AN Edinburgh restaurant frequented by Hollywood actor Keifer Sutherland and multi-million selling singer Gwen Stafani has just re-opened after being closed for a huge makeover.
Maison Bleue, on Victoria street, has been a hit with foodies since it was founded 17 years ago.
Guest have included actress Kristen Scott-Thomas as well as Tom Hank’s daughter Elizabeth.
The restaurant, which has a lounge and bar area as well as room for 70 covers, was shut for a month during the six figure refurbishment.
Now foodies can once more enjoy owner Dean Gassabi’s fusion of French, Scottish and North African food styles, but in even plusher surroundings than before.
The iconic blue three storey building has been revitalised with walls stripped back to the original stonework and quirky touches such as north African tiles and mis-matched chairs.
Modern elements to the design include neon signs.
Mr Gassabi, 58, said: “Of course closing for a month was an enormous step for us, but I’m delighted to say that it has more than paid off.
“The restaurant still has the distinctive Maison Bleue feel, but we have made it more comfortable and made the most of our incredible, historic building.
“The scale of the investment we have made sends out a very clear message – we intend to be around for a long time to come.”
Dean and daughter Layla worked with renowned Edinburgh interior decorator Grant Rough, of Rough Designs to breath new life into the Gothic building in the heart of Edinburgh’s old town.
Externally the restaurant will still boast the colourful hanging flower baskets it is renowned for.
Dean added: “The best news for our customers is that we are not increasing our prices. We may be updating our menu over the coming months, but the emphasis will be on the Scottish-French-North African heritage we are known for.”
Menu staples include dishes such as a haggis balls served with tatties and a whisky sauce, and north African lamb tagine, as well as a signature calamari dish – the recipe of the surprise sauce has remained a Gassabi family secret for many years.