We were most excited when an invitation arrived in our inbox for a Gastro evening at The Dunstane to launch their new menus and to introduce their brand new chef Paul Hood.
The Dunstane
The Dunstane’s restaurant, Skerries was on our list to visit in 2015 so we were really keen to go along and join in the fun (all in the name of research of course!).
Situated in the West End of Edinburgh close to Haymarket station, The Dunstane is a beautiful boutique hotel oozing quality, warmth and charm.  The Dunstane has been owned by the Mowat family from Orkney for over 16 years and they have expanded the hotel considerably (they also have the Dustane City in the Town House building opposite).  The Dunstane has always had a quiet reputation for excellent food using Orkney’s finest ingredients and they are now looking to shout a little louder on the Edinburgh food scene.

When we arrived the place was buzzing with excitement and we received a very warm Orcadian welcome from the family and members of staff along with a rather nice gin and elderflower cocktail.  The hotel and restaurant have a very close knit team of staff who all seem to really love working there – this really shines through in the level of service and passion that each of them has for the business.

Be sure to check out their website
Joining the team, and the main focus of the evening’s event is chef Paul Hood, who is bringing his innovative skills and passion to the kitchen to create some exciting new menus.  Paul has an impressive CV having worked previously at Prestonfield, La Garrigue and The Caledonian Pompadour.  He also happens to be the son of Scotland’s first Michelin Starred Chef, so arrives with very good credentials.
Paul Hood – Chef
Paul’s objective is to transform the dining experience at Skerries with new menus, tasting menus and monthly menu updates. The wonderful produce of Orkney features strongly in every menu; this is a family extremely proud of their Orkney roots and is evident throughout.
Paul has come up with an Orkney Tasting Menu that includes Orkney Scallops, North Ronaldsay Lamb Loin, Highland Park cured Salmon, Orkney Rib of Beef, wonderful Orkney Cheeses and a very naughty sounding Chocolate and Orkney Fudge Fondant.  Our mouths were watering just reading the Menu and anticipation was building to taste the bite-sized samples that Paul and his team had prepared for the gathering.
Orkney Tasting Menu
Paul’s canapes certainly packed lots of flavour and style.  We tasted some delicious mini venison and steak burgers, Gressingham duck, Salmon and Caviar and mushroom and goats cheese pastries.  Eating canapés isn’t my strong point – always manage to end up wearing them – but they certainly left us wanting to return for more!
The Canapés
The Dunstane also invited some of their suppliers along for the evening including Glenfiddich Whisky, Wine Importers Scotland and their trusted butchers Shaws Fine Meats.  The Glenfiddich blind whisky tasting involved sampling a 12 year old whisky, a 15 year old and an 18 year old whisky – I have expensive tastes as the 18 year old won hands down.  We then moved on to wine tasting with Wine Importers who are a very trusted part of the Skerries team and have been providing their wines for several years.  The wine list is just about to be refreshed so plenty to look forward to when we next visit.
Whisky Tasting
We had a super evening and thanks to everyone at The Dunstane and The Posh Agency for our invitation and such warm hospitality.  We’re already looking forward to a return visit for a relaxing dram in the Stane Whisky Bar before heading through to the restaurant for what promises to be an exciting and innovative Orcadian feast.
Skerries Restaurant
4 West Coates
EH12 5JQ
Tel: 0131 337 6169
Twitter: @dunstanehotels


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