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.
  • Average price £25 (lunch); £50 (see admin notes)
  • 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 2016/17 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.

For decades a sad, empty detached stone cottage, designed by architect William Playfair, sat below Calton Hill at 1 Royal Terrace Gardens. Then in 2012 two chefs – Dale Mailley and Edward Murray – resurrected this New Town but and ben, adding its own kitchen garden. The Gardener's Cottage champions seasonal cooking and social dining. Excitement begins as soon as you enter, past Kilner jars of curious jams, essences and sauces of vibrant, natural colours, towards long, candlelit communal dining tables. There, you are in full view of the open kitchen as it creates imaginative dishes from whatever the foragers or farmers bring in. When booking (as you must, and in advance too) they ask for your dietary requirements, because you get what you’re given. Be reassured though: the daily-changing seven course dinner, à la carte lunch, and weekend brunch will be at best excellent, at worst interesting, but always fun. To give an idea, a Douglas fir aperitif is followed by oyster tempura with scurvy grass mayo; wild garlic soup and a winkle dumpling; superlative, tender roe loin and cod; cleansing rhubarb and yoghurt sorbets; a thinking man’s Scottish cheeseboard; and finally sea buckthorn meringue and alexanders pastille.

  • High point: Melting, buttery cod and succulent, pink venison
  • Low point: There’s no espresso – just a pot of coffee
  • Notable dish: You never know what you'll get.
  • 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…