The Best Sports Facilities


The TravelScotland Selection: The Best Sports Facilities


Edinburgh provides numerous sporting facilities including Gyms and Golf courses to Swimming pools.

Royal Commonwealth Pool

Location: Dalkeith Road

Phone: 0131 667 7211

Opinion: The Royal Commonwealth pool is a swimming venue that is suitable for all ages and offers a range of activities. In addition to this, there are martial arts, fencing classes, fitness classes and a superb gym also provided. Remains open from 6am in the morning to 9.30 in the night. Except on weekends, it closes a bit early by 4.30 pm. Another fact to note is that the pool remains closed on wednesdays from 9-10am. For more user convenience, the pool also has a childs play area, a dance studio and a cafe. The Royal Commonwealth pool is the largest of its kind in Edinburgh. Edinburgh has also got quite a number of other pools also. Warrender (0131 447 0052) in Thirlestane Road, Leith Victoria (0131 555 4728) in Junction Pl and of course Glenogle (0131 343 6376) in Stockbridge to name a few in the list. Call over the phone to check out for the differnet sessions. A Common feature of all these pools is that all of them are old, 25 yards long and titled.


One Spa

Location: Sheraton Grand Hotel

Phone: 0131 229 9131

Opinion: Edinburgh boasts of Europe's most avant-garde city spa. It gifts its customers the perfect spa setting with Cleopatra baths, thermal suites and massages. You can experience ultimate luxury in this Spa and Gym. The gleaming rooftop hydropool is more than enough to rejuvenate oneself. Treatments for almost anything under the Sun. One Spa stands as a four-storey building right behind the Sheraton Grand Hotel.



Location: Scotsman Hotel

Phone:0131 556 5565

Opinion: Quoted as one of the “Top 10 Day Spas in the UK”, the Escape Gym is housed within the five start boutique hotel – The Scotsman . Combines the facilities of a Leisure Fitness Centre with the Health Club Spa. Excellent service from a team of trainers.Cruisy atmosphere. To date it remains the only Cowshed spa in Scotland and also has the privilege of having Scotland's first stainless steel swimming pool.


Virgin Active

Location: Greenside Place

Phone: 0131 550 1650

Opinion: This great gym has recently been refurbished and today has got, the most up to date and modern machines and equipments. Clean and corporate with huge changing rooms. Lots of showers and 25-lane pool. You get the personal attention of the trainer present in the club.



Location: Portobello

Phone: 0131 669 6888

Opinion: This civic pool Portobello comes with a prospering water polo section. There are a lot of facilities in addition to the swimming pool including a state of the art gym, Turkish baths and a plunge pool. You can even relax with a massaging aerotone bath. Ladies-only, gents-only and mixed days. Housed in Edinburgh's seaside resort and close to the beach.


Ainslie Park

Location: Pilton Drive

Phone: 0131 551 2400

Opinion: You can enjoy an whole array of sports and leisure activities out at the Ainslie Park . The 25 metre swimming pool and the multi- purpose sports halls are the ones which take the place right into the spotlight. You can find the Park 5 km from the Princes Street . Good for serious athletes too. Mon-Thu 7.30 am-10pm, Fri 7.30am-9pm, Sat & Sun 8am-5.30 pm. Day memberships are not available.


Next Generation

Location: Newhaven Harbour

Phone: 0131 554 5000

Opinion: A proud constituent of the David Lloyd Leisure Group. One of the leading health and fitness clubs in the South West. Family facilities out here are excellent. Day memberships are available here. Kids are provided with courses over their vacations. The club has indoor and an outdoor pool facing the river Forth. 7 days in the week upto 11.30 pm.



Location: London Road

Phone: 0131 661 5351

Opinion: You can make use of the squash and badminton courts in the Meadowbank sports centre provided you book earlier. No swimming pool here, but the 25 acre complex has a multitude of other activities to offer you. Some of the activities that are arranged for you in addition to the sports and fitness classes include football, basketball, Athletics, Gym Sessions, Judo, Dance, Badminton and Squash courts & Golf.


