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No tartan; no stag’s heads; no prints of Bonnie Prince Charlie: instead, the boutique Nira Caledonia hotel blends boho chic with contemporary comfort – and has the bonus of a smart modern brasserie with a Josper grill at the centre of things. Well-hung 21-day aged Scottish steaks, rare-breed pork, organically reared lamb, Loch Duart salmon and other carefully sourced native ingredients find their way onto the menu, which offers rib-eyes, medallions of venison, free-range chicken, lobster with garlic butter and so on. To start, try beef carpaccio with horseradish cream and pea shoots or Josper-smoked mussels with Isla whisky cream sauce; to finish, go for chocolate fondant or caramelised lemon tart. There are over 25 Scottish whiskies at the bar. The restaurant’s name references Blackwood’s magazine – one of its contributors lived in the building during the 18th century.
One of the great benefits of our training for long charity walks has been that we’ve had a good opportunity to survey all the restaurant comings and goings across Edinburgh, and come across many spots that we hadn’t particularly heard about. One such place we spotted on our travels was the Nira Caledonia, a boutique hotel on Gloucester Place.Buried deep in the heart of the New Town, this wasn’t somewhere we’d heard about. A glance at the menu, which showcased some excellent locally sourced produce, had us making a mental note to visit, as soon as the opportunity arose...
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