Written by locals!
Welcome to Bite, Your Independent Local Guide to Eating and Drinking in Edinburgh


Possibly one of Edinburgh’s most anticipated restaurant openings, The Lookout by Gardener’s Cottage opened on November 24th. It’s the first ever restaurant on Calton Hill, and one that promises diners breath-taking views across the Firth of Forth and the city skyline. 

Built on a cantilever so the restaurant is partially suspended over Calton Hill’s northwest slope, the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 5 days a week, offering an approachable, relaxed dining experience. 

The Lookout by Gardener’s Cottage is the third Edinburgh venture from chef director Dale Mailley who opened The Gardener’s Cottage in 2012 and Leith bakery Quay Commons in 2017. Dale said:

"We’re so happy to have opened our new restaurant and to be able to share the amazing views we’ve enjoyed whilst developing our latest offering. We developed the menu to reflect the location, keeping everything simple so as not to compete with the views - focusing on simple, earthy ingredients that release a spectrum of good, natural flavours.”

The lunch and dinner menu is centred on inventive seasonal dishes like cured sea trout with scurvy grass, malted rabbit and hare yakitori, halibut with cauliflower and sea purslane, salt baked turnip and walnuts, and The Snowman - a baked Alaska with barley, fig and ginger.

A buffet-style breakfast featuring pastries and bread from Quay Commons, as well as locally-cured meats, smoked fish, home-made granola and jams, British cheeses, eggs and fruit is served from 10am.

The Lookout by Gardener’s Cottage is a partnership with Collective, the organisation that has redeveloped the City Observatory site on Calton Hill into a new home for contemporary art. As well as the purpose-built restaurant, the world-class development incorporates the restored City Observatory and City Dome, along with new purpose-built exhibition space The Hillside. 

Sample Menu

Olives 4

Tapenade 3

Carlingford oysters, whey, lovage 4

East Coast charcuterie 6

Cured sea trout, scurvy grass 4


Arbroath smokie, potato, celeriac, leek 8

Salt-baked beetroot, goats curd, gingerbread, pear 8

Malted rabbit & hare yakitori 9


Halibut, cauliflower, sea purslane 23

Partridge (for one) or mallard (for two), pear, kale, barley 22/50

BBQ Hispi cabbage, onion, coddled egg 18



Smoked potato 5

Charred sprouting broccoli 5

Salt baked turnip, walnuts 4



Cora Linn, Isle of Mull Cheddar, Rachels, Clava 12


Pineapple tarte tatin, douglas fir, vanilla ice cream 9

"The snowman” - barley, fig & ginger baked Alaska 9

Whisky & honey madeleines 6

The Lookout by Gardener's Cottage also operates ‘The Kiosk’ at the main entrance to the Collective site, offering visitors take-away coffees, teas, sandwiches, pastries and cakes.


The Gardener’s Cottage opened to rave reviews in 2012. The roaring success of their evening offering, a 7-course set-menu served at communal dining tables, proved that fresh, innovative thinking is a vital part of culinary evolution.

Dishes are artfully crafted from indigenous seasonal produce - including fruit and vegetables from the restaurant garden - by a team of creative chefs. The restaurant, a charming cottage of two rooms, is also open for lunch and weekend brunches.

The cottage was built in 1836 for the gardener at Edinburgh’s Royal Terrace Gardens. Today, the intimate atmosphere and warm ambiance allows the diner a real sense of escape from the busy city.

In 2017, a second venture – Quay Commons bakery and licensed café - opened on Commercial Street in Leith.

About Collective - www.collectivegallery.net

Collective was established in 1984 and has been commissioning new contemporary art ever since. Collective has staged early career exhibitions by Ruth Ewan, Jeremy Deller, Mike Nelson and Claire Barclay, as well as commissioning significant new works by Hito Steyerl, Jessie Jones and Monster Chetwynd. 


Formerly based on Cockburn Street, Collective moved to a temporary gallery space on Calton Hill in 2013 and began fundraising to redevelop the City Observatory site, which has been unused since 2009.


The £4m redevelopment project is funded by City of Edinburgh, Collective, Creative Scotland, Heritage Lottery, Edinburgh World Heritage, WREN, Wolfson Foundation, Garfield Weston And Architectural Heritage Fund. 


The Project Team was procured under the SCAPE framework and includes: Collective Architecture, Faithful and Gould and Esh Border Construction.

Media Contact


For more information or images, please contacts Lee MacGregor at Mitchell MacGregor Public Relations

Email: [email protected] Tel. 07801 286005


« Back to Bite Magazine News

Current Issue
Visitor Login
Email Address
This site and all contents are © 2020 Bite Magazine     Web Design by Arcada Design