Everywhere you turn in Edinburgh there’s something of interest, but this place is extraordinary! Located within a building dating to the 1500’s, The Witchery by the Castle is a Michelin ranked restaurant at the end of the Royal Mile, just before the entrance to Edinburgh Castle. The Witchery is named in memory of the hundreds of women who were hanged and burned at the stake as witches just a stone’s throw away. Despite the grisly past, there is nothing but beauty and fantastic food within. I could easily imagine what it may have felt like to be sitting there in the 1700’s. The decor includes original oak, large windows, candles, statuary, fresh flowers, decorated wood ceilings, and ambiance to spare.
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The Witchery at the Castle was a lucky discovery. We were making our way towards Edinburgh Castle, heading west on the Royal Mile when it started raining. It was past lunchtime and we were hungry when we saw the sign for the Witchery. I was immediately intrigued and became even more so once we saw the Boswell’s Court entrance. According to a plaque near the entrance, around 1770 the Scots writer John Boswell met and dined in this building with Dr. Samuel Johnson, his learned friend, and subject of his book, ‘Life of Johnson’.
Typically, I wouldn’t have gone on inside since I was severely underdressed, in wet jeans, my favorite Doctor Who tee-shirt, and Columbia rain jacket. Attire notwithstanding, we received a very warm welcome and were seated. I still opted to keep my coat on when they asked if they could take it for me. 🙂 I had Scotch fillet steak, and my sister had a lobster and crab omelet. Both were superb. The wait staff was willing when asked, to share some of the local histories with us.
Serendipity may have led us there in the rain, but I would recommend The Witchery at the Castle to anyone (rain or shine) who may be looking for a unique and memorable meal.