The Witchery by the Castle
- Telephone 0131 225 5613
- Bar open Mon–Sun noon–1am.
- Food served Mon–Sun noon–11.30pm.
- Pre-theatre times Available noon–6.30pm, 10.30–11.30pm.
- Average price £20 (set lunch); £45 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £20
- Website www.thewitchery.com
History-packed restaurant, famed for its fine dining, location and atmosphere.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
History abounds in this 16th century Castlehill house, where King James VI burnt hundreds of women for witchery. Through a heraldic Royal Mile close a single menu serves two theatrical, gothic dining rooms. Down a stone staircase, under a painted ceiling of bagpipe-toting cherubs, sits the civilised and sun-lit Secret Garden, built on an abandoned schoolyard. Upstairs lurks The Witchery – a medieval feasting den where candlelight sparkles on silverware, crystal, crimson leather and oak salvaged from a Burgundy chateau. The auld alliance continues with the grand cellar, cheeseboard and menus. Impeccably smart, discreet waiters serve elegant, excellent (expensive) Argyll oysters Rockefeller, Buckie crab, Cairngorm venison, aged Border ribeye, followed by trifle and l’opera gateaux. A £35 three course table d’hote features slightly humbler delicacies like terrine of duck confit, apple jelly and gingerbread, and a chocolate orange marquise, arabica and vanilla anglaise, and espresso jelly. A good-value two course lunch and pre-theatre menu features the like of Iberico charcuterie, pea velouté and truffled mac and cheese.
- High point: The best steak in town…
- Low point: … it should be for £38.
Located in a historic 16th century building at the gates of Edinburgh Castle, James Thomson's Witchery is the most atmospheric and spectacular dining destination in the city. A unique setting, stunning interiors and superlative food, wine and service combine to create memorable dining experiences for locals, visitors and celebrities alike. The staff use the best of Scotland's produce including Angus beef, lamb, game and seafood. Nestled in the most historic part of the building, The Witchery dining room is rich, warm and atmospheric, with tapestries, mirrors and carvings hanging on oak-panelled walls. Spectacularly painted and gilded ceilings, similar to those at the Palace of Holyrood House, celebrate the links with France in the Auld Alliance, whilst much of the panelling was rescued from St Giles Cathedral and a Burgundian Chateau. Gilded antique leather screens, polished church candlesticks and opulent red leather seating complete the surroundings of this splendid dining location.
Text supplied by third party.
- Private dining: 50 / 60
- No. overnight rooms: 9
- Provides: Gluten-free options, Pre-theatre menu, Post-theatre menu, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Capacity: 110 (12 outdoors)
- Largest group: 60
- Open since: 1979
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 14
- House wine: £23 per bottle