FEATURE – Kitchen Porter’s pop-up dining & cooking demonstrations


Roast rack and slow cooked shoulder of lamb

New pop-up dining experience and cooking demonstrations at Kitchen Porter’s.

We do love the unusual at Edinburgh Spotlight and were delighted to be given an invite to the newest pop-up dining experience in Edinburgh – Kitchen Porter’s.

Run by husband and wife team, Mark and Mary Porter, this is the latest private dining experience to surface in town. Mark is a professional chef and has years of culinary experience behind him.

Our first pop-up dining experience in Edinburgh was at the excellent Charlie and Evelyn’s table. The owners, Chris and Rachel Rowley are currently on a maternity break from hosting suppers to allow for their new arrival due in April.  We invited them along to Kitchen Porter’s so they could get a taste of what it feels like to be a diner in someone else’s home.

On the whole, Kitchen Porter’s is a similar experience to Charlie and Evelyn’s table, but still completely individual.  The location is in the Corstorphine area (address is given once booking confirmed) and can host up to 14 people due to the larger space.  The menu is emailed to you in advance to allow changes for any specific dietary requirements.

The experience

We arrived at 7.30pm and were warmly welcomed into Mark and Mary’s home with a champagne reception and mouth-watering canapes.  Other diners swiftly arrived and introduced themselves before we were all shown to our tables in a large dining room off the busy kitchen.

Three separate tables hosted all the guests in their private parties and are arranged depending on the people and groups of friends attending.  Sometimes you may have to share a table, but that only adds to the whole dining experience.

The price of the meal is £25 pp and it’s BYOB, which is placed near your table and iced water is supplied.  It’s interesting to see the buzz in the cooking area through a gap in the kitchen wall of 14 meals coming together at the exact same time.

Our menu for the evening was:

  • Truffled celeriac soup
  • Carpaccio of Beetroot with Goats Cheese Mousse and Orange Dressing
  • Roast rack and slow cooked shoulder of lamb with fondant potato and lamb jus
  • Vanilla bavarois with poached rhubarb

Every course was beautifully presented and explained to us as it was served.  The celeriac soup was a lovely winter warmer that went down a treat.  The goats cheese mousse was a particular hit at our table, only to be topped shortly after by the main of lamb.  My dining partner and I tucked in immediately whilst Chris and Rachel took interest in how the dish had been put together.  The rack had been cooked perfectly and was moist and tender and the shoulder of lamb was served inside the cabbage.

Half-way through our meal, we had to remind ourselves that we were in fact in a family home, such was the social atmosphere and laughter echoing around the room.  At times it did feel like we were in an actual restaurant, but the extra personal service and relaxed ambiance reminded us we were somewhere special.

Sublime dessert

The vanilla bavarois with rhubarb and blackberries was dreamy and delicious.  The dessert certainly rounded off an excellent meal which was followed by tea and coffee (with chocolates).

No pressure to rush away from Kitchen Porter’s, but before the clock struck midnight, we were gone. Another tremendous dining experience in Edinburgh complete and one that will definitely be repeated.


Kitchen Demonstrations:

Held at monthly at Kitchen Porter’s, 10.30am – 2.30pm.

During this time, Mark will teach you various techniques and tips through the course of making a selection of canapes and a two course lunch (which is consumed by you afterwards).

Next available date: Thursday 10th March.  £40 pp  (6 places)  Private sessions can be booked.

Further information:

To get on the mailing list to be informed of the next Kitchen Porter’s event or to enquire about the cooking demonstrations, please email Mark and Mary at kitchenports@yahoo.co.uk You can also find them on twitter.    (further online presence coming soon).

You can read Chris and Rachel’s experience of the evening in this post from their website.

Suitable for disabled? Yes, the dining area of their home is on ground level.

New dining experience in Edinburgh

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