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Field, Edinburgh, restaurant review

Field offers the perfect spot for a quick lunch, discovers Martin Redfern

Published: May 24, 2016

It was with trepidation that I chose the Field to meet Jill and her daughter, Ffion. Not because I was apprehensive about my dining venue choice.

But rather, despite being friends for 25 years, I’d always been secretly terrified of Jill.

She’s high-powered; always moving jobs - from MD of one FTSE100 company to the next.

We hadn't met up for three years as Jill’s over 400 miles away in London and back then Ffion was a sulky adolescent but is now a poised young woman visiting for the day to decide whether to grace the University of Edinburgh with her presence this autumn.

The Field is near George Square in West Nicholson St – so the perfect lunch venue for us.

It's tiny, so I'd booked a week or two in advance, which it turned out was a wise decision as it was full at lunchtime on the Wednesday that we visited.

Inside, there's an enormous yet rather lovely picture of a friendly - looking black bull occupying most of one wall, peering down at you.

I wasn't sure that meant I should or should not order beef, but in the end it was academic as the pork main proved far too tempting.

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Lunch for Jill and Ffion was to be squeezed in between a visit to the Department of Geography in nearby Drummond Street and a George Square library tour.  Yet the monosyllabic but efficient waiter ensured we consumed two delicious courses in 50 minutes, without feeling rushed.

Jill and I stuck with the set lunch & pre-theatre menu at an unbelievably good value £12.95 for two courses or £15.95 for three.

Ffion went posh and chose from the a la carte. I discovered she’d little choice since as during her ‘fabulous’ Seared Scottish Scallops starter (£8.95), she regaled me with the joys of solo business class transatlantic air travel at the age of 16.

Jill loved her rich and creamy Wild Mushroom Fricassee first course - Mr Monosyllabic efficiently remembering to hold the accompanying brioche - while my Pan Fried Mackerel starter was as equally successful, though a wee bit, well, wee for my liking.

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For mains, the chef had avoided the schoolboy error of over-cooking the fish. Ffion declared the sea bass (£14.95) to be 'perfect' and Jill polished off the salmon fillet - which replaced the coley that was usually on the menu - in a manner that was befitting of someone with five siblings.

I opted for guilty pleasure Glazed Pork Belly - so juicy, and undoubtedly worth the calories - washed down with a light yet excellent Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.

All that - great service included - for a sensible £75.00.

Despite living in Holland Park, Jill and Ffion adored the Field so I didn't end up feeling like their country cousin. In fact all of my forebodings proved ill-founded.

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Jill wasn’t nearly as scary as my memory had suggested. And I forgave Ffion her precocious jet - set life style since she is one of those people who adores life - and now it seems, the Field.

Edinburgh Uni should give her a place and then, who knows, hopefully we can repeat the experience every now and again.

41 West Nicolson Street,
Edinburgh, EH8 9DB,
(0131 667 7010,

Martin Redfern is a publisher by occupation and also a writer. A published poet and author of short stories, Martin also occasionally comments in the media on current affairs.

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