strawberry, Peas, Baron Bigod and Tarragon 

Smoked Scallop, Burnt Celeriac, Sea Aster and Roe 

Sirloin, Chanterelles, Pomme Purée and Jus 

IJ Mellis Cheese Selection and Chutney 

Charred Stone Fruit with Crème Fraiche and Madeleine 

Petit Fours, Tea or Coffee 

(£75pp for 6 courses + £65 for matched wines) 

The Lookout by The Gardener’s Cottage  

Take in some of the best views of the city through the floor to ceiling windows of this modern, cantilevered building situated in a wonderful spot on the top of Calton Hill. The dining room is minimalist and design-led, allowing for the contemporary, pared-back dishes to shine. Designed to be taken in tandem with the breath-taking views celebrating the coast, the land and the spirit of Scotland, the tasting menu at The Lookout offers eight courses and changes with the seasons.  

A recent sample menu includes: 

Company Bakery Rye & pelt Sourdough with Fen Farm Butter 

Isle of Wight Tomatoes, Ewe Curd and Nasturtium 

Dunbar Crab, Seaweed snd Garden Herbs 

Baked Isle of Gigha Halibut with Oyster, Kale and Caviar 

Perthshire Roe Deer Loin with Chanterelles and Beetroot 

Baron de Bigod, Truffle, Edinburgh Honey and Oakchurch Cherries 

Maya Mountain Chocolate Cream, Strawberries and Almond 

Santu French Press Coffee or Tea and Chocolate Tree Truffles 

(£95pp for 8 courses + £75 for matched wines) 

To cater to the diverse selection of guests visiting Calton Hill, the restaurant also offers a Light Lunch Menu, a vibrant yet shorter tasting menu and a la carte for a those wanting a leisurely lunch or to idle away an hour or two with one of Edinburgh’s best views.  

The extensive wine list at each restaurant has been carefully selected by The Gardener’s Cottage team, working closely with suppliers and wine sellers to ensure both restaurants stock exciting new wines with a focus on clean flavours that match and balance the earthy flavours showcased in Mailley’s menus. 

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