It was a cold October evening in Edinburgh and we were excited about where we were going to warm our cockles and soothe our rumbling bellies. We were wondering down the Royal Mile, on the way to Holyrood, towards Wedgwood, the restaurant.
Wedgwood is owned by Paul and Lisa Wedgwood. Paul has worked everywhere from pubs and leisure parks to fine dining Michelin-starred restaurants. It’s an award-winning restaurant, having previously been included in The Sunday Times Top 100 restaurants in the UK in 2015, based purely on guest reviews. Plus, their wine list was announced as the best in Scotland.
The restaurant looked warm and inviting, and we couldn’t wait to get inside. The waitress had our reservation, (heard they use an excellent booking system), the table was ready and we sat down in the corner of the restaurant which meant we had a full view of the action. From my seat I could see the pass, which was just a small hole in the wall; you can see some action in the kitchen, like the plating up, but you can just see the torso of the chefs adding an air of mystery on this spooky Edinburgh night (it was near Halloween when we went…).
First thing to decide was wine (of course). The wine list at Wedgwood is excellently curated, they even bottle their own wine using barrels from Bodega Altanza in Spain, it’s called “Club Altanza, Rioja Reserva ‘Wedgwood’, 2010”, which you can try by the glass if you wish, using their Coravin system. For those not in the know, “The Coravin Wine System uses transformational technology that allows ‘Wedgwood’ to pour ‘their’ favorite wine by the glass, without pulling the cork.” Mental. After all that we decided to settle on a bottle of French red, the Languedoc Pinot Noir, Montsablé, 2016 to be exact, and it was delicious. Rest assured, you will not find a dud wine on their wine list.
Deciding on the food was a whole other matter altogether. We wanted everything on the menu. The waitress recommended the Salmon to start, and told us how lucky it is if you find a bullet in your partridge main. Crossing our fingers for a bullet in our bird, we finalised our dishes and settled in, chatting away. After a few minutes our waitress brought over some warm bread served with roasted garlic, rosemary and thyme oil. It was the perfect start to the meal. One of the ways to know if you’re in a great restaurant is the bread, if they do bread this well, we could only imagine how delicious the rest of our meal was going to be.
Next up was the starter, we decided to halve everything and swap over our dishes so we could get a taste of all the food. The starters arrived promptly, and in front of me was my choice, a bread and butter pudding. Bot not just any bread and butter pudding (say it M&S style), but a Mull of Kintyre cheddar and onion bread and butter pudding with mushroom ketchup and pine salt. It was delicious. It tasted earthy and fresh and the mushrooms adorning the top were sliced beautifully (almost wanted to ask where they got their kitchen knives from, but it just wasn’t the time and place…) and in terms of presentation, the dish looked like a woodland forest floor (in a good way) atop the bread and butter pud.
The recommendation of the salmon to start went down really well with us. This was no slimy smoked or cured salmon, this was a scorched Douglas fir cured salmon, pink grapefruit puree, and cucumber. The pink grapefruit puree was deliciously tart and offset the other classic salmon pairing of cucumber and salmon perfectly. After we’d essentially licked our plates clean, the waitress cleared our plates and soon came and gave us an in between courses palate cleanser. We had a pumpkin velouté (I think…) with sage oil and cashews and although this was gone in a matter of seconds, we will certainly remember this forever. Holy smokes. We could just tell the ingredients were so fresh and amazing quality.
For the mains we ordered the Ayrshire partridge with barley, parsnip, wild mushroom and tarragon jus and also the fried potato gnocchi with butternut squash, wild mushroom, sage, and onions. I tried the partridge first and the meat was melt in your mouth smooth, sadly there was no lucky bullet in the bird, but I felt pretty lucky already with the perfectly cooked barley and the sweet roasted parsnips which helped me mop up the jus. Then it was onto the gnocchi, I almost didn’t get to have any as it was almost finished by the time I got to it. Once I prized it out of my fellow diners’ cutlery, I knew why he wanted to keep it all to himself. I’ve only ever burnt sage at home when I’m cooking but this crispy, buttery sage on top of the fried gnocchi was so delicious I could have had a full bowl of it.
We were stuffed but decided to go all in for dessert. The desserts we went for were the sticky toffee pudding with Caol Ila butterscotch, with vanilla ice cream and the pistachio frangipane, with meringue, brambles, and cardamom ice cream. As a STP connoisseur, this was one of the best I’ve ever had, and it was a very generous portion, which may have attributed to my food coma later that evening. The frangipane was tasty, light and subtle in flavour and completely charmed us both.