• This Girl Does

The National Galleries Scotland Re-open in Style

Updated: Oct 16, 2019

This week sees the much anticipated opening of the National Galleries Scotland shop and The Scottish Cafe following a major makeover thanks to a £22m investment from the National Galleries of Scotland Collection Project.

The change is staggering. The entrance to both the shop and restaurant are transformed to reveal a modern, spacious area reflecting the quality of both.

We were invited by the Galleries to have a sneak peak at some of the collections on offer in the shop, which has grown tremendously. The favourites are still there; areas dedicated to The Monarch of the Glen and the "Skating Minister" but also allowing new local artists to be showcased in a beautiful way.

The shop is lovingly cared for via a large team who treat each and every item as if it was its own work of art, and as a result the displays are truly beautiful to look at, illuminated by white LEDs in sections.

The gifts on offer range in price, meaning there is something for everyone; whether they have a love of art or not. From scarves to scented soaps; Christmas cards to cups; it is a place to you could while away an hour and your bank balance! With all seriousness, the support and publicity they offer up and coming artists is fantastic. Locals should definitely stop by more than they may do.

In addition the art, there is another thing that will keep the Edinburgers in the area: The Scottish Cafe.

Owned by restaurant-royalty Victor and Carina Contini, the sustainable Scottish eatery is a firm favourite with locals, known for its exquisite, carefully-sourced cuisine. The team pride themselves on good, wholesome food - going the extra mile to provide guests with seasonal goodness and top quality service. Hundreds attended the launch, anticipating gorgeous decor with food and drink to match. They were not disappointed.

We were given a glimpse of The Scottish Cafe's menu and drinks selection, with gin and the Contini's very own Prosecco on tap. To accompany, we were served a range of canapes including:

- Heritage Tomato, Whipped Crowdie and Chickpea Cracker

- Belhaven Smokehouse Smoked Salmon with Amalfi Lemon and Dill Tuile on Oatcakes

- Eyemouth Crab on French Toast Served With Harissa Mayonaisse

- A slab of Ramsay of Carluke Pork Belly

- Peterhead Smoked Haddock Kedgeree

- Chicken Club Buttery with Edinburgh Bacon Co and Isle of Mull Cheddar

- A selection of desserts and petit fours to die for

Heritage Tomato, Whipped Crowdie and Chickpea Cracker

Belhaven Smokehouse Smoked Salmon with Amalfi Lemon and Dill Tuile on Oatcakes

As darkness descended, the interior of the restaurant, designed by Edinburgh based Ampersand and Mairi Helena, came to life; pops of colour coupled with cool greys and wood. Of course you can't ignore the huge expanse of glass, opening up on to the Gardens outside.

Both The Scottish Cafe and their neighbouring Gallery Shop have had stunning transformations, offering a wintery, cosy escape or cool calm respite from the heat of Summer.

Fancy more events?

With thanks to the National Galleries of Scotland for their invite and goody bag.

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