by Cafe St Honoré in

"I remember one of my first jobs as a young commis chef was to pluck hundreds of game birds after a shoot on the estate I was working on. I looked like something out of Ghostbusters with a hoover on my back, goggles, and a bandana to cover my mouth from all the dusty feathers. Oh, the fun I had in the plucking shed! This dish is very simple to cook. Make sure you season the meat before, during and after cooking, and crisp the skin by cooking mainly skin-side down in a heavy pan alongside the potatoes with some thyme and garlic. Use whatever veg you like. Kale, spinach or cabbage are all excellent, but remember to use any fat rendered from the duck when you season the veg before serving."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 2
Prep time: 20 minutes; cooking time: 20 minutes


2 free-range duck breasts
1 tablespoon cold-pressed rapeseed oil
4 to 6 spears of British asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 to 6 radishes, quartered
4 to 6 new potatoes, little sweet ones are great, scrubbed, par-boiled and halved
2 tablespoons duck fat
1 sprig of thyme
1 clove of garlic, smashed
Good salt and pepper


Heat the oven to 180°C.

Season the breasts with good salt and pepper. Heat a pan on the hob then add the cold-pressed rapeseed oil and place the breasts skin-side-down in the pan, ensuring good contact is made between the skin and the pan. Turn over after cooking for 2 to 3 minutes and cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes. Then turn the breasts back to skin-side-down and add the thyme, garlic and potatoes to the pan and place in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes until the duck is cooked medium rare. The firmer the duck is to the touch, the more well-cooked it is. 

Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and season with salt. Add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes on a rolling boil. 

Remove the pan from the oven, and transfer the duck breasts to a warm plate to rest. Once rested, season.

Add the radishes and the cooked asparagus to the potatoes and stir in the duck fat. The pan should still be quite hot from the oven.

To serve, either slice the duck, or leave them whole as I prefer, and place on a plate with the asparagus, potatoes and radishes as a garnish on top.


by Cafe St Honoré in

"I adore this dish. It is simple, tasty and one I come back to again and again. The bitter salad leaves cut through the rich pear. And the sweet, candied walnuts are a joy with the rich, creamy Lanark Blue. Add a few watercress leaves for a peppery kick and serve in the middle of the table for everyone to share."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4 in one big bowl
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time : 1.5 hours including poaching pears


2 red and 2 white endives, chicory or witloof, leaves removed and washed
2 conference pears
200g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split
Good salt and pepper
1 star anise
1 lemon
100g of good blue cheese, I like Lanark Blue
A handful of Californian walnuts, shelled
A few watercress leaves
Sunflower oil for shallow frying
Cold-pressed rapeseed oil for dressing


Begin by poaching the pears. Remove the peel from each and rub with a halved lemon. Then bring a litre of water to the boil in a pan. Add half the sugar, the star anise, the split vanilla pod, the juice of half a lemon then plonk the pears into this stock syrup and poach for about an hour on a gentle boil covered with a greaseproof paper cartouche so the pears don’t oxidise during poaching. The harder the pear, the longer it will take to cook. Allow the pears to cool in the syrup. Remove the stalk and any seeds, and dice. Set to one side. 

To prepare the candied walnuts, make a stock syrup using the remaining sugar and 100ml of water and bring to the boil. Cook the walnuts in this solution for 5 to 7 minutes and allow them to cool in the syrup. Once cool, remove and drain on kitchen paper. Next, heat the sunflower in a deep frying pan and fry the walnuts until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper. 

To assemble the salad, add the endive leaves to a large mixing bowl and crumble in the blue cheese. Then sprinkle over the walnuts and the diced pear. Season with good salt and pepper and a drizzle of cold-pressed rapeseed oil and a little of the syrup from the pears. Mix gently.

To serve, place the salad into a serving dish and decorate with watercress, a little more oil and syrup, a squeeze of lemon juice and a final sprinkling of salt.


by Cafe St Honoré

Wednesday 6th June | 6.30-8pm | £40 per person

We're delighted to be joined by Nikki Welch, creator of the Whisky TubeMap, for this very special event to celebrate the water of life.

