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The Witchery Edinburgh : Restaurant

The Witchery Restaurant, Edinburgh, Scotland for James Thomson

The Witchery

Review of the Secret Garden @ The Witchery Restaurant

Address: Secret Garden, Castlehill, Edinburgh

Phone: 0131 225 5613

The Witchery
The Witchery Restaurant Interior

Witchery Restaurant Edinburgh – Dining Review

Intro
Entry to the restaurant is down a tight passage past The Witchery and just up from the Hub (close to Edinburgh Castle): this narrow route adds to the mystery and heightens your expectations The atmosphere outside with lots of architectural decoration and foliage is carried through into the Witchery interior. This is an indulgent and decorative experience. The introduction to The Witchery restaurant was polite and the entry down the stairs fun.

The Witchery Edinburgh The Witchery Scotland
The Witchery Edinburgh entry photos © Adrian Welch

Design
The interior at the Witchery has historic importance and basically consists of an almost square room lit from tall old windows facing due south. The place is lit throughout by decorative candles sometimes held aloft by cherubs, the restaurant key motif.

Materials
The palette is dark, mostly stone with areas of gold, gilt and dark wood in the Secret Garden. The huge tapestry on the wall softens the acoustics well.

Food
Hors d’Ouevre
Fresh bread with delicious French butter

Starters
well-presented, delicious, fresh: my wife had salmon on cabbage with a pleasant chilli sauce. I had gazpacho soup with the right temperature and texture, fine.

Main
Beef: tasty, ‘top marks’ according to my wife.
Sea Bass: delicate, moist, but with far too many peas.
Plates taken away and cleared with good timing.
Side dishes
Green salad: lovely mix, but stalks left on and rocket rather too spicy.
Large Chips: fine, but a shame such a high class restaurant could not provide new potatoes even upon request.

Pudding
The goats cheese baked in filo pastry with armagnac, prunes and green salad sounded highly tempting: sadly we were already full!

Service & Impressions
The Wine List at The Witchery Restaurant is a veritable tome, a weighty book of world wine: very impressive and integral in bringing numerous wine awards to the restaurant. The wine waiters at The Witchery were prompt and knowledgeable and responded well to the challenge of providing my wife with a ‘full-bodied red wine’ maintaining it ‘should go well with the beef’ which was either superb integration of food and drinks service or quick thinking on the part of the wine waiter: either way, very impressive.

Glasses were good quality and my wife’s G&T came with lime & ice: slightly presumptuous, but in this case successful. The salt and pepper looked out of place sadly, seeming more suited to a pizza restaurant. The plates however were elegant white with the W logo (for The Witchery by the Castle restaurant) to the top: given this design it is imperative that both the liner and the plate correspond and that the W sits at twelve o’clock. Mine read five-to-ten.

Restaurant
Service was generally prompt, and the view to the south is calming. The temperature was pleasant but became too warm later in the evening as the room filled up. The Witchery Restaurant menu was simple, easy to read. Descriptions of the food were slightly complex for non-French speakers. The lack of music and views of the kitchen a definite plus.

Summary
We really enjoyed our meal at The Witchery restaurant due to the mix of sumptous historic setting and excellent food. Well worth a visit.

Address: The Witchery by the Castle incl. The Secret Garden
352 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NF

Witchery Restaurant
Witchery Restaurant Edinburgh: Secret Garden

Contact The Witchery, Edinburgh
Hotel + Restaurant: +44 (0)131 225 5613 fax 220 4392

The Witchery: “Established in 1979 by James Thomson it now encompasses two dining rooms, the Witchery and the Secret Garden (built 1989 and winner of a RIAS Regeneration award) and some luxurious suites on the floors above. Building dates to 1595 built for merchant Thomas Lowthian and initials are still above the door to a turret stair. Another 16th century doorway is incorporated into the Secret Garden previously from the Duke of Gordon’s House formerly nearby in Castlehill. Other architectural salvage including oak panels ex. St Giles & a room from a Burgundian Chateau are incorporated into the restaurants. Current project at The Witchery is the creation of more suites in a 17th & 19th century complex of buildings at Sempill’s Court in Castlehill. Details should appear on the website soon”

Secret Garden Restaurant review

Witchery Restaurant Edinburgh
Witchery Restaurant Edinburgh

Book a table at The Witchery Restaurant: reservations@thewitchery.com
Restaurant Times – Lunch: noon-4pm daily; Dinner: 5:30pm-11:30pm daily

The Witchery Edinburgh

The Witchery by the Castle restaurant opened in 1979. James Thomson became Scotland’s youngest licensee with the opening of the Witchery Restaurant. The Witchery restaurant was created out of a dilapidated 16thc building off the Royal Mile. The dark and luxurious atmosphere at the Witchery took Edinburgh restaurant design in a new direction, away from increasingly clean and light-coloured interiors.