University Gym

Location: The Pleasance

Phone: 0131 650 2585

Opinion: This Gym is comparatively cheap when compared to others. 4 free weights gym, the best in town. You will have to have a membership though. The pioneering FASIC, the Fitness and Sports Injury Centre is very affordable. People rush in here during the vacations. Membership is compulsory, and there are also fantastic membership packages. Superb gyms, incredible sports hall, boxing base, squash courts and also a boxing base.


Drumsheugh Baths Cub

Location: 5 Belford Road

Phone: 0131 225 2200

Opinion: With the prime goal of instilling an interest in swimming this oldest private swimming pool is known for its quality. It also has two saunas, a lounge, bistro, multi gym and a hot tub. Its best to visit the pool as a guest. Can swim in leisure at this uncrowded pool. Can find rings and trapeze hanging over the pool. You can find this pool above the Dean Village .


Balmoral Spa, Balmoral Hotel


Phone: 0131 556 2414

Opinion: The health club of the Balmoral Hotel comes as a boon to the residents of the Balmoral hotel. There is a 15 metre swimming pool and saunas, steam rooms, a gymnasium and also an exercise studio. Even members and visitors can use the health club.



Braid Hills

Phone:0131 447 6666



Gullane No.1

Phone: 01620 842255


Glen Golf Club (North Berwick East)

Phone:01620 892726



Phone:0131 665 5438



Phone:01620 810591


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The Best Laid Plans

You are here: Heritage | Whisky | Legends

The Best Laid Plans

The methods used to outwit the gaugers were elaborate and various - often necessitating hours of careful planning, but sometimes causing the smugglers to call up their best improvisational skills. And distilling was a way of life that tended to make those skills very refined indeed.

Here are some ingenious examples:

A Bit of Black Magic

In the valley of Strathmore in the 1820s, a group of smugglers, spurred on by an old-time hoodwinker, Sandy McGregor, got the better of the local Supervisor of Excise at Coupar Angus, Joseph Henderson, with a particularly cunning ploy. Hearing that the gaugers were hot on the trail of their convoy, the smugglers did a bit of hasty dealing and dressing up in the village of Ardblair.

The waiting gaugers were treated to a highly extravagant - but doggedly sombre - funeral procession, complete with black-draped hearse, black horses, men in black armbands and women in mourning clothes. No prizes for guessing what was in the hearse! What could the gaugers do but doff their hats in respect?

Apparently the episode led to a nice sideline for the undertaker at Ardblair - and the gaugers were none the wiser.

Feverish Trick

A lady distiller from Auchterhouse, five miles north-west of Dundee, remembers how she helped to get her father out of a tight spot when a group of gaugers turned up out of the blue. She was seven or eight and ill in bed with the flu and there was four ankers of the peatreak in the house, as well as a bag of malt ready for the still.

When the Excisemen arrived from over the hills, her father quickly lifted the mattress from the bed, put the evidence in the bed and put the mattress back on top. The little girl was placed back on top and told what to do.

When the door burst open, all the gaugers could see was a concerned mother and father leaning over their sick child When they inquired about her health they were told she had a terrible fever. The cunning father even put one gauger's hand over his daughter's hot brow. The preventive officer couldn't get out of the house quick enough!


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The Best Caffs


The TravelScotland Selection: Best Edinburgh Caffs


Location: 15 Blackfrairs Street

Phone: 0131 556 6922

Opinion: Great cafe oozing a modern appeal. Opened doors for business 5+ years back. Interesting use of mirrors on the wall. Great coffee and excellent snacks. Good place to chill out over a cup of coffee. Open 6 days a week Mon-Sat 9am-5pm. Closed Sun.


Cafe Renroc

Location: 91 Montgomery Street

Phone: 0131 556 0432

Opinion:Cafe Renoc is a place oozing the enthusiasm and friendly warmth of its owners Billy and Jane Ross. Excellent food and friendly personalized service. Stylish and airy upstairs with a traditional bistro-style basement. Menu covers an extensive range of cuisines. There is also a treatment/massage room available in the basement. Open 7 days a week 8am-9pm.