Nikki will take you on take you on a whisky journey, exploring malts, blends and world whiskies with all the senses not just taste. She loves playing with whisky to show it in all it's facets, so she'll be mixing it into cocktails, adding extras and showing just how versatile whisky can be by pairing it with different flavours and textures of food.

If you think whisky can only be served as a dram, you're in for a delightful surprise. Nikki will be using the WhiskyTubeMap to guide your journey, but the really important bit is your palate. Can music change whisky's flavour, does whisky taste different if you can't see it, and how do you get the flavour of whisky without the burn - all questions Nikki will answer. 

Let Nikki guide you through the myths and truths of whisky with delicious food pairings as you sip and eat your way through the evening. 

Our head chef Joe has devised a menu to be enjoyed alongside whiskies selected by Nikki that she will surprise you with on the night. Expect to taste:

  • Oysters
  • Pickled beetroot, Katy Rodger's crowdie, apple, rye crouton
  • Crispy organic chicken skin, crème fraîche
  • Our cured organic smoked salmon, tattie scone
  • Grilled mackerel, shaved fennel salad, preserved lemon and capers
  • Benromach peat-smoked whisky, Mellis honey and oat parfait

The event will take the form of a sit-down meal with a selection of canapés to start, followed by a main course and dessert. Guests will enjoy 6 whiskies on the night: a welcome drink and 5 matched whiskies served as drams, cocktail and mixed drinks. 

To reserve a place, please call 0131 2262211 or email


by Cafe St Honoré in

"I really enjoy making these fluffy, light, little pillows of potato. The best way to make the mash is to bake the potatoes in their skins in the oven on a tray of salt. Cook until soft inside, half them, then run through a mouli or potato ricer. The mash must be dry. Don’t over work the dough or be tempted to add too much flour as they will become bullet hard after blanching. Keep them light and fluffy. I love them sautéed with butter to give a hint of texture on the outside."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4
Prep time 40 minutes, cooking time 1.5 hours


4 to 5 large, floury potatoes

250g plain flour, plus extra for rolling the dumplings

1 large egg

A handful of wild garlic, finely chopped

Good salt and pepper

2 tablespoons of hard cheese like a Mull or Barwheys, grated

A few knobs of butter

50ml extra virgin olive oil

1/2 bulb of fennel, shaved on a mandolin or thinly sliced with a knife

A few salad leaves

A few shavings of hard cheese like a good cheddar

A drizzle of garlic oil or pesto oil to garnish, optional

A few sliced radishes to garnish, optional


Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6

Begin by baking the potatoes in their skins in the oven on a bed of salt until soft inside. This will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then scoop out the flesh and mash.

Mix 500g of the mashed potato carefully with the plain flour, then add the egg and combine. Add the chopped wild garlic, season with salt and pepper and add the grated cheese. Mix well but be careful not to overdo it.

Roll the dough in a dusting of flour to make a long sausage shape about the width of £1 coin. Cut the gnocchi into 1-inch pieces, pinching each one as you cut.

To cook, place into a pan of salted, boiling water and cook until the gnocchi rises to the surface on a rolling boil. This should take about 2 to 4 minutes, then remove from the water and place onto a cloth.

Heat a non-stick pan and add half the olive oil and add the gnocchi. Then add the butter and colour the dumplings until they are golden and almost crispy.  Remove from the pan and season.

To serve, place several pieces of gnocchi on warmed plates with a handful of good salad, some fennel and a few shavings of hard cheese. To finish, I like to use a drizzle of wild garlic oil or the oil from any pesto. Also use some sliced radish if you like.



by Cafe St Honoré

Neil takes us through a step-by-step guide of how to fillet mackerel. In just four easy steps, he makes it look so simple! 

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Remove the head and guts.

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Insert knife just above back bone and remove the fillet.

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Using a filleting knife, remove the belly bones.

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Using the same sharp knife, insert it either side of the central pin bone line and remove all bones in one.

