There’s something familiar and comforting about The Palmerston, the new all-day Edinburgh restaurant and bakery from owners Lloyd Morse and James Snowdon. It could be because the interior has that classic Parisian bistro feel to it that is instantly recognisable, or the fact that the high ceiling, 19th-century building in which it is housed - a former Royal Bank of Scotland – generates the dining room clatter and hum that is the hallmark of a good dining experience. Whatever it is, the minute you pull up a bistro chair you know you’re in for something special.
It might have a carefully curated environment, but none of it is mere window dressing. The Palmerston is true to its bistro aesthetic both in its gutsy, calorie-ignoring dishes and its impact on the wallet, with a three-course set lunch menu coming in at under £20 and an a la carte offer that won’t break the bank either.
The menu changes daily, European style, so that the restaurant continues to offer something new for its regulars, of which there are many, but the theme of heartiness and comfort is a constant. Whether you start with a rabbit and prune terrine, followed by lamb mince on dripping toast; or plump for a half roast chicken and cauliflower cheese to share, you won’t be found wanting.
The Palmerston is also one of only a handful of restaurants on this list that are open for breakfast (Tuesday to Sunday from 9am). It’s a service that has quickly become welcomed by locals for its peerless pastries such as custard tarts, vanilla slices and buttermilk glazed doughnuts.