The Gardener's Cottage

The Gardener's Cottage
1 Royal Terrace Gardens, Edinburgh, EH7 5DX
  • Telephone 0131 677 0244
  • Seasonal times Might extend opening during the festival
  • Food served Wed–Fri noon–2.30pm, 5–9.45pm; Sat/Sun 10am–2.30pm, 5–9.45pm. Closed Mon/Tue.
  • Email
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Photo of The Gardener's Cottage

Unassuming, informal restaurant cooking exciting seasonal dishes using the finest produce.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2018/19 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £7.95 (+p&p).

A kitchen garden leading to a modestly decorated cottage with two dining rooms and a vintage record player sending tunes out over long, communal tables: there’s an other-worldly feeling to this quirky Edinburgh restaurant, but it’s the food that is truly bewitching. While weekend brunch and an à la carte lunch are both available, their seven-course tasting menu is the star here. It makes the most of each season’s bounty, unfolding one cleverly conceived dish after another and changing more or less continuously. Fish and meat courses of salt-baked Shetland cod and roe deer are bookended by starters like celeriac velouté, raised beyond all expectations by the inspired addition of thyme foam and parsley oil. At the other end of the meal tangy sea buckthorn sorbet becomes intensely comforting alongside a sheep’s milk yoghurt. The venison takes centre stage enlivened by apricot ketchup, pistachios and a restrained dusting of dark chocolate, all executed with an evidently expert balance of flavours. Perhaps the lack of personal space will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s well worth it for a near perfect meal.

The List's rating






Hannah Jefferson visited The Gardener's Cottage on 1 February 2018
  • High point: An eating experience to remember
  • Low point: No elbow room at the communal dining tables
  • Average price: £15 (set lunch); £45 3 courses, £60 5 courses (set dinner)
  • Private dining: 10 or 20 (either of the two rooms can be booked privately)
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's high chairs, Outdoor tables
  • Music on stereo: retro soul
  • Capacity: 31
  • Largest group: 31
  • Open since: 2012
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 16
  • House wine: £25 per bottle
  • BYOB: £15 corkage

Reviews & features

Best Scottish restaurants in Edinburgh

16 Apr 2018

The city's top Scottish restaurants prove there's much more to local food than haggis and whisky

Dynamic. Creative. Resourceful. Pleasurable. Scottish dining displays the joys and range of Scotland's plentiful larder, with a distinctive identity and attention to detail. Whether you're exploring the city's collection of Michelin stars or just…

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…