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“Witchery sadly 2nd rate”

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The Witchery by the Castle
Ranked #26 of 394 Edinburgh B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 20, 2013

Witchery sadly said that there was no way 1 extra could be added to our already numerous attendance. The next table was unoccupied for entire meal. Service was poor and slow. Main courses were sadly poor, Roe deer extremely dry and tough (4 diners reported this) Steak caused a visit to toilet (1 diner reported this). Not tip left and 1 tip for you out there, don't go to the witchery it's a rip off.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Service
3  Thank PedroEdinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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967 - 973 of 1,542 reviews

Reviewed December 18, 2013

We ate in the Witchery on December 15th to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We loved everything about it. We eat out frequently in London and have high expectations. The service was attentive and friendly and they tried very hard to make us feel welcome. Our Daughter had organised a surprise and they had followed instructions and taken every care to help her. The food was delicious, the wine wonderful and the pudding divine. The setting is very romantic and I loved the candles and ribbons on the napkins. We will definitely return.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank littlecottage1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2013

We stayed here last year, and this might the last time...not cheap at about £320/night...we have antiques at most of our homes and they don't have doors falling off or cabinets that don't close..just because they are antique doesn't mean they can't be restored..ok, on to breakfast...a "continental spread" which is ok..but when I asked about the "Cooked" option, wow, another £26/couple please, eh eh.....not a chance. It's a shame, great location, lovely staff, but they are chancing it a bit these days. Time to look elsewhere.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank mouton99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2013

Its always disappointing to go to a restaurant that has absolutely everything going for it, for the experience to be underwhelming because of poor service. This is a gorgeous restaurant. Moody and romantic, all candles and gothic architecture. The menu is elegant and fuses a wonderful mix of Scottish ingredients into a fantastic dining experience. The wine list is impressive, as good as I have seen anywhere, and ranges from £30 bottles to over £6000. Given the ambience, the menu and the wonderful cooking I cannot for the life of me understand why the restaurant employs waiting staff who very clearly do not know what they are doing. A bottle of champagne between a table of 8 managed to get poured between 7 so we had to order an extra bottle. We mostly ended up pouring wine ourselves because glasses kept being missed. We were asked to order the wine by the number on the list which seems a little inept. A wine list like this should not be left in the custody of a waiter who does not know about wine. Most things were too much trouble. There was a celeriac dauphinois dish on the menu that I wanted as a side dish. Apparently this could not be done. I cannot fathom why. Other slight variations could not be accommodated. On the bright side it is not expensive. Our bill including 3 bottles of Billecart Salmon Rose and 4 bottles of mid range wine was less than £130 per head (table of 8) which seemed good value for the quality. With better service, which I expect is all down to lack of experience and training this could be an amazing restaurant.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
3  Thank mustbefivestar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2013

We visited the Secret Garden yesterday lunch time and thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience. All the staff were friendly and welcoming and service, atmosphere and attention to detail were impeccable throughout. The light lunch menu, although short, gave adequate choice and with a glass of champagne, represented good value for money. The soup tasted like liquid velvet and both the fish pie and risotto melted in the mouth. We were unable to resist the delights of the dessert and coffee menu and were very reluctant to leave the understated, festive appeal of the restaurant to venture out into the stormy December afternoon. The restaurant was recommended by friends and more than lived up to it's deserved reputation.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Glynis H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2013

We went to the Witchery last night, having been given a gift experience for 2 (pre-theatre menu and a glass of fizz) by family last Christmas time. We dined in the Secret garden. Pleasant surrounds but extremely hot inside. Pleasant and polite staff, though never saw the same person twice. Terrible and tiny choice of food on the pre-theatre menu and it was shoved away at the end of the main menu. Portions were very small and given incorrect information on the contents of the omelette to start, which contained some fish. Risotto was tasteless and watery and partner got 1 venison sausage with little more than a spoonful of mash; very sparse. Fizz was pleasant but left feeling hungry and really disappointed, especially as we'd looked forward to it for a few weeks. I'd urge anyone to avoid buying this Witchery gift experience. Oddly, based on the cost of it on the website this year, it would cost less to buy the two pre-theatre dinners and 2 glasses of fizz in the restaurant, than buy the gift experience voucher. That's shameful!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Fiona C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2013

This was our 2nd visit to the Witchery. Last time we stayed in the Old Rectory but this time we stayed in the Inner Sanctum and loved it. Slightly different layout: you enter through the door into a room with table, ornaments etc. To the left is the bedroom, to the right the bathroom. We loved the working gas fire...very cosy, 4 poster bed, raised dining area. Huge bath, complimentary champagne and chocolates.
The room was a little noisy as there was access to staff areas next to our room. We probably preferred this to the Old rectory as it was more cosy and lighting a little brighter. Hair straighteners and hair dryer provided. We would probably return to this room or the old rectory above us. Don't fancy the rooms on the opposite side of the road. Would love to try the Turret, (thanks to Derek for advice and photos!)
We ate in the Witchery restaurant, very atmospheric. Actually preferred it to the secret garden but was a little irritated after choosing my wine when the waiter suggested I spend 2x as much on a different bottle. When I politely declined, he suggested I spend Another £10+ on something he could recommend....I don't think so!
Food was lovely. I was slightly irked by the fact that they specifically asked if we were celebrating... we were - it was my birthday. Same question to the next table who then received a sweet with candle, nothing for us but hey ho..... At £200+ for a meal for 4, it's the small gestures that make all the difference! (in contrast, we spent the previous night at Apex Waterloo and received a card and box of chocs.)
We would stay again as I love this place but I do feel sometimes that they are full of their own importance. There seems to be an unspoken rule that you cannot check in before 3pm regardless! It's the guests that are important. Without us where would they be!

Room Tip: Inner Sanctum fab, also recommend Old Rectory
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Jane B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Witchery by the Castle

Address: The Royal Mile 352 Castlehill | Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NF, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > Old Town , Castle / Royal Mile / High St
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 394 B&Bs / Inns in Edinburgh
Price Range: $418 - $720 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Witchery by the Castle 5*
Number of rooms: 7
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Also Known As:
The Witchery By The Castle Hotel Edinburgh
Witchery Edinburgh
Edinburgh Witchery
Witchery Hotel Edinburgh
The Witchery By The Castle Edinburgh, Scotland

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