The Secret Garden Distillery, Cafe & Bistro – Midlothian’s best kept secret is out!

Friday November 18th 2022


Written by Midlothian View food columnist, Angela Muir

Nestled at the foot of the Pentland hills lies The Secret Garden, a little oasis of nature, peace and tranquillity. Both the distillery and café & bistro are located within picture perfect gardens which are lovingly tended by a dedicated team of gardeners and are home to over 600 varieties of plants.

Firstly, let me describe the café and bistro. Imagine a fairy tale wonderland of twinkling lights, flickering candles and climbing vines within a beautiful glass house and you are there. It is such a beautiful and atmospheric space. Even the wild and wet weather didn’t detract from the experience. There is something very soothing about the sound of rain on glass when you are warm and cosy inside. The menus are inspired by and curated from the seasonal herbs, vegetables and fruits growing on site and with produce from local suppliers. Even the loose leaf tea is handpicked from the gardens.

You can enjoy breakfast and lunch everyday along with afternoon teas and delicious bakes created by their talented in house baker. I particularly enjoyed a hearty and healthy pumpkin, parsnip and apple soup with a homemade cheese scone. The Secret Garden are well prepared for the festive season too with the most beautiful afternoon tea featuring pigs in blankets, turkey, cranberry and pear finger sandwiches and gorgeous festive bakes, that can be enjoyed in the glass house or at home. There will also be a fabulous Christmas menu available from the 1st of December and if you are looking for a unique venue to host a Christmas party then look no further! The Christmas fair on the 26th of November would be the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to some delicious festive food and drink, to wrap up and take a walk around the gardens and browse in the shop for a little bit of Christmas ginspiration!


The Secret Garden festive afternoon tea.

Now to the Secret Garden gin! The distillery is managed by passionate and dedicated sister duo, Imogen and Isobel. Sustainability and nature is at the heart of everything they do, from the way the plants are grown, how the botanicals are harvested by hand to the way their gins are so beautifully packaged. It really is a celebration of all things wild. The Secret Garden gins have been lovingly crafted to reflect the team’s obvious passion for nature using 100% natural products and plants specially selected for the flavour profiles or colour they bring to the gin.

Interactive distillery tours will commence again in the spring when visitors can enjoy a tour of the gardens, be taken through the gin making process and of course sample some of the delicious gins which are distilled, hand bottled and labelled on site. The bottles are so beautifully designed and packaged and can be purchased from the on-site shop along with teas, honey, candles and products all inspired by the Distillery garden. The garden and distillery tour would make a perfect day out for gin lovers or for a special event, followed by a delicious meal in the café & bistro.

We are so lucky in our area to have a wealth of fabulous venues for lunch, coffee and catch ups but The Secret Garden is a little bit different. It’s a destination experience to savour which will change and evolve with every season. It’s a place to linger, to wander, to explore, and a space to celebrate and to be absorbed in nature. It’s a place to touch, to smell and to taste and to enjoy our fabulous local produce whilst supporting a growing local business. And of course… there is gin!

For more recommendations and questions head over to @eatsleepgreet on Instagram.

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