The Lighthouse Restaurant and Bar, fine dining on a luxury floating hotel in Leith
Set within Alexandra Docks in Leith, a mere 20 minutes by taxi from the centre of Edinburgh (trams will also stop nearby when the extended tramline to Newhaven opens next year), Fingal is a hotel restaurant like no other we have encountered. Sure, there are other floating hotels and restaurants in Scotland like the barge in Tarbert or the Eagle Barge Inn near Fort Augustus but are they as classy as Fingal? Not quite. This is a pretty unique place and one worthy of special occasions.
Pre-COVID we had dinner and accommodation on board Fingal, on this occasion we were dining in The Lighthouse Restaurant and Bar, where we enjoyed a relaxing meal surrounded by Art Deco-inspired interiors and caught the sunset across Leith.
Fingal food menu
Starting with warm rolls and soft butter from The Edinburgh Butter Company. Our favourite way to start a meal.
Mark started with Norfolk asparagus, hollandaise sauce, aged Comté and watercress. Creamy hollandaise sauce coated the fresh and in-season asparagus. The Comté added a roasted nutty flavour, which worked excellently. Simple yet delicious.
While I picked the West coast langoustine, mango salad, tarragon crumb and shellfish bisque. Think of the most exotic bouillabaisse you could ever have and it’s on this plate.
I continued the fishy theme for my main, with a fillet of sea bream, squid ink farfalle and petit pois veloute. Melting pasta surrounded by fresh peas and tender seabream under a crisp skin. Perfectly cooked and full of flavour. Served with a glass of house white – Cuvée Macabeo Campo de Borja from Spain. Strong peach and pear aroma with a crisp green apple and lime taste. Reasonably dry and acidic. £6.75 per glass.
While Mark enjoyed lamb rump with Jersey royals, Merguez sausage, smoked yoghurt and wild garlic. Again, all cooked to perfection with pink lamb, spicy sausages and soft potatoes. Served with a glass of house red – Cuvée Garnacha Campo de Borja from Spain. Oaky and peppery aromas with a blackberry and sour cherry taste. Quite dry and acidic. £6.75 per glass.
For dessert, Mark ordered the Apple tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream, rum-soaked golden raisins, butterscotch sauce. This was a big portion, sweet and delicious, and washed down with something unusual, a sweet Malbec. The Susana Balbo Late Harvest from Aergentina is only £6 for a 75ml glass.
While I had the Artisan cheese selection, spiced fruit chutney, sourdough crackers. 4 types of room temperature cheese including Minger and Mull of Kintyre cheddar. Riesling is my favourite white wine and they had a dessert Riesling – Seifried Sweet Agnes from New Zealand for £9 a glass.
To finish our meal we had tea (peppermint is available if this is your preferred option after a large meal) and petit fours of salted caramel truffle and coconut mallow.
Excellent food with filling portions and great service. One of those dinners where everything just seemed right and happened at the right pace resulting in an enjoyable evening. The only not so enjoyable part was making our way back to Glasgow with limited trains running!
This is a luxurious place where you can feel suitably wined and dined as there’s an impressive selection of wine by the glass, starting from entry level Moscato D’Asti at only £3.75 up to Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos. The full selection by the glass is: 5 Champagnes, ranging from £13.50 – £40; 8 whites; 8 reds; 4 dessert wines, 3 ports and 3 sherries. In addition to this there is a selection of finer bottled wine. Cocktails are also their forte, plus they have plenty of gin, whisky and other spirits and Stewart Brewing also make Fingal Gold beer just for them so we are keen to return and work our way through the drinks menu.
Toilets were also in shipshape 🙂 condition and included some of our favourite toiletries: Noble Isle Rhubarb and Whisky & Water.
Access for guests with disabilities?
There is a small but swish lift on board and ramps to all levels.
Location of Fingal
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Disclaimer: we received a complimentary meal but we would happily return to pay for a meal.