Edinburgh is a smorgasbord of divine restaurants perfect for that date night that’s always postponed, or for a random stumble into a dimly-lit oasis illuminated by fairy lights with show stopping food to boot. In this haggis and whisky filled capital, romantic restaurants are rife and each is different to the rest. So, sláinte to love…
Café St Honore
If you can’t escape the trappings of Edinburgh to enjoy Paris by candlelight then just head to Café St Honore instead. This charming spot, awash with wine bottles and white tablecloths, is like being sat in a nook and cranny off Paris’ Latin Quarter, when instead you’re a short walk from the goings on of George Street. The food is experimental and seasonal, the glassware sparkling and the atmosphere as romantic as it comes.
Autumn and Halloween inspires thoughts of rich reds, oranges and browns, with oak, leather, stone and dark nights lit by candles that enlarge gothic shadows, with the smells of grills and game. If you’re dining for romance in the autumn, choosing a restaurant with the name The Witchery is quite apt and it will not disappoint. Created in 1979, its historic buildings date from 1595 and with James Thomson OBE, Scotland’s best-known hotelier and restauranteur and an ambassador for Scottish tourism running the romantic show, you’re in good hands with your cordial courting.
Stone walls for that knight in shining armour feel entice you in and your autumn colours are mingled in the décor of red leather seating, painted ceilings with heraldic theme and more antique candlesticks than the blushes of your beau. This restaurant will tick all on your foody shopping list so once seated in this velvety gothic environment by original oak-panelled walls, you’re sampling Scotland’s best sourced food, including native Oban oysters, a Witchery haggis starter, Isle of Mull scallops, Scots border beef or a Vegetarian dish of foraged mushroom risotto.
Rhubarb at Prestonfield House
Opulence is the order of the day at charming Prestonfield House. Rhubarb, housed inside, is as sweet as its name and casts a spell on all who step through its doors. Fresh Scottish food features heavily on the menu, and the menu itself is nothing but fine dining and makes for the perfect place to woo. Approaching the building, you’ll be greeted by spellbinding trees, before exploring the many low-lit corners of the house to enjoy a pre or post dinner drink.
Forage and Chatter
This Alva street venue is a basement restaurant accessed via stone steps, winding foliage and fairy lights. Here, amongst cosy booths, low-lighting and tartan, you’ll feast in a rustic setting, with seasonal fare from a to-the-point menu arriving swiftly to your table.
The intimate setting makes for a highly romantic date night destination and the presentation of the food is simply unrivalled, as is the soothing sound track to your dining that distracts from the chatter of other tables. With the likes of halibut with roasted baby vegetables and chicken thigh with white onion on the menu, you’d be a fool not to go…
The Stockbridge Restaurant
If you’re a sucker for low-lighting and gorgeous interiors then The Stockbridge Restaurant is your date night go-to. Here, you’ll find a roaring fireplace for snug winter meals, white table clothes and statement artworks by Scottish Colourists. There’s no wonder this charming little spot was named as one of the top 100 restaurants in 2014, especially with a menu brimming with moreish delights such as spiced pigeon breast and grilled halibut.
Scotland’s first and finest rooftop restaurant describes this with Edinburgh’s skyline as a delightful backdrop. Situated at the top of the National Museum of Scotland, you can overlook Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile and the Old Town. Another of James Thomson’s experiences and sister restaurant to The Witchery, your romantic dinner will include locally sourced food, an inventive wine list in a chic and glamorous setting.
A great romantic dining experience for the Festive season with exceptional game and grills, this is an A list in central Edinburgh. “Exquisite oyster and shellfish” says The Independent and another visitor to its culinary classics has been Joanna Lumley, OBE who describes The Tower “Tower you are fab!”
Setting your romantic scene for a slightly later night carry on, the cocktail bar at the Chaophraya is 12pm to late! Beforehand, take a seat for the A la Carte, Set or Vegetarian choices at this delightful Thai food restaurant. The views up top are breath taking and overlook towards Edinburgh Castle.
It’s a great choice for dining for two with start or share dishes with the Khun Kim Grill Satay Platter, which includes sirloin steak, chestnut mushrooms and aubergine and cherry tomato skewers, or the Chaophraya Platter, delicious with choices of Thai chicken tacos, curried battered prawns and crispy duck salad. The Vegetarian is there with rich curry chicken and coconut on a lightly pan seared rice flour taco. In this romantic Thai setting, you can relax all evening chatting away until the wee early hours.
Harvey Nichols Restaurant
If your romantic day is incorporating shopping for cufflinks and cardholders for him or perfumes and playsuits for her, slip up to the 4thfloor restaurant at Harvey Nichols and round a perfect day off with fantastic view over Edinburgh city at one end and the Firth of Forth on the other.
Your taste buds will lap up a menu of starters of Haggis croquettes, tomato gazpacho or roasted fig, then the mains including pan-roasted stone bass, saffron-poached sole fillet or Kirkaldy farm buffalo fillet. Sides are there and so are delicious desserts but don’t get too full up because Harvey Nichols incorporates a Chocolate Lounge, a Brasserie and a 4thfloor Window Bar you might accidentally drift into, for a Pomme Pomme or Silent Night, sparkling cocktails of course!