24 hours in Edinburgh with chef Roy Brett
In 2009 Roy opened his own restaurant, Ondine, back in his home city Edinburgh.
Here, in his words, is where to go and what to do with 24 hours in Edinburgh…
6am: Newhaven fish market
The fish market is my favourite way to start the day – I love the buzz of the place. Head down bright and early to the stunning old market where my dearest friend Gary Welch, of Welch Fishmongers, orchestrates the buying, selling and filleting. Along with his wife Louise, brother Kenny and his daughters, Clare and Rosie, the family business provides the best produce on the east coast of Scotland, bar none. I always feel privileged to see, and feel, the finest catch from the landings, as well as watching the filleters speed through “haddies” at a pace no chef could ever match.
9am: Artisan Roast
This coffee house was one of the first to specialise in the true art of coffee, long before coffee fads and fancy specialities. Their flat white, along with a double butter croissant brings welcome warmth after an early morning at Newhaven.
12pm: Scran & Scallie
This is a place that never disappoints. Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack’s proper pub is a must-visit in Edinburgh. The food is delicious – get stuck into crispy pig’s ears followed by a legendary steak and ale pie and discover their fantastic twists on the classics.
3pm: The Bow Bar
A small walk away from Ondine is this gem of a traditional Edinburgh pub. In the days of flashy boozers and over-complicated bars this no-nonsense, old school pub with 15 pumps of beer, as well more than 200 whiskies, is well worth a visit. Go there for a refreshing step back in time – it’s a proper Scottish pub that you won’t find anywhere else.
5.30pm: Ondine Restaurant
It’s oyster happy hour at my restaurant, Ondine. A guest oyster is served every night – either cooked in crispy breadcrumbs, ceviche-style or natural. There are also six guest oysters if you feel the need to indulge further. The oyster bartenders are on hand for detailed explanations of each.
If you’re staying for more, my recommendation is to try the Ondine classics such as the fish soup with rouille or the stunning Isle of Skye langoustines served fresh on ice – and you can’t leave Ondine without trying the famous treacle tart with Rodda’s clotted cream.
8pm: The Kitchin
Every time I get the opportunity to eat out, it’s at The Kitchin where my mate Tom Kitchin produces a feast that is well worth the effort. I recommend having a wee aperitif in the whisky snug before entering the warm, fun and relaxed dining room. The snug concept is unusual for a Michelin-starred restaurant and Tom’s wife Michaela has impeccable vision. Go for the seasonal tasting menu with paired wines and you will leave feeling satisfied, happy – and probably rather round by the end of it.
12am: The Devil’s Advocate
Tucked down a small close in the Old Town you’ll find this truly hidden gem – it’s a perfect mix of trendy and traditional. Order a cocktail in the dimly lit bar and you’ll be taken on a journey by the talented bartenders. With a fantastic selection of whiskies, cocktails and local beers this is a great spot to finish your evening. Still peckish? They offer some delicious sharing platters to graze on.