John Gibson: Packaging is to stay so very French

Keeping it in the family, so to speak. Daniel's Bistro, back of Leith's Commercial Street, has changed. Ownership. But still essentially French.

Daniel Wencker, 15 years the main man, the very embodiment of France, has sold to Jean Michel Gauffre, long-established restaurateur in Edinburgh, the Francophile's friend, with La Garrigue in Jeffrey Street, also in Also in Eyre Place and, as of now, the 70-capacity La Garrigue Bistro.

Says Jean Michel: "We've been good friends for 30 years, Daniel and me. He's been the Big Daddy on the French restaurant scene in the city but he now wants to put his feet up, he's served his time, and we clinched this deal over a glass last month. Call me son of Big Daddy.

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"My first priority is to be faithful menu-wise to Daniel's customers. We intend to have fun here. Atmospherically it will differ from the other Garrigues. Essentially French. Essentially Continental. We respect Daniel's baggage, what he has built over the years.''

Says Daniel: "I'm happy it's staying French. I've lived over half my life in Edinburgh, so no, I plan to see out the rest of it here. I'm going to play music, mainly guitar, and chase young women. You can say Daniel's going to cherchez la femme."

Van rocks view

Our pride and joy. Lauded the world over. But when you gaze up, in awe presumably, from Princes Street, what robs the Castle skyline of much of its magic is the spectacle, clearly visible, of a white van, sometimes two, tucked into the battlements.

Are Historic Scotland aware? If not, doubtless they'll throw a Historic hissy fit when they read this. Or are their heads tucked beneath the parapet up there?