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L'Escargot Bleu shares pictures of its new Edinburgh wine bar, complete with wood-burning stove and private drinking nooks

They’ve created a chic wine bar in a previously unused space

Published: December 8, 2021

One of Edinburgh’s most loved French restaurants, L’Escargot Bleu, has added to its offering with a wine bar.

This new space, with their blue snail logo above the door, is at the formerly unused basement level underneath the 56 Broughton Street bistro, which was included in the AA Restaurant Guide for 2022.

As well as some additional outdoor seating, there are now also two individual wood-lined snugs, which resemble vintage train carriages. These feature banquettes and tables, and are slotted into what used to be the coal cellars in the 19th-century New Town building.

Inside, there are also lots of private areas, as well as candle-topped tables pour deux, and a curved bar.

Outdoor snugs

“It’s a cozy place to relax and unwind before or after a meal, or just go for drinks and nibbles”, says chef patron, Fred Berkmiller. “The log-burning fire keeps the bar warm as well as creating a relaxed atmosphere”.

Choose something from their lists or their ‘wine cage’. As Berkmiller says, this features “no less than 50 bottles of great provenance, suitable for all budgets”. The blackboard also offers eaux de vie in various flavours, fortified wine and sweet wine, in case you skipped the apple tart tatin upstairs.

There’s also a small food list of nibbles and plates, including a half camembert, a whole Saint Felicien - a soft cow’s milk cheese from the Rhone Alpes region of France - as well as anchovies on toast, snails with garlic butter, and a terrine du moment.

“The food is individually priced so you can choose to have a little nibble or something more”, says Berkmiller. “ The terrines are made on site and cut in front of you. The cheeses are selected from some of the last farms still making them - not one of the cooperative factories. This applies also to all of the charcuterie on offer, from France or elsewhere. Produce with impeccable provenance is at the heart of everything on offer. Our olives are hand-picked and free of preservatives or flavour enhancers of any kind. In today's confusing world, we continue to send out a strong message on provenance and sourcing”.

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Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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