Blue Moon Cafe

Location: 1 Barony Street

Phone: 0131 557 0911

Opinion: Blue Moon cafe, the 20 year old bar/bistro, is one of the oldest gay-friendly cafes in Edinburgh. Straight-friendly too. A fab place to hang out. Friendly waiters and waitresses. Menu is concentrated along the basic pub fare, but really good. Informal vibe and a wide selection of wines. Open 7 days a week: 11am-11pm. Serves food all day till 10pm and the bar is on till 11pm.



Location: 16 Morningside Road

Phone: 0131 446 0233

Opinion: A cool place selling the succulent Luca's ice creams along with tasty snacks and light meals. This is the in town version of the ice cream place in Musselburgh. The place is both economical and pleasant. Open 7 days a week 9am-10pm.



Location: 37 St Stephen Street

Phone: 0131 226 7533

Opinion: A cafe joint, which opened its doors in 2006, oozes a strong Italian flavor. The place may be small with only a few tables available but you can take away. The place serves tasty cakes and the espresso here is just great. Open 7 days a week: Mon-Sat 8.45am-5.30pm, Sun 10am-5.30pm.


Monster Mash

Location: 4 Forrest Road & 47 Thistle Street

Phone: 0131 225 7069 & 0131 225 5782 respectively

Opinion: An awesome place designed in the retro style. Good food, top notch service and value for money. Huge helpings and good puds. Everything evoking a nostalgia of the classic good old times. There are some vegetarian options available for the veggies. An altogether good place to go to enjoy yourself and enjoy some great food. Open 7 days a week: Mon-Sat 8.45am-5.30pm, Sun 10am-5.30pm.


Always Sunday

Location: 170 High Street

Phone: 0131 662 0667

Opinion: A sunny spot in the heart of Edinburgh. Contemporary decor with wooden flooring and white silvery sailboards on the ceiling. Deli style counter. The place serves fresh and wholesome food. Home baking. Open 7 days a week: 8am-6pm, Sat-Sun from 9am.


Cafe Truva

Location: 77 The Shore, Leith

Phone: 0131 554 5502

Opinion: A pleasing Turkish Cafe, serving good strong coffee and Turkish/ Mediterranean cuisines, located on the Leith waterfront. Ambiance pepped up with Turkish hangings and photo's of old Leith on the terracotta walls. Good food and a genuinely friendly service. Open 7 days a week: 9am-6.30pm.


Diner 7

Location: Commercial Street

Phone: 0131 553 0624

Opinion: A cozy local favorite on the shore in Leith. The place is decked with leather booths and a distinct friendly feel. Menu covers the regular burger, steaks and char grill section along with other unusual yet popular cuisines. Attention to detail on everything from cooking to presentation of dishes. Open 7 days a week: Mon-Sun 10am-10.30pm.


Kebab Mahal

Location: 7 Nicholson Square


Opinion: Authentic Indian cafe serving loyal customers since 1979. With a huge fanfare. Serves good vegetable biriyani, curries and sweetmeats. Signature: Tandoori dishes including mouthwatering kebabs. No alcohol allowed. Open 7 days a week 12noon-12midnight (2am Fri/Sat). Prayers on Fri (1-2pm).


If you feel we have missed a place off the Best Edinburgh Caffs then get in touch.

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Best burgers & Steaks


The TravelScotland Selection: Best Edinburgh Burger & Steak Places

Edinburgh has some of the Best Burger and Steak places in Scotland. We have included some of the very n Edinburgh.


Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian

Phone: 01506 834532

Opinion: Award winning restaurant serving plate-licking good Angus Beef. Huge helpings. Top class service. Great wine list. Extensive menu. Dishes made from the finest produce. Seafood is fresh from their own seawater pool. The Chop and Ale house offers less formal dining experience. Closed Sun. Lunch (not Sat) and LO 10pm.


Bell's Diner

Location: 7 St Stephen Street, Stockbridge

Phone: 0131 225 8116

Opinion: A petite and fine burger joint boasting a fine legacy of over 30+ years. Huge juicy burgers and steaks. With a steadily growing fanfare including many locals. A good deal for veggies too. The place has the most superb veggie burger in the whole of Edinburgh. Open Sun-Fri 6-10.30pm, Sat 12noon-10.30pm.


