Girl Versus Food

Reviews, recipes and thoughts from a Scottish food blogger

Tag: fine dining

Review: Paul Tamburrini Edinburgh

I was recently lucky enough to be invited to enjoy a tasting menu at Paul Tamburrini’s restaurant in The Macdonald Holyrood Hotel. What a way to spend a Monday evening! The restaurant, located close to the Scottish Parliament, opened around 18 months ago.

Paul Tamburrini trained with Marco Pierre White at the renowned L’Escargot in London and has since had stints at some of the Scotland’s best restaurants such as Martin Wishart, Rogano and Hotel du Vin.

I tried out a six-course surprise tasting menu with paired wine. The amuse bouche was a crab and lemongrass chowder but the texture was surprisingly more like a foam than what I would expect as a chowder. The lemongrass managed not to overpower the delicate crab. A great start to the meal!


Next up was the rich and buttery foie gras. It came with a white wine jelly and aubergine miso puree. The acidity of the paired Gewurztraminer wine cut through the richness of the dish. image2

The following dish was probably my favourite; Orkney sea scallop with caramelised cauliflower, cauliflower puree and curry oil. The scallop was sweet and cooked perfectly and the dish was paired with an Austrian white which complimented it well. image3

The duck was the main course, served with braised chicory, brambles and celeriac puree. I really enjoyed the flavours in this dish but it did strike me as more of an autumnal dish than one I would expect to be served in Spring. It was served with a lovely, fruity Pinot Noir.

Dessert was crispy choux bun, served with a caramel sauce and chocolate ice cream. The sweet decadence was just what I was looking for from the dessert.


To finish the meal I was served Tete de Moine; a cheese from the Swiss mountains, which is served in thin shavings. Apparently this is to help the flavour and odour develop as more oxygen reaches the surface. The cheese was served with quince and some lovely walnut bread. It was paired with sherry; whilst I do like sherry, the amontillado didn’t quite worked for me and I swapped it for a port which was more to my taste. image2

The main hostess who served us was fantastic; great service and got the timings just right. The other staff were young and a little less experienced but definitely keen to please. The restaurant is stylish and modern and the experience overall was excellent.

7 Unmissable Food & Drink finds in Angus

Angus is a wonderful region full of treats for the food and drink lover. Here are a few of my top recommendations.

1.One of the most famous foods from Angus has to be the Arbroath Smokie. The Smokie has Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. In a similar way to Champagne or Parma Ham, this means that the smokie has to be processed within five miles of Arbroath. The haddock is washed, salted and then wood-smoked in a traditional process that dates back to the 1800’s. My personal favourite is having smokies served simply with butter for breakfast but have a look over on for some brilliant recipe ideas.


2. Who knew that Kirriemuir would be home to an artisan chocolate maker? Johanna Woodhead and her husband have run the gorgeous 88 Degrees café for more than 13 years and I hear that the communal bench seating has led to more than one marriage proposal! As well as being a bit of a Cilla Black, Johanna creates THE most amazing handmade chocolates. She was kind enough to let me sample the Adult Snickers (yep, as good as it sounds!) and even let me have a go at making my own truffles. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be able to give up my day job quite yet!


3. Angus loves a food and drink event. I attended Taste Angus at Glamis Castle and it was a brilliant day out with artisan food suppliers, celebrity chef demos and live music. Look out for its return next year. Later in 2017 there’s also Brechin Beer & Gin Festival  in September and Angus Brewfest in October to look forward to. Also the Farmers Market Montrose is held on the first Saturday of every month and the Farmers Market Forfar is held on the second Saturday of the month. Lots of great opportunities to try and buy local produce!


4. I couldn’t talk about Angus food and drink without mentioning the famous Forfar Bridie! Whilst there are conflicting stories about the origin of the bridie, there’s no denying just how tasty they are! The delicious shortcrust pastry, the hot beef filing…. nothing quite compares! The first time I visited Forfar for work, when 12 o’clock came, I was asked the most serious question of the day “Are you going to McLaren’s or Saddler’s for your bridie?“.  One not to miss out on when you visit the town!

