The Raeburn, Stockbridge: Hotel food can be a bit of a hit and a miss as sometimes the emphasis is on the accommodation… the location… the thread count on the Egyptian cotton sheets in the boutique bedrooms. That can leave the catering staff out in the shade with faddy and sometimes incongruous menus.
The Raeburn Hotel in Edinburgh’s sophisticated neighbourhood of Stockbridge manages to strike the right balance.
At the end of a busy, eclectic thoroughfare littered with delightful if expensive delis and brasseries and the best in boho thrift shopping it overlooks Edinburgh Academicals playing fields.
The Raeburn is a contrasting establishment, neither stuffy nor casual, the décor is conventional but also contemporary.
A fragrant front terrace looking suitably Spring-like is the first impression on arrival. The porch and hallway finds smiling welcoming staff who open doors for diners, a traditional touch not lost on a weary shopper popping in for a Sunday snack. A library to the right allows space for private conversations over coffee or important business meetings.
The bar restaurant meanders into a rear dining room and onto another sunlit terrace, and there is also a wonderful roof terrace accessed by a small stairway or the hotel lift which deposits al fresco clientele on the first floor, a sort of mezzanine extension as the hotel offers sumptuous boutique accommodations on two further levels.
Anyway, I digress. On to the food. I ordered the chicken liver parfait which comes with shallot compote and crostini and a house salad at £6.
The parfait comes in a medium sized ramekin and is topped with a layer of fat which breaks through into a delicious creamy parfait. The fat layer didn’t put me off as what was hidden below was sublime.
“A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety” – Aesop
The dish was presented well with perhaps too little crostini to accommodate the parfait. The house salad was rocket leaf which I love, with a nice peppery flavour and a delightful drizzle of light vinaigrette. I was a little puzzled, though, by the thin shards of carrot mixed into it which did not add anything to the dish except a bland contrast.
Sunday roasts were going down a treat with all the trimmings. Great value for an up market Edinburgh eaterie at £15.
They also offer a vegetarian roast for £11 although the ingredients are not specified on the menu. I am sure the friendly servers would illuminate. All in all there are quite a few vegetarian options here throughout the entire menu.
Side dishes come in at £3.50 and include hand cut chips, haggis bon bons , green beans, onion rings and caprese salad. Steaks dry aged for 28 days start at £24 rising to £55 for a Chateaubriand with plenty for two or more.
This was a busy Sunday and as a solo diner it was sometimes hard to attract the attention of the staff. However, they were attentive and there was a lovely afternoon jazz vibe with subtle sounds emanating from speakers which didn’t drown out conversations.
The ladies powder room offered emoliants with ginger and gingseng and the overall look was very clean.
Now to find out about these boutique bedrooms!
Value for money: 7/10