The Gardeners Cottage

4.5
681 reviews
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£26 to £40
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British
Top tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasions
  • Romance
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.

Please note, most of our bookings are not conducted through Opentable, so if you are struggling to find availability please check here or via telephone.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
British, Scottish
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Hours of Operation
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 12pm - 2.30pm & 5pm - 11:30pm

Saturday, Sunday: 10am - 2.30pm & 5pm - 11:30pm
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Phone number
0131 677 0244
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Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Casual Dress
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Executive Chef
Dale Mailley
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Private Party Facilities
The Gardener's Cottage consists of one large dining room which seats 20, and a smaller dining room (The Bell Room) which has a maximum capacity of 11.

While we run a social dining service for any groups of 6 or less, we give groups of 7+ exclusive access of either, or both, of the dining rooms.

For further information please get in touch.
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Private Party Contact
Abigail Webster: 0131 677 0244 x1
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Catering
The possibility of pop up restaurants and events is open for discussion.
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Area
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Cross Street
London Road
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Parking Details
On street parking London Road, Hillside Crescent, Royal Terrace.
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Public Transit
Lothian Bus stop on London Rd
Additional
Banquet, Beer, Gluten-free Menu, Outdoor dining , Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 681 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on all time ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on 28 May 2018

Excellent, down-to-earth experience. Simple decor, no fuss in the service or the table. Puts the focus on the food and the ingredients - which were outstanding. Fresh, tasted like the meal had been pulled straight from the ground to the plate.

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5.0Dined on 22 April 2018

From the time we entered until we left the staff made us feel like part of the family a great dining experience. Very accommodating to vegetarians.

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5.0Dined on 8 February 2018

As brilliant as recommended in other reviews. Fantastic combinations of flavours in the veloute, cod and bitter cocolate desert. Very welcoming

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1.0Dined on 23 July 2017

Went here for my parteners 50th after a day in Edinburgh, she was looking forward to some nice food according to the 5 star reviews ( don't believe them I think it's a case of the emperor's new clothes, if your told it's good it's got to be good)
I am 56 and this was the worst food I've ever had tasteless and minute portions. The first course was a single quails egg and a single tiny stuffed mushroom, I nearly forgot the crushed hazlenut dip that didn't stick to anything.
We thought it couldn't get any worse so we persevered, how wrong were we. The palette cleanser witch is one of the courses was like freezer defrosting ice coloured with no taste at all and the desert was a few small chopped up pieces of dried cake and a mouthful of ice cream.
Neather of us are big eaters but we had to buy snacks on the way home we were that hungry. Don't go for a meal here if you want good food and feel like you've had something to eat.
I would have complained after the meal but they have this policy of taking your debit card number and security code when you book ( should have rung alarm bells at the time ) so knew they had my details written down somewhere. The obviously have no qualms about ripping people off so didn't trust them with my details.
I CAN'T STRESS ENOUGH THAT THIS WAS THE WORST MEAL I'VE EVER HAD

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5.0Dined on 3 June 2017

This is our second time dining at The Gardener's Cottage for our anniversary. We highly recommend this place if you are looking for that one special holiday dinner experience that is slightly away from the hustle and bustle of the New Town and Royal Mile.

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5.0Dined on 14 May 2017

An excellent evening; seven course fixed menu - every course excellent and wonderfully presented; good choice of wines but allow staff to guide you to best wines; wine flight available - didn't have this but looked to be well matched with food courses.
Restaurant format is "communal" long tables but no fixed sittings other than time booking accepted for so your dining company changes during the evening. We dined with some excellent company which changed during the evening - like all these things you get out of evening what you put in to it; if you want to keep yourself to yourself then you can but you'll probably still have others sitting either side of you. From our point of view, it was a great evening and we probably didn't concentrate on the wonderful food we were eating as much as we should have.
Definitely something to do again.

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5.0Dined on 26 April 2017

There were 4 of us, 2 with diet concerns. The attention to detail and the appreciation for diet was superb.

Every course was delightful, creative, and flawless. Wine pairings were spot on.

We had been once before, and made this a destination with two friends. Our efforts were rewarded by the wonderful meal.

