HENDERSONS, Eat Better Live Better VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT
In 1962, Barrie’s grandparents Janet and Mac Henderson first opened the Hendersons Shop on Hanover Street in 1962, with the basement restaurant opening in 1963. The restaurant is now run by the third generation, namely Barrie Henderson who worked with his family at the old restaurant that closed in 2020 during the pandemic. “We think Janet would be mighty proud that we are celebrating 60 years since Hendersons first opened its doors. To mark this significant year, we are running a range of events and hope you will join us along the way!” Click on weblink to see what’s on.
This vibrant exceptional vegetarian restaurant is being recognised with top reviews for its ethical food and buzzing atmosphere. Edinburgh’s legendary vegetarian restaurant, founded by Janet Henderson in 1962, made its way into the hearts of people seeking goodness from nutritious, homemade food: ‘eat better, live better.’ Thanks to Janet’s grandson, Barrie Henderson, her legacy will live on at a new venue in Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield. Also offering takeaways & outside catering for weddings, events and family get togethers.
Barrie said: “After the amazing support we’ve received from our Edinburgh community, our chefs are excited to reveal new dishes that complement the vintage dishes we’re bringing back. The menus are going to be refreshed with the seasons, as well as in response to feedback from customers, so expect to see a revolving selection of dishes over the coming months, featuring old favourites and new creations.”
The all-day menu is designed to be both approachable and affordable. Returning customers, eager to see their favourite dishes, like the famous Hendersons haggis, renowned chocolate mousse and classic salad plates, won’t be disappointed. There are exciting dishes reflecting a modern approach to the vegetarian and vegan dining experience whilst retaining some classics. Winner of 2021 Food Awards.
Sourcing is at the forefront of the kitchen philosophy, with everything made from scratch using local, seasonal ingredients. Barrie and his lovely wife Clara have cultivated a small fruit, herb and vegetable garden to the restaurant’s rear, where they are growing as much as possible to sustain the kitchen, also sourcing locally from producers and family.
The harmonising of old and new is also reflected in the restaurant’s interiors, with many echoes of the Hendersons of old resonating throughout the space. The walls have been given a textured feel, and an archway has been created as a nod to the original restaurant.
Natural, sustainable materials are used throughout with a focus on wood, highlighted by original restaurant tables from the 1970s in the main dining space. The aprons worn by front of house staff are designed and made by Clara.
The overall muted colour palate is accented with retro-inspired motifs in yellow, blue and red, displayed in a mural, hand-painted by Edinburgh-based Thomas Paints.
A wall of dried foliage that featured in the Hendersons of the 1990s was the inspiration for the abundance of dried British wheat, barley, broom, hops and birch leaves that adorn the walls, ceilings and tables, carefully arranged by Scottish floral designers Gloam. The entire design project was overseen by Edinburgh-based firm Four-By-Two.
Open 7 days from noon onwards (check their website), Hendersons is welcoming customers for coffee and cake, drinks and lights, lunch and dinner.
Among the delicious dishes pictured are the Hendersons classic haggis, mushroom barley risotto with crispy kale, Hendersons salad platter, burger bun & chocolate mousse.
Hendersons opened in Edinburgh 1962, blazing a trail for the vegetarian and healthy-eating lifestyle. Initially an outlet for the organic produce grown at Janet and Mac Henderson’s East Lothian farm, Janet’s pioneering approach to dining earned Hendersons iconic status on Scotland’s food and drink scene. Almost six decades later, in the summer of 2020, Hendersons ceased trading as a result of lockdown, so in order to preserve Janet’s legacy, her grandson Barrie Henderson announced plans to re-establish the family business following pleas from former customers, devastated by news of the closure of the city centre restaurant, opening his Bruntsfield venue the following year.
About Barrie Henderson: Barrie has been part of the Hendersons family business since he was 14, working his way through different departments including the old organic bakery, the kitchen and front of house, eventually becoming general manager at a time when the company was run by his uncle and father. During a 2-year hiatus in 2010 Barrie gained experience in Germany, then working as a chef in the Inner Hebrides, returning to Hendersons in 2012. He went on to gain a Masters in Hospitality and became instrumental in the overall running the business, helping them win several awards including Green Family Business of the Year 2018 (The Herald) and Family Business of the Year 2016 (The Sunday Post). Barrie is devoted to a vegetarian lifestyle, spending much of his time developing new recipes. He is also passionate about sustainable food production and growing his own food. His most treasured award is for a red cabbage that secured first prize at a local vegetable competition.
The Chefs: Paul Kayne worked at Hendersons Vegan for 4 years, developing vegan dishes that focused on naturally nutrient-rich wholefood ingredients, bucking the trend of using meat substitutes. During this time it was a favourite hang-out for vegan (and non-vegan) celebrities like Woody Harrelson & Ian McKellen when they were visiting Edinburgh.
Poetic words capturing the moment (pictured) by the talented @leemitchellmacgregor