It’s that time of year again where we start thinking about finding the perfect gift for our loved ones. I don’t know about you but last year due to restrictions, I had more than enough experience trawling laboriously through numerous websites. Therefore this year I have been so happy getting out to wander and peruse my favourite stores. Those of you that know me will know that when I am shopping (or anywhere for that matter), I can never be too far from food (hangry is a thing). Luckily I have found the perfect place that combines both shopping and dining all in one place, the one and only Restoration Yard.
Restoration Yard is nestled in the heart of picturesque Dalkeith Country Park and is an impressive retail, food and wellbeing destination. Its location on the outskirts of Edinburgh, allows you to escape the city centre and enjoy a more relaxed shopping experience amid beautiful countryside. As a nature boy at heart, this combination of food, shopping and tranquil scenery is one of the reasons I adore this place so much.
The charming 18th-century stableyard which houses the Restoration Yard retail space was meticulously restored in 2016 and perfectly blends both old and new. The Store at Restoration Yard boasts an extensive range of departments including womenswear, menswear, house and home, beauty and grooming, children’s toys, books, stationery and of course an impressive luxury food hall.
As the festive season approaches, I always aim to schedule a much-needed visit to Restoration yard, not only to enjoy The Stores’ enchanting festive vibe, but I know I’ll find a vast range of unique gifts for all my friends and family. The moment you walk into the store you are greeted with a myriad of twinkling lights, decorations and gifts. The store has been split into numerous beautifully laid out departments, each stocked up with a multitude of tantalising products, some of which you will only find in Restoration Yard. With this in mind, it is Edinburgh’s one-stop-shop for all things Christmas and Gifting.
As my Christmas gift to you, I thought I would take you around The Store at Restoration Yard and select a few of my favourite things, hence making the arduous search for the perfect gift during the festive season much easier.
The Foodhall has recently grown in size and its bright and airy space is full of amazing treats which are perfect for gifting. From wine and spirits, confectionery and sweets, the list is endless and it has everything you need all under one roof. With a family full of foodies, one of my favourite things to gift is a bespoke hamper. This is one of my guilty pleasures as it allows me to wander around and assemble a gift that is completely bespoke to the persons taste, and luckily for me Restoration Yard has an abundance of interesting products to choose from.
After perusing the enticing shelves (with stomach rumbling) my eyes zoned in to the Restoration Yards own range of jams, chutneys and marmalades. Conveniently, Restoration Yard has a selection of beautiful wicker baskets to choose from which are available to purchase, allowing you to roam around and fill the basket until your heart is content. If however you are limited in time, Restoration Yard take out all the hard work by providing a choice of pre-made hampers that are lovingly wrapped and ready to gift.
Beauty & Wellness
To get through the long, dark and often rainy Scottish winters, who doesn’t love pampering themselves with relaxing hot baths and cosy candlelit evenings. Luckily the store has a multitude of Beauty and Wellness items which make the ideal stocking fillers and gifts, most notably from Restoration Yard’s very own range. The new Restoration Yard Wellbeing and Beauty Collection launched earlier this year includes luxury hand wash and cream, shower gel, bath oil and soap. My favourite from the stunning selection has to be Wild Lemon which exudes a vibrant and uplifting scent. The fresh and green nuances of lemon, lime & tea tree, transports me to summer holidays in Italy which I can only imagine will help us through the winter months. The best thing is that the whole collection is made using 100% natural essential oils, making it a sustainable gift for yourself, friends or family.
As you’re probably aware from my previous posts, I am a huge enthusiast for personal fragrances. As well as this I am always on the lookout for a good quality home fragrance that ignites the olfactory experience and fills the home with decadent scent. Restoration Yard’s range extends to home fragrance which includes both reed diffusers and candles in a number of scent profiles, including; Gardenia, Caledonian Pine, Sicilian Sunshine, Atheneum and Wild Lemon. I immediately gravitated towards Atheneum which emits an outstanding smoky blend of soothing Cedarwood, Sandalwood & Fir needles. From the elegant packaging, high-quality ingredients and noteworthy fragrance, I know for certain it would make an ideal gift. I mean who doesn’t love a candle right!
