What It’s Like to Visit One of World’s Oldest Restaurants in Scotland

The Sheep Heid Inn is positioned in Duddingston, a village in Edinburgh. It dates again to 1360 — and is claimed to be one of the oldest eating places in the world.

Sheep Heid Inn

The Sheep Heid Inn.

Mikhaila Friel/Insider

The Sheep Heid Inn — which was named the eighth oldest restaurant in the world in 2020 in a examine by the loans firm NetCredit — dates again to the medieval interval, when sheep had been reared on the close by Holyrood Park and introduced to Duddingston village for slaughter, Edinburgh Live reports. 

It’s believed that the restaurant’s title was impressed by native residents, who began to use the heads of sheep in many various dishes, the publication added. (The phrase “heid” is a Scottish slang time period for head, and right now sheep heads do not seem on the restaurant’s menu.)

After studying in regards to the restaurant’s fascinating historical past, I used to be keen to pay a go to in individual.

On a current go to to the restaurant, I discovered a comfy and understated inside — and virtually no point out of the institution’s quirky historical past.

sheep heid inn table

I used to be seated at a comfy nook desk.

Mikhaila Friel/Insider

I arrived on the restaurant on a Wednesday at lunchtime, and was happy to see workers following the Scottish government’s COVID-19 regulations. For instance, the waitress who confirmed me to my desk was sporting a masks, and he or she jogged my memory to put mine on each time I’d go away the desk.

I used to be seated at a nook desk that appeared onto the bottom ground of the restaurant. The inside, with its olive-and-brown decor and dim lighting, was cozy and welcoming.

On the partitions, there have been some uncommon objects, together with a boot, alongside black-and-white photographs of Edinburgh landmarks. One of the photographs was of the restaurant itself.

But apart from that, there was little point out of the restaurant’s historical past. If I had simply been visiting on a whim with out doing my analysis, I would not have identified that that is one of the oldest eating places in the world.




There was a plaque mentioning the Queen’s go to to the restaurant in 2016.

sheep heid inn edinburgh

The plaque was positioned on the wall throughout from the place I used to be sitting.

Mikhaila Friel/Insider

The restaurant has had many well-known friends all through the years, together with the royal Bonnie Prince Charlie, and Scottish writers Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson, Edinburgh Live reports.

More just lately, although, it was visited by Kelly Clarkson in 2015 and Queen Elizabeth II in 2016.

During my go to, I noticed a plaque on the wall above a desk throughout from me: “Her Majesty the Queen visited the Sheep Heid Inn on the 8th July 2016,” it says.

The Queen, who resides on the close by Holyrood Palace when she is in Scotland, ordered sea bass with a aspect salad and a gin martini, the waitress advised me.

There wasn’t sea bass on the menu, so as an alternative I ordered deep-fried brie with an apple and rosemary chutney to begin.

sheeps heid inn starter meal

The appetizer.

Mikhaila Friel/Insider

The appetizer consisted of three items of deep-fried brie, coated in bread crumbs and accompanied with chutney and a salad garnish. 

At $9 (£6.50), it was an awesome worth, and a super portion measurement. Not to point out, it was scrumptious — the sweetness of the chutney completely complemented the brie. 

For the primary course, I opted for a crispy duck salad.

sheep heid inn duck salad

The important course.

Mikhaila Friel/Insider

I had been fighting what to order for my important course. There had been so many objects on the menu — from a crispy duck pizza to typical pub meals like burgers and fries.

Ultimately I opted for the duck salad, which price $19.30 (£13.95) and was accompanied by cucumber and mooli ribbons, shredded carrots and cabbage, watercress, spring onion, and drizzled in a plum and hoisin sauce. 

Like the starter, this was one other winner.

For dessert, I ordered the crumble of the day — which was berry — and it was the very best half of all the meal.

sheeps heid inn crumble

The dessert.

Mikhaila Friel/Insider

For the berry crumble, which price $9 (£6.50), I used to be given the choice to have it served with ice cream or custard. 

I opted for the custard, and was pleased to see that it got here in its personal little serving bowl.

The presentation and portion measurement had been spot-on. In my opinion, the custard is what made this dessert so nice — it is a consolation meals, and it is precisely what you’d count on from such a homey institution.

The total meal price $37.30 (£26.95), which I believed was fairly cheap.

berry crumble

My completed dessert.

Mirkhaila Friel/Insider

Overall, the meal was glorious high quality for cash — however the primary factor I’ll bear in mind is the environment. 

Despite counting celebrities just like the Queen and Kelly Clarkson as friends, the restaurant maintains an understated and down-to-earth really feel. It’s the type of place I might think about taking my household for Sunday dinner.

I’ll suggest it to anybody visiting Edinburgh — and I am unable to wait to return subsequent time I’m in the town.

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