Breaking Travel News explores: Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian: Grazing by Mark Greenaway
There was chaos on the streets of Edinburgh the night we visited Grazing by Mark Greenway.
Beyoncé was staging the latest leg of the Renaissance world tour at Murrayfield – and the Scottish capital was at something like full capacity.
Sirens were whirring, buses idled in traffic and trams were packed as we approached.
But, inside, the situation was transformed.
Standing proudly at the western end of Princes Street, Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - the Caledonian is situated in a former Victorian railway building.
It sits in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle and its reputation for style and excellence has attracted generations of locals, international visitors and notable personalities for over one hundred years.
This history may explain the size, with diners asked to walk through two larger dining spaces before reaching the rather concealed interior entrance to Grazing by Mark Greenaway itself.
Once inside, we were greeted with an oasis of measured calm, with liveried members of staff darting around attending to the myriad needs of the assembled guests.
No panic here.
The design includes the obligatory splash of tartan, but overall, the tone is muted, reflective – and a world away from the outside.
The ethos of Grazing by Mark Greenaway is “focused on provenance and produce,” and this appears to have paid dividends.
Greenway himself has selected the best Scottish and English producers with whom to work, so everything from the vegetables to the best Scotch fillet of beef is at its peak seasonal best across the menus.
That menu is short, but well-formed – Greenway has confidence in the offering and there is no need to guild the lily with countless choices.
To open, I enjoyed the ripped burrata with toasted cauliflower, which was light, fresh and a great way to start.
Served with toasted focaccia, the size was ample, but not overwhelming – a well-rounded dish.
My guest selected the confit duck leg terrine, served with an imaginative cheddar doughnut and mulled wine pickle shallots.
Again, this was well-received.
These are not explosively innovative dishes, but ones that offer reliable quality with flourishes of imagination.
Edinburgh itself – at least in the centre – is a city dedicated to tourism.
The streets throng with accents from around the world, and there is certainly no shortages of American guests.
Many of the more well-heeled visitors from North America will understandably find their way to the Waldorf Astoria, with the brand taking its name from the original property on Fifth Avenue in New York.
The mains we selected seemingly catered to this market.
The braised Angus beef short rib with red wine jus was hearty and effective, while the half roast chicken with haggis stuffing delivered exactly what was expected.
In the same way the bagpipes ring out along Princes Street and the Royal Mile, haggis is included in virtually every culinary interaction in Edinburgh – and very welcome it is.
For dessert, sticky toffee pudding souffle continued the theme of robust interpretations of acknowledged classics, while the pavlova – served with lemon, hibiscus and poached kumquat – rounded out the evening.
There is a surprisingly extensive wine list on offer, which the knowledgeable, affable team will be pleased to chat you through if needed.
For those in a hurry, ‘Mark’s Snacks’ – which include beef tartare, a beetroot tartlet and halibut with yuzu - are on offer for a very affordable £7 each.
There is also a tasting menu, offering five courses for £65 – with wine parings for an additional £50 – which seems keenly priced in mid-2023.
Perhaps even Beyoncé could be tempted, post-show!
There is more on Grazing by Mark Greenway on the official website.