The Six Nations Rugby Championship
This one of the biggest dates in the rugby union calendar with Murrayfield at the heart of it. Edinburgh has some of the best bars and restaurants in the UK to match this world class rugby tournament.
England, Wales, Ireland, France, Scotland and Italy compete every year in a tournament which dates back to 1883.
What began as the Home Nations of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland has flourished over the years, with France joining in 1910 and Italy in 2000. France and England have tended to dominate the tournament over the years, although Wales has emerged as a strong contender having won in 2005, 2008 2012 and 2013. Having also won in 2019, in 2020 they are the defending champions.
Fierce rivals Scotland and England compete at Murrayfield for the Calcutta Cup each year, which is the highlight of the tournament in Scotland’s capital city.
Edinburgh has more bars restaurants per head of the population tha anywhere else in the UK, and these are my favourites and recommendations which I know you will love.
Where: 197 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1PE
When: 11.00-0.00 Monday-Thursday
The Albanach is a popular and traditional pub right at th heart of the Royal Mile in the Old Town. This pub has won the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence from 2015-2019, so you know I have found a gem here for you.
This pub really has it all. It’s cosy, bustling and friendly with a restaurant downstairs and an outside seating area on the Royal Mile where you can watch the world go by. It is famed for its vast array of whiskies, well-kept real ales and traditional Scottish pub grub.
The popular food menu is surpassed by their whisky menu, with over 200 malts to choose from. The friendly staff will happily help you select a flight of whiskies for you to enjoy and explain the best order to drink them. Try a whisky flight from different regions of Scotland.
My Top Tip: Albanach means Scottish in Gaelic and whisky is Gaelic for ‘water of life’.
Where: 47a Thistle Street, Edinbugh EH2 1DY
When: 12.00-21.00 Monday-Thursday
Think New York meets Asian street food cuisine in understated fine dining surroundings. This relative newcomer to Edinburgh’s restaurant scene has carved its own niche in creating unique dishes won’t find anywhere else with similar dishes with a Scottish twist.
You can sample the best of Scottish seafood such as North Sea crab and opt for small plates to share or larger plates to suit your palette and appetite.
Everything here is impeccable with innovative dishes served by friendly and charming staff. I can recommend this for special occasions and a venue that will make your visit to Edinburgh truly memorable.
My Top Tip: Booking is essential as it is a small restaurant.
Where: 9 North Bank Street, Edinburgh EH1 2LP
When: 12.00-20.30 Monday-Thursday
Makars is a popular mash bar perfectly located between the Royal Mile and Princes Street serving hearty local cuisine. Makars is rated as one of the top venues out of over 3,000 places to eat in Edinburgh, so you know I have found a treat here for you.
Haggis, neeps and tatties – including the vegetarian version – is a speciality here and with different types of mash and sausages to mix and match you are sure to find your perfect combination. The prices are reasonable and the prices are as generous as the welcome and service.
This is comfort food at its best and for those with a sweet tooth, I can recommend the chocolate brownie to round off a great dining experience.
My Top Tip: Try the haggis, neeps and tatties – you won’t be disappointed.
Wedgwood The Restaurant
Where: 247 Canongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH8 8BQ
When: 12.00-15.00 & 18.00 to 22.00 Monday-Sunday
The Wedgwood is an award-winning Michelin star restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town on the Royal Mile. It’s popular with locals ad visitors alike. Paul and Lisa Wedgwood have created a fine dining experience without the pretentious aspects that you might expect.
You can expect fine dining with local ingredients blended with innovative combinations and flavours. Game and seafood are a speciality here. The friendly and knowledgeable staff will happily guide you through the menu and make recommendations to suit your palette and appetite.
This is one of my go-to venues for special occasions.
My Top Tip: Try the ‘Wee Tour of Scotland’ tasting menu to sample the best of traditionl Scottish cuisine.
The Lookout by Gardener’s Cottage
Where: Calton Hill, Edinburgh EH7 5AA
When: 10.00-16.00 Tuesday-Wednesday
The Gardener’s Cottage was built in 1836 and, as the name suggests, was home to the gardener of Edinburgh’s Royal Terrace Gardens for many years.
The Lookout by Gardener’s Cottage is a new property with an eloquent feel, with world class 360 degrees views
Each dish is meticulously prepared and beautifully presented with fruit, vegetables and herbs that are grown from the gardens.
This is my recommendation for something different and unique. The menu changes daily with a focus on fresh local food. Great service, delicious food with perfect wine pairings. What’s not to love?
My Top Tip: Try the six-course tasting menu for a culinary adventure. Booking is essential.
If you have enjoyed this article, book your meal to add to a great Edinburgh day, after joining me on a private Old Town tour.
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