Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, 81 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AU

The MacDonald Holyrood Hotel restaurant, with a developing Scottish menu led by TV chef John Maltby.

Eating & Drinking Guide

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

In 2015 Acanthus replaced Rocca as the restaurant at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, its dining concept moving from Scottish-with-an-Italian-twist to simply Scottish. Unchanging though is the inescapable feeling you’re eating in a big chain hotel restaurant, which of course you are. Constantly courteous uniformed staff ask how long you’re staying, where you’re from: go with it, have fun, pretend you’re on a romantic break, say you’re off to Britannia tomorrow. With slick, unstoppably smiley service, thick napkin laid, start with textures of beetroot and apple, Crowdie cheese crumbled over, or confit duck or chicken terrine with pistachio crumb. The Scottish theme continues with chicken with a turnip and haggis bon bon and Talisker whisky jus, and pork belly with kale and spiced apple; then finished with cheese or chocolate fondant. It’s early days yet, but helmed by ambitious head chef John Maltby (star of Masterchef: The Professionals) Acanthus is striving to find its feet as a dining destination for visitors and locals alike.

  • High point: Slick service throughout
  • Low point: May feel a bit corporate chain hotel for some
  • Notable dish: None
  • Private dining: Up to 50 covers
  • No. overnight rooms: 156
  • Provides: Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Nothing
  • Capacity: 100
  • Largest group: 50
  • Open since: 2015
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 12
  • House wine: £16.50 per bottle