The Angel History - behind the name | Angels with Bagpipes
As you might expect in a building that dates back to the sixteenth century, Angels with Bagpipes has plenty of old world character. But its historical charms are complemented by a 21st century approach to style and comfort.
Angels with Bagpipes takes its name from a beautiful wood carving in the Thistle Chapel of the St Giles Cathedral opposite the restaurant. Searching for a little calm amid the clamour of restaurant coming to life, a little visit to the chapel provides for a moment’s quiet reflection.
Unusual Heraldic Statue
Maybe it was divine intervention but her eye was drawn to the unusual heraldic statue and she was struck by the similarities between her restaurant and the angel. Both are unique to the Royal Mile and, perhaps, both are just a little unexpected
Inspired by the carving, the new venture was christened Angels with Bagpipes in the hope that, like the angel, the restaurant would find its own niche in the ancient fabric of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.
Artist Lex McFadyen was commissioned to create a version of the Thistle Chapel carving and now his striking bronze angel with bagpipes sits proudly in the restaurant whose name she inspired.
When you are part of the Royal Mile, you are part of history, and Angels with Bagpipes is no exception. The restaurant’s Courtyard is known as Roxburgh’s Court and it takes its name from a man called John Roxburgh. Happily for a restaurant business, it seems that Angels with Bagpipes is continuing a well worn tradition. Roxburgh was a professional chef who lived in the building from 1635.
Rather harder to explain are the paintings which were uncovered on the ceiling of Roxburgh’s Close during renovation work. You can see them by walking through the close and looking up to the floor of the Halo Room.
Most of the Royal Mile’s history is well documented but the symbols daubed on Roxburgh’s Close remain a mystery.