Roberta Hall McCarron launches new café-bar

Award-winning chef Roberta Hall McCarron has launched a new café, bar and bottle shop in Edinburgh's Leith. 

Taking its name from a childhood memory of a village in Argyll and Bute, Ardfern is McCarron's third restaurant venture, joining her existing concepts The Little Chartroom and Eleanore. 

From morning to night, Ardfern offers a relaxed all-day experience with brunch, bar snacks and heartier dinners alongside cocktails, draught beer and wine from the shop. 

Dining at Ardfern

A day at Ardfern begins with brunch, featuring a selection of Scottish staples such as lamb merquez sausage muffin with cheese and egg, and a full Scottish breakfast with thick-cut bacon, homemade haggis and tattie scones. Lighter options like overnight oats with fig and raspberry and almond crunch, and heritage tomato, broad bean and fresh cheese flatbread are also available, along with cooked-to-order filled doughnuts, pastries and freshly squeezed juice. 

Daytime revolves around leisurely bites accompanied by cocktails and a wine list of around 100 bottles. Dishes include mortadella and cheese, crackers and rosé wine jelly, as well as oysters served either naturally or with a seaweed hot sauce. The cocktail list is inspired by aperitivo classics and contemporary takes using a selection of local spirits. 

As night falls, the menu shifts towards larger, heartier plates, including kedgeree fritters with curry mayo and cured egg; chicken kofta with date molasses, egg yolk purée and crispy chicken skin; fish finger sandwich with seaweed gribiche and shoestring fries; and ox cheek flatbread with fermented carrot, chilli and sesame. 

The interiors at Ardfern reference the landscape and colour palette of the coastal village, evoking the feeling of warmth and comfort. Dark wood and natural texture establish a sense of place, to the point where the land meets the sea. A mixture of counter and table seating is offered, allowing guests to linger at the bar or book a table in advance. 

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