The Lookout by Gardener's Cottage
The team behind the Gardener’s Cottage team up with Collective to launch a contemporary, stunning new dining space on Calton Hill.
Between the sweeping views rendered by floor to ceiling glass windows, course after course of beautifully curated dishes and the theatre of an open kitchen with wafting smoky aromas, The Lookout is nothing short of a feast for the senses. The views are stunning: a myriad of slate rooftops, awe-inspiring Georgian architecture, all leading onto the Firth of Forth – in fact, it’s soon clear that this newcomer perched atop Calton Hill bags the best views in Edinburgh. The formula for Scottish sourcing paired with a minimalist luxe look that Dale Mailley and Edward Murray’s perfected in their first venture, The Gardener’s Cottage, are replicated (though communal dining is left to the Cottage). To begin, thick slabs of malted sourdough from their Quay Commons bakery are spread with an aerated seaweed butter. But, as you’d expect from the duo’s pedigree, the delivery of the next course is far from the menu’s basic ingredient list. Hare, yakitori, plum and spring onion is a skewer of plump and tender beetroot red hare, garnished with flecks of burnt leek powder. It’s glazed with a fermented birch sap and yakitori syrup then rested on dollops of an astringent subtly plum sauce. Foods aren’t always presented in their most obvious form: chanterelles are blended through the barley on a venison main which is dominated by pickled carrot, while cockles in the sustainably farmed halibut – a true bowl of the sea – are camouflaged into the emulsion. Unsurprisingly, the the recommended wines all work perfectly. In summer they’re promising barbecued, alfresco dining. But in winter, a fine balance is required when donning smart-casual and navigating the muddy path. Best take the stairs from Waterloo place or better still get a taxi to drop you at the top (essential for customers with any mobility restrictions).
- Provides: Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Capacity: 38
- Largest group: 10
- Open since: 2018
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 13
- House wine: £29 per bottle