Nestled in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, The Witchery by the Castle has long been enchanting diners with its sumptuous cuisine and unique atmosphere. Known for its rich history and opulent décor, The Witchery Edinburgh is more than just a restaurant; it’s an experience. This post delves into the allure of The Witchery, exploring its menu, the charming Secret Garden, and other offerings such as its afternoon tea and festive celebrations.

1. The Menu: A Blend of Tradition and Innovation

The Witchery’s menu is a testament to Scottish culinary excellence, featuring locally-sourced ingredients and a fusion of traditional and contemporary recipes. Diners can indulge in a variety of dishes, from succulent seafood to prime cuts of meat, all prepared with a level of craftsmanship that has become synonymous with The Witchery Edinburgh.

2. The Restaurant: An Ambiance of Old-World Charm

The Witchery’s dining room is a blend of Gothic elegance and Scottish baronial grandeur. With its oak panelling, historic tapestries, and opulent furnishings, dining here feels like stepping into another era, one filled with romance and mystery.

3. The Secret Garden: An Enchanted Dining Space

Hidden away is The Witchery’s Secret Garden, an idyllic dining space that offers a tranquil escape from the bustling streets of Edinburgh. With its lush greenery and serene ambiance, the Secret Garden is perfect for those seeking a more intimate dining experience.

4. Afternoon Tea: A Decadent Tradition

While The Witchery Edinburgh is famed for its dinners, its afternoon tea service is not to be missed. Offering a selection of fine teas, exquisite sandwiches, and delectable pastries, it’s the ideal way to spend a leisurely afternoon soaking in the historic atmosphere.

Steeped in history and brimming with character, The Witchery by the Castle is not just a culinary institution in Edinburgh; it’s a landmark rich in stories and quirks. Nestled in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, this celebrated dining spot is as famous for its intriguing past as it is for its luxurious dining experience. Let’s delve into the historical details and quirks that make The Witchery a truly unique destination.

  • 1. The Witchery’s Historical Roots: The Witchery, situated in a collection of historic buildings at the top of the Royal Mile, dates back to the 16th century. The area, known as Boswell’s Court, named after the writer James Boswell, has seen centuries of history unfold. The building itself is an excellent example of Edinburgh’s historic architecture, with its oak panelling and stone walls whispering tales of the past.
  • 2. Named for its Witch Trials Association: The Witchery Edinburgh gets its evocative name from the infamous witch trials that took place in Edinburgh in the 16th and 17th centuries. The area around the Royal Mile, where the restaurant is located, was a significant site for these trials, and it’s said that many of the accused witches were burned at the stake near where The Witchery now stands. This dark yet fascinating aspect of history contributes to the restaurant’s alluring ambiance.
  • 3. The Restaurant’s Transformation: Founded in 1979 by James Thomson, The Witchery was transformed from a near-derelict building into the sumptuous restaurant it is today. Thomson’s vision was to create a dining experience that celebrated Scotland’s rich history and produce. The restaurant’s décor, with its antiques and historical artefacts, pays homage to its past while offering modern luxury.
  • 4. Ghostly Legends: Given its historical location, it’s no surprise that The Witchery is shrouded in ghostly legends. Staff and guests have often spoken of eerie occurrences and unexplained happenings, adding a touch of the supernatural to the dining experience.
  • 5. Celebrity Patrons: Over the years, The Witchery has attracted a host of celebrity patrons, drawn by its unique combination of history, fine dining, and a touch of theatre. From actors and musicians to politicians, the restaurant’s guest book reads like a who’s who of the global elite.
  • 6. The Secret Garden: An Enchanting Hideaway: A relatively more recent addition is The Secret Garden. Tucked away, this hidden dining space was opened in 1999 and offers an alternative to the original Witchery’s baroque richness. With its glass roof and walls, it’s a charming blend of indoor and outdoor dining, surrounded by historic buildings.
  • 7. The Witchery’s Suites: Above the restaurant lie The Witchery Edinburgh’s nine luxurious suites. Each room is individually decorated, steeped in opulence and historical charm, offering guests a chance to immerse themselves in the old-world atmosphere of Edinburgh.

5. Contact and Reservations

To experience The Witchery’s magic, it’s recommended to book in advance. Reservations can be made by calling +44 131 225 5613. This is especially advisable during peak seasons and holidays.

6. Christmas at The Witchery Edinburgh

Christmas at The Witchery is a festive spectacle. The restaurant typically offers a special menu featuring seasonal delicacies and traditional favourites, all set against the backdrop of its beautifully decorated interiors.

7. Prices: Reflecting the Quality and Ambiance

Dining at The Witchery is a premium experience, and the prices reflect the high quality of food, service, and atmosphere. While it’s on the higher end of the price spectrum, the experience offers value for money that’s hard to find elsewhere. A Two-Course Lunch is £29.50 per person. You can see other prices over here.

8. Lunch Menu: A Midday Feast

The lunch menu at The Witchery Edinburgh offers a lighter yet equally exquisite selection of dishes. From fresh salads to gourmet sandwiches, it caters to various tastes, making it a popular choice for both casual and business lunches.

9. Drinks Menu: From Fine Wines to Whisky

The Witchery boasts an extensive drinks menu, featuring an impressive collection of fine wines, Scottish whiskies, and classic cocktails. The knowledgeable staff are always on hand to recommend the perfect pairing for your meal.

The Witchery by the Castle is more than just a dining destination; it’s a cornerstone of Edinburgh’s culinary and cultural scene. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner, an elegant afternoon tea, or a festive celebration, The Witchery promises an unforgettable experience. With its breathtaking décor, exquisite menu, and impeccable service, it stands out as a must-visit for locals and travellers alike. A meal at The Witchery Edinburgh isn’t just about food; it’s about creating memories that will linger long after you’ve left its enchanting halls.

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