Cannonball Restaurant offers the finest in Scottish dining in the very heart of the Old Town, with fabulous views of Edinburgh and the Castle, showcasing Scotland's best and freshest ingredients.
Welcome to Victor & Carina Contini Cannonball at Cannonball House. Inspired by our family’s tradition of serving food in Scotland for over a century, we are very proud to be working in partnership with The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo to bring a new and exciting food experience to this iconic building inspired by our 1950s Scottish food heritage with an Italian twist.
The name Cannonball House comes from the gunshot lodged high on the wall facing Edinburgh Castle. It’s rumoured to have been fired by Government troops towards Holyrood Palace when Bonnie Prince Charlie was in residence in 1745 during the Jacobite Rebellion. However, it’s more likely the cannonball was placed there by engineers to mark the gravitational height for the first piped water supply to Castlehill Reservoir across the road. Either way, it’s a little piece of history and well worth a look when you leave.
The 1st Duke of Gordon, the keeper of Edinburgh Castle, built the first recorded building on the site as his residence in the 1650’s. For its time, the building was believed to be incredibly ornate with some of Scotland’s most dramatic and beautiful carpentry of its day.
The building was altered into a tenement in the 18th century after a fire caused major destruction to its delicate timber interior. The one surviving feature of the original building is the “oldest knocker in the world” door that adorns our entrance off the steps from Royal Mile. That is another must-see photo opportunity.
The building eventually fell into decay over the course of the 19th century and was finally knocked down and then rebuilt as Castle Hill Primary School in 1905.
We have found some fascinating photographs showing a tearoom in the area that now covers our outside terrace on the Royal Mile dating to 1912. So 100 years later we’re back to tea and scones and a few extra treats.
The building also housed the Scottish Parliament offices while the main building at Holyrood was being constructed. Over the last decade the building was used by the Tattoo until it became surplus to its needs with the completion of the fabulous new stand.
During our refurbishment of Cannonball, the foundations were excavated to reveal layers of discarded oyster shells dating back over centuries, clearly showing how this wonderful native shellfish was as popular back then as it is today.
We look forward to looking after you.
Victor, Carina and our team.
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