ONE of Edinburgh’s most popular family restaurants has announced plans to set up a special Christmas grotto, as a ‘Leith alternative’ to the traditional festive attractions in the capital.
The Yard, Leith, has revealed that it will create its very own Christmas market and festive grotto this year, providing residents of Leith with their very own version of Edinburgh’s Winter Wonderland celebrations.
The restaurant will carry out a massive overhaul of its courtyard in order to create the attractions, which will be open to members of the public from December 9.
The Yard’s head chef, Tony Delicata, said: “We wanted to replicate some of the festivities that are taking place at Princes Street Gardens, but on a smaller scale. Leith doesn’t really have a Christmas market of its own so we thought we would create one here ourselves, so that it can be enjoyed by everyone in the area.
“Although it’s not going to rival the big market on Princes Street Gardens, our biggest inspiration was actually the Christmas decorations in New York. They’re very iconic and everyone knows what they look like thanks to popular TV programmes and movies, so we wanted to create that sort of wintery feel down in Leith.
“As well as the market stalls, we’re building a Santa’s grotto and will be hosting weekend breakfast events where kids can come and have some winter sweets and treats with Father Christmas himself. There will also be state-of-the-art artificial snow and decorations set up throughout our courtyard, so it should look absolutely fantastic.
“On Christmas Eve, we have a very special event planned, where we will be inviting everyone to come down to The Yard for a special carol singing celebration – and the kids will be able to wave Santa off as he takes to his sled and starts his long night of delivering presents.
“The whole idea is to have a lot of fun and create a good bit of Christmas community spirit in Leith. We want everyone to come down and experience a winter wonderland on their doorstep, rather than facing the hassle of heading into the city centre and fighting the crowds.”
Among the attractions at The Yard in December will be specialist stalls selling a range of arts and crafts, including hand-made candles and jewellery. There will also be a selection of food and drink stands, selling designer cider and winter treats such as mulled wine and hot chocolate, as well as festive rides for youngsters.
Other events taking place at The Yard over the festive holidays include:
• Christmas dinner cabaret with renowned crooner Marty Waugh (December 12 and 19)
• Hogmanay ‘knees up’ dinner and drinks party with music from The 3 Fivers – a musical troupe comprising staff members and ex-performers from The Yard, Leith (December 31)
• Breakfast with Santa (11am on December 12 and 19 – kids only)
The full list of Christmas events and details about The Yard, Leith’s special festive menu can be found on the website www.theyardleith.com
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