Feeling a bit lazy one bright and sunny Sunday we decided to head in to town for a wander then a spot of lunch. After a gin & tonic at The Angels Share (btw the correct response to “what gins do you stock” isn’t pointing at them lined up behind the bar). We’d heard great things about The Bonham Hotel restaurant so booked in for their Boozy Snoozy Lunch priced at £50 for two people including a bottle of wine.
The Bonham is the dowager duchess sister of the luxury boutique Blythswood Square Hotel in Glasgow – both owned by The Town House Company. This old lady is discreetly tucked away in the New Town at Drumsheugh Gardens and you could easily pass it by without noticing. It’s a lovely quiet spot that feels a world away from the hustle of the city centre. We were welcomed at the door by a very smart young staff member with a clipboard who directed us to our table.
The dining room is what you would expect for this part of town although it was very bright with the sun streaming through the windows highlighting the slightly dusty wooden panelling – both agreed we wouldn’t like to be the cleaning staff. The high ceilings also help to give the feeling of space along with the minimalist decor, oversized lampshades and some quite austere looking monochrome artwork. It sounds a bit of a culture clash but does help to give the room an uncluttered contemporary feel.
The menu is simple which is what you want for a lazy Sunday afternoon’s dining and the wine is a choice of red or white – no major decisions required of the diners. We opted for red which turned out to be a South African Shiraz-Mourvedre and was perfect for our Boozy Snoozy. The wine duly arrived along with some nice bread to nibble on – a nice touch for a fixed price menu.
For starters I decided against my usual beetroot and goats cheese salad (this seems to be on everyones menu at the moment) and went for the confit duck croquette with frisée salad. This was a crispy ball of succulent duck confit served on a couple of crunchy lettuce leaves – It tasted delicious and left me wanting more. Donnie went for the less exciting spiced heritage carrot and buttermilk soup that left him not necessarily wanting more but quite happy.
For seconds I had the roasted chicken breast, sweetcorn puree, chorizo, parsley arancini and wild garlic. Donnie had the slow cooked pork belly, crispy black pudding, apples and young turnips. The chicken was nicely cooked with the chorizo giving everything a nice spicy kick. The pork belly sounded simple but was beautifully constructed on the plate like some abstract painting and was a great combination of textures and flavours. A bite of it made me very envious as it did taste as good as it looked – full marks for taste and presentation. We also shared sides of duck fat chips and kale & roasted chestnuts at £3.50 each – not strictly required but we thought fixed price = smaller portions = still hungry after dinner. This turned out not to be the case here but they were an indulgent treat.
I love dessert so after the terrific starters and mains I was looking forward to being wowed. The choice was difficult but the chocolate lover in me went for the Valrhona chocolate ganache, caramel and brown bread ice cream while Donnie went for the peanut butter semiffredo, cherry and yuzu sorbet and pistachio cake. The sliver (in my chocolate addled mind) of ganache looked a bit mean but tasted so intensely chocolatey that I soon realised a little went a long way. The added crunch of honeycomb with the ice cream made it the perfect end to a sublime lunch. Donnie was also in raptures over his dessert that looked like a beautiful piece of sushi – the clean citrus tang of the Japanese yuzu (ok we had to google that one) contrasting nicely with the peanut butter. We considered ourselves wowed.
The menu at the Bonham sells itself a bit short really as what arrives on your plate (loving the crockery) looks and tastes so much better than the description. We really enjoyed our lazy Sunday lunch and it’s a great place to take visitors – the location and venue look the part, the atmosphere is relaxed, great service plus the imaginative food will leave diners happy. The Bonham have been doing the Boozy Snoozy lunch since 2002 and it must be one of Edinburgh’s best kept secrets but we will definitely be back for more plus the afternoon teas passing by our table looked amazing too!
35 Drumsheugh Gardens
Tel: 0131 274 7400