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AA Notable Wine List 2016-17
AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

Read more about AA ratings and awards

On-trend regional cooking in an old warehouse

AA Inspector

At a glance

Vegetarian menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass

It's just possible that future generations will look back on the present era of restaurant design and surrender to frank puzzlement. The backlash against soft furnishings, floral decorations, virtually any sort of fabric covering on tables, windows or floors, has resulted in a generation of hard-edged, rough-and-ready, take-it-as-you-find-it dining spaces, often fashioned out of buildings that once had industrial purposes or traded in heavier basic commodities than lunch and dinner. The Timberyard is a case in point: entry through garage doors painted fire-station red, interior brick walls slapped with whitewash, old bare floorboards, stark white columns, bare halogen bulbs, and chairs that could furnish the annual general meeting of the parish council. Wine is stacked in racks next to the bar, the upper levels reached by ladder. Prior to its incarnation in the wood trade, it was a Victorian theatrical warehouse, where costumes and props were stored. Today, it incorporates an in-house smokery and butcher, as well as finding little nooks for growing herbs and edible flowers. There are a couple of tables outside under the saplings in the yard. Dishes arrive on chunky unglazed pottery, the bread on a slab of varnished wood. Ingredients are sourced in the contemporary way from Lothian growers and breeders, as well as foragers, and the wines are the kind that would once have been considered faulty, full of unleashed oxidation, unexpected spritz and fermentation hazes. Eating is naturally to a multi-course taster template, in four, six or eight courses, with fish and veggie versions to supplement the omnivore's offering, and the cooking, under Ben Radford, is an unalloyed delight. A heap of white crabmeat is daisy-fresh and appetising, offset with daikon and robust artichoke purée, in crystal-clear crab broth. That's followed by crisp-topped salmon in buttermilk with anise top notes of fennel-seeds and dill, and then breast of mallard cooked pink, accompanied by crunchy cereal grains, beetroot and chard, as well as the heart and liver for added richness. The finisher might be simplicity itself, perhaps a serving of poached rhubarb with sheep's milk yogurt and a milk sorbet. The longer menus might yield squid broth with fennel, spinach and garlic to set the ball rolling, before a raw scallop and oyster with kohlrabi and apple, the two principal dishes offering halibut and clams with sea-beets, celery, salsify and artichoke in various textural manifestations, and lamb in a welter of green things – flower sprouts, broccoli, kale. Small-bite versions of the dishes are available for those heading to the theatre, or wanting only the lightest lunch. Not the least asset of the Timberyard is a bevy of staff who obviously all love the place, and are consummate advocates for it.

Opening hours

  • Closed: 1 week in April, October, 24–26 December, 1st week in January
  • Days closed: Sunday to Monday
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 2
  • Dinner served from: 5.30
  • Dinner served until: 9.30

Chef

  • Chef: Ben Radford

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines under £30: 22
  • Wines over £30: 380
  • Wines by the glass: 12

Price guide

  • Credit cards accepted

Accessibility

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome

Facilities

  • Seats: 65
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 10
  • Off-site parking available: Castle Terrace NCP, On street

Additional information

  • Seats: 65
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 10

Getting here

From Princes Street, Lothian Road (A700) left onto Castle Terrace, right at roundabout, left onto Lady Lawson Street, restaurant on right

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Nearest train station

Waverley, Haymarket
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