In 1990 The Witchery expanded into an adjacent unused schoolyard. The new restaurant salvaged architectural material including an early 16thc doorway to the Duke of Gordon’s House and a painted ceiling commissioned by Thomson. The Witchery Hotel is located above the two restaurants and has been described as one of the seven wonders of the world by Cosmopolitan. The Secret Garden was described as the prettiest restaurant ever by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. James Thomson is a founder and past Chairman of the Edinburgh Restaurateur’s Association. James Thomson also supported the creation of the Caddies & Witchery Tours. James Thomson’s group has recently been awarded Company of the Year, highly commended in the National Business Awards of Scotland, the Lothian Company of the Year and was highly commended in the Quality Scotland Awards.

Witchery Restaurant, Edinburgh – News

Sep 2004
10 out of 10 FOR SCOTLAND’S MOST FAMOUS RESTAURANT
James Thomson, the Scottish restaurateur and hotelier has scored an amazing 10 out of 10 with the recent award of five stars to his famous Edinburgh restaurant with rooms, the Witchery by the Castle. These stars come hot on the heels of the five stars just recently awarded to his new boutique hotel Prestonfield!
Already Scotland’s most famous restaurant, the Witchery has a growing reputation for a collection of magical and individual suites famously named as ‘The perfect lust-den’ by Dannii Minogue, as ‘The dog’s bollocks’ by Gail Hipgrave and in a recent Conde Nast Traveller Magazine as ‘An operatic fantasy…these dreamlike hideaways have been inhabited by Hollywood stars!’
Later this year on Halloween, the Witchery Restaurant will celebrate the 25th Anniversary since Thomson founded the Witchery in what had been a derelict tenement in Edinburgh’s Castlehill. Thomson’s decadent and theatrical suites are perfect for those looking to stay in the most indulgent of settings with DVDs, CDs, heated marble floors and every modern convenience hidden in the fantasy-filled suites. Described as “one of the seven wonders of the hotel world” by Cosmopolitan Magazine, each totally unique suite at the Witchery is decorated in flamboyant gothic style and filled with antiques culled from around the world. Frequently listed among the world’s great places to stay, such is the demand that guests (both celebrities and locals alike) that they frequently book months in advance for the chance to stay at The Witchery.
James Thomson the Witchery’s owner said ” It is fantastic to see a place as bold, unique and individual as the Witchery suites being acknowledged by VisitScotland with 5-star status and it is perfect recognition for our whole team who work so hard to make everyone’s visit to the Witchery exceptional.
Edinburgh’s Old Town is one of the most wonderful places in Scotland and it is great to be able to give guests from around the world the opportunity to stay here in Edinburgh in five-star style. This is a wonderful start to forthcoming 25th Anniversary celebrations for The Witchery which start on Halloween this year with a celebration gala dinner in The Witchery Restaurant for our many clients and supporters, at which we hope to raise sufficient funds to restore the sight of a thousand children through our association with the Sight Savers charity”

Witchery by the Castle
Aug 24 2004
James Thomson established the Witchery Restaurant with a staff of three in 1979, now a team of over two hundred work in his unique collection of restaurants and hotels and his first year’s turnover is achieved each day.
A night in one of the seven decadent suites at The Witchery hotel costs £250 per suite inclusive of Vat and continental breakfast. To complete the decadent experience a complimentary bottle of chilled Pol Roger Champagne awaits guests upon on checking into their suite. The Witchery reservations numbe is 0131 225 5613 or you can book online at www.thewitchery.com
Five stars is the highest rating available from VisitScotland (formerly the Scottish Tourist Board) in their restaurant with rooms category Halloween will see James Thomson host a gala celebration dinner for just 250 of the best clients, supporters, suppliers and celebrity guests of The Witchery.
Widely expected to be the party of the year, tickets are not available for sale and the favoured guests at the invitation-only event will all have donated at least £100 each to Sight Savers International to support Thomson’s aim of restoring the sight of a thousand blind children as a fitting way of celebrating the Witchery by the Castle milestone anniversary. Buoyed by the exceptional success of the Witchery suites, James Thomson purchased Edinburgh’s Prestonfield Hotel in a private deal late last year.
Following a lavish £3m restoration, this 16th-century former Lord Provost’s House is now the city’s most talked-about hotel, renowned as Edinburgh’s most indulgent retreat. Thomson’s other ventures include the city’s first and finest rooftop restaurant, the Tower restaurant and Terrace above the Museum of Scotland and the decadently opulent Rhubarb – the restaurant at Prestonfield.




James Thomson restaurants in Edinburgh
Prestonfield House Hotel
The Tower Restaurant

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