The Edinburgh Castle Pub, Henry St &, Blossom St,, Manchester, M4 5AW – Visit Now
There was a word which first sprung to mind as I proceeded beyond the door of Edinburgh Castle and its gentlemanly bouncer – gorgeous. Now, “gorgeous” might seem something of a lazy compliment, when I could use “opulent” or “lavish”, or dare I say “fabulous”? (No, no – too much for Ancoats). But by definition, gorgeous eludes a 360 description; charismatic, first-class, seductive, handsome (and that was just the chefs) all which illustrate Edinburgh Castle; only mere moments into its presence.
Taking pride of place in Ancoats since day dot (1811 to be precise,) the Edinburgh Castle Pub eludes both heritage and forward-thinking. The pub on the first level is a brawl of welcoming noise, laid-back and homely but with an edge of excellence with elevated, comforting dishes and a wide selection of whiskey.
The Edinburgh Castle Pub eludes both heritage and forward-thinking
Upstairs, however, relaxation is taken up a notch. We were taken to our table and looked after by Amy, an asset to EC with fantastic recommendations (although it’s quite easy to recommend I imagine when the menu is as engulfing as a Philip Pullman novel). The decor evokes feelings of both intimacy and space – a delicious fun-house, it’s both unique and Pinterest-worthy and is conscientious with its furnishing and style throughout. Soft music embraces the softly lit surroundings whilst drinks and table snacks (“on us” – the menu assures), are laid at the table whilst you peruse the menu.
We started with a bang; sauced mackerel, accompanied by its pâté counterpart, elegantly piped into a pastry sourdough cigar with golden raisins atop; fresh, crisp and vibrant in flavour without being too overpowering. Carrots in whey; it’s hard to comprehend someone making a carrot so irresistibly yum – but you’ll just have to take my word for it.
I am still reeling from the first bite of roasted duck
On to the mains; and, full disclosure – I write this review 3 days following my experience at Edinburgh Castle, and let me tell you I am still reeling from the first bite of roasted duck. A plate of carefully considered components, a creation of the most beautiful marriage of flavours and textures – truly a magnificent dish. The wagyu beef was similarly spectacular. “Try this, try this!!” My friend excitedly exclaimed whilst I was busy declaring my undying love to a confit croquette.
Sides were sublime; Hasselback potatoes in a buttermilk, burnt butter garlic sauce (which dangerously straddles both intrigue and offence – a potent flavour, to which you may either love or the (I was in the love camp – but enough about my summer escapades). Macerated mushrooms – earthy slivers of mushroom, a nutty truffley melody of flavours, which cooled very quickly, but apart from that, sensational.
Edinburgh Castle doesn’t put a foot wrong when it comes to looking after its guests
Plates clean, I said a silent thanks to my earlier self for having the good sense not to wear a waistband as I not-so-begrudgingly agreed to the chocolate tart Amy insisted that I try. A wonderfully large portion arrived in front of me, house-made jersey ice cream and scattered hazelnut, pine caramel; the final flourish to an honest-to-god perfect, eye-rollingly decadent dessert. A heavenly balance of salty, sweet, crunchy and melt in the mouth. A perfect way to polish off the experience.
It’s my pleasure to report that Edinburgh Castle doesn’t put a foot wrong when it comes to looking after its guests. Pop in for an evening and you can guarantee you’ll leave hours later, a couple of pounds heavier, a few glasses merrier and a whole bunch happier.