Last night we went to one of the most interesting places we’ve eaten in for a long time. Timberyard is tucked in a side street behind Edinburgh Castle and the entrance does not fully prepare you for the wonder inside. The name I guess should give a big clue but as we walked in to the building and saw the big open space of the main dining area my sense of excitement grew. This place is different. Different in style, different in feel and different in quality from anywhere else we’ve eaten recently.

The sense of space at Timberyard is something I particularly liked. This place has stayed true to the building but also in doing so has created an ‘urban’ feel. Its history is on show, it’s not ‘prettied’ up. Timberyard is creative and it’s clever. Everywhere you look there are jars of foraged homegrown fruit, leaves, herbs, preserved in interesting ways.

We arrived a bit early and had a drink at the bar. We knew we were in for a great evening when we needed the soft drinks menu to be explained to us!

Mr Frivolitea opted for the pickled elderflower. A long drink using pickled elderflower syrup topped up with sparkling mineral water. I opted for sourdough and bramble, a short drink served over a chunk of ice. It was literally a chunk of ice and fascinating to be sitting at the bar watching the drinks being prepped and the use of a miniature axe bing used to chip ice to fit the glass. The barman described my drink as like drinking jam and toast, really good jam and toast, and I can’t think of a better description. It is nothing like anything I’ve tasted before. The pickled elderflower was also really interesting and refreshing. Never have soft drinks been so appealing. Oh and they had Nyetimber on the menu and you know we always approve of this. So after soft drinks a glass of Nyetimber each ensured an excellent evening.

We decided to opt for the daily menu rather than the tasting menu. This menu is made of bites, small, large and pudding course.

Before our food arrived we were given some malted sourdough bread with some whipped chicken liver and whipped crowdie, juniper pepper and lovage salt.

We both had bites. I had Mackerel, horseradish, buttermilk, apple. This dish was really creative. It messed with my head a bit and I’m in awe of the processes and precision they used to present the mackerel and the horseradish and buttermilk that felt like snow. It was a really light and fresh start to the meal. Mr Frivolitea had pea, curd, spelt, lovage, shoots. This was a wonderfully light dish, delicate flavour with occasional surprises of sweetness or curd flavour.

 I passed on the small dish but Mr F had the mallard, cauliflower, kolhrabi, elderberry, shallot, black garlic, chard.

Another exciting and creative dish with the black garlic being a particular highlight. For large, we both opted for the venison. Well you would, wouldn’t you! The dish was titled venison, squash, onion, mushroom, beetroot, juniper, kale. The crust on the venison loin added an extra dimension to the dish and the slow cooked venison was deliciously tender.

Finally Mr F had pudding (though I did try a bit of course!) pudding was honey, nut, lemon thyme, oatmeal, milk. Every mouthful revealed something new. It was one of those puddings were if you had one of the elements on its own you might be underwhelmed but put all together it was incredible. The honeycomb was the best we’ve had and the lemon thyme really lifted the dish.

This place is exciting. It’s a place you want to return to, and we will.


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