Buffalo Grill

Location: 12-14 Chapel Street & 1 Raeburn Place, Stockbridge

Phone: 0131 667 7427 & 0131 332 3846 respectively

Opinion: Fantastic place serving Burgers and Steaks for the populace of Edinburgh for the past 25+ years. The place has built its reputation for steaks but serves excellent Mexican and Southern US Variations. Generous portions. The place has many options available for veggies also. Usually crowded with loyal patrons, so book in advance to avoid disappointing waits. BYOB, Lunch Mon-Fri, LO 10.15pm (Sun 10pm).


Smoke Stack

Location: 53-55 Broughton Street

Phone: 0131 556 6032

Opinion:A hep place serving loads of burgers and steaks. From the stable of those who own 'The Basement'. Stylish atmosphere oozing a relaxed ambiance. Extensive menu covering salmon, tuna, corn, veggie etc apart from beef. Great service. Lunch Mon-Sat, dinner 7 days, LO 10.30pm.



Location: 217 High Street & 7 Queensferry Street

Phone: 0131 225 8770 & 0131 220 0036 respectively

Opinion:Tastefully done gastro burger joint oozing a friendly laid back atmosphere. Owned by the same people as Cambridge Bar. No-nonsense place concentrating exclusive on gourmet burgers and shakes made from the freshest produce. Burgers come in huge variety with vegetarian selection and numerous toppings. Open 7 days a week. LO 9.30pm.


If you feel we have missed a place off the Best Edinburgh Burger and Steak places then get in touch.

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Best Takeaway Places


The TravelScotland Selection: Best Edinburgh Takeaway Places


Location: 42 Howe Street

Phone  : 0131 225 3711

Opinion: Honored as one of the "Best Places To Eat In Edinburgh", Appetite offers delicious home-made food which is ideal for takeaways. The restaurant also has a renowned reputation as the premier canapé specialist in Edinburgh . Salads, daily soups, great vegetarian dishes, quiche and pizza are some of the highlights in their superb menu selection. None beats Appetite in the Stockbridge quarter.Mon-Fri 8.30am -4pm



Location: 11 Henderson Row

Phone  : 0131 558 2918

Opinion: Anima is one of the best places that gives you a sample taste of the Real Italy. A hot 'n' cold getaway with excellent service which comes cheap as well. Celebrated for its lip-smacking pizzas, fresh pastas, ciabatta, etc. ,the menu offers all the favorite Italian classics. 7 days.Lunch & LO 10pm (11pm weekends ). Closed Sun


G&T (Glass & Thompson)

Location: 2 Dundas Street

Phone  : 0131 557 0909

Opinion: A great delivery and takeaway place for sandwiches, fine cakes and rolls. Smart and busy restaurant with top quality food that will tickle your taste-buds. Great food to takeaway to office, homes, picnics, parties and gardens. What's more, from the small yet well-maintained terrace of G&T you can gaze at happening Edinburgh .Mon-Sat 8am-5.45pm, Sun 10.30am-4.15pm.


The Manna House

Location: 22 Easter Road

Phone  : 0131 652 2349

Opinion: Lots of cakes, pastries and desserts. Takeaway home-Jams, Honey and even Scottish cheeses.The produce is sourced with the finest Scottish ingredients and absolutely no chemicals are used in their bakery items.Ever-changing menus and innovative hot meals are a specialty. 8am-7pm (Sat 6 pm). Closed Sun.



Location: 29 Haddington Place

Phone  : 0131 652 3880

Opinion: Embo has everything a cafe needs-from an exoctic menu to enthusiastic and polite staff.Thoughtful catering with a vertiginous selection of extra ingredients available at the best possible prices. Worth popping by, if you want to have a taste of some local foodies. Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, from 9am on Sat.


The Globe

Location: 42 Broughton Street

Phone  : 0131 558 3837

Opinion: You can choose from a myriad of sandwiches and rolls at this restaurant. The Globe proudly has its own branches, one at the Henderson Row, the best of its kind for an energizing breakfast (Open on Sun) and others at the Bernard Street, Leith and Thistle Street. The Globe , offering excellent service along with its branches will make people more than happy for many years to come.