5. For whisky lovers, this 360 degree bar in Edzell has to be a little piece of heaven. Situated in the Glenesk Hotel, the bar is home to over 1,000 varieties with the most expensive dram setting you back a cool £195. For those less partial to Scotch, the bar also has a great vodka corner and an excellent gin selection. The lounge is the perfect place to unwind with a drink after dinner in the stunning Fairways Restaurant.



6. Angus is home to not one, but two of my favourite gin producers! Both Arbikie and The Gin Bothy are based in the county. Arbikie has two gin varieties – Kirsty’s Gin and AK’s Gin. Both distinctly different but equally delicious.

The Gin Bothy currently have four full strength gins as well as a number of fruit infused gins which are liqueur strength. The Gin Bothy is the brainchild of Kim who gave me a sneaky peak of the brand new tasting rooms where you can enjoy a guided group sampling session. She also let me try out the full range; tough job I know! What stood out for me was how ‘real’ the fruit gins tasted. There’s no synthetic flavours added so the Raspberry Gin, my favourite, tastes like real Scottish raspberries. I also fell in love with Gunshot Gin which has won a triple star in the Great Taste Awards


7. If, like me, you are a fan of fine dining, then Angus and the surrounding areas have a number of restaurants sure to tickle your fancy! The Tayberry in Broughty Ferry was created by award winning chef Adam Newth in 2015. Adam, from Abroath, is also Head Chef at the stunning Kinnetles Castle near Forfar and has recently opened a second Tayberry in St Andrews. My experience at The Tayberry was outstanding – you can read the full review here.

Or how about a visit to one of Chef Graham Campbell’s restaurants? The youngest person in Scotland to have received a Michelin star; he is Head Chef at both Castlehill restaurant in Dundee and the Glenesk Hotel in Edzell. I watched Graham demonstrate some of his favourite dishes recently and I loved his passion for using locally sourced produce and letting the ingredients do the talking.


Scallops with Corn

Scallops with Corn

Review: Kinnettles Hotel, The Tayberry Restaurant and Eden Spa

St Andrews is known for being the home of golf and the famous university. It’s also home to a stunning new boutique hotel, restaurant and spa which I have been lucky enough to be invited to check out.

Kinnettles Hotel on North Street opened this summer and has nine beautiful suites. I stayed in Kingsbarns which is a Deluxe Suite on the first floor and it definitely has the ‘wow factor’. Entering the room, the first thing that caught my eye was the separate lounge area which had two huge comfortable chairs, a table and a flat screen TV. The colour pallet of classy greys and neutrals continued through to the spacious bedroom area. There was so much attention to detail throughout the room; from the coffee machine to the fluffy robes to the ESPA toiletries, every little detail had been considered.IMG_6980IMG_6974

So after getting ready in our gorgeous room, it was time for dinner. The Tayberry is sister restaurant to the original of the same name located in Broughty Ferry. Award winning chef Adam Newth is the man behind both restaurants and I was super excited to sample the food here.

My friend is coeliac and I had forgotten to mention to the restaurant in advance that she would need a gluten free menu. So I was a bit nervous when the waitress asked about dietary requirements or allergies but they honestly couldn’t have been more accommodating! She was delighted at how easy they made her dining out experience.

There were lots of delicious sounding options on the menu but we decided to put ourselves in the hands of the kitchen and try the five-course surprise tasting menu with matched wines. My friend was able to have a gluten free version which only had slight changes to accommodate her needs.

