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I was invited for fizz and canapés at Otro in the West End. I can honestly say that the canapés’ were the most unusual I’d tasted in a long time. Otro is the sister restaurant of the popular A New Chapter in Canonmills.

It’s a sort of established Chapter now right enough, though not quite descending into mid life like yours truly. I’m happy to report that Otro has not gone avant guarde with their Hogmanay menu but have included a great deal of palate pleasers including Dry Aged Rib Steak, Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks and Venison Ragu Fritters.

At £69 with a glass of Champers on arrival that’s a good way to end 2018 for me.

Otro Restaurant 22 Coates Crescent EH3 7AF T 0131 556 0004

Yule fest Leith

Although Christmas is on the way, let’s face it: winter sucks, and the north of Edinburgh is definitely the coldest!

Thank Santa himself for Yule Fest Leith. For a £5 wristband you not only donate the fee to two worthy local charities, arts fest Hidden Door and making our world a lovelier place, Leithers Don’t Litter, but you then can order £5 signature cocktails from participating bars. Yule Fest is sponsored by the saints that are Central Taxis and Oro Gin, distilled in Dumfries and Galloway.

Check out all the offers and events at yulefestleith.com

Tell me, is there a corner of Scotland that doesn’t have a distillery? Perhaps not but that’s no bad thing. Imagine my delight to hear there will be a new distillery on my Leith doorstep! Paddy and Ian, the founders of Port of Leith Distillery have set up their Lind and Lime Gin production and sherry importing business in the heart of industrial Leith with their incredibly impressive whisky distillery due to be completed by October 2020.

Ian Stirling and his partner Paddy at Leith Docks

Patience is a necessity when waiting for whisky to be ready but in the meantime I was most impressed with their gin, drawing on Leith’s maritime heritage and glass production. The result is a truly beautiful product with a clean zesty finish. The Oloroso sherry casks will be used to mature the whisky.

They’ve thought this through! Having raised £11 million, construction of the main distillery is due to begin soon. One must hope it doesn’t fall victim of the Edinburgh curse: at least 100% over budget and five years behind. Hopefully Ian and Paddy will take comfort in the fact that Leith is most definitely not in Edinburgh.

Juliet Lawrence Wilson, Crystal Chesters and Federica Stefani at the Port of Leith Distillery press night