Eastern Spices

Location : 2 Canonmills

Phone  : 0131 558 3609

Opinion: Lip-smacking Indian menu's with one of the fastest home-deliveries in town. Ideal, for those who love Indian takeaways. Typical eastern meals like pakora to pasanda. You can expect a good quality takeaway feast from here. Try the chicken korma, which takes away most of the praise at the restaurant. 5-11.30pm.7 days.


L'Alba D'Oro

Location : 5-11 Henderson Row

Phone  : 0131 557 2580

Opinion: They grabbed the headlines with their mouth-watering fish supper and then consequently for their famous fish 'n' chips. L'Alba D'Oro is better than most of the takeaway places at Edinburgh. With a taste which is explosive for all the right reasons, L'Alba D'Oro offers high quality food and service as ever.


Juice Monkeys

Location : Clerk Street

Phone  : 0131 667 4450

Opinion: A well-known place to go to for fresh fruit smoothies, fruit salads, paninis, sandwiches and cakes. A takeaway highly recommended for its choicest fruit drinks,sumptuous juices and tasty breakfasts. Open early.7 days.8am-8pm (Sun 9am-8pm).



Location: 103 West Bow

Phone  :

Opinion: A juice-bar with a relaxing yet lively atmosphere. Situated at the end of Victoria Street, the Hula is an archetypal takeaway and sit-in.Usual listings on the menu, including bagles and other snacks.7 days 8am-8pm (from 10am weekends)



Location: Grove Street

Phone  : 0131 229 8944

Opinion: A little home-spun café and takeaway swaddled on Grove Street.Thw softly spoken cafe is tumid with delicious tidbits. Jaspers is easy to miss out but is worth the search! Luscious menu with a plethora of choices.Contemporary omelette you don't get anywhere else. 7.30am- 3pm (Sat 8.30am). Closed Sun.



Location: 59 Home Street, Tollcross

Phone  : 0131 221 1141

Opinion: Situated near the Kings Theatre, Ndebele celebrates South Africa! The takeaway deli with the contemporary African taste and attitude, provides food for any occasion. What glistens the little gem is its famous soups which come along with cornbread. 7 days 9.15am-6pm, Sun 12noon-5pm


Do tell us if you feel that we have missed out on your favorite takeaway!

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Best Fish 'n' Chips


The Travel Scotland Selection: Best Edinburgh Fish 'N' Chips

Edinburgh is a city with a number of great Fish 'N' Chips places. We have put together a list of the very best among them for you.

L'Alba D'oro

Location: Henderson Row

Phone: 0131 557 2580

Opinion: Award winning fish and chips shop in Edinburgh. Established in 1975. Menu boasting a large selection of deep-fried stuff both veg and non. Great wine selection, Lucas ice cream. Their Italian take-away Anima is located next door. Open till 11pm (12midnight weekends).


The Rapido

Location: 79 Broughton Street

Phone: 0131 556 2041

Opinion: Traditional place specializing in fish n chips. Great food and a hot favourite with locals. Popular with late nighters. Good wine list. Ambiance is cozy and cool. Service is also good. Open till 1.30am (3.30am Fri-Sat)


The Deep Sea

Location: Leith Walk

Phone: 0131 557 9276

Opinion:No-nonsense place selling great fish n chips. Opposite the Playhouse Theatre. Minimal decor and no seating. Open late through the night. Fresh food. Traditional menu. Open 2am, 3am Fri-Sat.


Caffe Piccante

Location: 19 Broughton Street

Phone: 0131 478 7884

Opinion: A takeaway cafe in Midlothian. A good place with a traditional menu. Good food. Open till 2am and 3am weekends.


If you feel we have missed a place off the Best Edinburgh Seafood places then get in touch.

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Best Economy Hotels


The TravelScotland Selection: Best Edinburgh Hotels


Location: Hunter Square

Phone: 0131 240 7000 (Late Deals and Special Rates: 0870 735 0296/+44 161 831 3753 (International))

Opinion: The first in Scotland of the Euro budget chain, the other one is in Glasgow. Dead central. Serviceable and efficiency. A great bet for holidaymakers on a sightseeing trip.

