This restaurant serves modern Scottish cuisine at its finest. The spooky gothic-looking decor in the evocative medieval building makes for a ... More
This restaurant serves modern Scottish cuisine at its finest. The spooky gothic-looking decor in the evocative medieval building makes for a theatrical occasion. This is an Edinburgh institution set in one of the best locations in town, a short distance from the looming Edinburgh Castle. Summer allows for idyllic al fresco dining in the downstairs Secret Garden. The food has won many coveted awards and deservingly so. To enjoy the Witchery experience for a knock-down price, ask for the light lunch or theatre supper menu.
I never go to the witchery on my own but I am invited about once a year. I went just last month and the service was appauling! The waiters seem like someone that would be working at an american chain, the sort that come to your table and say "hello, my name is stephanie and I will be your server tonight". I had not noticed this in the past, must be cutting costs during the hard times. I was sitting close to the loo which is RIGHT in the dining area with the word "TOILETS" written on the door in plain sight of all the diners. Very classy. But apparently I was in very close to the stairs and in the way of the waiters who CONSTANTLY bumped into my chair and kept apologizing all night. Very unprofessional. When the waiter asked me how my dish was the only thing that come to mind was that the side dish, the veggies, were very nice with a nice butter and some seasoning and they were not over cooked which is typical of british veg. The waiter then asked how my fish was. I had not even thought about the fish when he first asked how my food was because it was so average and nothing special at all, my veg was more memorable. He seemed annoyed which just confirms my initial suspicion that the wait staff is very unprofessional and belong in TGI fridays more than a "fine dining" establishment. I saw that the witchery just won some award, cant remember the name, and its shocking! Yes, it is a beautiful place but what does that matter if the food is unmemorable and the wait staff just a joke? Says a lot about what people expect in this country when it comes to going out for a nice meal......
Its one restaurant where the ambience surpasses the overall dining experience.
It is indeed aptly named,"Witchery" since a few feet away is the location where medieval witches routinely met their demise.
A plaque near Castle Rock esplanade gives the morbid details.
Be sure to view the restaurant from the second fl. loft. Pricey!
Settle in here after the fantastic Ghost Tour. Be sure to be seated in the garden area below. The upper floor lacks the charm of the downstairs area. Couldn't be in a better location in the evening as you walk (down hill) to the cemetary or your hotel.
For a romantic dinner in Edinburgh, you cannot beat the Witchery. The food is wonderful, and the staff is very gracious. The food will speak for itself. The only down side may come when you see the bill (and if you're from the state's convert the exchange rate). Even so, the meal was worth every penny (pence). I am looking forward to the chance to return.
When in any city with ancient history, you must go to the historical spots themselves.
This intimate restaurant, tucked away in the cellar of an inconspicuous building, was actually where the "witches" used to congregate to plan against the Castle just up the hill from them. The city was at a time when they were burning those they thought were witches at the stake left and right. (The "burning stake area" is still there at the foot of the castle) So, knowing something had to be done to save lifes, mostly women and a few men (warlocks) met in this room to make plans and maybe even cast a spell or two! With pentagrams galore throughout this wonderful restaurant, the atmosphere is creepy as well as fun for the kids too! (That is if your children like gourmet food, and don't mind a life sized witch in full cloak and hat sitting at the end of the table watching you eat!) The food, the service, the atmosphere, this a MUST do restaurant to dine in late in the evening.
For an appetizer, try the Mussells in a thick cream sauce, fresh from the bay.
Everything on the menu went beyond my expectations for such a tiny, themed restaurant. Having a bloody history helped make my tour of the haunted side of Edinburgh all the more exciting... Hint: take an early Ghost Walking Tour through Old Towne, and end up at the restaurant afterwards. Make reservations, if possible!
Amazing setting & ambience, sadly let down bygrossly overpriced for mediocre food - lukewarm Red Mullet on Riz Noir on a cool dirty plate at �16.95, mean serving of 3 small slices of cheese & 4 Hovis digestives at �6.75 and the slowest service(?) imaginable in overcrowded surroundings - this place needs to sort itself out or lose its reputation. Our American guests were in awe of the lack of knowledge/English-as-first-language of the indifferent staff.
- Having our pre-meal drinks orders taken, then nothing arriving.
- The wrong type of water arriving.
- Taking ages to take both wine and food orders
- Having desserts order taken by waitress, then being told there wasn't enough time for us to eat them as the table had to be back by a certain time!
- Being told we had to go as they "didn't want to put 3 guests at a corner". (Despite there being plenty room for 3 guests at the corner tables).
- Finally being allowed to have coffess (which arrived cold).
- Leaving without seeing any of these guests who supposedly urgently needed our table, and at a time when we could have had our desserts.
The food was very good.
If this is a world-class establishment god help the world!
Perfect place to take someone for a special date. It's quite up-market so don't try sneaking in in jeans and trainers, but the food is gorgeous, and the surroundings, with a gothic taste and a love of candles, is very romantic. If you want something special, it's definitely a place to check out, but be sure to book in advance as it can be popular.
We were very disappointed with the service - we were basically forgotten by our waitress. Drinks were slow. I had to ask for the bread, after seeing 3 other couples that had arrived well after us, were served theirs. Some might say the monkfish main dish was subtle in flavour, I would say bland. The other thing that I hate in a restaurant is smoke. There was one man (sitting in the middle of the room) smoking his cigarettes almost constantly, spoiling the atmosphere for everyone else. I was expecting more from the experience and probably won't go back because we had a better time elsewhere in Edinburgh.
The Witchery is without a doubt the best place to eat when in Edinburgh, or all of Scotland for that matter. We suffered for nearly two weeks, enduring scrauny chicken breasts and fatty pieces of beef. Americans expect better quality and better taste. Finally we arrived in Edinburgh, and finally we were able to enjoy a meal. Lovely salads! The Tarragon Chicken was perfect in every way....and I have never been able to experience that same flavor since our visit. I going back to Scotland, because theres so much we didn't see the first time. I'm going back to Edinburgh mainly for The Witchery...
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