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The Gardener's Cottage - at home and in season.

By Diana Spencer

Very much a FWP I know, but I am really missing restaurants! I’m definitely more of a diner than a chef. Since the start of lockdown my social media feeds have been full of my friends’ incredible foodie creations, everything foraged/grown and made from scratch, because they have “ALL THIS TIME”. I can’t help but be a little jealous that they have nothing better to do than make sourdough, tend their vegetable patch and walk in the woods by their house, like some lockdown ‘The Good Life’. After a full day of working at my computer on my kitchen table, followed by an awkward Zoom chat, I’m impressed if I can be bothered to cook at all. My nearest green space is Leith Links – I’m not sure what can be foraged there, but you probably shouldn’t eat it.

We’ve had our moments, when the need for interesting food has taken over, and we successfully recreated the monkfish satay from The White Horse Oyster and Seafood Bar, and the amazing halibut soup we once had in Reykjavik; but generally my lockdown menu has been pretty much business as usual. I had so far avoided many of the fine dining restaurant ‘at home’ kits, which 'require some cooking and preparation’, as I didn’t like to trust such beautiful food to my limited culinary skills and unreliable oven. However, The Gardener's Cottage is one of our favourite restaurants, so when they launched an ‘At Home’ menu, curiosity took over.

On the Friday evening we received our exciting bag of carefully packaged ingredients and instructions. The starter, a really fresh and tasty Lobster, tomato, ricotta and garden herb salad, only required assembly, though my presentation left much to be desired. The main course, Roasted rack of lamb baked in hay, we had to cook ourselves. It was served with salsa verde, new season potatoes, broad beans and asparagus. The lamb was very sweet and tender, and the combination of flavours worked well, but the dish seemed to be lacking something, a Michelin recommended chef perhaps. Dessert was a divine strawberry and woodruff tart, which thankfully required no effort at all.

We relished the fresh, seasonal dishes, and it made a nice change to our usual rotation of meals, but it left me all the more eager for the time when we can have such wonderful food served to us in a restaurant again (by people who know what they’re doing!)

The Gardener’s Cottage, 1 Royal Terrace Gardens, London Road, Edinburgh EH7 5DX- 0131 677 0244

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