Links: Price comparison Engine for Ibis

Apex European

Location: 90 Haymarket Terrace

Phone: 0131 474 3456 (Late Deals and Special Rates: 0870 735 0296/+44 161 831 3753 (International))

Opinion: Bedbox version from Apex hotels. Is a fine bet and value for money. Great location in the city centre. In the top 5 of Green Tourism Hotels 07 UK.

Links: Online Booking at Apex European Price comparison Engine for Apex European

Holiday Inn Express

Location: 16 Picardy Place

Phone: 0131 558 2300/ 0800 434040 (Late Deals and Special Rates: 0870 735 0296/+44 161 831 3753 (International))

Opinion: Conveniently located opposite the Playhouse Theatre. A string of New Town houses joined together. Expect the same standard in all the rooms both double and single. Good Bar. The area has some good restaurants. 3 others in town.


Novotel Edinburgh Centre

Location: 80 Lauriston Place

Phone: 0131 656 3500 (Late Deals and Special Rates: 0870 735 0296/+44 161 831 3753 (International))

Opinion: Oozing contemporary feel. Recently build near University and Tollcross. Functional. Leisure: small pool, bar and brasserie. Good place to stay if you are on a budget.

Links: Online Booking at Novotel Edinburgh Centre Price comparison Engine for Novotel Edinburgh Centre

Grassmarket Hotel

Location: 94-96 Grassmarket

Phone: 0131 220 2299 (Late Deals and Special Rates: 0870 735 0296/+44 161 831 3753 (International))

Opinion: Basic and ideal for the price-wise. Located next to Biddy Mulligan's (open till 1 am). A place for the party-animal, business travelers or stags on a budget.

Links: Online Booking at Grassmarket Hotel Price comparison Engine for Grassmarket Hotel

Tailors Hall

Location: Cowgate

Phone: 0131 622 6800 (Late Deals and Special Rates: 0870 735 0296/+44 161 831 3753 (International))

Opinion: A lively young thing kind of hotel. Central in the happening Cowgate area and above the fab 3 Sisters Pub. 4 bars to pick from (open till 1 am). The best rooms are the ones not above the huge courtyard.

Links: Online Booking at Tailors Hall Price comparison Engine for Tailors Hall

Travel Lodge

Location: 33 St Mary's Street (Late Deals and Special Rates: 0870 735 0296/+44 161 831 3753 (International))

Phone: 0131 557 6281/ 08700 850 950 (Late Deals and Special Rates: 0870 735 0296/+44 161 831 3753 (International))

Opinion: Expect the usual formulaic facilities. Economical. Ideally located near the Royal Mile and Cowgate. A proper base to explore Edinburgh's nightlife.

Links: Price comparison Engine for Travel Lodge

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Best Bistros & Brasseries


Best Edinburgh Bistros & Brasseries - Travel Scotland

Best Edinburgh Bistros & Brasseries - We have for you a list of the Best Bistros & Brasseries in Edinburgh.


Location: 1a Dock Place; corner of Leithoff Comercial Rd by the docks

Phone: 0131 554 1018

Opinion: A fine seafood bistro in town. Leith's original with 25 years of service. The menu is heavily accented by seafood but with vegan and meat selections as well. Very quayside with a friendly and intimate decor. Daily new menu. Thoughtful wine list. Lunch & dinner 7 days, LO 10pm.


First Coast

Location: 99 Dalry Road

Phone: 0131 313 4404

Opinion: Quality bistro on the west of town. Very urban place. Food is good: simply awesome. No-nonsense menu with a fine list of choices; regularly updated. An altogether irresistible place to be. Mon-Sat lunch & LO 10.30pm.


Urban Angel

Location: 121 Hanover Street

Phone: 0131 225 6215

Opinion: A basement place for the urban foodies. Relaxed and contemporary decor. Great value for money. Winner of 'budget restaurant of the year 2006/2007' The List food and drinks guide. Emphasis on organic and fresh produce.