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The final boneless, skin-on fillet is ready for pickling, frying or grilling. 


by Cafe St Honoré in

"This recipe came to me by way of my head chef Joe, who discovered it in a Shaun Hill cook book, so thank you Shaun. Ensure you boil the oranges whole and make sure the water is topped up. It’s a simple method after that. I love serving this warm with a peat-smokey Benromach whisky ice cream - rich and decadent."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Makes one cake

Prep time 4 hours 10 minutes, cooking time 1 hour 15 minutes


2 large oranges

6 whole eggs

300g caster sugar

250g ground almonds

1tbsp baking powder

25ml Grand Marnier

50ml water

A small handful of hazelnuts

Another 75g caster sugar

1tsp icing sugar

Candied orange peel to garnish, optional

Ice-cream to serve, optional


Line a 10-inch spring-form high-sided cake tin with oil and greaseproof paper.

Boil the oranges whole for 4 hours then halve, remove any pips and blitz to a pulp in a food processor – this will take about 2 to 3 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Make a praline by adding 75g of caster sugar to a pan and melting gently, allowing it to become dark and caramel in colour. This should take 3 to 5 minutes. Then stir in the hazelnuts and pour onto an oiled, clean surface like a non-stick, heat-resistant mat or a marble work surface. Once cooled, blitz in a food processor or crush with a rolling pin.

Use an electric whisk to mix together the eggs, ground almonds, 250g of sugar and the baking powder. Then add 300g of the orange pulp and whisk again.

Pour the mix into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour. It’s cooked when a cocktail stick comes out clean. Allow the cake time to rest in the tin.

Meanwhile, make a syrup by boiling the Grand Mariner with the remaining sugar and water and reduce by half. Prick the top of the cake with a cocktail stick and pour over the syrup using a pastry brush to ensure it fills the holes. Allow to cool.

To serve, place a slice of cake on a plate and dust with icing sugar. Place a large tablespoon of praline next to the cake and top with a scoop of ice-cream. Garnish the ice-cream with a piece of candied orange peel. We serve this in the restaurant with a delicious whisky ice-cream.



by Cafe St Honoré

"It’s a classic dish, normally made with apple or pear but why not a veg. This recipe calls for beetroot, but fennel or shallots work just as well. It’s essentially just a simple caramel with blanched veg on puff pastry - very simple, tasty and impressive. Serve with an apple and endive salad topped with crumbled Blue Murder cheese to add that creamy richness. Herbs like sage or thyme work well in the caramel. And have a go at rough puff pastry too, far better than any shop bought stuff!"

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 1
Prep time: 0.5 hours; Cooking time: 2 hours


1 large or 2 small beetroots, scrubbed and cooked in water on the hob for 1 .5 hours until tender, peel skin off under running water

1 tablespoon of sugar

1/2 tablespoon of butter

1 sprig of thyme

1 disc of puff pastry, 1/2 cm thick cut to the same size as the blini pan

1 endive, cut into leaves and shards

A few toasted nuts

A few radish slices

A few slices of apple, cut into sticks

A few cubes of Blue Murder cheese or any other blue cheese of your liking

1 teaspoon of cold-pressed rapeseed oil

1 teaspoon Arran mustard

1 teaspoon honey

Good salt and pepper


Firstly, make a caramel by melting the sugar and butter together in the cast iron blini pan until it’s golden and caramelised. Then take the sprig of thyme and place it into the centre of the caramel. Next cut the beetroot into chunky pieces, and place onto the thyme and caramel. Cover the beetroot with the disc of pastry and prick a hole into the top and bake into a hot oven 200°C for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and cooked.

Leave the tart to cool slightly otherwise it will fall apart. Whilst it’s resting, make the salad by adding the cheese to a bowl with the endive, apple, a few radish slices and some toasted nuts. Make a dressing by mixing together the oil, honey and mustard and drizzle over before giving it a season with salt and pepper.

To serve, carefully tip out the tart out of the pan and onto the plate and garnish with the salad. Serve immediately.



by Cafe St Honoré

Ever wondered how chefs manage to chop onions so quickly and effectively? We have decided to share the secret. Follow our 6 easy steps...

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Remove the top and bottom of the onion, keeping the root intact.

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Remove the skin and the outer papery layer.

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Cut the onion in half, through the root. 

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Cut vertically down, towards the root, but not slicing though it.

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Cut horizontally, 2 or 3 times depending on the size required, again keeping the root intact.

