“Contemporary Scottish cooking in unique setting” - AA Inspector
Our Inspector's view
First time visitors to Timberyard would be forgiven for thinking they’d arrived at the wrong place as they approach this modest venue. Concealed behind large red garage doors, this former warehouse (used for props and costume storage) just to the south of Edinburgh Castle, still gives the impression of a space used as a centuries old commercial concern rather than a space for high-level gastronomy. Inside, beyond the south-facing, suntrap yard, original brick walls, stripped wood floors and rusty panels keep things the industrial side of shabby chic but pots of edible flowers and herbs soon give the game away that this is a serious food operation. This is very much a family run affair employing happy, welcoming staff who are clearly proud of the what’s on offer here. The menu confirms this with a namecheck for the local foragers and Scottish artisan breeders that keep the kitchen supplied with hyper-seasonal raw ingredients. The food is modern, bold and exciting, with intelligent flavour combinations, sound technique and precise presentation, all of which belies the tersely written menu descriptions. A typical meal from the daily menu might start with wild garlic broth and St Andrews cheese, or sweetbread, burnt cream, chicory and beetroot. Making an appearance at the main course stage might be smoked eel, horseradish, wild leek and razor clams; hen of the woods, quince, sunflower seeds and alexanders; or monkfish, wild sea kale, Jersey Royals and horseradish. Typical of the desserts are Amalfi lemon, yogurt and olive oil; blood orange Pavlova; and ‘rhubarb and vanilla’. Timberyard’s invention isn’t confined to the food, just glance at the cocktail menu to find the likes of ‘King’s Jubilee’ (nope, not the ‘Queen’s Jubilee’) – a concoction of rhubarb, maraschino, rye and wheat spirit, or ‘Sazerac’ – bramble, pastis, cider brandy and whisky.
Facilities – at a glance
Credit cards accepted
- Seats: 65
- Private dining available
- Wheelchair accessible
- Accessible toilets
- Assist dogs welcome
- Closed: Sunday, Monday, 1 week April, October, 24–26 December, First week January
- Wines under £30: 15
- Wines over £30: 330
- Wines by the glass: 11
- Cuisine style: Modern British
- Vegetarian menu
Also in the area
About the area
Edinburgh is one of Britain’s most spectacular cities and both Old and New Towns have UNESCO World Heritage status. At its heart, the Old Town is a treasury of architecture stretching back to medieval times with its labyrinth of narrow lanes (‘wynds’ or ‘closes’). While the New Town's splendid district of squares, crescents and gardens are surrounded by impressive Georgian town houses.
It isn’t just a magnificent, bustling city, it’s surrounded by countryside – offering visitors the best of both worlds. Dominated by hills and the sea, with the rolling Pentland Hills to the south and the broad expanse of the Firth of Forth estuary to the north, it benefits from a rugged and varied landscape. So much so, the city has its own miniature mountain, Arthur’s Seat, which looms over the Old Town and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, dwarfing even Castle Rock and its crowning fortress, Edinburgh Castle.
A couple of miles east, Portobello is Edinburgh’s seaside area, with a long stretch of golden sand that attracts droves of city dwellers on sunny summer days.
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