The Gardener's Cottage

The Gardener's Cottage
1 Royal Terrace Gardens, Edinburgh, EH7 5DX
  • Telephone 0131 558 1221
  • Seasonal times Later during Festival, and 7 days a week
  • Food served Mon & Wed–Fri noon–2.30pm, 5–9.30pm; Sat/Sun 10am–2.30pm, 5-9.30pm. Closed Tue.
  • Email
  • Website
Photo of The Gardener's Cottage
in association with
Birra Moretti

Social dining and seasonal cooking which is so imaginative, interesting and delicious you'll never be bored or disappointed.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2017/18 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

If foodie-ism were a religion, The Gardener’s Cottage would be distinctly Low Church. There’s no plush décor or purple prose menus in this compact, two-roomed space with whitewashed walls and a fixed choice in the evening. The rickety chairs are second-hand from a kirk (obviously) and you sit with fellow diners round a communal table. True to the restaurant’s name, the seven courses such as tea-cured trout, smoked pheasant, and cider-poached halibut are packed with earthy goodness and purity. The chef’s skill with fish and local vegetables in a flawless bacon and onion broth is obvious, though perhaps a pudding of artichoke mousse and pear ice-cream is trying too hard. The drinks list is quirky and well-chosen, and completing the old-fashioned analogue feel, there’s 70s vinyl on the turntable. All in all, The Gardener’s Cottage is about a million miles from the glitz of George Street, and all the better for it.

  • High point: The sheer purity of flavour
  • Low point: The rickety chairs
  • Notable dish: Cider-poached halibut with celeriac
  • Average price: £25 (lunch); £50 (see admin notes)
  • Private dining: 11 or 21 (either of the two rooms can be booked privately)
  • Provides: Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
  • Capacity: 31
  • Largest group: 31
  • Open since: 2012
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 16
  • House wine: £22 per bottle
  • BYOB: £10 corkage

Reviews & features

Table Talk: Edward Murray on how architects and diners can be friends

4 Jul 2016

Ex-architect Edward Murray talks about how food and architecture go hand in hand

I came to Edinburgh to study architecture and, on graduating, thought that was the career I would follow. Although lucky enough to get a job in a fantastic little office, it became slowly apparent that architecture wasn’t for me – I lacked the patience…

The List Eating & Drinking Guide Awards for 2013 announced

18 Apr 2013

Winners of the annual Best Newcomer Awards in Glasgow and Edinburgh

With the publication of its Eating & Drinking Guide for 2013, The List announced the winners of its annual Best Newcomer Awards. Selected from restaurants opening in Edinburgh and Glasgow since April 2012, the winners are chosen by the guide's…

Edinburgh restaurants Earthy Canonmills and The Gardener's Cottage excel in ethically sourced food

12 Aug 2012

Both Earthy Canonmills and The Gardener’s Cottage share a resolute focus on finding the best seasonal and local ingredients and then treating them as lightly as possible, along the way blazing a path for produce-led, accessible cooking. Is this the…