Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10am – 2:30pm
(Brunch to run 7 days during August)
Lunch: 12pm – 2:30pm
Dinner: 5pm – 9:30pm (Until 10.30pm during August)
- Private Dining
- Gluten Free Available
- Business Lunch
- Dietary Needs Catered For
About Gardeners Cottage
The Gardener’s Cottage is a restaurant in Royal Terrace Gardens at the foot of Calton Hill. Built in 1836 the cottage, which was originally home to the gardener, has been transformed into Edinburgh’s home for seasonal cooking and social dining. Seated at long communal tables our guests can enjoy weekend brunch, an a’la carte lunch menu, or an inventive, set seven course dinner menu, using only the best seasonal, local produce.
Really great experience.
After many previous visits to this place (it was definitey up there in our top 5), we were really looking forward to taking some guests here last night, as an example of how to escape the tourist traps and eating well without having to fork out michelin prices. What a disappointment. The place was much quieter than previously and I can see why. On arrival we were presented with a 3 course menu instead of the 5 course tasting menu we booked, and this was decidedly uninspiring. When I queried this we were given the 5 course menu but there was nothing on it to justify the price hike, so we went for the 3 course menu (no choice) after all. Bread came first and this was fine, although the slices were massive. At that point I thought too big but read on. The starter was literally just slices of tomato, ricotta cheese and some croutons. Very little seasoning or dressing to speak of - just really dull. 5 of us substituted the main course of duck for the fish course, and 3 of of us had to send it back because the fish just wasn't cooked. The staff were fine with this but not overtly apologetic. The duck course was literally a small piece of very pink duck breast that our guests "got through" but hardly enjoyed. The fat wasn't rendered and it was difficult to eat. The lack of sauce didn't help. Our fish finally came back after about 15 minutes - fair dos they had prepared the plates again from scratch. That would have been fine but the fish was STILL undercooked. I made this point but ate around it rather than send it back again as this would have been unfair on the other guests who had finished their main course ages ago. The desert was fine - at last - but TINY. The chocolate tart was about an inch wide at its thickest end. Thank god for the huge slices of bread at the start or we would have all gone home hungry. It seems like they've reduced the number of courses on the set menu but without increasing the portion sizes to accommodate. All this for £45 per person is really poor. But what was most disappointing is that the staff didn't seem to be bothered that we had obviously had such a lacklustre experience. There was a sinking ship atmosphere in fact, like the staff knew how much things had gone downhill aswell, but had lost the urge to try anymore. I am genuinely sad to say that we won't be back. https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g186525-d3343934-r681166552-The_Gardener_s_Cottage-Edinburgh_Scotland.html#
TL:DR lacklustre food and bad service Food was mediocre for the price paid. Panna cotta wasn't set and was one dimensional. Starter of heirloom tomatoes was just different tomatoes cut up, no difference in their preparation. Chocolate tart supposedly had macerated strawberries but it wasn't macerated. The only thing worthwhile mentioning was the lamb with carrots and mash, as it had different elements prepared in a variety of ways. For a tasting menu, service should include an explanation of each dish that is presented. This was absent on the night we visited. Given that seating was along 2 communal tables, guests should be seated in the order they arrive with the earliest seated closest to the door. This would make it less a struggle when time to leave especially since the space is very narrow. Finally, are Asians all seated together as the restaurant's default policy? Or is it mere coincidence that westerners happened to be seated with other westerners whereas Asians who arrived at the same time as other westerners were directed to communal table which was solely occupied at the time, by Asians only. All in all, a poor dining experience. This restaurant is definitely one where you're left feeling cheated by the various articles and reviews in praise of this place.
