Angels with Bagpipes is situated near the top of the Royal Mile, close to St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. Its memorable name is a reference to a beautiful carving of an angel carrying bagpipes in the Thistle Chapel of the Cathedral, and it succinctly confirms the aim of the restaurant: to serve heavenly Scottish food, albeit with an Italian flourish.
Inside restaurant Angels with Bagpipes — Photo courtesy of Angels with Bagpipes
Chef Paul Whitecross celebrates the delectable produce from Scotland’s extensive food larder by giving it an Italian twist. Salmon from Loch Duart is paired with lemon and fennel risotto and haggis served with the traditional "neeps and tatties" (turnips and potatoes, that is), but with the addition of pancetta.
This fusion seems to be a marriage made in heaven. For value for your money, the Table d’hote is hard to beat and includes a regularly changing selection of seasonal dishes. A combination of great location, beautiful décor and fine dining has made this restaurant very popular. Despite only opening in 2010, the restaurant has already won a number of awards and many fans.
The drinks menu is rather impressive. In addition to an extensive wine list (and many of the items on the main menu come with a wine recommendation) and an impressive selection of malt whiskies, patrons can also choose from a wide selection of cocktails, vintage and non-vintage champagne, a wide array of liqueurs and spirits and dessert wines.
The restaurant is housed in a charming sixteenth-century building which has been lovingly restored. It retains the old-world allure of its setting, but merges this seamlessly with contemporary and understated décor.The result is glamorous yet comfortable.
The interior is decorated in warm orange, cream and brown tones with lush velvet fabrics and softly textured wallpaper. In the centre of the main dining room there is a copy of the beautifully carved angel, and candlesticks topped with winged angels are dotted around the room.
Large French windows look out onto the courtyard, which has a small intimate dining area all of its own. Upstairs there is a sublimely cozy little dining area, referred to as the "Halo Room." This romantic space can seat four people, but is best for two.
Beautiful wrought iron candlesticks flank a polished wooden table and the Scottish national flower, the thistle, is subtly evident in the warm tones of the wallpaper. Diners can also sit outside the front of the restaurant on the Royal Mile and indulge in a bit of people watching.