Home Bistro

Location: 41 West Nicolson Street

Phone: 0131 667 7010

Opinion: A homely bistro. Cozy and welcoming ambiance: living room feel. Dedicated to traditional homely Scottish cuisines. The menu would leave you spoilt for choices. Chef Richard Logan works his magic with ingredients creating some of the best modern and traditional British grubs. Great value and fresh simple dishes. Lunch Mon-Fri, dinner Tue-Sat.


Blue Bar Cafe

Location: Cambridge Street; on the west end

Phone: 0131 221 1222

Opinion: Contemporary Edinburgh restaurant with a more informal menu. A sibling of The Atrium. In the heart of the financial district side-by-side with the Usher hall, the Traverse and Lyceum Theatres. Drop in anytime to feel its intimate, warm and comfortable decor. A fine west-end entertainment hub. 12noon-3pm, 6pm-10.30pm daily. Bar to midnight (1am Sat). Closed Sun.


The Apartment

Location: 7-13 Barclay Place

Phone: 0131 228 6456

Opinion: Just up the road from Kings Theatre. A trendy spot for diners. Decor is modern and sensible. The first of Malcom Innes fab eat-outs. Good salads, fine food and huge helpings. Menu defined along the lines of the chunky-healthy categories. 7 days dinner; LO 11pm. Lunch Sat/Sun only. Best to do an advance booking.


The Outsider

Location: 15 George IV Bridge

Phone: 0131 226 3131

Opinion: Another one from the Malcom Innes; a sister of 'The Apartment'. Their hallmark eat-out oozing a sexy, contemporary feel; good value for money. Basic design with a great view of the castle. Signature dishes: grilled baby squid, prawns and pork. Try the contrasting dishes that add spice to the menu. Pricing is light on the purse. Sizable helpings. 7 days, lunch & LO 10.30pm.


Herbe Bistro

Location: 44-46 George IV Bridge

Phone: 0131 226 3269

Opinion: Purveyors of modern, fresh gourmet food suiting different tastes and budgets. Basement place - spacious and calm decor. Favored spot by diners. Excellent value and spot-on be it food or service. A no-nonsense place to go for an eat-out. Lunch & LO 9.45pm. Sun closed.


North Bridge

Location: 20 North Bridge

Phone: 0131 622 2900

Opinion: The bar and brasserie of The Scotsman Hotel. A capital place catering to Edinburgh's elite. Decor is essentially Victorian with dramatic interiors and a fine mix of classic and contemporary. The restaurant is guided by expert Chef Geoff Balharrie. Exemplary brasserie-type menu with seasonal twists; heavily accented with modern Scottish selections. 7 days, all day LO 10pm/10.30pm. Bar midnight.


Howie's Bruntsfield

Location: 208 Bruntsfield Place

Phone: 0131 221 1777

Opinion: One of the four eat-outs in Edinburgh by the group. Oozing a smart contemporary decor and a hot-favorite with diners. One of the best in this street. Value for money, unpretentious and serving good Scottish food. 7 days, Lunch 12pm-2.30pm, Dinner 6pm-10pm, Brunch 10am-4pm (Sat-Sun).


Howie's Waterloo

Location: 29 Waterloo Place, East end of Princes St; 5 mins from Wavery Station

Phone: 0131 556 5766

Opinion: Within a 200 year old lofty Georgian building. Grade 'A' listed. Expect the usual value for money and good food. No-fuss formula with impeccable flair of service. Great value lunch and dinner. Open 7 days a week. Lunch 12pm- 2.30pm (Sun-Fri), Sat lunch 12pm-3pm, Dinner 5.30pm-10pm.


Sweet Melinda's

Location: 11 Roseneath Street

Phone: 0131 229 7953

Opinion: A hot favorite with locals and city-folks. 10+ years of service. Menu draws heavily on seafood and game. The best fish from Eddie's seafood market next door is handpicked every morning. Home-made organic bread and fresh produce. Emphasis on quality rather than buzz. Everything prepared from scratch. Good wine list. Lunch & LO 10pm. Mon no lunch; Sun closed.