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Now you're ready to dice, until just the root remains.


by Cafe St Honoré in

"I worked in Australia 25 years ago where oysters are hugely popular. I recall a delicious dish called Oysters Kilpatrick. All the elements of that dish are included in this recipe - shellfish, bacon, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and others, but it’s my own take on it. It doesn’t really need much else, even lemon isn’t required, but a big Bloody Mary or a Guinness would be amazing…"

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes, cooking time 10 minutes


Allow 3 to 6 oysters per person as a starter, 12 for a main course
150g piece of good air-dried bacon, cut into very small lardons
2 tablespoons of cold-pressed rapeseed oil
3 to 4 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 to 3 teaspoons of Tabasco sauce
A twist of pepper
Course salt to rest the shells on


Have a go at shucking the oysters yourself. Go online and watch a tutorial, or ask your fishmonger to do it for you. Retain each oyster in half the shell.

Next, add the oil to a solid frying pan and bring to a moderate heat. Add the bacon and fry until just starting to crisp up, keeping it moving all the time. It’ll take 5 minutes or so.

Whilst the bacon cooks, turn the grill on full heat. Top each oyster with bacon and place in an oven-proof dish. To make the sauce, combine the Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco and drizzle over each oyster and place under the hot grill for 3 to 5 minutes until the bacon is crisp and the oysters are just cooked.

Serve at once on plates of course salt alongside a big salad and bread.


by Cafe St Honoré

"Classically, a posset would be made from a citrus fruit like a lemon for its acidity and ability to assist in the setting of the cream. It still mystifies me as how the cream sets like it does! It is such an easy recipe and is quite simply cream and sugar boiled together with the addition of sea buckthorn juice for flavour. I use quite a lot of sea buckthorn as I adore that salty tropical flavour. A really good party pudding, made the day before so you don’t have to worry about it on the day you are cooking."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Makes 4
Prep time 5 minutes, cooking time 3 minutes


450g double cream

110g caster sugar

4-10 tablespoons of sea buckthorn juice, which you can find in delis and health food shops

Mint to garnish

Shortbread to garnish


This is a very easy recipe, simply bring the cream and sugar to the boil in a pan and cook for 3 minutes precisely. Set a timer.

Then when boiled, add sea buckthorn juice to your taste and pass through a fine sieve into a jug. Decant into glasses or tea cups for serving, and chill in the fridge - ideally overnight.

Serve with a few freshly-baked pieces of shortbread, and garnish with a bunch of fresh mint. For an extra kick, add a tablespoon of sea buckthorn juice to the top of each posset.


by Cafe St Honoré in

"This is a Forbes family recipe, made by the sack full at this time of year, and always served on a plate for Santa - and a carrot of course for the reindeer! I remember my gran making shortbread in trays, scoring the top with a fork. It was almost soft in the middle but utterly delicious and buttery. The final dredge of sugar after baking gives it the edge. Welcoming and Scottish, and above all, very Christmassy!"

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Makes around 15 biscuits


250g unsalted butter, diced to room temperature

125g unrefined caster sugar

300g plain flour

80g corn flour

Extra caster sugar for dredging


Whip the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy, then gently and carefully sift in the flour and corn flour. Not whilst the machine is on! Fold in, being careful not to over mix at this stage.

Roll the dough into 2 sausage shapes, about the width of a £2 coin. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.

Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1cm-thick discs and lay on a baking tray lined with parchment and bake in pre-heated oven (135°C to 150°C) for 45 minutes, or until they start turning golden at the edges. Allow to cool, then dredge with extra sugar. 


by Cafe St Honoré in

"I adore this dish. The almost sticky red cabbage is not overly sweet and has just the right amount of sharpness. The mallard breast is cooked in a pan and shown the oven for just a minute or two. Served with a little garlic, thyme and clapshot - essential in these chilly months to warm the soul."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 2

30 minutes prep time, 2 hours cooking time


2 mallard or wild duck breasts, skin on

2 large potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed, Roosters are good

200g turnip, peeled, diced, boiled and mashed

1/3 small red cabbage, cut thinly with a sharp knife

1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly

1 cinnamon stick

A pinch of mixed spice

A small handful of Californian raisins

1/3 apple, grated

1 star anise

1 glass of red wine

2 tablespoons of bramble vinegar

Good salt and pepper

2 small parsnips, peeled and blanched in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes and refreshed in cold water

