Harden's says

A partnership between The Gardener’s Cottage restaurant and Collective, (the organisation that has redeveloped the City Observatory); the restaurant is built on a cantilever so it's partially suspended over Calton Hill. Panoramic views across Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth reward the journey; open all day from breakfast.

survey result

Summary

£134
£££££
3
Good
3
Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Really enjoyable experience (apart from the walk in the dark on icy paths to reach the place from the Royal Terrace!”) – few restaurants can match the location of this dramatically cantilevered structure, whose floor-to-ceiling windows ensure superb views over the city from Calton Hill. On limited feedback this year, some “outstanding” results were reported from a no-choice, four-course menu for £85 (shorter and cheaper at lunch). On the downside, in March 2023, Chitra Ramaswamy in The Times had an up-and-down trip: it “ha[d] everything going for it: fabulous taste, music, service and ingredients in a world-class setting” but was “simply too expensive for what you get”.

Summary

£97
 ££££
3
Good
3
Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Is this the most amazing restaurant space in Edinburgh, if not Scotland?”“perched high up on Calton Hill and looking down on the city” from a striking cantilevered structure – “who could resist the irresistible view of the Rose of the North?”. The bistro-style food is “thoroughly excellent” in some accounts – in others it’s “great... but not as good as you want it to be, when you really want it to match the amazing setting”.

Summary

£134
£££££
4
Very Good
3
Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Spectacular views over Edinburgh” and “subtly flavoured” modern bistro fare are twin incentives to visit this eye-catching cantilevered structure, partially suspended over Carlton Hill – “a must for any visitor to this beautiful city!”.

Summary

£67
  £££
4
Very Good
3
Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“The setting is lovely” at this intriguing, all-day yearling (open from breakfast): a cantilevered structure, partially suspended over Calton Hill, with panoramic views across Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth. It’s a partnership between The Gardener’s Cottage restaurant and Collective (the organisation that has redeveloped the City Observatory), and all reports say it serves “great” modern bistro fare.

For 33 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at The Lookout by Gardener's Cottage?

Restaurant details

Highchair
Yes
No dress code
36

Prices

  Cost Availability Courses
Menu1 45.00 Lunch only 6
Menu2 75.00 Dinner only 7
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £30.00
Filter Coffee £4.00
Extras  
Service 12.50%
Calton Hill, Edinburgh, EH7 5AA
Opening hours
MondayCLOSED
TuesdayCLOSED
Wednesday12 pm‑4 pm
Thursday12 pm‑11 pm
Friday12 pm‑11 pm
Saturday12 pm‑11 pm
SundayCLOSED

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