Recently I wanted to treat my best girls to a special night out, and of course being in Edinburgh I was really spoiled for choice on places to go – as I’m learning more and more, there are so many unique and quality establishments in the city centre! After much deliberation I decided on Twenty Princes Street. The food is great, the cocktails are first class and it boasts probably one of the best settings in the city.
To be honest, this is the first time I had been to Twenty Princes Street to eat, but I had been looking at it longingly every time I had caught glimpses of it from Juniper, its glamorous bar sibling which is right next door. The restaurant has recently been refurbished, and I really love the new decor, especially what they’ve done with the picture frames on the wall. With a high ceiling, it looks like a very mighty display (see above)!
To make the evening extra special, I asked the folks if I could nab a table by the window. There’s only two of them, and with the stunning view of the city skyline you can imagine that these bad boys get snapped up fast. Luckily, as it was a quiet weekday evening, on this occasion the folks were happy to oblige. I definitely wouldn’t have been as fortunate later into the evening or on a weekend!
To start off proceedings, we ordered a round of cocktails. Being next door to Juniper, Twenty Princes Street has the same mouthwatering cocktail offering and we took full advantage of that!
I asked for the ‘La Vie en Rose’ – which is a delightfully sweet berry gin cocktail, garnished with a strawberry and a cute little rose bud. It was a wonderfully girly drink, perfect for a girly get together.
After our opening round of cocktails, we dove straight in to the main course. After we ordered the meal took a little while to come to the table, especially considering how quiet the place was when we first arrived, but the food was so good it was certainly worth the wait.
To my delight, everyone ordered a different dish so I had lots of lovely food to take snaps of! My friends had the rabbit, Thai duck and blackened salmon dishes. They all went down extremely well, with every plate scraped clean apart from the Thai duck salad, which was a bit on the hot side. Something to be wary of if you don’t have a head for spice.
I probably went for one of the most boring dishes on the menu – chicken supreme. However, I totally stand by my decision as it was absolutely delicious. The chicken was cooked to perfection, tender and moist, and the accompaniment of the creamed potatoes and artichokes made for a really satisfying meal. Yes, it was probably a safe choice, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Finally, we were handed the dessert menu. I spotted the dish “Fire and Ice” baked alaska on the list and, knowing this place’s reputation for theatrics, I was instantly intrigued. I’m not even a huge fan of baked alaska, but I had to see what this entailed.
Well, I was not disappointed! The waiter brought out this bubbling glass cauldron of dry ice and a blowtorch. I could feel the entire restaurant turn to watch my table as he set fire to the top of the dessert, setting the meringue briefly alight while the glass bowl underneath gently smouldered. I’ve been presented with some pretty impressive desserts in the past, but that was probably the first time I’ve ever had to pick my jaw up off the floor afterwards!
I was worried that the “Fire and Ice” would be all show and no substance, but I am happy to report that, even to a baked alaska ambivalent like myself, it was a sweet and satisfying end to the meal. The meringue was creamy and rich, and there was a nice distribution of caramel and banana in the ice cream underneath.
If you want to go out to celebrate a special occasion, you should definitely consider Twenty Princes Street. The setting is incredible, the food is excellent and served with the flourish that I’ve come to expect from both establishments in the Royal British Hotel. I’ll definitely be back for that dessert alone!
You can find Twenty Princes Street at… you guessed it… 20 Princes Street. It’s located on the first floor of the Royal British Hotel so just keep an eye out for the sandwich board outside and head on up the stairs. It’s right opposite Waverley Station, so perfect for those just popping into Edinburgh for an evening.