City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Le Sept

Average Rating:
Restaurant profile
Edinburgh Area: 
Old Town Edinburgh
Serving times: 
Mon-Thu: 12:00-14:00. 18:00-21:30; Fri: 12:00-14:30, 17:30-22:00; Sat: 12:00-22:30; Sun: 12:30-14:30, 17:30-21:30.
(0131) 225 5428
Restaurant Established: 

Authentically French bistro and brasserie located just off Edinburgh's Royal Mile.

The Reviews


A swift and classic French lunch.

Reviewed by Euan Andrews

Friday, November 18, 2011 - 3:58pm

Our lunchtime trip to Le Sept was somewhat unplanned. Having booked a nearby restaurant for 1pm, M and I were surprised to discover on arrival that the establishment in question had suffered something of an opening malfunction. That is, they were shut. Rather annoying, to say the least.

So we sauntered around the High Street, mildly dazed and confused as if we were part of the tourist legion, in search of warmth and food. We set upon Le Sept, a fine little brasserie which feels increasingly overlooked in Edinburgh’s burgeoning French culinary quarter.

Le Sept certainly feels authentic inside, to such an extent that it should really be down some side street instead of slap bang in Hunter Square. Rickety wooden chairs, a hotchpotch of photographs and images adorning the walls screaming “Nous sommes Francais!” and an open kitchen at the back of the room. Despite our not having booked, and possibly still slightly startled appearance, we were swiftly given a small table for two in amongst the busy lunch service.

Le Sept offer a two course lunch for a tenner, with the option of a third course for a slightly higher price. M decided not to bother with a starter, so I had my mackerel and bean salad to myself. The fish was tasty enough, though seemed as though it had been swiftly taken out of the fridge, but the salad was too oily and suffering from a surfeit of sweetcorn.

For mains, we decided to try a couple of French staples which must be on the menu of every self-respecting brasserie. M went for the moules et frites, I myself the steak et frites. A veritable cauldron of plump mussels was set down in front of M, while my steak was the size of a barn door. I’d asked for it to be cooked medium rare and it was done perfectly, flame-grilled on the outside which, when cut into by the steak knife, revealed an oozing pink interior. Honestly, hot fat, blood and garlic butter: there can be no better flavour combination.

But the slight niggle we both had was about our frites. Because they weren’t the required pencil thin frites, they were big chunky chips. Now, to be fair, Le Sept doesn’t term them as “frites” but rather as “fries”. But that still implies they’ll be sort of frite-ish. It’s not a situation confined to Le Sept either, I’ve been to several restaurants specialising in classic French fare and it’s always chunky chips that are served. Can anyone tell me why this is?

Anyway, we decided to forego desserts, as this lunch was primarily born out of required sustenance. Le Sept is a fine little restaurant, though, and shouldn’t be overlooked in favour of flashier new competition operating within the same culinary territory.