Amuse Bouche – Pressed Ham Hock, fois gras butter, pickled walnut, apple pureeIMG_7029

First Course – Scallops, pigs head fritter, soused radishes, herb emulsionIMG_7031

Second Course – Confit Duck Leg Terrine, pickled mushrooms, orange curd, ginger, fois gras briocheIMG_7045

Fish Course – Pan Roast Monkfish, chorizo & borlotti cassoulet, garlic butterIMG_7048

Main Course – Braised Ox Cheek, creamed potato, burnt leek, pearl onionsIMG_7057

Dessert – Pittormie Strawberries, white chocolate, elderflower sorbet, baby basilIMG_7061

As you can see, the presentation throughout was perfection! The quality of the ingredients and the flavours really came through. From the juicy scallops to the melt in the mouth ox cheek, each dish was a taste sensation. If I really had to pick, then I’d say the monkfish and chorizo dish was my favourite; the fish was cooked perfectly and worked really well with the cassoulet. The matched wines were very good; we enjoyed a selection of red, white and fizz selected to compliment each dish.

After dinner we moved through to the beautiful bar area and checked out the cocktail menu which I’m pleased to say has a good number of gin cocktails! A nightcap in the bar was the perfect end to the evening before retiring to the suite to find there had been a turn-down service with slippers placed by the bed and bottles of water on the bedside tables. Nice touch!IMG_7079

Breakfast in the restaurant was another treat to look forward to and staff didn’t need to be reminded of my friend’s coeliac; they already had the gluten free bread on hand. From the cooked selection, I opted for eggs benedict which was just the way I like with runny yokes and thick, good quality ham.IMG_7086

Eden Spa within the hotel is definitely worth checking out. The spa is not huge but is perfectly formed with a sauna, steam-room and Jacuzzi which have been finished to a really high standard. There are a great range of ESPA treatments available so my friend and I decided to treat ourselves. Our lovely therapists, Carly and Ruby, first gave us a Jessica Geleration manicure (the most difficult part was choosing from all the pretty colours) and then an ESPA back, neck and shoulder massage. As the treatment rooms are spacious, we were able to have our treatments together. This is ideal for friends/couples etc. The massages were soooo relaxing, we almost felt like we could float out of the spa – what a great end to our visit!IMG_7093

Apart from the sheer luxury of it all, what really stood out for me was how lovely the staff were at Kinnettles. From Grant, the General Manager, to the restaurant staff, to the therapists in the spa; everyone was so welcoming and enthusiastic about the new venue. It really made for the perfect getaway and one night here felt like a proper holiday!

*I was a guest of Kinnettles and The Tayberry and received a complimentary stay.

December in Pictures

A summary of a fabulous month in pictures!


December started off with making some home made Christmas gifts like this Prosecco Pineapple

December started off with making some home made Christmas gifts like this Prosecco Pineapple

Once the tree was up, it was time for a festive toast!

Once the tree was up, it was time for a festive toast!

A Christmas night out at Copper Blossom, Edinburgh

A Christmas night out at Copper Blossom, Edinburgh

Then it was time for five days in Las Vegas!

Stopped by Carlos Bakery for some canollis!

Stopped by Carlo’s Bakery for some cannolis!

Enjoyed the wonderful tasting menu at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

Enjoyed the wonderful tasting menu at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

Breakfast with a view at Mon Ami Gabi

Breakfast with a view at Mon Ami Gabi

White chocolate, caramel and macadamia nut cheesecake was an absolute treat!

This white chocolate, caramel and macadamia nut cheesecake was an absolute treat!

The steaks at The Capital Grille were HUGE!

The steaks at The Capital Grille were HUGE!

Sterling Brunch at Bally's with bottomless champagne and seafood = heaven!

Sterling Brunch at Bally’s with bottomless champagne and seafood = heaven!

