Tasty addition to Edinburgh’s restaurant scene - Fiona Duff

It’s always nice to receive an invitation in January. You know, that dead month (well, I know it was Burns Night yesterday and you may have indulged in some haggis and a wee nip) when half your friends seem to be on dry January and many more have some sort of lurgy.

Stuart Hunter, Cameron Taylor and Murray Ainslie outside trhe Black Grape
Stuart Hunter, Cameron Taylor and Murray Ainslie outside trhe Black Grape

So anyway, you can imagine how excited I was to receive an invitation to a party to launch a new restaurant on Cannongate – the Black Grape – tonight.

However, there was a slight problem in that this column appears on a Thursday and so wouldn’t be able to tell you all about it.

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As it happens a friend asked if I wanted to meet for lunch last Saturday and chose the Black Grape – she is the sort of person who keeps her ear to the ground when it comes to new places to eat.

Well, let me tell you this is a very welcome addition to Edinburgh eateries.

Lots of ‘small plates’, each one of which was so tasty that I could have eaten a large plate

Everything was beautifully presented by really lovely, young and smiley staff which always brightens the day.

At one point it was one of the co-owners, Murray, who appeared with the mini brioche loaf, a thing of absolute wonder which he told us was baked in their own kitchen.

At a time when we keep reading of restaurants closing, from top end Michelin star joints to humble cafes Murray and his mates might be seen as slightly deranged.

However, it is a lovely bright and airy space which I think will be a hit with locals and tourists alike.

Frankly I shall return in order to try to break into the kitchen and get the recipe for that bread and the whipped butter which came as an accompaniment.

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So tonight I shall raise a glass to this new venture and live in hope that this is a new dawn.

Perhaps energy companies will start to realise some responsibility for the prices they charge and help us all to enjoy a delicious meal.