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21212 Restaurant


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Apologies for taking this topic off the Edinburgh thread, however I feel that it more than deserves singular recognition.

The website is now up for perusal

http://www.21212restaurant.co.uk/21212.html

Bit of a wacky intro with the Chicken BLT and two French fries

Better be more than two Paul or my missus will have a moan :laugh:

The lunch at £20 is a bargain, most certainly for the quality.

Roll on tomorrow :biggrin:

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Apologies for taking this topic off the Edinburgh thread, however I feel that it more than deserves singular recognition.

The website is now up for perusal

http://www.21212restaurant.co.uk/21212.html

Bit of a wacky intro with the Chicken BLT and two French fries

Better be more than two Paul or my missus will have a moan :laugh:

The lunch at £20 is a bargain, most certainly for the quality.

Roll on tomorrow :biggrin:

Looking at the menu it is still reads very Juniperesque (albeit slightly tamer), similar ingredients and combinations, interesting to see if it eats the same.

That is in no way a wacky intro for Paul, and I have had a few of his dishes whereby french fries do come in twos.

I wish them all the best.

Edited by RDB (log)
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Just back from the opening night and what can I say (apart from thanking the baby sitter for being inflexable and curtailing the evening).

Simply amazing!

I bumped into David as I was dragged away and he looked rather happy as well.

I'm off for an Armangac to collect my thoughts, full report tomorrow, but in short: brilliant!

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I haven't been this excited for a long time. PK is back!

I've missed Juniper like an old friend and will have to plan a weekend north of the border with the Missus asap.

In the meantime please please please will someone write a review - pictures would be a huge bonus!

Always hungry.

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So, last night.

It was really rather good; the restaurant is the ground floor of a Georgian Townhouse with a drawing room and private dining area on the 1st floor and plush rooms above. It's been decorated in sympathy with the period features yet has a contemporary edge; it feels as effortlessly sylish as Per Se coupled with a relaxed and welcoming ambience.

Anyway, we arrived to a warm welcome and were invited to repair to the dining room for some opening night Champagne, all very civilised. It was here that we saw Paul popping in to speak to the waiters, checking they were ready for the night ahead; he looked understandably anxious but still made time to say hello.

The menu was as billed, a choice of two starters, a soup, two mains, a cheese course and two desserts; bread was offered which was stuffed with pistachios, dried fruit and curry notes, I found it lovely though my wife, who doesn't like dried fruit, was a bit disappointed in the lack of choice. Technically it was great, light and airy, it excited the palate without being filling.

To start I had the Chicken BLT while the rest of the table opted for Scallops with "seven peas". The Chicken was a wonderfull deconstruction of an otherwise indifferent sandwich, the distinct flavours all worked together and were stunning individually. The Scallops were almost as nice, I suspect they were butter-poached as they were plump, succulent and scallopy, the "seven peas" seems to be peas prepared in seven ways, most successful though my wife and mother-in-law felt some of the peas were too hard, I tried a couple and suspect they may have been dried.

Next came the soup, it was cauliflower, carrot and apple with a slice of salami and, randomly, a confectionary apple string; for all this was the stand out dish of the evening, every mouthful brough a different combination of flavours that were a wonderful symphony in ones mouth. Seriously, I can't rave enough about this, equally I can only hint at the depth of flavour - as it constantly changed it would take far too long to describe.

For the mains I opted for the Turbot and Chorizo while the others had the Beef. The Turbot was as good a piece of fish as I've had in a long time, accompanied by lentils, caperberries, a baby chorizo and a couple of sauces which I couldn't even identify but were wonderful (am I beginning to overuse that word?), the lentils were slighly underdone for my taste but didn't bring the dish down. The others enjoyed the beef, it was served with what looked like some gremolata and they reported further lemon hints coming from what they called "the white stuff", not too technically helpful but they loved it.

