Where everyone knows your name

It is located in the heart of Edinburgh's New Town, just down the hill from the grandeur of Heriot Row. But Room in the Town is less formal than its Georgian surroundings. This is where local families come to eat and let their hair down.

Thousands of wine corks fill the windows. A giant mural runs the length of one wall. Its bright colours depict diners drinking and, yes, there is no other word for it, carousing.

Sing it loud, sing it proud

I've been to Room in the Town many times in the evening. And enjoyed it. But the restaurant really comes into its own for family parties at lunchtime. It's a rare weekend when at least one table doesn't burst into a tuneless but joyful version of 'Happy Birthday'.

Let kids run free

The standard of service is a big part of what keeps me and other regulars coming back. At the risk of sounding like that 1980s TV show, staff remember my name. Heck, they even remember my kids' names. And hide their despair when those same kids bedeck their restaurant with feeding bottles, napkins and toys.

When I was embarrassed about breastfeeding my eldest in public, the Room in the Town manager promised he wouldn't let anyone bother me. He was as good as his word. A small kindness, but it made a big difference to me.

Prices reasonable

Room in the Town offers good value. Lunchtime prices are no more than you'd pay at Pizza Express. But the food is higher quality and locally sourced. Scottish cooking at its best.

A main course will set you back just £8.95. You can bring your own wine, although the restaurant charges a few pounds for corkage.

I hesitated over writing about Room in the Town. For selfish reasons. I didn't want it mobbed by newcomers. It is one of my favourite Edinburgh restaurants.

Room in the Town, 18 Howe Street, Edinburgh, Tel: 0131 225 8204

Open seven days. Lunch from 12pm, dinner from 5.30pm.

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