Looking at the fantastic reviews online I decided to try the Gardeners Cottage. We did book for the five course but after looking at the menus offered we settled for the three course assuming that will be enough for us. Bread and butter to start - a generous serving of two large pieces. I held off eating it all to not to spoil the rest of dinner. For entree we had the heirloom tomatoes, ricotta and croutons - we have to say it was underwhelming, bland with not enough seasoning. Maybe a bit of balsamic and oil drizzle and some basil or other herbs that could lift it? Main was duck - the smallest piece I've ever encountered with a main course. It lacked sauce - I felt I was just eating a plain lump of meat. And just pickled carrots with it? If that's only as seasonal as you can get I'm getting more disappointed as I go along. Palate cleanser was the panna cotta with rhubarb and sorbet. It felt like dessert actually. Didn't need the chocolate tart dessert that came after that. The tart was delicious and the strawberry sorbet was remarkable but it left us thinking "that's it?" Lucky that bread came but that's not what we paid £45 for. And that's food only. I was expecting a three course dinner, not a three course degustation. To see other surrounding restaurants with more competitive pricing and what they had on offer I unfortunately regret how much we paid after this experience. Offering seasonal menus is nothing new - what is the point of difference that the Gardeners Cottage is trying to make to justify the price? The service is excellent and we appreciate the hospitality but if I were to pay nearly £100 pounds for dinner I do expect to walk out feeling full ready to spread the word.
Charming restaurant in a unique setting but after a very generous slice of sourdough bread the other portions were disappointingly small.
My boyfriend and I booked a lunch here the night before and good thing we did too since lots of people got turned away as the restaurant was fully booked very early. We asked to sit outside to enjoy the sun and the staff was very helpful with setting up the table. I am gluten intolerant and got taken care of very well. We had such a nice and delicious meal. Even though the waitress had forgot our drink order, she was very apologetic and didn't charge us for the drinks. Overall, I was very impressed with the food, the atmosphere, the service, everything. I highly recommend this restaurant for lunch!!
We are Japanese couple. We moved from Japan to Edinburgh about two month ago. We were looking for a nice restaurant by using Google map. We found this restaurant. I think the online booking system was very good. Although we don’t have own car, this restaurant is very convenient to visit there by Bus. We enjoyed very much to have Sunday Lunch. The taste was very good. I hope we are looking forward to visiting again and to taking my friends from Japan on this August. Thank you very much!
Lovely place, lovely food, and lovely service. Thank you.
Lovely brunch thank you. I would have given 5 stars for food and drinks, but you don't serve a selection of coffees, which is a shame, but otherwise a lovely place.
The food was a huge disappointment. The courses of the 3-course menu were ridiculously small, and in no way sophisticated. The starter (a few pieces of tomato with some sort of cream cheese) seemed like a joke. I know what gourmet food is, and this was nothing like it. Neither the service team nor the kitchen personnel seemed to be well trained. There was a mistake in our reservation (we had actually booked for 20:30, not 20:45), and when I ordered a wine bottle I was brought a glass of wine instead . It also wasn't very pleasant to see the kitchen personnel wipe the plates (first) and their noses (subsequently) with the same paper towels, and to watch them change into their street clothes at the end of their shift. I have no idea how the restaurant has been able to get such good reviews in the past, but I will certainly not recommend it to anyone.
Thoroughly delightful. Great locally sourced food, beautiful presentation, lovely setting, engaging dinner mates at the table. Wait staff experience was a bit uneven — long waits between courses or wine service juxtaposed with servers trying to clear plates before diners were finished.
Good food and good wines. Too narrow seated für a romantic evening. Too romantic for a night out with friends. Perfect for a food loving couple beyond dating.
Delicious food and atmosphere! Loved the experience
Great food and marvellous atmosphere for an informal lunch
- very unfriendly service!
Service was a tad on the slow side due to a large party, otherwise 5 stars all around
The food is very good, using fresh seasonal products. However, the evening menu is a bit expensive for what you get...
Been here 4 times now since 2010 and it never disappoints. The chef is amazing and each dish is so well thought out. The service is wonderful. You are sharing a table with others, but always feel private and that you are the only one being taken care of. I love their garden outside the restaurant and only wish I could come everyday.
Second time and just as good as the first. Thanks Jackie Doug Cara Katie and Hamish
meal was very good but we were adversely affected by the draught coming in from outside as the rear door was kept open throughout
Fantastic breakfast - thanks very much. And your generosity in compensating for Sunday morning's unavoidable cancellation was very much appreciated.
It was good but not as wonderful as I had hoped.