Beautiful cocktails at the Chandelier Bar in Cosmopolitan

Beautiful cocktails at the Chandelier Bar in Cosmopolitan

My Top 5 Restaurants of 2015

As we kick off 2016, I wanted to reflect back on my favourite dining experiences of last year! So in no particular order, here’s my Top 5 of 2015:

  1. Moonfish Café, Aberdeen. Moonfish specialises in seafood and gin – two of my most favourite things! Head Chef of the restaurant is former ‘MasterChef The Professionals’ finalist Brian Mcleish who has a distinctive creative flair and a passion for fresh, local ingredients. A three course dinner at the restaurant is great value at £36.95 and as the menu is changed regularly there’s always something new and exciting to try. I was blown away by the flavour combinations and the stunning presentation. I particularly enjoyed the halibut with swede puree, fava beans and truffle. Oh and the Chocolate Pave with malted nuts and white chocolate fudge….. if it’s on the menu you MUST order it! Yum! As well as Moonfish, Head Chef Brian has an exciting new venture this year; check out his Pop Up Restaurant here.Lamb course
  2. Porter & Rye, Glasgow. If you love a good steak, Porter & Rye, in the Finnieston area of Glasgow, is for you. The restaurant specialises in fine aged meats which are sourced from Gaindykehead Farm in Airdrie before being dry-aged on the premises for up to 28 days. During my visit, I shared a huge Porterhouse steak which was cooked to perfection and was literally melt in the mouth. The sides; I tried the bone marrow mac ‘n’ cheese and truffle salt fries, were equally delicious. The place had a buzzing atmosphere and staff were friendly and attentive. There’s a lot of competition in the Glasgow steak market but having tried many of the rest, I’d still recommend this as the best.image4
  3. The Kitchin, Edinburgh. A visit to a Michelin star restaurant is always an experience and this was exceptional. Tom Kitchin’s ‘From Nature to Plate’ ethos comes through loud and clear with a massive emphasis on Scottish seasonal produce. I had the ‘Celebration of the Season Surprise Tasting Menu’ paired with matched wines. I loved finding a scroll of a map of Scotland at my place setting showing where the ingredients for my forthcoming meal had been sourced. Highlights included the scallops in escargot butter with squid. The game platter, which included a venison tartar, was delicious. Our waitress was excellent and the sommelier made some fantastic choices for us. This is not only one of my best meals of 2015 but probably the best dining experience I’ve ever had! Time to get saving for a return visit…venison tartar
  4. Monachyle Mhor, Balquhidder. Monachyle Mhor is a 14 bedroom boutique hotel set in a 2,000 acre estate on the shores of Loch Voil. It’s restaurant headed up by chef Maria Paszkowska and offers dinner at a set price of £55 per person for three courses. It was at Monachyle Mhor that I tried my first ever oyster, which was in a shallot and 10 year old Glengoyne whisky dressing; delicious! I chose West Coast crab with black pudding for my starter and lamb for my main. The food was full of flavour and the breath-taking views really added to the ambience of the meal. What a great experience!
  5. image7Chapter One, Dublin. During a summertime visit to Dublin, I took the opportunity to visit Chapter One, one of several Michelin star restaurants in the city. It was truly a warm Irish welcome from co-owner and maître d’, Martin Corbett who made us feel instantly at home. To start, I enjoyed Parmesan ravioli with asparagus and a lemon emulsion which tasted like summer on a plate. Next I went for the short rib of beef which was slow-cooked to perfection and came with a side of the best cheesy gnocchi I’ve ever tasted. The pre-theatre menu was brilliant value at £27 (€37.50) for three courses. Chapter One is a must visit in Dublin.image2

So that’s a roundup of some of my best experiences of 2015. Have you visited any of the above? Which other restaurants would have made your list of favourites for last year?

4 Places to Eat in Barcelona

My recent visit to Barcelona was full of foodie delights that I want to share with you. I’ve picked out four to give you a flavour of my trip….


It wouldn’t be a trip to Barcelona without some fantastic tapas and the one I would recommend is Elisabet’s; a relaxed tapas place in El Raval area of the city which is popular with locals. The restaurant opened in 1962 and has walls adorned with old radios and black and white photographs. One of their specialities is patatas bravas topped with bolognese. The little green padron peppers covered in salt are so moreish that we had to order a second serving. This place is very affordable; we had plenty to eat and drink and the bill was around €15 each.


