Established in July 2011, Lunchquest aims to give readers an insight in to Edinburgh’s vibrant cafe, restaurant and bar scene.
There isn’t a place that serves food or drink that we won’t review. We cover as broad a range of places as we can, from the Michelin star finery of places like Castle Terrace to the humble burger van, and everything in between.
We try to eat out (or get takeaway) from as many different places as the bank manager will allow, take pictures of what we’re served, and offer a few words to describe things. We rate on four categories:
Food – what does it taste like;
Presentation – what does it look like;
Setting – what does the place that serves the food look like; and
Service – how do the people serving the food serve it.
We use this method to reflect our overall experience, as considerations beyond what food is on offer often need to be made when choosing a dining venue. Some places might serve knockout food, but are a little down-at-heel, so are perhaps not where you might wish to go for an intimate interlude. Equally, some very swish places serve very mediocre grub, so you might prefer to go there for a light snack, just drinks, or with people you don’t like.
Edinburgh has hundreds of restaurants, bars, cafés and eateries in the city centre alone, and places are always opening, closing (sometimes sadly, sometimes gladly), or changing hands and direction so we have our work cut out to keep track of all the goings-on.
In the past, we have done the odd paid review or advertorial, but this is always clearly identified as “PR company paid” or “restaurant paid”. A quick search will show you that this is a tiny percentage of our overall content. These days, we keep the lowest of profiles. If you have a PR opportunity or a launch event, offer it to someone else – we don’t consider these valid writing opportunities.
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About the Authors
Originally from Alabama, USA, I have been in the UK for quite a number of years. Having finished my PhD in poetry writing at the University of Edinburgh, and officially earned the designation Dr MJ, I’m now working on a second one, so one day I will be Dr Dr. When not studying, I’m to be found doing bookish things, sometimes at the Scottish Book Trust and sometimes at Scottish PEN. I’m the Managing Editor and founding partner of The Istanbul Review. I’m also an Auld Reekie Roller Girl.
In July 2011, I came up with the idea for Lunchquest, and enlisted the help of trusty squire and fellow lunch devotee, BKR, to develop the idea.
I am very attached to showing American Quarter Horses and find that somehow, most things come back to horses, Italy, and getting a book published.
An Edinburgh resident from the age of 4, I am Lunchquest’s major source on “what this restaurant/café/bar/shop used to be called,” given that Edinburgh’s lunch and dining scene is ever changing.
An English Literature graduate from the University of Edinburgh, I’ve spent more than a decade working in the public sector, ploughing my way gently through a succession of ludicrous job titles.
From the moment that MJ suggested the enterprise, as we contemplated the munching of another delicious pasta dish in Café Domenico’s, Lunchquest has been a complete joy. So far, we’ve been very fortunate in our lunching and dining choices, so long may that continue.