Award sponsored by Liberty Wines & Piper Heidsieck

The Service Award

Lyla

Edinburgh

The Service Award
Opened in 2023, Lyla has been a transitional restaurant for chef restaurateur Stuart Ralston. While his previous Edinburgh restaurants Aizle, Noto and Tipo are finely-tuned affairs, they offer a relatively casual experience. On Castle Terrace within the space that was once the late Paul Kitching’s 21212, Lyla is intended to be “unapologetically fine dining” and has a service style to match.  

Meals begin in a newly-created upstairs bar where Ralston’s highly-engaged and often very young team serve champagne from a Krug-branded Champagne trolley alongside a selection of snacks (the latter are typically served by the same chefs that made them). Downstairs, things step up a notch. While the experience is far from stiff, the service is considerably more formal than at Ralston’s other places with a number of dishes finished at the tableside.

The low number of tables - there are just 28 covers in total - allows for far more interaction between diners and those that are serving, whether they be chefs or members of Ralston’s small but highly-effective front of house team.  

Overseen by former Fhior and Aizle sommelier Stuart Skea, Lyla's approach to wine is in step with the service more generally, balancing accessibility with a sense of occasion (the list has been designed to be inclusive, with something for ‘every palate and budget’).

As a bonus for those staying at the beautiful townhouse, Kitching’s wife and business partner Katie O’Brien continues to run the building’s four stylish bedrooms under the 21212 brand bringing welcome continuity between the past and the present.