1 sprig thyme

1 clove garlic, halved

1 tablespoon cold-pressed rapeseed oil for frying

50g butter, diced into 1cm cubes

Around 100ml stock for reducing, chicken, game or beef will do


Heat oven to 180°C

Begin by placing the shredded cabbage, jelly, cinnamon, spice, raisins, grated apple, star anise, red wine (leave a small amount in the glass for later) and vinegar into a large pot, season and place onto the hob on a moderate heat with the lid on. Leave for around 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Do not let it burn, if it looks like it’s getting too hot, turn down the heat and add a splash of water.

Prepare the clapshot by combining the mashed potatoes and turnip whilst they are still hot. Season with salt, a lot of pepper and nearly all the butter, leaving some for the mallard. Keep to one side in a warm place.

Heat the oil in an oven-proof frying pan and place the mallard breasts in the pan skin side down, alongside the parsnips, thyme and garlic and begin to caramelise the duck and parsnips together. Add a knob of butter and season. Turn the duck and parsnips over after a couple of minutes, then place the pan in the oven for a minute or two.

Remove from the oven and place the duck on a plate to rest. Continue to fry the parsnips if they need colour.

Deglaze the frying pan with the remaining red wine until it reduces and incorporates all the bits of roasting goodness from the pan. Then add some stock, and reduce again for a few minutes until the sauce is rich and dark. Add a knob of butter and incorporate.

To plate up, place a spoonful of red cabbage on each plate and add a dollop of clapshot alongside. Then carve the mallard on a slant giving 6 to 8 slices from each breast, and place that from the knife on to the plate. Lean the parsnip on the clapshot and garnish with a trickle of sauce.



by Cafe St Honoré

"Simple to make and utterly heavenly to eat. It’s Christmas in tart form! Have a go and try it with different flavours of creams like orange mascarpone, warm custard or a simple vanilla ice cream."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Sweet pastry tart case:


200g plain flour

60g icing sugar

70g unsalted butter

1 egg


Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the butter. Beat until light and fluffy, then add the egg and combine. Sift in the flour and gently bring together into a ball.

Then press the dough into a round, flat shape and wrap in cling film. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll it out using a good amount of flour on top of some on cling film. That makes it easier to lift and lay the pastry into the tart case.

Butter a 10" loose-based round tart tin and dust with flour to make it non-stick. Then line with the rolled sweet pastry followed by 3 sheets of cling film. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes, then add baking beans and bake at 180°C for 30 to 40 minutes until golden. Remove the baking beans, brush with an egg wash and the tart shell is ready for your filling.

Ecclefechan tart mix:


120g melted butter

120g soft dark brown sugar

2 eggs

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon cinnamon

470g Californian raisins

120g broken walnuts

Icing sugar to dredge


Whip the melted butter and soft dark brown sugar together. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and add slowly to the butter and sugar. Mix in the raisins and walnuts, then add the lemon juice, zest and cinnamon and give another good mix.

Add the mix to the tart shell whilst it’s still warm, and smooth over using a wet palette knife. Bake in a moderate oven (around145-165°C) for 30 to 45 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. Be careful of burning the raisins in the oven. Placing another tray on the shelf above the tart will help to stop the harsh heat burning them.

Remove from oven and leave to stand for half an hour. Then remove from the tin, dredge with icing sugar and serve.


by Cafe St Honoré

Get your hands on one of our limited-edition hand-made Christmas puddings. They're available to buy from the restaurant at £15 each - including the lovely ceramic bowl they come in. Each pudding serves 4-6. Email or call 0131 2262211 to reserve - or just pop in. Available from Friday 1st December.

Images: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Images: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango


by Cafe St Honoré in

We're getting in the mood for Christmas with this simple seasonal cocktail. Fresh and elegant, it's the perfect sipper this winter. Full recipe below...

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For the Sloe Syrup:

500g sloe berries, 250g sugar, 250ml water

Bring to the boil together in a pan and simmer until glossy and reduce by a third. Cool. Strain the contents through a sieve.

For the Cocktail:

20ml sloe syrup, 20ml gin, champagne to top up, orange peel to garnish