We were recently invited for a meal and cocktails at The Printing Press within the Principal Hotel because we have a really difficult life sometimes. They must have picked up on our ample appetites and enthusiasm for cocktails and they wouldn’t have been the first. I am often drooling over their creative cocktails and clever cuisine from my little nook in Aberdeenshire. Dining in the restaurant is my very own Visit Edinburgh tradition.
Me Likey, Me Lighty
The Georgian building used to be home to the acclaimed novelist, Susan Ferrier. She was once compared to Jane Austen by Sir Walter Scott. Robert Burns was also a frequent visitor. Both the bar and restaurant are elegant, classic and very inviting, pulling design inspiration from the establishments literary past.
There are many original features in the Printing Press due to the age of the building. The designers have designed around these to flatter and favour, adding to the classic luxury of the restaurant.
Starter Me Up
I plan what I’m going to have from a menu like 2 weeks before I even get there. Initially, I had 3 starters and 3 mains in mind after seeing the menu but I am not on Man V Food and I probably would of been forced out due to over-consumption. For the record, I only had one course in each section. I may be jiggly but I’m not a total gannet.
Whilst we scanned over the menu 73 times, we were served up some of those infamous, funky and fruity Printing Press cocktails. Those were the cocktails I blamed for falling asleep in the lift on the way back to the room. My first was The Secret Garden which includes lemon balm and lavender-infused Bombay Sapphire gin, Lillet Blanc, elderflower, celery bitters and Prosecco. So fresh. My better-half had an Old Fashioned. During the meal, we tested out 4 different cocktails from the menu, all of which were beautiful.
The array of starters on the menu were all very tempting but we did eventually manage to settle. We enjoyed the hand-dived scallops with seaweed and lime butter and sea herbs and the native oysters, red wine vinegar and shallots.
I have absolute admiration for the divers that dive down and hand pick scallops. I would be incredibly useless at this job as I would definitely eat all the scallops between the time I caught them on the sea bed and the time I came back up to the surface. Like some species of wild shark.
The main event
For main, I had the Wellington Farm pork chop, bacon, onion spelt and crispy kale which was beyond divine. My man-in-tow had the duck breast, braised endive, candied walnuts and mushroom purée with… chips. He can’t eat anything without chips. He is a chip.
Just Pudding it out there
Oh I do say, I was terribly full after the first 2 helpings to the extent I couldn’t move so when dessert was offered of course I said yes… I got stuck into a warm apple sponge with Sussex sauce and salted vanilla ice cream. My company didn’t have a desert, leaving me to look like a little piggy wiggy.
Experience is key
The Printing Press restaurant is calming, comfortable, cosy and charming. Both the décor and the staff are of a very high standard and the food made me physically emotional due to happiness.
I couldn’t recommend the Printing Press more to both Edinburgh visitors and locals looking for something a little different. The staff will look after you from the moment you walk through the doors until the moment you leave and you can bet you will leave feeling satisfied and delighted with your visit.
Our charming hosts at The Principal arranged everything for us and for that, we could not be any more grateful. We would like to express our thanks, until next time.