Edinburgh venues round-up: August 2021
As the festival buzz descends upon Scotland's capital, we round up the best food spots, art galleries, and wine shops to have opened over the past few weeks
If every cloud has a silver lining, then so too should every glass be stained by the remnants of a fine wine. That’s the gospel according to the owners at Mistral Wines. After finding their job situation shaken by you-know-what, the plucky team took the plunge and set up shop on Bonnington Road, selling tempting tipples from Europe and beyond.
What really sets this plonk haven apart, however, is the lashings of love bandied towards smaller, independent suppliers, and their determination to shine a light on the grape-growing communities. Their website comes loaded with information and tasting notes, and their speedy doorstep drop-offs will have anyone within the Edinburgh bypass sorted within 24 hours. This summer will also see the kick-off of their weekend food menu, and we’ll be first in line to tuck into their vino-friendly platters when they come. 10-12 Bonnington Rd, EH6 5JD; mistral-leith.co.uk
There are few feelings greater than getting to be the bearer of good news, and pals – the scoop doesn’t come much finer than this. After a whopping £4.3m development and a two-year closure, the city’s much-loved Fruitmarket Gallery is back with a bang, and with a few wee changes in store too. For a start, they’ve rebranded to Fruitmarket. Punchy. Then there’s the wee fact that they’ve doubled in size, knocking through to what was once Electric Circus.
sThe result? A gorgeous marriage between the former airy exhibition space and the new industrial addition, where raw materials like original joists and floorboards are as much on display as the art on the walls. The information room, café and bookshop have all been expanded, and there’s a cracking new learning studio too. The creation of space has also left scope for future music and theatre events, so culture vultures, keep your eyes peeled and your talons sharp. 45 Market St, EH1 1DF; fruitmarket.co.uk
Champions of all-things-brunch, Greenwoods have been making a name for themselves on the cobbled banks of Amsterdam’s canals since the late 80s. Now they’re bringing their laidback take on morning-bleeding-into-afternoon dining to Frederick Street. Their new nook may be wee, but the flavours are anything but: the menu zips nicely between homemade Dutch classics (chutneys, sodabread, appeltaart? Ja, dankjewel!) and locally sourced Scottish produce.
Aching bellies might opt for the heartier full breakfasts, while those with less room to spare might sway towards eggs (Florentine, Benedict, Royale – whichever floats your boat), the aptly named banana bread tumble, or a homemade yoghurt bowl. There’s a nice range of lunch options, seasonal specials and sweet treats on hand too, all of which can be washed down in style with a fearless coffee, decadent Bellini or character-building Bloody Mary as you see fit. 61 Frederick St, EH2 1LH; greenwoods.eu
Thought you knew all there was to know about bao buns? Think again. Here to prove that hirata is anything but humble, we welcome Bundits. Leithers might remember them as the buzzing street food stall that kept locals fed during lockdown: so loved were their steamed creations that they’ve now set up a permanent home on Constitution Street, and if their loaded menu is anything to go by, we reckon they’re on to a winner.
These are buns of fun: breakfast options are smothered in bacon, mushrooms and hash browns. Lunch baos come topped with Korean fried chicken, roasted pork belly or heavenly salted tofu. There are deep-fried ice cream sandwiches, decked out with honeycomb, banana, matcha or mango. Pull up a pew under one of their cherry blossom trees, grab yourself an ice cold beer, and let yourself float down a happy river of Asian flavour. Take a bao. You’ve earned it. 48-52 Constitution St, EH6 6RS; bunditsofleith.co.uk
Fun times, cheeky puns and punchy cocktails are all par for the course at Fore Play Crazy Golf. Once a pop-up event, and now fast-becoming one of the capital’s go-to spots for an alternative way to spend the evening (or dare we suggest, afternoon?), Picardy Place is proving to be the perfect home for this boozer with a twist. The twist, of course, comes in the shape of a nine-hole golf course, inspired by the city.
Be sure to give Greyfriars Bobby an obligatory nose-rub before navigating your way around the Scott Monument and back to the cocktail garden, where crisp pints from the Edinburgh Beer Factory and Pickerings Gin cocktails await. If all that putting has worked up an appetite, tuck into some scran, provided by stalwarts of the street food scene, The Pitt. Stuck for date night or overdue catch-up locations? Look no further. 14 Picardy Pl, EH1 3JT; foreplaycrazygolf.co.uk