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3.0Dined on 15 April 2017

Bit disappointed by sluggish service when meal had already started late. Several of th courses were a bit disappointing, though others were excellent. Generally nice ambience though a little bit crammed in next to strangers

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5.0Dined on 10 April 2017

Es realmente una experiencia gastronómica. Consta de un menú de degustación donde los platillos son cuidadosamente elaborados bie presentados. Desde un mero hasta un filete de venado no deja uno de asombrarse y complacerse con cada bocado. Totalmente recomendable pero habrá que hacer reservación ya que son muy pocas mesas.

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5.0Dined on 8 April 2017

We had a fantastic dinner at the gardeners cottage. It was a tasting menu which was explained at each course. Everything we were given was just lovely and the wine was fantastic!!

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5.0Dined on 8 April 2017

A wonderful place and staff.

Food is great and will definitely be back.

Wine is a bit expensive

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5.0Dined on 1 April 2017

My husband is a notoriously fussy diner as he is a really good cook so this was our last chance to find somewhere he would like for his birthday. He absolutely loved it - we both did. They changed the menu for me as I am allergic to shellfish and nothing was too much trouble. I'm much less of a foodie and was worried I wouldn't enjoy it but every course was delicious and beautifully presented. The staff were really lovely - helpful and knowledgeable without being intimidating or snobby. As we were coming in, the couple leaving just shouted 'you'll love it!' and we did!

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4.0Dined on 1 April 2017

Excellent evening

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5.0Dined on 30 March 2017

Lovely food!

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5.0Dined on 29 March 2017

Fantastic lunch, fresh, seasonal food, expertly cooked. Service was very friendly & knowledgeable. The restaurant is a little hidden gem in the hustle & bustle of the big city!!
The owners & Staff should be very proud of what their doing. Keep up the work!!

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5.0Dined on 26 March 2017

The food and service was outstanding. Loved everything about this place.

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4.0Dined on 26 March 2017

Very small and unassuming quaint and casual restaurant but packed powerful plates of food for our evening out with our teenage family !

Excellent food ,wine and service . Very unusual seven small course tasting menu but full of flavour ,colour and excellent presentation of each course. Very filling menu indeed !

We all really enjoyed it and will certainly go back .

Good value for money and staff were friendly and helpful too. Quite liked seeing the chefs plate up each course .

Would definitely recommend to foodies out there .

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4.0Dined on 25 March 2017

Our table was in full view of the kitchen (and the bins) which whilst interesting was not ideal. The food was very good but some dishes were served on cold plates and were not hot enough. The chefs were preparing the intricate dishes on a stainless steel worktop which did not appear to be heated from above or below and the food got cold whilst in the preparation.

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3.0Dined on 25 March 2017

This was a trip down memory lane because I lived 200 yards from the restaurant from 1950 till 1975. In these days, however, it was truly a 'gardener's cottage' where the 'parkie' for the surrounding City Council gardens lived. The transformation is remarkable. How they can get 30 covers, kitchen etc into such a small space is amazing. The set menu was interesting with a number of courses that we would not normally eat. The food was perhaps a bit rich for our palates but very well presented. The accompanying wine flight also included some wines that we would not normally have chosen.

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5.0Dined on 24 March 2017

This is a meal you will remenber. The cottage is very cosy and you are seated on one of two long tables in a small room. The seven course menu is set and the same for everyone, but provides a great experience and great value for money compared to other restaurants. This is "social dining" since you won't get a table to yourself but rather encourages making new friends, while at the same time the small size of the cottage ensures it's not too crowded. Book a table in advance, and get swept away by the Gardener's Cottage great service and kitchen!

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5.0Dined on 23 March 2017

I went to the Gardner's Cottage with my partner, as it was our ten year anniversary. We had the most amazing meal. The service was attentive without being intrusive, the waitstaff enthusiastic and well trained, and the cosy, comfortable decor a real treat.

Of course, the food was the most important part. There wasn't a note wrong. From the homemade sourdough, to the mushroom macarons, to the perfectly medium rare wood pigeon, to melt-in-your mouth plaice, it was a symphony of local, seasonal flavours that made our special occasion a true delight.

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5.0Dined on 19 March 2017

The meal, service and atmosphere was beyond wonderful. The food is spectacular.