Until the cheese came, all conversation at the table was suspended when the dishes arrived, only to resume while waiting for the next course. I would say we fell silent in reverance at the altar of Paul Kitching, but that might be a bit too melodramatic. It was seriously good though.

Anyway, the cheese course allowed us to eat and talk, there was a great selection of 10 British and French cheeses served with porridge biscuits and a couple of others which I ignored. Can I just commend 21212 for having this as a seperate course and for having it in the correct place (jamais le sucre avant le sale).

A pre-dessert came out of coconut and porridge infused milk, served in paper shot cups from a cute cow-shaped milk jug; this was great and fun, the flavours developed in the mouth like those of a good wine with the coconut surgiung and then ebbing to leave a delicious oatyness. Not too impressed with the paper cups though, they do look like something you'd find containing ketchup in an Ikea canteen, shot glasses would be preferable.

For dessert I had a baked custard which was flavoured with cumin and caraway and loaded with sultanas and kumquat and which was accompanied by a rasperry and linseed trifle; both dishes packed a flavourful punch that I'm still salivating over. The rest of the table enjoyed cheesecake and a firey ginger sorbet that was so well recieved I didn't get to try any of it.

We had to leave at this point, our substitute babysitter having a time limit, so we didn't have time for coffee but Katie kindly presented both my wife and mother-in-law with some bon-bons to take home. I've eaten my wife's as I'm writing this, they are unctious and mellow and could almost have converted me to dark chocolate. Fiona's going to kill me when she finds them gone.

Anyway, in summary: Restaurant 21212 is fantastic, Paul's dishes are going to challenge the culinary status-quo in Edinburgh by offering intelligent and complex flavours that excite the palate, all done with humour and a deft and skillful had. Even at Per Se, I only had one dish that made me this excited, at 21212 I had 5.

The wine list is rather good with some interesting bottles there, though I do wonder if some of the mark-ups may be more London than Edinburgh (I'm thinking of a £60 bottle of Frank Phelan here, it was only a 2005 and I'm sure the last bottle I bought at retail was £17). The staff are pretty much faultless, welcoming and attentive but informal; they are really quite knowledgeable and seem to be proud of where they work. Justifiably.

On the down side, this was an opening night and there are a few things I think we'll see tweaked over the next weeks and months, some of the cutlery is a bit more style over substance - I'm thinking the two pronged forks that the others were given for the beef in particular and I don't think the room is large enough to be served napkins from a tray, it was nice but perhaps just impracticle.

Is this worth £60 per head? Certainly.

Is this deserving of stars? Definately 1, a few tweaks and possibly 2.

Should people go? Yes, but not too many of you, I always want to be able to get a table.

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Im sorry to add a negative but the menu reads like pretentious tosh. I mean lemon tart with a champagne & carrot sorbet etc. Wheres it going to end? Thats no more than being different for the sake of it. :hmmm: Lets be honest here, who really can't wait to eat such 'novelities'?

I can't see Wishart and co kakking themselves at the mo.

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Im sorry to add a negative but the menu reads like pretentious tosh. I mean lemon tart with a champagne & carrot sorbet etc. Wheres it going to end?  Thats no more than being different for the sake of it. :hmmm: Lets be honest here, who really can't wait to eat such 'novelities'?

I can't see Wishart and co kakking themselves at the mo.

Me! Once I saw the menu, I really couldn't wait for my table on a Saturday night in June, so I've booked one for tonight. I suppose to some, it looks exciting rather than pretentious.

Catherine

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Im sorry to add a negative but the menu reads like pretentious tosh. I mean lemon tart with a champagne & carrot sorbet etc. Wheres it going to end?  Thats no more than being different for the sake of it. :hmmm: Lets be honest here, who really can't wait to eat such 'novelities'?

I can't see Wishart and co kakking themselves at the mo.

Try an open mind.

