New restaurant with angel statue to open next to cathedral

A NEW restaurant set to open on the Capital's Royal Mile has taken its angelic inspiration from St Giles' Cathedral.

Scottish and Italian restaurant Angels With Bagpipes, opposite the cathedral, will feature its very own angel holding a set of bagpipes.

The bronze carving is based on the bagpipe-playing angel within the Thistle Chapel of St Giles' Cathedral, which thousands of tourists visit every year.

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Marina Crolla, 49, whose late grandfather Alfonso opened delicatessen Valvona and Crolla in Edinburgh in 1934, will open Angels With Bagpipes later this month, with son Dominic, 20, and daughter Rebecca, 18, continuing the family legacy by working at the restaurant.

Miss Crolla, who also owns Cafe Marina on Cockburn Street, said: "Artist Lex McFadyen has designed our own Roman Scottish angel holding bagpipes which will sit on the staircase, and artist Calum Colvin is going to do a bespoke painting of this angel, which we will put on the wall as you come in the door."

Paul Whitecross, who has previously cooked for celebrities including Pavarotti, Kevin Costner and Samuel Jackson, will take up the position of head chef at the restaurant.

In line with its angelic theme, the restaurant - which cost around 700,000 to set up - will also feature a Halo Room, mostly made of glass, which overhangs Roxburgh's Close. The upstairs room will have one table to sit two to six people.

Edinburgh-born Miss Crolla, who lives in Inverleith, added: "There's a glass window on one side looking out to the Royal Mile and the cathedral."

The two-floored restaurant on the High Street, which opens on July 26, also boasts a Chanter's Room which can be hired for private functions.

Dishes such as haggis ravioli, fennel and radicchio risotto, and capellini with zucchini and crema gorgonzola, will feature on the menu, as well as ale battered fillet of haddock, Scottish king scallops with Stornaway black pudding, and homemade ravioli and tortellini.

Miss Crolla, a mother-of-two, said: "I need the wow factor when I go out for something to eat and Edinburgh doesn't have it, so I thought I would open it myself."

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Miss Crolla, who was taught how to cook by her parents Italian-born Domenico and Pietrina Crolla, added: "When the much-sought opportunity arose for me to open my own restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh, I drew on teachings of my parents for inspiration."

The former council offices which previously stood in place of the restaurant have been transformed to include rich fabrics and furniture.

The restaurant has around 85 covers indoors, with a terrace for another 30 outside, It will also have a bar.

Miss Crolla's business partner is Edinburgh-based businessman and friend Mark Hamilton. Miss Crolla said: "The transformation is quite incredible. We are very excited about the opening."


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