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3.0Dined on 19 March 2017

Second time to this quirky and charming restaurant. Sadly, our main course was undercooked (the fish was translucent in the middle); this was remedied, but with no apology and quite a wait as a whole new set of mains had to be cooked. Nothing was taken off the bill for this, so we didn't leave a tip. It's a good restaurant and coming from London I found it reasonably priced, but they need to work a little on the customer service and not give the impression that if they make a mistake it's the customer's taste that's at faults rather than their cooking.

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5.0Dined on 18 March 2017

Fabulous meal with welcoming ambiance - I wholeheartedly recommend the Gardner's Cottage.

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5.0Dined on 15 March 2017

A terrific experience. Friendly knowledgeable and informative staff. Great drinks pairings. Passionate food and service staff.

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4.0Dined on 15 March 2017

Quirky setting with communal dining tables. Visited for lunch. Food was delicious and enjoyed the setting. Catch up girls lunch so lovely relaxed environment.

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4.0Dined on 13 March 2017

I found the venue really charming with a warm welcome and friendly, efficient service. The menu is curiously uninviting and the winelist seemingly expensive, but if you just suspend any preconceived ideas you discover that the food and combinations are both delicious, and beautifully presented by someone who knows their stuff - and the wine compliments it perfectly. For the quality and limited covers, the prices are spot on. As it was not busy, the chef was kind enough to answer a couple of questions and one of the owners chatted a while. So why not full marks all round? I desperately wanted to tidy the non-seating areas, especially the poor gardener's veg garden, and the frequent to-ing and fro-ing of non-waiting staff and kitchen noise were obtrusive in such a small venue. A wee bit more attention to the whole experience would make an extremely good restaurant exceptional.

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5.0Dined on 12 March 2017

I love everything about this place - my eighth visit and I do not go to Edinburgh without looking in.

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3.0Dined on 10 March 2017

The £50 set menu offered 7 plates of interesting tastes. If you have a big appetite 7 tiny dishes don't cut it.

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5.0Dined on 10 March 2017

First visit after trying many times. Food excellent and staff friendly. On communal tables which gives opportunity to be friendly with strangers or keep yourself to yourself.

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5.0Dined on 8 March 2017

We had the seven course tasting menu: My husband had the standard version and I had the vegetarian option. We both really enjoyed the two and a half hour tasting experience, including some dishes and combinations we didn't know existed. All the food was prepared beautifully and served thoughtfully. We will return!

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5.0Dined on 5 March 2017

Had a lovely meal with wine flight great food taster menus make you eat untried food this was exerlent. Service was by knowledgeable staff. Very sociable with communal long table's. We had a very enjoyable evening. Good food and wine and lovely conversation it's a bit different but a great food experience well worth a try

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5.0Dined on 5 March 2017

A fantastic and unique experience in the Gardener's Cottage. Brilliant food and an unusual setting with great service made for a lovely birthday meal!

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5.0Dined on 1 March 2017

Great food in a relaxed environment. Tasting menu with an amazing set of matching wines will excite your tastebuds!

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3.0Dined on 27 February 2017

Food was okay . The meal was disrupted by the smoke detectors going off which "happens all the time" no apology was given and really took away from the otherwise great ambiance.

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3.0Dined on 26 February 2017

We went for an early Sunday lunch. It was quiet and people were eating a mix of brunch and lunch. Food was good but nothing special. It was great seeing the chef at work. I don't think we saw it at its best and it didn't live up to its reviews. I would try it again at a busier time.

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4.0Dined on 25 February 2017

Great little restaurant, the set menu changes every day and you need to be ready to try anything. The communal/bench style dining isn't for everyone but we loved it! The atmosphere is good with real vynl classics in the background. Met some new people and certainly very different, would highly recommend it!

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4.0Dined on 18 February 2017

The food was nice but the seats are too close together. Also the cooking smells lingered on our clothes.

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5.0Dined on 17 February 2017

Great atmosphere, superb service and delicious food with a very good wine pairing. The staff was knowledgeable friendly and attentive! Great place to go for an evening out!

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5.0Dined on 16 February 2017

Brilliant food, great atmosphere and lovely staff. If you like innovative, superbly cooked seasonal food and are happy to eat what you're given (no choice menus) then this is the place for you.

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