House & Home
The House and Home department in Restoration Yard is one of my favourite places to wander and spend numerous hours just browsing the shelves for remarkable products for the home. From kitchen and dining, textiles and furniture, home accessories and additional candles and diffusers, it is a treasure trove of goods. Whether it is a quirky mug, an intricate frame for a family photo or a sculptured vase to adorn a new home, it is here where you can find some excellent gifts. Why not shop for yourself and stock up on stunning tableware and glassware to truly make your Christmas table dazzle? Within this section you will find an outstanding selection of stationery and books. I immediately picked up the Provence Cookbook by Caroline Craig which would make a great addition to my bespoke hamper gift. The range of Octo London natural soy wax candles are also impressive, especially the comforting Amber fragrance.
Within The Store you can find the impressive Menswear department which has a range of Coats and Jackets, Jumpers and Knitwear, Shirts and Tops, and accessories. Their Autumn/Winter collection exudes a modern country vibe intertwined with a few formal options, which can easily transition from countryside to city. This unique aspect is ideal for the contemporary gent who wants to look stylish whilst protecting themselves from the unpredictable Scottish weather. We all know I am a huge fan of blue and even though there were many choices, there is no surprise that I gravitated toward items of this colour. I’ve always been a fan of Select Homme, and Restoration Yard is one of the few places that stock it in Edinburgh. Their navy Morrison Coat was the perfect fit and length and I especially loved the fact that the garment is made from recycled wool, so Santa if you are listening this is on my Christmas Wishlist. Check out my Menswear wishlist below.
Restoration Yard has you covered when it comes to interesting gift choices for men, including board games, grooming products and books. What particularly stood out for me was their extensive range of Gentlemen’s Hardware products, a great choice to help the man in your life look his best.
The Kitchen at Restoration Yard
There is no point in taking me shopping without a place to eat nearby (unless you want to see the grinch). Thankfully, The Kitchen at Restoration Yard provides a delicious choice of dishes for breakfast, brunch and lunch. As it is located directly opposite the store your weary shopping legs don’t have to walk far to enjoy all the tasty morsels it has to offer. After a satisfying shopping trip, I paid a visit to try out their newly launched autumn menu.
This beautiful bright and spacious eatery always feels so welcoming and is a great place to enjoy a meal with family or friends. What I especially like is its expansive windows which allow light to flood the space, which is sometimes very much needed in Edinburgh’s dreich winter days. Whatever the weather, It is the perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy a fabulous meal whilst taking in the views of the stunning extensive grounds and the adjacent historic Orangerie. My partner and I opted for their lunch menu which offers an extensive selection of light bites, mains, desserts and not forgetting drinks, that cater for every dietary requirement.
From the light bites section, I chose their crispy Tempura Shrimp Tacos deliciously enriched with avocado salsa, gem lettuce and a smooth Japanese sweet chilli mayo and my partner had the very healthy Buddha Bowl of spiced beetroot, smashed avocado, mixed beans, sweet chilli and Israeli couscous. Both of the dishes were beautifully fresh and full of flavour but I must say the succulent shrimp with crispy tempura batter was my absolute favourite. For a light bite, the dishes were rather substantial but luckily for me, I have a hearty appetite so I couldn’t wait to see what dishes they served up next.
From The Kitchen’s Marvellous Mains my partner selected the Homemade beef burger served on a soft brioche bun, crunchy gem lettuce and a tomato chilli jam accompanied with French fries. I chose the Smoked paprika, lime and coriander marinated chicken breast with a perfectly smooth sweet potato mash, asparagus spears and a refreshing citrus crème fraîche.
I wasn’t going to leave without trying their mouth-watering selection of desserts and I have to admit I wasn’t a disappointment. We both shared the Restoration Yard Eaton Mess along with the Chocolate and stem ginger biscuit torte. The Eton mess was everything that I had hoped for and more, enhanced by a smothering of addictive salted cameral sauce and chunks of sugary white chocolate fudge. Let’s just say I left The Kitchen with my stomach full and a smile on my face.
We all know that Christmas shopping is demanding enough without the thought of having to traipse around countless stores in order to find the ideal gift for your loved ones. Restoration Yard removes all the hassle, providing a laid back shopping experience with a profusion of unique gifts all under one roof. Restoration Yard does exactly what it says on the tin, it restores you, providing a welcoming and relaxed ambience with idyllic natural surroundings and place to sit back and enjoy a delicious meal. I hope I’ve provided some good gift ideas, but to be honest, these are just a little flavour of what they have to offer. So have your Christmas list at the ready and I hope you enjoy a visit soon to one of my favourite shopping destinations.
Dalkeith Country Park via Town Gate,
Dalkeith EH22 1ST