More Edinburgh businesses make it into popular guide

The Mosque Kitchen
The Mosque Kitchen
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IT has become something of a bible for both tourists and locals keen to discover the best places to eat, drink and socialise in Edinburgh.

And despite the global economic downturn, new city businesses making it into the latest edition of the best-selling travel guide Scotland The Best have outnumbered those to have closed their doors.

“Edinburgh continues to be on the rise despite the recession,” said author Peter Irvine, from Broughton.

“It was a pleasant surprise to discover, among the doom and gloom, more places have opened up than closed down.”

Mr Irvine’s research involved travelling the country to give first-hand accounts of the country’s “best places to stay”, “best beaches”, “best ice cream” and “best spooky places”, to name just a few.

He also reassessed every recommendation he had made in the previous edition to check it was still worthy of inclusion in the guide, which has sold around 250,000 copies across the world since 2003.

In Edinburgh he discovered that owing to the number of new businesses to have opened up – ones which also passed his strict test – he was forced to put others on his “out” list.

He said: “Some were demoted. Every edition I raise the bar, so places really have to be good enough compared to similar establishments.”

In this edition of the guide, 46 businesses made it on to Mr Irvine’s “In” list, many for the first time, including Castle Terrace Restaurant, The Witchery in Castlehill, and the Mosque Kitchen, in Nicolson Street.

In comparison, 37 are on the “Out” list, either due to closure or for no longer meeting the author’s high standards, including Black Bo’s, in Blackfriars Street.

Mr Irvine, who is also responsible for organising Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations, added: “When I started this journey I was determined to raise the bar yet again and in so doing omit more than I would add.

“However, although lots of places have gone, surprisingly in these challenging times, there are a lot more new entries than I expected, so the book gets bigger as Scotland gets better.”

Mr Irvine believes Edinburgh is at the forefront of many areas in the service industry.

This includes boutique hotels, such as Tigerlily, on George Street; French restaurants, such as La Garrigue, in Eyre Place; and Thai and Chinese eateries.

He said: “Glasgow, for example, has two Thai restaurants on my list, from a possible three that are good. Edinburgh, on the other hand, has nine from a possible 20.

“Edinburgh does laid back very well too, an ability to have ‘cool’ places where people feel very comfortable.”

Scotland the Best is released on December 8.