Before I even booked my hotel in Edinburgh for a long weekend away, I was recommended to dine at the Witchery by the Castle. Being an avid lover of the supernatural and all things mysterious it definitely had some intrigue attached to it which peaked my interest. It is a famous dwelling of locals, tourists and even celebrities who see this as their regular haunt whilst in the Scottish capital. Plus, when I had a wee peak online and saw pictures of the beautifully gothic decor and tableware, you didn’t need to tell me twice! I immediately booked a table online and checked myself in to the Secret Garden for a luxurious dining experience. It was certainly a restaurant I will never forget in a hurry.
Although the restaurant was established around 40 years ago, the old building of Boswell’s Court that the Witchery lies in is steeped in history. Placed on Castle hill, right next door to Edinburgh castle, the building takes it’s name from the hundreds of women accused as witches and burned at the stake on the order of James VI. He is said to have executed more than any other monarch.
The Witchery is also a designer hotel and if you were looking to extend your stay you can choose from 8 sumptuous designer suites which are UH-mazing. Each room has a four poster bed, velvet sheets and is effortlessly gorgeous with a lot of gothic character. These could set you back a good £300-400 per night but just looking at the rooms they seem to be worth every penny. It is said to be haunted by the women who were unjustly murdered here (but more haunted nowadays by celebrities) – so enter at your own risk!
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden restaurant, which was built on an abandoned school yard, can be accessed by staircase from the reception. As you descend you will see a beautiful array of tables all decorated in the same gothic style. Candle holders with crows feet, bouquets of blood red roses and napkins tied with a crimson ribbon await you with a full table service. Your waiter will show you to your table and place the napkin on your lap – a sign of a good restaurant in my opinion and the fact there were Champagne buckets by every table!
Before you book in at the Witchery make sure you check out their menu prices as it’s not a place to eat if you’re on a tight budget! Their mouth watering Beef Wellington will set you back £60 but does serve two. The average price of a meal is above £20 and if you fancy the Lobster or steak you’re looking at around £40 per head.
If you’d like to experience the Witchery but cannot afford the a la carte price tag, they do have some deals which you can take them up on. The Lunch menu is £19.95 for two courses off a set menu and they also have an off-peak ‘Pre-Theatre’ and ‘Post-Theatre’ supper (no show unfortunately) which is also £19.95. The pre-theatre is served between 5-6.30pm and the post-theatre is from 10-11.30pm if you fancy a late bite!
As we booked in for lunchtime we decided to order off of their set menu. They had a great range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes and it all sounded so scrummy! Make sure you check their menus online before you arrive to ensure you know the offerings of the season.
To start I chose a Iberico Charcuterie, part of the August menu, which was absolutely delicious. It was beautifully constructed on a black plate, which really brought out the colours of the food!
The Main Course
For the main course, I decided to choose something which I haven’t sampled before; Wagyu Beef. It was served up on the Witchery’s own crockery as a patty with an onion cooked in the skin, tomato and straw fries. The presentation was again fantastic and the little copper pot the fries were served in was to die for! It was just so gorgeous, I didn’t want to ruin the plate by eating it. But, eventually I caved and the taste was on another level! I would highly recommend this dish if you’re ordering off their set menu. It was the poshest burger and fries I have had to date.
The decor, location and food was utter perfection in this pretty little restaurant by the castle. It does get packed out pretty quickly so if you are gunning for a table, make sure you book well in advance (especially for August during the festivals, Halloween and Christmas). You will be well taken care of here by the staff and you know the food will be good before you have even reached your table! If you dine in the evening, you will be eating by candle light which will make the whole experience even more magical and spooky! Make sure you put the Witchery by the Castle on your culinary bucket list!
Do you fancy a meal in the Witchery by the castle? Do you think it’s Haunted? Comment below!