Bacoa Burger

There are a couple of Bacoa Burger restaurants in Barcelona. I went to the one near the Universitat but also noticed one at the beach near W Hotel. This is casual dining where you place your order at the counter and your burger is cooked to order. I opted for La Bacoa which is topped with smoked bacon and Manchego cheese. The burger was very good quality and tasted great. Highly recommended and open until 1am so great for some late night food!

Petit Pau

Alongside the tapas and street food, Barcelona has a thriving fine dining scene. I wanted to have one really special meal during my four day break and after some online research I came across Petit Pau. The restaurant is located in the rustic Sants area of the city and seats just 16 people.

Proprietor, Pau, welcomed us with a glass of cava and talked us through the mouth-watering menu which was written in Catalan. The menu is small but perfectly formed with six starters and six mains to choose from. The decision was quite painful as every dish sounded delicious!

Some of the highlights of our meal were octopus salad, fois gra with apple puree and sea bass in a muscle broth. Each dish was cooked to perfection and the flavour combinations were just amazing. Pau carefully chooses local Catalonian wines to go with the regularly changing menu and as a result, there is one variety of red and one variety of white wine available (priced at only €12 a bottle).

This was a fantastic dining experience from start to finish and I cannot recommend it highly enough! Pau was knowledgeable and so welcoming. The three course meal and wine came in at less than €50 per person.

Due to its size and popularity, you need to book Petit Pau a few months in advance. You can book by sending a message to their Facebook page here.



With Pau and Chef

With Pau and Chef

La Boqueria

Barcelona is famous for its food markets and the most famous of all is The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, known simply as La Boqueria. It is, of course, a tourist trap, and if you are a serious foodie you might want to go off the beaten track and explore one of the less well known markets. However, La Boqueria is right on Las Ramblas and I think definitely worth a visit to take in the sights and smells. We grabbed some delicious fresh oysters and razor clams from a stall while we wandered round. When we got peckish again we found a tapas bar towards the back of the market and ordered a few dishes.


Barcelona has everything a food lover could want from cheap and quick eats to luxury Michelin star restaurants. There were so many places on my list that I didn’t get a chance to try that there’s only one thing for it – I better start planning my next trip!

Dublin: Irish Whiskey and Fine Dining

Can you believe I went to Dublin and found a bar with locals in it? Quite an achievement when the city gets more than seven million visitors a year! The Palace Bar is a wee gem just a five minute walk from the tourist throng at Temple Bar. The traditional Victorian pub, located on Fleet Street, has an excellent range of Irish whiskeys which reflect the recent resurgence in the industry which had all but died out. Walking into the pub, I got the feeling that the world had been put to rights here many a time. This was a talking pub. Where generations have met and tall tales have been told.

Palace Bar

We were served by Willie Ahern, whose father owns the bar. Willie’s grandfather bought the bar in 1946 and it has stayed in the family since then. One of the things that makes The Palace Bar stand out is that it boasts its very own whiskey. In years gone by, it was common place for bars to distil their own spirits.  My husband is a whisky fan, so between pints of Guinness, he tried out Palace Bar Whiskey. The 14 year old single malt (which contains malt of up to 21 years in age) got a big thumbs up and compared favourably to some of his favourite Scotch. In fact, it was so good he had to have a second nip to be sure he really liked it. There are only 1,000 bottles being produced in this run and you can pick it up online here.

image2 (2)

After checking out a few of the city’s bars, it was time to cross the river for dinner at Chapter One restaurant. The restaurant is one of five Michelin star eateries in Dublin and I chose it based on a recommendation from a friend. The restaurant is very popular, so booking is essential.