The dishes juxtapose flavours which stand out individually and marry together beautifully, similar in mode to Pierre Gagnaire. I would never think of a Baked Custard with Cumin or Cardemon but it was wonderful and worked. There's definately reason behind his dishes, they're certainly not "for the sake of it".

Paul Kitching displays a completely different style to Martin Wishart (who I love) and Tom Kitchin (who I don't) and is a welcome addition to the Edinburgh scene.

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At Juniper I had Lemon Tart paired with fillet Steak, now perhaps I'm as suggestible as a Stormtrooper, but it was a great combination.

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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Im sorry to add a negative but the menu reads like pretentious tosh. I mean lemon tart with a champagne & carrot sorbet etc. Wheres it going to end?  Thats no more than being different for the sake of it. :hmmm: Lets be honest here, who really can't wait to eat such 'novelities'?

I can't see Wishart and co kakking themselves at the mo.

Paul Kitching is one of the uk's most avante garde chefs and very original, I think he will add his own unique personality to the way he writes his menus and so what?

Allow him to express himself, surely it is justified by the actual food. lighten up!

Personaly I think Tom and Martin are shitting bricks............ :shock:

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Lemon tart with fillet steak?? What? It could be im missing something here but what is so clever and creative about that? Maybe its the purist in me but for fu.k sake.

What was he trying to do, clear out his fridges?

If thats gets your juices going, then fair play to you. Im all for avant guard cooking but there comes a point in my view, when it just becomes a nonsense.

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Let me just add my six penn'orth to this.

We have just walked through the door, after five hours of motorway travel and could not wait to read Ross's comments, I new he would beat me to it as I did not take my laptop,with me :laugh:

This restaurant (with rooms) is absolutely THE place to eat in this city, its just breathtakingly stunning in every way.

Its a masterpiece, and a fitting place to showcase the Maestro's skills

I wish I were part of it

If I were the opposition, so to speak, I would be prepared for a drop in takings when word hits the street, as to just how good this place really is.

I know one of Tom Kitchin's chefs is dining their tonight so he will have the info first hand

We had lunch at Toms today and enjoyed ourselves, (I will write it up soon).

Tom was in the "kitchen" coping with a nearly full service, all eating the good value set lunch.

From a personal point of view, its my considered opinion that 21212 is, now the destination restaurant of the North, and given that our round trip mileage is approaching 600, I would do it all again next week

Its that good

Amen.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Lemon tart with fillet steak?? What? It could be im missing something here but what is so clever and creative about that?  Maybe its the purist in me but for fu.k sake.

What was he trying to do, clear out his fridges?

If thats gets your juices going, then fair play to you. Im all for avant guard cooking but there comes a point in my view, when it just becomes a nonsense.

You know, I don't like the sound of Snail Porridge or Bacon and Egg Ice-Cream but I'm willing to bet that Michelin and the body of opinion is correct and when I get the chance to try them they'll be lovely.

I hate tapioca with a passion but I still tried Thomas Keller's "Oysters and Pearls" at Per Se and it was one of the most sublime experiences of my life. And I do include losing my virginity.

With this in mind, let's remember that lemon is a classic aromat with beef and then stretch our imagination just slightly to consider that the lemon tart in question isn't a bog-standard tarte citron.

So, unless you've tried, are you qualified to condemn? Personally I'm of the belief that eating out should sometimes be theatre and you should always give something a try before writing it off, I've written off The Kitchen but that's after going there!

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Overt your eyes and credulity food1 the offending dish... My memory was sweet Lord that was good.

3552568558_c9f31d5404.jpg

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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My goodness and there was me thinking I was top sychophant :wink: to all things Paul K related, and low and behold a whole pack appear. Splendid!!!

Whether Wishart, Kitchin et al are worried is neither here nor there, Edinburgh is one hell of a food destination, compared to poor old Manchester which has lost its excitement since Juniper closed.

