At the Illusionist’s Table – Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014

IMG_6460There are many accompaniments for Whisky – a half pint of beer, water, couple of cubes of ice, ginger ale and of course another Whisky.   But at the SMWS, throughout the famous Fringe Festival, Illusionist Scott Smith has been pairing illusions and great food (prepared by SMWS chef James Freeman) with the Societies unique single cask Whiskies.

Last Wednesday I went along to Queen Street, in the heart of Edinburgh, to experience the Illusionist’s Table.

Entering a very darkened North View Room with atmospheric lighting and a huge oval table set for around 20 people, I must admit I was instantly lured into the world of magic, I was ready to be impressed.  After being seated, Scott Smith (Illusionist) entered and flowed straight into many close up illusions, which included bending a wine glass, card tricks, finding jewellery in a walnut and a floating table, the entire room was captivated.

Throughout the night, intertwined and representative of the magic that we were witnessing, glorious food was also served.  James Freeman, had chosen perfect pairings for the illusions starting with:

Start: Balloyine of smoked duck with gingerbread crumb and sour cherries – this dish was served under a smoking glass cloche

Main: Confit of rabbit leg with carrots, chanterelles, honeyed mustard seeds, toasted almonds and boulangere potatoes – Scott pointed out at this stage that this would be the only appearance of rabbit the whole night.

Dessert: Lemon egg with crystallised walnuts

Not forgetting one of the main reasons this event was of interest to me, the WHISKY.  After dinner Scott then introduced us to the magic of Whisky, guiding the room through a tasting of two delicious and different drams, including:

71.39 : Sweetness gently tickled by oak (Glenburgie)

Date Distilled: 28 May 1985
Colour: Orange gold
Age: 27 years
Flavour : Spicy & sweet
Cask Type: Refill ex-bourbon hogshead
Whisky Region: Speyside Lossie

76.106 : A world of flavours (Mortlach)

Date Distilled: 20 October 1987
Age: 25 years
Whisky Region: Speyside
Cask Type Refill hogshead


Dinner was greatly enjoyed, the drams were tasty and the illusions were all met with a room full of gasps – success.

The evening closed with a round up of the conversations and illusions we had witnessed.  At the start of the night Scott had predicted many of the events and responses he would receive from members of the audience throughout the night – his predictions were held in the centre of the dining table under a glass globe, this was then read out – in true “how did he do that” style we all sat in awe while he read off the nights events in order with our participation accurately…   was it the Whisky…?

Very enjoyable evening with great company and a very professional host, highly recommended.


Find out more about Scott Smith here: & here

Find out more about The Dining Room at SMWS Queen Street here: & here

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