Edinburgh has become one of Europe’s most exciting foodie capitals. The likes of Timberyard, Norn and The Potting Shed have brought a fresh, contemporary new style to the city, with predominantly Scottish ingredients (many of them foraged or home-smoked) and a light, vegetable-forward style from the chefs.
And this summer, London-based Scots foodie firm Dram & Smoke is bringing its own take on contemporary Scottish cooking to Edinburgh with a month-long pop-up – The Edinburgh Festival Project – focusing on all things Albannach. The team has a strong track record of creating limited-run dining experiences in offbeat venues, including the sofa factory next to the Olympic Stadium in London and a working steelyard in Vauxhall, south London.
For The Edinburgh Festival Project it is taking over an old biscuit factory in Leith and serving dinner five nights a week from August 5 to 28 (Wednesday to Sunday). There’ll be a four-course tasting menu, live music and a bar that stays open until late. It’s a set menu, with vegetarian options available on request.
“We are excited to be back on home turf,” says Dram & Smoke co-founder Paul Ross. “We are going to be working near our unbelievably good regular Scottish suppliers, and one or two new ones, including our forager Ben, who can’t reach us when we stage events in London.”
Ingredients will include spoots (razor clams) from the west coast, served with a pearl barley risotto; 28-day-aged beef brisket from Peelham Farm in the Borders; and foraged herbs, including wild mint and sorrel from East Lothian. Heather honey from Perthshire will be used to create the honeycomb for the rhubarb and custard dessert.
The team at Dram & Smoke want each evening to fit into the relaxed but buzzy summer Festival ambience. “It’s all about unearthing new experiences,” explains Ross. “Having dinner in a former biscuit factory hidden away in the back streets of Leith where you sit communally and share family-style dishes with live music thrown in for good measure is probably a bit different for most, but if there’s ever a time people are up for it, it’s during the festival.”
Dinner will be served from an open kitchen, and the £40 ticket includes a Naked Grouse whisky cocktail (first picture) on arrival. The evening starts at 7pm prompt.