As I have mentioned before about Paul's beef and (usually) egg custard tart combo, it is no different from the trad Italian pairing of beef/venison and crema fritta. Not really that strange.

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So we are talking turning water into wine at this gaf!!. Now that IS avant guard!

Praise the lord, aka Saint P Kitchen.! :laugh:

I saw him once pour water over some purple stuff, I think it turned into Ribena......Fooking miracle it was. I nearly gave him some bread and fish. :raz:

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" Its a bit different to Juniper" said the Geordie.

" A bit different is an understatement, this is totally stunning, jaw droppingly so" said the other Geordie.

We had just had the royal tour, through the three achingly beautiful bedrooms with their freestanding baths, wet rooms, and wonderful views.

As we stood in the foyer on the £100 a metre moth and thistle carpet, the kitchen staff were ready for off.

" Any future stars amongst them Paul"

" There all stars, every one of them"

So the relief of the first night opening finally sinking in, he walked his troops to the door, thanking them for their efforts, wishing them goodnight, and reminding them that tomorrow is another day.

Katie meanwhile was with her staff, going over front of house stuff, again with the relief that everything had gone to plan.

She had worked the room superbly, making sure everybody was happy and well informed with the detail.

21212 has raised the bar considerably on the Edinburgh restaurant scene, the massive £4.5 m spend makes this THE must visit foodie destination.

Everything about it smacks quality, they have taken an incredible Georgian building in a fantastic location, preserved the fabric with its fabulous cornicing and corbelling, and skillfully, and tastefully, injected a huge amount of pizazz.

As it was opening night we were all given a wonderful and more than welcome glass of champagne from our hosts.

The first floor lounge is the point that the quality really hits home, with an open plan ajoining room with a circular table for a private dinner, although there is also a stunning private dining area proper.

We were shown to the best seats in the house, for foodies at least, a table a deux facing the floor to ceiling glass fronted kitchen, this is table number one by the way.

It has to be said however, there is not a bad table in the room, there is something for everybody, including those blissfully in love.

Cooking on electric, by choice " to keep the heat down" Paul works at a thoughtful pace with his attentive staff, two of whom who have followed him from Juniper.

No histrionics in this kitchen, just heads down intent.

Chicken BLT, Meaux Mustard Cream.

Warm Scallops, 7 peas, Tomato butter.

Soup.

Baked Turbot,Chorizo, Dates, Vanilla, Swede Puree.

Tender Beef Fillet "a la greque"

Cheese.

Savoury Cheesecake, Ginger and Nutmeg Sorbet.

Baked Egg Custard, Raspberry and Banana Trifle, Linseed.

Well we both had one of each course, as always the gentleman giving my wife the first choice.

Don't wait for butter with the bread, a fantastically flavoured bit of thoughtfullness with its sultana and pistachio filling.

Its deemed to be as nice as it gets without the addition of butter, and who am I to disagree. .

We did not get the two chips from the teasing intro website listing, we did however get "7 peas" or at least my wife did with her scallops, we both declared them delish.

My Chicken BLT was a pretty decent start to proceedings and as we were to find out, throughout the meal there are a few surprise flavours we just could not get.

Paul does not do braising he's more "a la minute" as in the truly tender Beef fillet.

My Turbot was excellent and chorizo just lifts it, vanilla, dates and swede puree added there bit also.

The puy lentils may have seamed a bit al dente, however it was explained to me, Paul wanted a bit more bite with the fish.

Paul likes fish, and I begin to understand why a bit more, as he worked for a chef called Ian Mc Andrew, who's book I have " A feast of Fish".

Cheese course was always integral to the Juniper menu, and if anybody knows a bit about it, he does.

Needless to say it was, perfect.

Pre dessert was one of those witty little Juniper jokey things with the paper cups, the coconut porridge milk, was delish, just missing the cornflakes. lol

Desserts were on the money and finished the meal off with fitting success

Mrs G skipped coffee( included) whilst I really fancied a cup of cha.