Upon ringing the bell, we received a warm Irish welcome from co-owner and maître d’, Martin Corbett. The basement level restaurant is still surprisingly bright with a minimalist feel and some beautiful pieces of art.

From the Wicklow lamb to the Kilkenny veal, it was clear from looking at the menu that the restaurant had put a great deal of thought in to using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. The pre-theatre menu is fantastic value at £27 (€37.50) for three courses. At our request, the wine sommelier chose some excellent wines to accompany each dish for us.


To start, I opted for Parmesan ravioli with asparagus and a lemon emulsion. My husband went for the carpaccio of rose veal which was served with black beluga lentils. Both dishes were beautifully presented. I was pleased to see the chef had taken advantage of the relatively short asparagus season; my pasta dish tasted like summer on a plate.


For our mains, Mr GvF chose the loin of pork with cabbage and smoked buttermilk mash, while I went for the short rib of beef. The beef was slow-cooked to perfection and came with a side of the best cheesy gnocchi I’ve ever tasted. I literally could eat that gnocchi every day; the best comfort food ever!

Pork loin

Rib of beefGnocchi


To finish we went for the organic ice cream with honeycomb and the chocolate mousse. The desserts were indulgent but not overly heavy and there was a lovely variation in texture and flavour.



From start to finish, the Chapter One experience was a delight. The personal, knowledgeable service and the wonderful food mean that the restaurant is definitely in my 2015 dining highlights. It is also, without doubt, the best value Michelin star restaurant I’ve visited!

image10 (3)

With proprietor Martin Corbett


Monachyle Mhor and Mhor84, Balquhidder

Balquhidder is 35 minutes drive north of Callander but feels about a million miles from anywhere. Peace, tranquillity and beautiful surroundings. The Lewis family have two venues in the area – Monachyle Mhor and Mhor84. Monachyle Mhor is a 14 bedroom boutique hotel set in a 2,000 acre estate on the shores of Loch Voil. Our budget didn’t quite stretch to the Monachle room rate so we opted for two nights in sister venue, Mhor84. The motel opened two years ago and has seven simple rooms and a restaurant and bar.

We were greeted warmly by staff on arrival and had a lovely surprise awaiting us; a glass of fizz that a friend had arranged to welcome us with. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the £80 room but I was suitably impressed with the Scandinavian-chic minimalist room.



On our first night we had dinner in Mhor84. The dining room, like the rest of the motel was quirky and relaxed.

IMG_2176 (2)

To start with I went for the haggis croquette with turnip, potato and whisky sauce while my husband opted for half a dozen Loch Creran Oysters. Both got a big thumbs up. The oysters were fresh and the haggis had just the right amount of peppery kick.



For our mains we both opted for venison; I went for the venison curry while Mr GvF chose the venison haunch. I think the venison haunch just won the battle of the mains. It was perfectly cooked and the anchovy mustard was delicious. The venison curry with cashew nuts and saffron rice was really flavoursome but the meat could have been a little more tender to make it even better.


On to the desserts. With my sweet tooth I opted for the chocolate brownie with ice cream. It was so rich and fudgey and definitely one of the best desserts I’ve had this year! The cheese board was fine but I noticed there wasn’t as much emphasis on provenance as there had been with the rest of the meal.

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The presentation throughout was good, portion size was generous and staff were friendly. Overall, an excellent meal which came in at around £80 including drinks. The bar was a lovely place to relax afterwards for a nightcap though being a gin-enthusiast I’d love to see a wider selection of Scottish gins next time I visit.

Breakfast at Mhor84 was fantastic and featured fresh sour dough bread from the family bakery in Callander. I went for scrambled eggs on sour dough toast while my husband opted for the full cooked breakfast. A great start to the day and just look at that view from the breakfast table!


Guess what else they have at Mhor84? Cakes! Delicious, homemade cakes! The weather was quite wet during our break so after a visit to Loch Katrine we retreated to the lounge area for a game of Monopoly and a huge chocolate hazelnut meringue. Bliss (apart from the fact I was thrashed twice at Monopoly)!



