Smith and Gertrude, Hamilton Place

We are well and truly into the thick of the colder months and there's only one thing I enjoy doing to keep warm... eat cheese and drink wine. Where is my new favourite place to do this you may ask? The answer is Smith and Gertrude in Stockbridge.

I've been looking for a great cheeseboard in Edinburgh for a while, so when the French intern at my work recommended Smith and Gertrude, I knew I had to go. So I gathered up my cheese loving crew and headed out to Stockbridge. I've heard this place can be super busy, but we went on a really rainy weeknight and it was completely empty! I mean where else would you go to hide from the rain?! The d├ęcor of the bar is clean and simple, but the shelves packed with wine bottles and the classic records playing in the background give it a super cosy vibe.

This is the perfect place for nibbles with drinks whether you're with a large party or small. If there's just a few of you they do 'Cheese and Wine Flights' where you get 3 taster glasses of different wines along with cheese pairings. This is a really great way to try out some wines and cheeses and find some new favourites.

If you're in a bit of a larger group, I'd recommend ordering a couple of mixed boards. Smith and Gertrude offer cheese boards, charcuterie boards or mixed for a pretty decent price (the mixed is £16). They'll bring you a house selection of cheese and charcuterie alongside bread, oatcakes, chutney and cornichons. My friends and I (a group of about 6) ordered a mixed and an extra cheese board (the cheese board comes with crackers... they are actually the best crackers I've tried in a long time, they are really good... can't believe I'm raving about crackers on my blog...). Possibly for normal people this would be enough, but we ordered another two boards after this. What was great is once we had tasted some of the cheeses, we could order the same again or get them to mix it up with something different.

Mixed cheese and charcuterie board
If you know what you like you can choose your own cheeses to make up a board. I was pretty happy to see one of my favourite cheeses on the board, Langres a French semi-soft cow cheese. I even discovered a couple others that I really enjoyed including a Morbier (recognisable for its thin black line going through the middle). Can you tell I grew up in France and am a total French cheese snob?

Smith and Gertrude, of course, have an excellent selection of wines. Whether you don't want to spend a lot or you want to splash out, there's a wine for you on this list. The menu has them organised by countries if you know you like wine from a particular region. We were drinking a Bordeaux Superieur, which was the cheapest red on the French list, but still a really nice wine.

My only disappointment during my visit was discovering the baked camembert wasn't on. The menu online says that it is only available during the Autumn/Winter months. It was late October and sadly they weren't doing it yet (I did double check with the waiter :(). This only means I'm going to have to go again during Winter... not complaining there. The menu isn't just cheese so if you want something non-cheesy you can order a charcuterie board, or some ham hock terrine or even a Majorcan spiced sausage. They even have East Coast Cured Salami hailing all the way from Edinburgh (who knew Edinburgh produced salami?). A must order to snack on while you're waiting for your boards to arrive are the Torres Black Truffle Potato Chips.

Smith and Gertrude is now my go-to for a classy evening with the girls, sipping wine and eating cheese. It's a great little gem in Stockbridge and a must for French cheese lovers (well I guess any cheese lover really).

Check out their menu for yourself over on their website.  

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