A converted warehouse with a smoke house and in-house butchery, this brick shed offers private dining and a south-facing yard for sunny days. With a focus on sustainability and the environment, all the ingredients are supplied by small, local growers, breeders, producers and foragers. The eight-course meal offers the best of the kitchen with venison cooked in oak oil, langoustine rolled in samphire and roe and elderflower pudding paired with woodruff.

Joanna’s original review made us want to check it out and we have continued to come back.  Where it all started:

Revolutionary, game changing, paradigm shifting, however you like to put it, the opening of Timberyard in Edinburgh will shake up the Scottish, even British restaurant scene. Indeed, it may have the effect of making other restaurants you thought you liked seem old hat, because Timberyard represents a new model for a restaurant, one informed by 20th century experience, but fit for an age when economic and environmental constraints will increasingly shape our lives.

When the news leaked out that Andrew and Lisa Radford, who brought us the Atrium and Blue, had taken on the old timber yard on Lady Lawson Street, financing the venture solely with family loans, one wondered if even these well-respected restaurateurs had lost the plot. It took a monumental leap of faith to believe that such dark, cavernous premises, although full of character, would do anything other than drive quite mad whoever took them on.

So it’s all the more heart-warming to find that they have made it into one of the most original and pleasant restaurant spaces in the land. You can see the smiles breaking out on diners’ faces, as shoulders drop and jaws relax. Everything worth salvaging has been, and the internal spaces have been transformed with natural light, giving you space to move and think, reminiscent of the relaxing fluidity David Hockney achieved in Salts Mills, at Saltaire, in Yorkshire. The flow leads outside to a paved terrace (with raised beds to come) and outhouses (soon to be smokehouse/bread oven) with remarkable multi-level views that combine the verticality of Old Town, crow-stepped gable architecture with Manhattan-style brick.


Timberyard is a family business: son Ben is at the stove with siblings Joe and Abi working front of house. The menu is ingredient-led, predicated on progressive food values. It is studded with ingredients that are genuinely local, several organic, foraged, wild and from small producers, but so reasonably priced and value for money as to see off any complaint of elitism. Thanks to its flexible bites/small/large formula, the menu allows diners to eat as much, or as little, as they want to keep cost down, while dining, in some cases literally, off the fat of the land. At Timberyard, the profiteering restaurateur’s £5 bottle of mineral water (so last century) is replaced by free filtered tap water, either still or sparkling, and chilled. Warm, home baked bread and butter is complimentary.


Maturity underpins the cooking at Timberyard, offering the professionalism and craft skill associated with fine dining, minus the tendency to overwork every ingredient. I was thrilled and delighted with the seasonal wonderfulness of my salad of warm, waxy Sharpe’s Express potatoes, samphire and botanically diverse leaves from Phantassie market garden, which came with one perfect poached egg yolk. Elizabeth David would love this dish. Anyone who thinks they don’t like fish skin must try the gloriously crisp fillet of Anglesey sea bass with wood sorrel, tomatoes and globe artichokes.


The chef had done justice to Hugh Grierson’s impeccably reared lamb. The loin was memorably succulent, with its thin cover of heavenly fat. Its gravy, fragrant with chanterelles, would revive you on your deathbed, and I’ll wager that its potato and melting onion cake, cooked in lamb stock, will become a firm favourite with diners. A generously-proportioned, yielding rib eye steak was electrified by a gravy that caught the top notes of thyme and rosemary, freshened by accompanied by faultless duck fat-fried chips. The kitchen has a feel for slipping in little flavours, sweet cecily on plaice, for instance, that dress a dish in an interesting way.


Desserts scream out freshness and generosity. Your typical berry jelly has a lot of the latter and not much of the former, but at Timberyard a dazzling throng of berries, notably vivacious blackcurrants, were only just contained in a elderflower and mint jelly, with a sherbety crème fraiche sorbet adding coolness. A thin buttery tartlet, so crisp it might shatter, came filled with intense lemon custard, a frost of caramel, and topped by a zingy, and not oversweet, raspberry sorbet.

It’s just so easy to like and admire Timberyard, a bold, forward-thinking concept, delivered with heart and soul.


10 Lady Lawson Street, Edinburgh 0131 221 1222


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