It arrived in oversized teapot, highly decorated, as it should be and was thoroughly enjoyable.

I'm ashamed to admit to having a poor memory, there was a lot more going on than I can convey, however I will try harder next time, and have no doubt there will be a next time, very soon.

"We have something in common Paul, I was born in Gateshead, although a few years before you. lol

"Never, where aboots"

"Bensham road"

"Your jokin, I was born in Bensham Road"

Small world is'n't it.

2 dinner £120

1 half bottle Pinot Grigio Isozo £18

1 half bottle Valduero Crianza £23

1 glass Pouilly Fume 2007 £7

1 glass Saint Aubin 1er Cru £10.50

Les Combes,Domaine Larue

2006

Bottle sparkling water £3.50

Total £182 plus tip.

Food miles 589

Food smiles :smile::smile::smile::smile::smile:

My abiding moment of this trip, was Paul standing in the backlit doorway, in his whites, as proud as punch, waving goodbye.

Edited by david goodfellow (log)

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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I agree, the kitchen-facing table is great - my wife & I secured it for dinner on 21212s 2nd night (Thursday). Such an occasion I finally registered for a posting ID after years of being a slient egullet observer.

The kitchen was incredibly measured throughout, but still enthralling. Location is a tricky one - great for those who know where it is, with great views, but it will get nil passing trade. The decor is impressive (steely grey like Kitchin but more formal) though won't have helped with the pricing. The economics could be challenging, especially given the rate of new redundancies sweeping Edinburgh.

Service - not yet 100% polished, but very good for second night. Waiting staff well above the Edinburgh norm. The sommelieuse is great - I think she may previously have been at No 1 where she ran a good list.

Wine list - Strong in the traditional areas. Most bottles rather young for my tastes but we picked out a 1998 Aloxe Corton from Antoine Guyon, which was drinking very nicely. Pricing not overly generous, but at the £40-100 range there is more choice than Kitchin.

Drawing room - Upstairs with great views; house champagne is good (Henriot) but the giant green olives served with it were great. Various freeze-dried goodies with the olives were a sign of things to come. The private dining room looked impressive from a quick peak, but it may get much less business now than when it was planned 12-18 months ago - business dining in Edinburgh has fallen off a cliff.

Cutlery - all a bit surgical. I agree the fork for the beef is impractical (particularly when you try to pick up the broccoli gremolata with it), but we found the odd cheese knives great for demolishing the enormous cheese course.

Menu - curiously, identical to the first night, as per postings above, despite the PR suggesting the the menu would change daily. Perhaps a soft launch?

Starters - Scallop with 7 peas was very fine. We think the 7 peas are seven ingredients beginning with P among the accompaniments, though we only worked out 6 of them. Chicken BLT was a little disappointing - the braised lettuce was superb, the dried tomatoes & sweetcorn great, but the chicken itself was rather bland and the bacon was not as good as I eat at home (Ballancrieff, based in nearby East Lothian). Fiddly small bowls and not the largest portions.

Soup - a good carrot & apple soup, with tasty bits of artichoke heart floating on a slice of salami and a cauliflower foam. The comedy apple bootlace was good. A nicely balanced combination

Mains - Turbot was delicious, well described in earlier postings. The beef dish was astoundingly complex. I think the mystery "white stuff" may have been lemon/lime meringue pie filling and worked with the exquisitely cooked beef. The dried aubergine slice acted as a good scoop for the foam, which I think may have been a tomatoey bisque. What appeared to be a slice of crisped pecorino with saffron & poppyseeds was divine, but too small to take full pleasure. Lots more going on that we didn't record this time around.

Pre-dessert - coconut porridge milk was enjoyable, but seemed caught in limbo. Served in paper cups that looked more suited to counting out pills. If pre-desserts are allowed within the 21212 menu framework then I would vote for an amuse bouche instead, to balance the menu.

