Tucked away on one of Stockbridge’s quant cobbled streets, is Edinburgh’s first and only curiosities and oddities bar; Boston and Hawthorne. They have come up with a unique dining experience that is sure to surprise and delight any of its customers.
I was invited along to preview their sit down banquet with matching drinks. They promised this to be reminiscent of a medieval feast and boy did they deliver.
Sitting down at a table of five, we were first treated to Gosnells Mead, a crisp and refreshing alcoholic drink that was fermented from honey. This delicious nector was served in a metal goblet and was sweet and light. It was a perfect preparing to introduce our taste buds to the deluge of flavour that we were about to experience.
As the food arrived, my eyes lit up seeing a large wooden platter filled to the brim with juicy meats and tantalising food. The first thing I noticed was the generous portion of smoked cured venison which oozed with succulent juices. Alongside this, they served wild boar and fennel sausages, seared smoked duck, black arancini, breaded garlic and lemon aubergines with anchovy salsa verde, garlic parsley and lemon tossed potatoes and a pepperonata flat bread. Did you catch all of that?
Each aspect of this platter tasted delicious and surprisingly they all married seamlessly together . I enjoyed everything on the board but of course I did have my favourites. The sausages were absolutely delicious, full of flavour and very succulent. A close second was the smoked duck which was very rich and moist. The best part of the meal though, was that we all had to use our hands! At first I was dubious, however it actually allowed me to truly embrace what having a real medieval banquet was like. Due to this, I felt I was able to enjoy the food and the experience more as I was able to feel the different textures in my hand. Surrounded by people I had just met that evening, it definitely broke the ice and made for a defined conversation starter. The meal was washed down with a delicious Portuguese red wine; again a fantastic accompaniment to the meats that I was eating.
Last but not least, I got to experience the delicious range of cocktails that were available at the bar. Sweet, Fruity, Salty and Smoky; whatever flavour you desired they were there on the menu. I chose the unusual Parmatini, a mix of Gin, Meloncello and lemon with parmaham delicately tracing the top of the glass. The taste was remarkably delicious. The fruitiness of the melon liqueur, the acidity of the lemon, the perfume of the gin and the added saltiness from the parmaham was a match made in heaven. Even more surprising was the price, at only £6!
Overall I think this is a fantastic idea for groups of friends who want to escape the cold and tuck into a meal together. The establishment itself is very unique, with quirky ornaments, artwork and unusual nooks and crannies. I found it incredibly welcoming, warm and relaxing and a place that I would most definitely visit again. So I will recommend paying them a visit so you can also bring your inner medieval self out!
Boston and Hawthorne – 50 Dean Street, Edinburgh.
The traditional banquet including a glass of mead or wine is £20pp.