Badger and Co: A Fantasy World Come to Life

Book lovers, wander-lusters, and foodies alike are all welcome at one of New Town's latest gastronomical additions, Badger and Co. Duck in from the winter rain showers, and you will be whisked away into the world of the Winds in the Willows, where Badger and Co will provide you with a dose of childhood nostalgia in a effortlessly elegant setting. 


The perfect space for a cozy date-night, the restaurant's flawless decor will have you oohing and ahhing at every last detail, from the copper flower vases to the wooden clip-board menus. Sink into the cushy chestnut brown couches, and you might forget that you're in a restaurant at all. 

You would be right though, to think that this space feels more like an old friend's living room than a city-centre restaurant. Travel back to 1859, and this was the very building which Kenneth Grahame, the man who penned The Wind in the Willows, called home. 

Inspired by Grahame's famous and fantastical tale, Badger and Co opened up on Castle Street in the spring of 2016, adding to Edinburgh's dynamic and ever-growing food scene. But where Badger and Co stands out from the crowd is how it is at once familiar and fresh. 

Having been graciously invited to try out the menu, Ben and I ditched any soggy Halloween plans we had (we celebrated over the weekend), and opted for a quiet night of dinner and drinks instead.   

Starting with it's cocktail menu, Badger and Co. sets a playful tone for the evening. "Picnic on the Banks" and "Forage & Fortify" are among the many quirky drinks you can treat yourself to. This particular Monday night, a glass of "There's more to life than money" was my chosen poison. Featuring my favorite aperitif, Aperol, combined with orange bitters and a good few good slugs of wine, I think I may have just found my new favorite cocktail.

Cocktails aside, Badger and Co also offer up beers from far and wide, including it's most unconventional addition to the menu- the banana bread beer. While neither of us bit the bullet on trying it, it would surely make for a lovely mid-day brew.  

Liquored up with some offbeat beverages, we were ready to take a crack at the food menu. While Badger and Co's menu generally falls on the traditionally British side of things, they are also quick to surprise guest's with little changes that go a long way. 

The potted confit salmon fit the bill in terms of a light, flavorful starter. A ceramic pot filled with shredded bits of tender salmon and microgreens matched perfectly with the creamy nutmeg aioli. A true winner on all fronts. 

The black pudding and scallops, a truly British combination, made a stunning first impression in its presentation. Ben found the scallops to be a tad overcooked, but was won over by the composition of the rest of the dish.  

Badger and Co's attention to every detail shines in its main dishes. Focusing mostly on game and other local cuts, meat is certainly the way to go. The roast rump of lamb was cooked medium-rare, allowing all the lovely juices to seep into the greens below. Paired with a block of crispy polenta and bacon lardons, this dish is the epitome of true indulgence.  

A good plate of fish and chips is not too hard to come by in a city like Edinburgh, but Badger and Co's twist on the classic ranks it above the rest. Dipped in a curried batter before frying to crisp perfection, the haddock is laid over a bed of mint and lime (yes, I said lime) crushed peas. Combine all the elements with a smear of tartar sauce, and you'll know when I say that these fish and chips are really next level.   

As a devoted watcher of Bake-off, I have quite high expectations when it comes to dessert. While the lavender creme brûlée took on a bit more lavender flavor than either Ben or I would have preferred, it had a wobble that even Mary Berry would have been proud of. 

Keen to go full-on autumn to finish up the meal, I decided on the intriguing BBQ Maple Cake. The generous slab of cinnamon cake drizzled in sweet syrup, however, was no match for its pairings. I could have eaten the spice roasted figs and maple clotted cream on their own and been perfectly content! 

Grounded in tradition as old as Wind in the Willows itself, Badger and Co keeps true to its British roots, but adds a touch of whimsy on the side for good measure. With scrumptious plates and colorful cocktails, this Edinburgh eatery is the type of restaurant even the fussy Badger himself would approve of.      

A huge thank you to Badger and Co for inviting me down for a review! You can visit their website and check out their full menu here

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