Tea for two, and two for tea…at Shackleton’s Bar & Brasserie

Fun fact: Did you know that Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer, lived in Stockbridge when he was secretary of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society between 1904 and 1910?

I got a wee up close and personal history lesson when I wa given the opportunity to dine at the newly refurbished Shackleton’s Bar & Brasserie at the Channings Hotel in Stockbridge. Zomato UK generously gave me a voucher for a 3-course meal for two at Shackleton’s and it was definitely an exciting experience! I don’t frequent many eateries in Stockbridge mainly because of the price range, although I have sampled macarons from Patisserie Madeleine which are amazing!

The bar and brasserie is a delightful, neighbourhood bistro with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. It has a modern, homey feel with a nautical theme popular with both guests and locals alike for an affordable lunch, dinner and after work drinks.

We were seated at the restaurant area which was quiet during the week when we visited. The menu choice was extensive and we had a hard time deciding between 2-3 dishes for each course!

In the end, I went for the ham hock terrine while the OH chose the Caesar salad so he could save his appetite for a more filling main course.

My ham hock terrine with mixed micro herbs and lemon oil

The OH’s Caesar salad with baby gem lettuce, marinated anchovies, bacon, croutons and Caesar dressing

At first I thought the salad was quite generously portioned because lettuce doesn’t fill you very much, but there was a generous helping of of bacon served with the lettuce. I was under the impression that the thin sliver of terrine seemed too little, but once you tuck into it, you do end up eating quite a few bites!

After we finished our starter, we couldn’t wait to sample our main course. Keeping to the nautical idea and knowing that Scotland is also known for its seafood, I decided to go traditional with fish and chips while the OH went for the other well-known Scottish produce: beef.

Traditional fish and handcut chunky chips with mushy peas and homemade tartare sauce

The OH’s sirloin steak with tomato, mushrooms, peppercorn butter and handcut chunky chips

It’s the tried and tested dishes that I feel gives you an idea of quality. You’ve had so many different variations of the same dish made by different chefs that you know whether the one you’re sampling at the moment is worse, on par or exceeds anything you’ve already tasted. I like freshly cooked fish in a light batter and Shackleton’s didn’t disappoint. The fish batter was nice, light and airy and not too oily. The OH also enjoyed his perfectly grilled steak while I stole some of mushrooms from his dish. All in all, we were filled to the brim from the 2 courses, but decided to fill our tummies with their lovely dessert as we needed a bit of sugar to end the evening on a sweet note.

Bread and butter pudding served with crème anglaise

Homemade ice cream

Appearances can be deceiving and the bread pudding definitely fit into that category. At first I thought it was quite a small portion of pudding, but for it’s size it packs a punch! The pudding was well made (again one of my all time favourite dishes) and the OH praised the homemade quality of the ice cream. Believe me, once you’ve had homemade ice cream, you’ll know the difference.

We had a pleasant evening at Shackleton’s Bar and Brasserie. The staff were very courteous and served each course promptly. We had a great dining experience and are definitely looking forward to going back so we can sample the other dishes on the menu!

Shackleton’s Bar and Brasserie can be found in the basement of 12-16 South Learmonth Gardens, EH4 1EZ. For any enquiries, call 0131 315 2226 or contact them by e-mail.


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