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“Pleasant surprise”

Institut francais d'Ecosse
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Owner description: Founded in 1946, the Institut français d’Ecosse is the Scottish outpost of the French Embassy in the United Kingdom. Within its Edinburgh base, it combines: - A cultural venue with a 55-seat theatre for shows, music, theatre, talks, cinema screenings, and an art gallery; - A French language centre with about 1,500 students per year, more than 150 classes and 15 teachers; - An on-site and digital resource centre in the forms of our médiathèque and the online Culturethèque; - A network of correspondents coordinating its membership throughout Scotland.
Reviewed 14 August 2017

We went to book tickets for a play and stayed for a drink and some treats in the Bistro were helpful and friendly and the wine and food tasted good. The quiet garden at the back proved to be a great place to sit back and relax and enjoy the evening sunshine

Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IF E, Public Relations Manager at Institut francais d'Ecosse, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2018

Very happy to hear that you enjoyed your experience at the Institut français last year. If you're in Edinburgh for the festival, please visit our new premises on West Parliament Square (at the top of the Royal Mile). The café is as cozy as ever!

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5 - 9 of 11 reviews

Reviewed 24 August 2016

Had a voucher for a sharing platter and a bottle of wine. Both were excellent and the staff were very friendly and helpful. Too bad it is only open during the Edinburgh Fringe. Hope it is open again next year as I would like to return and try some of the cakes.

Thank Maggie572005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IF E, Public Relations Manager at Institut francais d'Ecosse, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2018

Bonjour! We've moved and are now at the top of the Royal Mile (West Parliament Square). And we've got a bistrot open all year round now. Please visit for a glass of wine and stay for one of our Fringe shows!

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Reviewed 27 August 2012

I went to the Institut to see a performance of Ma Biche et Mon Lapin in the basement as part of the Fringe and discovered Le Bistrot where I had lunch. As I was previously unaware of the existence of the Institut, let alone its authentic French cafe, this was a very pleasant surprise. At £13.95 for entree + plat (in my case an excellent salade parisienne and a slightly overcooked beouf bourguignon) this was very good value. Wine at £4.90 for a small (125ml) glass compared with about £14 for a full bottle does not encourage abstinence! Service was friendly and efficient.

The only downside is that the bistro only takes cash, no cards.

As for the academic or cultural work of the Institut I have no knowledge and cannot comment.

Thank Bonetti
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IF E, Public Relations Manager at Institut francais d'Ecosse, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2018

Hi Bonetti, If you're still in Edinburgh, please pay the Institut a visit and check out the new bistrot, which is now open all year long. Admittedly, it still only takes cash, but they should have their card payment system operational soon.

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Reviewed 22 April 2012

Unwelcoming staff, shabby building, spelling mistakes everywhere to be seen (IN FRENCH... and English). Altogether an unpleasant experience, do not bother !

2  Thank gudrungoth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IF E, Public Relations Manager at Institut francais d'Ecosse, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2018

Hi Gudrungoth, I'm sorry that you had an unpleasant experience at the Institut's bistrot a few years ago. We've changed premises (now at the top of the Royal Mile) and updated the bistrot with a new look, management, and staff. I even believe their spelling has improved!

If you're still in Edinburgh, we'd love for you to give the Institut a second chance. Merci !

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Reviewed 10 April 2012

cafes okay when open rooms are care worn to sat the least

2  Thank ScotLadd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IF E, Public Relations Manager at Institut francais d'Ecosse, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2018

Hi Scotladd, I'm sorry to hear that you were disappointed by the Institut's look and reception back in the 2012. We've recently moved to a beautiful location at the top of the Royal Mile, with updated classrooms, performance spaces, a library, an art gallery/project space, and a bistrot that recently opened.

We'd be happy if you were to give us a second chance and this time we'll make sure the accueil est beaucoup plus chaleureux.

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