Cheese - pre-plated, all at the right temperature, in great condition, and a wide range (10 or so), with tasty porridge biscuits. The size and simplicity of this course felt slightly out of balance with the small but playful earlier ones, but we love cheese so we went with it. A runny half Munster was the stand out.

Desserts - Really rather special. The creme brulee (egg custard on the menu) came in a delightful trough filled to the brim with exactly the right level of brule. I'm not sure what made the cheesecake "savoury" but it was very unctuous (perhaps tonka bean?) and the candied orange peel in the base was spot on. The ginger & nutmeg sorbet was reminiscent of home made ginger beer, in a good way.

Coffee - poor, and served in cardboard coffee shop cups with a Nespresso label. Sounds like tea is the better option. Bonbons served with were plain chocolate truffles, but extremely good.

Overall - A great addition to Edinburgh, and it should quickly get a star, but for me not the stand out "best in the North" (for me, that is still L'Enclume). Slightly larger portions of each plate would have helped me appreciate and savour the combinations more, rather focussing on trying to work out what it all was before it had gone. Also, the focus on easy lumps of meat off the bone (on the night and in the PR) is a pity - Edinburgh diners switching from Kitchin are unlikely to be put off by more complex meaty flavours so I'm not sure what the reason is. I'll be back, but from a sample of one visit Kitchin or Wishart are more my style.

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Starters - Scallop with 7 peas was very fine.  We think the 7 peas are seven ingredients beginning with P among the accompaniments, though we only worked out 6 of them.  Chicken BLT was a little disappointing - the braised lettuce was superb, the dried tomatoes & sweetcorn great, but the chicken itself was rather bland and the bacon was not as good as I eat at home (Ballancrieff, based in nearby East Lothian).  Fiddly small bowls and not the largest portions.

I'm glad to hear you had a good experience, I'm looking forward to going back in a couple of months to see what it's like when the team are all fully in their stride (let's face it, they've started from a good place).

I agree about Ballencrieff, Peter and Elma probably produce the best pork and bacon in Scotland right now; though I'm a bit conflicted, part of me wants to trumpet them (along with a few others such as Well Hung and Tender) but the other part of me wants to be always able to get my bacon, trotters, hams when I want them.

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Welcome aboard.

Glad you enjoyed it

Nice to get your take on the "white stuff"

We could'n't work it out, perhaps your right.

There were a lot of flavours going on that were, little teases on the palate, but we could not get them all.

Most definitely part of Pauls skill is making one think a bit more about the food.

I asked the man himself for a bit of a breakdown on the dishes, but he playfully shrugged his shoulders and said " its no good asking me".

A lot of thought has gone into the detail, and you mentioned the (imo) stunning little cheese knives, which are made by Dudson a pottery company, that Katie really liked

Equally the glassware, the wine glasses cup into the hand perfectly.

Portion size is a bit close to my heart, I'm a trencherman, although my wife reckons as I am ageing that she can out eat me now.

I know where you are coming from, we did not leave peckish, perhaps on reflection a bit more of the main would be welcome.

That said however the cheese course alone is quite filling(if you like cheese of course)

We dined at L'Enclume very recently and really enjoyed it.

We took lunch at the Kitchin (see my post) on Thursday and again really enjoyed it

Not been to Wisharts, but will on our next visit, we did however pass it when we went to the Kitchin, its not the best of sites is it?

Leaving the food to one side, and comparing the three places that I have dined at, by far, and I mean a country mile the most glamorous and totally special in every way is 21212.

Its just stunning.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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I only ate at Juniper twice, both memorable experiences.

I'm seriously trying to find an excuse for a trip to Edinburgh now... :biggrin:

We also only ate at Juniper twice. First time was fantastic (although I did seriously consider getting a bag of chips on the way home). Second time (in its final month) was much less stellar.

Even so, it sounds like a trip up north is now on the cards.

John Hartley

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