Chef Dale Mailley’s The Gardener’s Cottage and The Lookout in Edinburgh

Chef Dale Mailley's The Gardener's Cottage and The Lookout in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is known as the UK’s best city to live in. It boasts incredible history and architecture and is also home to some of the country’s finest restaurants and most talented chefs. In this culinary feature, we’re looking at The Gardener’s Cottage and The Lookout, both born from the mind of Chef Dale Mailley.

The Gardener’s Cottage by Chef Dale Mailley (above) opened its doors for the first time in Edinburgh ten years ago (2012). It is located in the capital’s picturesque Royal Terrace Gardens and is known for its expert use of the best seasonal Scottish ingredients. The 24-cover restaurant is a charming former cottage with a kitchen garden, and from here, Perthshire-born Mailley takes inspiration from the surrounding nature and nurtures his home-grown approach to cookery whilst never losing sight of the sustainability aspect of his business.

The exterior of The Lookout showing its elevated position

After recognition by Michelin and numerous AA Rosettes, in 2016, Mailley opened a second 36-cover restaurant, The Lookout (above), perched on Calton Hill and boasting 360° views of the city skyline. Provenance is key to both restaurants’ food philosophy – local farmers, producers and foragers are at the heart of every dish.

The Gardener’s Cottage

The entrance to The Gardener's Cottage

Hidden away in Edinburgh’s bustling city centre is a hidden oasis that goes by the name of The Gardner’s Cottage. Follow the garden path to a wooden door, and behind find a treasure trove of the best in seasonality, a cosy and welcoming atmosphere and exceptional drinks pairings highlighting British suppliers as well as more unusual matches.

Two images showing the quality of the food on offer at the restaurant

For dinner, a seasonal six-course tasting menu with wine pairings offers foodies a culinary adventure, whilst their lunch tasting is £45, offering a social and relaxed setting.

A recent sample menu includes:

  • Rye and Spelt Sourdough with Cultured Butter
  • Strawberry, Peas, Baron Bigod and Tarragon
  • Smoked Scallop, Burnt Celeriac, Sea Aster and Roe
  • Sirloin, Chanterelles, Pomme Purée and Jus
  • IJ Mellis Cheese Selection and Chutney
  • Charred Stone Fruit with Crème Fraiche and Madeleine
  • Petit Fours, Tea or Coffee

(£75pp for six courses + £65 for matched wines)

The Lookout by The Gardener’s Cottage

Inside the Lookout with its spectacular views over the city

Take in some of the city’s best views through the floor-to-ceiling windows of this modern, cantilevered building situated in a wonderful spot on the top of Calton Hill. The dining room is minimalist and design-led, allowing for the contemporary, pared-back dishes to shine.

Some of the dishes at The Lookout

Designed to be taken in tandem with the breathtaking views celebrating the coast, the land and the spirit of Scotland, the tasting menu at The Lookout offers eight courses and changes with the seasons.

A recent sample menu includes:

  • Company Bakery Rye & pelt Sourdough with Fen Farm Butter
  • Isle of Wight Tomatoes, Ewe Curd and Nasturtium
  • Dunbar Crab, Seaweed snd Garden Herbs
  • Baked Isle of Gigha Halibut with Oyster, Kale and Caviar
  • Perthshire Roe Deer Loin with Chanterelles and Beetroot
  • Baron de Bigod, Truffle, Edinburgh Honey and Oakchurch Cherries
  • Maya Mountain Chocolate Cream, Strawberries and Almond
  • Santu French Press Coffee or Tea and Chocolate Tree Truffles

(£95pp for eight courses + £75 for matched wines)

A couple enjoying the food on the terrace

To cater to the diverse selection of guests visiting Calton Hill, the restaurant also offers a Light Lunch Menu, a vibrant yet shorter tasting menu and a la carte for those wanting a leisurely lunch or to idle away an hour or two with one of Edinburgh’s best views.

The extensive wine list at each restaurant has been carefully selected by The Gardener’s Cottage team, working closely with suppliers and wine sellers to ensure both restaurants stock exciting new wines with a focus on clean flavours that match and balance the earthy flavours showcased in Mailley’s menus.

The Gardener’s Cottage
1 Royal Terrace Gardens
London Road

Opening times: Thursday 5 pm-10 pm; Friday-Sunday 12 pm-3:30 pm/ 5 pm-10 pm.
You can find more information at

The Lookout
38 Calton Hill

Opening times: Tuesday/Wednesday/Sunday 10 am-5:00 pm; Thursday/Friday/ Saturday 10 am-10 pm. You can find more information at

Read more restaurant news and reviews here.

Chef Dale Mailley's The Gardener's Cottage and The Lookout in Edinburgh 2

Editorial Team

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