Location: Bankhead Avenue, Sighthill

Phone: 0131 453 2666

Opinion: This stunning restaurant opened its doors in 2001. Run by the furniture and auction house, which also goes by the same name. This 100 seater was once the old works canteen and garage. Italian marble floors, gorgeous linen, gilt framed mirrors and candlelight create an ambiance of opulence and poise. Extensive menu and good wine list. Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. Sat lunch until 2pm, dinner 7pm-9.30pm.



Location: 75 St Leonard's Street

Phone: 0131 668 2917

Opinion: A pretty place on the South Side. Charming neighborhood restaurant: informal, relaxing, friendly and at the same time sophisticated. Good service. Decor along the lines of an informal Southside apartment. Good menu, reasonably priced food; fine wine list. Blonde rooms. Lunch (not Mon) & LO 10pm. 7 days.


Stockbridge Restaurant

Location: 54 St Stephen Street

Phone: 0131 226 6766

Opinion: Frontline place. Food is finger-licking-ly good, contemporary European using fine Scottish ingredients. Proprietor/ Chef Jason Gallagher's culinary and management skills have won accolades for the place. Highlights: pastries and Aberdeen Angus. A reliable place with carefully sourced ingredients. Generous portions served; value for money. Intimate ambiance good for a deux; so take someone good there. Lunch Wed-Fri, dinner Tue-Sun. LO 9.30pm.



Location: 2b Jamaica Street

Phone: 0131 476 5333

Opinion: A small upstairs bistro, tucked just off Howe Street, above the New Town bar. Winner of many awards and recognition; latest: Michelin Guide recommendation. Food prepared from locally procured ingredients. Organic and tasty selections. A favorite spot for foodies. Signature dish: Scottish meat delicacies. Modest bar menu. Not a good option for veggies. Book beforehand. Lunch: Fri-Sun, dinner 7 days. LO 10pm, bar 1am.


If you feel we have missed a Bistro or Brasserie off the Best Edinburgh Bistros and Brasseries then get in touch.

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Best of Scotland Guide

Best of Scotland Guide

Best of Scotland Guide Homepage | Best of Scotland Guide Index of Pages

Welcome to our Best of Scotland Guide 2008 which lists everything that we think is the best in Scotland. It is a bit of a work in progress and has a naughty habit of changing as we discover and rediscover new and old places. Some join and some depart - a bit like life really.

As the guide has grown rather larger than we expected, we have divided our guide into different sections (which are listed here on the Best of Scotland Guide Index page.)

Any thoughts or suggestions: please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Latest in Tours

  • The One Day Loch Ness Tour from Edinburgh

    This is our most popular day trip the Highlands covering Loch Ness and Glencoe and taking in some of the most dramatic scenery of the Scottish Highlands. Visit Glencoe and perhaps a cruise on Loch Ness cruise and visit to Urquhart Castle. Runs 360 days a year.

  • Loch Lomond, Trossachs & Stirling Castle Day Tour from Edinburgh

    This one day tour from Edinburgh takes you to Loch Lomond, the Trossachs National Park and Stirling Castle, and introduces you to the land and legends of Scottish heroes William Wallace and Rob Roy. Runs everyday, all year.

  • Rosslyn Chapel, Melrose & Glenkinchie Distillery Day Tour

    Travel South from Edinburgh to visit Rosslyn Chapel (of the 'Da Vinci Code'),  explore Melrose Abbey, and then be travel from the spiritual to the spiritful with a tour and dram at Glenkinchie Distillery! Mondays, Thursdays & Saturdays all year.

  • 1 Day Holy Island, Alnwick Castle Tour

    1 day tour into the Medieval Kingdom of Northumbria in North-East England; once the most important centre of religious learning and arts in the British Isles.  Visit the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and explore the medieval market town of Alnwick and its stunning castle. Tuesdays, Wednesday, Fridays and Sundays, April-October from Edinburgh.

  • Mountains, Lochs & Castles Day Tour from Edinburgh

    Something of an Outlander in a day with its visit to Doune Castle.  Experience scenic lochs, impressive mountains, historic castles, visit a pretty Highland village and explore the picturesque lochside town of Inveraray. Runs Daily all year.

Latest in Cottages