The walls of Forth Element may be hung with sea scenes of the azure blue Mediterranean kind but, outside, the water at Newhaven harbour at this time of year is a little wilder. Fortunately, this new restaurant certainly has excellent glazing. While the surf's up outside, it’s warm, bright and entirely draught-free within this coastal venue with the understated nautical theme.
Part of the huge upmarket development that is transforming the neighbourhood, Forth Element is attached to Next Generation, an enormous state-of-the-art sports and leisure centre which opened last year and has attracted more than 4000 members. The bar and restaurant are open to members and general public alike and will no doubt come into their own as we head for longer spring and summer nights because the view is nothing short of spectacular.
Fife appears a mere stone's throw across the water and the Forth bridges form a dramatic horizon. Downstairs, the circular bar has leather sofas and birch ply stools. Upstairs, the restaurant is simple and restrained with white linen and dashes of sky blue upholstery. The decor is best kept simple when it can't compete with the panorama visible through the curved glass walls.
The food at Forth Element is the responsibility of Brian Allan, formerly of Skibo Castle (the favourite haunt of a certain Mr Douglas and Ms Zeta Jones). With a team of ’local staff, begged, borrowed or poached', he puts together lunch at £12.50 for two courses and £15 for
We all know what coffee shops look
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Sea Breeze: Forth Element
three. Mains include baked cod with spinach and sautéed herb pork fillet.
At night things move further into 'modern British cooking'. There are dishes like marinated scallops and monkfish, with smoked duck and mango salad to start. Pheasant is set on a bed of wild mushrooms and pistachios with a dash of gin essence. Filo parcels have a raspberry dressing and the desserts include bitter chocolate and pistachio torte.
While it's certainly in the fine dining category, the aim is to be reasonably relaxed. And, it’s hard not to be at least a little refreshed when you're gazing out at the big blue, even in the most bracing Scottish weather.
(Moira Jeffrey) B Forth Element, 55 Newhaven Place, Edinburgh, 467 8736.
such as Standard Life and BUPA For lunch time, there's a range of
me; dark red or green With wooden ‘loors ar‘d the name of a major "-‘.tl.'.l.".cll.tOi"ial over the door Small wovuer that passers-by in Edinburgh’s Dtir‘rias Street have been looking twrce at Ca‘fehe Crisp lines, a much of funk "eon, oatest blue walls and some rather ‘ine white Italian bar stools, it‘rrtivvia' chic to match your latte Ca“eiite is as far from a high street chain as possible Ed Keefe and Alison Tudor gave up the corporate life in
machine. 'We wanted to move away from the standard coffee shop,’ explains Tudor who, wrth a past career as an interior de3igner, knows what she wants Graphics are clean and light and behind the counter there's a refreshing watery frieze, ’It's something calming for Our customers to look at ’ Keefe and Tudor have been up and running for a month now and are getting used to the early starts, they open at 7.30am for regular clientele heading to work at local institutions
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On Sunday aﬂernrion ()nr e/ieﬁ~ prepare a
superb and innovative nienn. Relax and
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Excellent value at £10 per person.
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Tel 0141-334 5007
108 THE lIST 2 16 ’.'.a'
sandWiches and a daily soup. The caffeine content itself comes from the hard to source Italian firm illy, and it's yet another reason to skip the global brands and sip local. thlOlra Jeffrey‘i
ﬂ Caffeine, 754 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, 557 8724.
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It’s all a matter of taste
While we've still got Our cold Scottish Winter, we c0uld do worse than have a hearty casserole and a blockbusting red wrne of an evening This selection is perfect for the jOb. While the weather is cold, make Sure yOur red lSTl'l,
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Ca’ Vergana, Barbera D'Asti 1997 (Italy, £4.99) This IS budget Italian red Wine at its best, Packed wrth flavours of dark cherries With overtones of chocolate and mocha. This is a classic medium bodied red which goes unbelievably well wrth most Italian food.
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James Herrick Millia Passum Syrah 1998 (S. France, £6 99> Another of the Super Syrahs from the south of France Concentrated, Jammy aromas of smoke and liquorice, givmg the more expenswe Rhone Crozes Hermitage a run for their money Not bad wine .‘or an Englishman
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Deakin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 (Australia, £5 49! Last year, the world's foremost wme critic rated the companion mine to this, the Shiraz, at 98 Out of 100 This year, the Cabernet is better Full of typically blackcurrartty frurt, With a soft toffee-like aftertaste (Gordon Haggarty‘
I Wines available from Oddbins