Modern day Leith is now home to Michelin-starred restaurants

Port outside Edinburgh shakes off long-held seedy reputation

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Modern day Leith is now home to Michelin-starred restaurants

The shore

Vibrant, colourful Leith has shaken off its long-held seedy reputation in recent years to establish itself as an area of stylish urban regeneration and a must-visit destination for foodies.

A world away from the seamy side of Edinburgh life portrayed by Irvine Welsh in the novel Trainspotting, Leith is now home to a handful of Michelin-starred restaurants, while the cobbled Shore, which sits along the Water of Leith, is lined with stylish eateries and pubs that are perfect for an al fresco pint in the brief Scottish summer.

Once an independent burgh, Edinburgh’s port reluctantly became part of the city only in 1920, and although it’s only a mile north of town along Leith Walk, retains an independent, multi-cultural identity and sense of community, and even hosts its own annual festival. It may not be on quite the same scale as those held up the road in Edinburgh, but is run by Leithers, involves local acts and artists and has a strong focus on the community.

The Kitchin

78 Commercial Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6LX

Treasure maps tend to be jealously guarded, prised from cold, dead hands or relinquished reluctantly at gunpoint. The Kitchin, however, does things differently, each diner presented with a wee scroll depicting Scotland in relief, X marking the spots…

Plumed Horse

50–54 Henderson Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6DE

To begin at the end – and a mighty fine end indeed, distinguished by desserts as delightful on the eye as the spoon. A vibrant gingerbread mousse contrasts with sweet, crunchy ‘rocks’ of honeycomb, a thing of true beauty. Then nougat parfait, delicately…

Restaurant Martin Wishart

54 The Shore, Edinburgh, EH6 6RA

You know that moment at the theatre when the lights go down, just before the curtain goes up? The bit when the audience holds its collective breath? That’s what an encounter with Martin Wishart’s tasting menu is like. You scan the menu before you eat…

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