Edinburgh World Heritage - Fruits of the Sea


Fruits of the Sea

Seafood has always been important in Edinburgh, and in the past oysters were particularly plentiful.

The Firth of Forth was once famed for its oyster beds, which provided such a bountiful supply for the city that they were eaten as cheap snack food. If you look closely at many historic buildings in the Old Town, you can still see oyster shells embedded in the walls, used by the masons as a handy way of packing joints in the stonework.

In the 1700s there were even’ oyster cellars’, a form of entertainment peculiar to Edinburgh. A English visitor once described the scene at one of these basement parties as, ‘…a large and brilliant company of both sexes’, with a large table in the centre, ‘covered with dishes full of oysters and pots of porter’, all followed by a large bowl of punch and some wild dancing. The visitor found it odd to be ‘regaling in a cellar’, but was impressed at the cost – a mere two shillings a head.

Today visitors can still enjoy the best seafood at the award-wining Ondine restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. The emphasis is on the freshest and most sustainable fish and shellfish which we celebrate with knowledgeable yet satisfying cooking.

To find out more visit www.ondinerestaurant.co.uk


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