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Christmas Under the Dome in Edinburgh, Scotland

The Grill is the main dining area of the Dome
The Grill is the main dining area of the Dome
Janice McDonald

If you find yourself In Edinburgh, Scotland during this holiday season, probably one of the more magical experiences you might have for a meal is at the Dome on George Street in New Town. Located just two blocks from the bustle of Prince Street and the Prince Street Gardens just below Edinburgh Castle, the exterior of the Dome looks very much like the bank it used to be. But it’s the atmosphere and the food that lie inside that will bring you back time and time again.
The Dome was built in 1847 as the Commercial Bank of Scotland, as evidenced by the rich décor of high ceilings, columns and marble floors. Walk past the two story atrium and into the main dining hall and you are greeted by a massive Christmas tree a top the bar. Every inch of the place is decorated with lights and evergreen boughs that first make their appearance in early November and stay though the first of the year. If you aren’t up for dinner, have a stop for a drink or even tea just to enjoy the decorations.
The main room or Grill Room was designed as the Physician’s Hall by 19th century architect David Rind in tribute to the College of Physicians which was originally located on the site. The Dome from which the restaurant takes its name lies at the center of the room. During Christmas, it changes colors with the lights, triggering a constant sound of ooo’s and ahh’s from the patrons. Stained glass windows in the room contain medical symbols that reflect the twinkling.
The Club Room, located on the left as you enter the building is a more intimate setting with its booths and wooden paneling and offers a more casual menu. The Georgia Tea Room downstairs is a great place to experience a true British High Tea. (There is also a Garden Café which is only opened during warmer months and rooms that can be booked for events.)
As a restaurant, the Dome does not rest on its looks. The food is some of the best in Edinburgh and ranges from traditional fish and chips and haggis, neeps and tatties (mashed turnips and potatoes) to Scottish beef and Salmon. For dessert, you can’t beat the sticky toffee pudding.