Our second night in Balquhidder featured dinner at Monachle Mhor which has a set price of £55 per person for three courses. Next time I visit, I’d love to see an option with matched wines for each course. We enjoyed a glass of champagne as an aperitif with some delicious amuse bouche while browsing the menu in the bar.


We were then taken through to our table, where I tried my first ever oyster, courtesy of the chef, which was in a shallot and 10 year old Glengoyne whisky dressing. And what views to enjoy my first oyster; breath-taking even on a dreich Scottish evening!


For starters, Mr GvF chose the monkfish tail with Parma ham and cauliflower while I went for west coast crab with black pudding. Both dishes were well-presented and did not disappoint in the flavour-stakes.

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Our mains were outstanding – lamb for me and duck for my husband. Both dishes were cooked to perfection and the accompaniments were perfectly matched.



Our deserts were a pineapple tarte tatin topped with homemade ice-cream and another chocolatey one for me! The chocolate ganache with coffee ice-cream was really good but I think the chocolate brownie at Mhor84 was still the winner for me.



Whilst both restaurants used high quality, locally-sourced ingredients, we noticed a step change in the level of complexity and presentation at Monachle Mhor. Monachyle is definitely in the fine dining category but this doesn’t take anything away from Mhor84’s relaxed gastro-pub feel. Both venues are truly an escape from everything and I’m looking forward to a return visit to Balquhidder; next time we may even have saved enough for a night away in a gorgeous room at Monachlye Mhor!


Girl Versus Food


Dining Highlights 2014

Foodies100 Index of UK Food Blogs
Morphy Richards

As 2015 beckons, I wanted to reflect back on a fabulous year of food! Until this year I had never been to a Michelin starred restaurant, now I’m chuffed to say I’ve been to three and had some other fantastic meals along the way!

Unsurprisingly, honeymoon in Italy and France involved A LOT of eating and drinking! Two particular highlights were the Sorrento Food Tour and Il Buco restaurant. The food tour let us experience all the hidden gems that locals frequent – a just-fired pizza dough panini with the freshest buffalo mozzarella and two year aged Parma ham. I loved trying the best gelato in town and visiting the lemon groves to sample some amazing limoncello. Il Buco is a Michelin starred restaurant where we dined al fresco and had the best meal of our honeymoon. Mr GVF went for the five course ‘Trust the Chef’ menu with matched wines while I chose from the a la carte selection. Highlights were the lobster, the lamb three ways and the cute Happy Honeymoon desserts! A must visit if you’re ever in Sorrento.

We were also lucky enough to receive some fabulous (and very generous) dining experiences as wedding gifts. First up was lunch in the most beautiful surroundings in Rhubarb restaurant at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh. From the creator of The Witchery, this opulent restaurant did not disappoint.


Next was a three course lunch with matched wines at Castle Terrace. I was initially surprised about how simple the décor was in Castle Terrace but once the food arrived it made sense; quite rightly the proprietors did not want overbearing surroundings distracting from the stunning food. Portions were generous for a fine dining restaurant and the wine pairings were perfection. A delicious meal.

We visited West Lothian’s best steak restaurant The Champany where there was a real risk that the huge Porterhouse steak might have my husband beat. We had initially tossed a coin to decide who would drive as the restaurant is a bit out of the way. But after sommelier Michael made some fabulous wine recommendations, an executive decision was taken to ditch the car and get a taxi home!

We topped off ‘The August of Food’ with a much-anticipated dinner at Restaurant Martin Wishart in Leith. We both opted for the six course tasting menu which delighted our taste buds with treats like veal tartar and raw scallops. The presentation was modern and innovative and each dish and matched wine was explained by the wonderful staff. Definitely an experience to remember!

Coming soon…. Girl Versus Food Restaurant Wish List for 2015!

martin wishart

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