I really admire people who have a vision and set out to create it. Susan and Hamish moved into No.11 Brunswick Street three years ago and set about painstakingly restoring the Georgian features. The hotel houses ten rooms and the whole renovation took five months using some of the artisan craftspeople around Edinburgh. The dining room reflects their efforts; the dark word, cornices and ‘proper’ chairs (with arms) make for the kind of place where you could relax for several hours. And that’s exactly what we did, the staff made us feel so welcome it was an effort to drag ourselves back to work.
Having made the effort to get into town, and having plenty of gossip to catch up on, we decided to have the full three courses.
I started with the Slow Roast Beef Rib Bon Bons with Sweet Chilli Dip. I think I must be a little bit addicted to these at the moment as I chose a very similar starter at The Bridge Inn recently.
My friend chose the Chicken Liver and Pancetta Parfait with Oatcakes. The portion was generous, the highlight being the sweet pickled vegetables served with the paté.
Both starters were nice enough, but it was with the mains where the food really started to get good. The menu will appeal to those who like their dinner served their way. Simply choose from one of the steaks, seafood or other meats, and add a sauce and a few of their delicious sides. There’s also a daily game bird of the day.
In preparation for our visit I had already perused the menu and created my dish of Lamb Chop, Garlic Buttered Greens and Mascarpone and Parmesan Mash in my mind (and yes, I may well have dreamt of how it would taste!) However, I was swayed by the game bird of the day. My friend, obviously being the trusting type, decided to have my expertly (ahem) designed dish herself. She paired it with a lemon and butter sauce, personally I’d have gone for the red wine jus but then I would have had to demand a taste, so probably for the best!
Oh, and we were also upsold to an extra side by our lovely waitress. My friend chose the chips and I’m so glad she did, some of the best I’ve had in Edinburgh. I did the right thing and shared fairly, but I may have to go back on my own for a big bowl that I can have all to myself!
I had the game bird of the day which was a Whole Roast Pigeon with Garlic Pakora, Butternut Squash and Jus. It was very tasty and I liked the way the bird had been spiced, it was definitely something a bit different.
The Cranachan (pictured at the top) was a tangle of strawberries, cream and oatmeal served with a chocolate spoon. So often just for decoration and not really that tasty, the chocolate spoon was more ganache like in texture and actually really added to the dish.
The Creme Brûlée was definitely one of the better versions I’ve tasted. The top was thin and caramelised to a crisp . The cream was the perfect consistency for me, I don’t like it when it’s too hard set.
It was hard to get moving after a lovely lunch and we could have sat for longer, but work finally called us away. Thanks to No 11 Brunswick Street for inviting us.
No.11 Brunswick Street
Location: Brunswick Street
Good for: A night away, and amazing chips!
Price: Starters £7, Mains £28