Set in the heart of Edinburgh's historic Old Town, the splendid vaulted cellars of Marlin's Wynd provide an enchanting setting for weddings, private parties and private dining.
Between its Georgian reception room and vaulted cellars, Marlin's Wynd spans centuries of Scottish history. Entered from Blair Street, the reception area is part of a typical Edinburgh Georgian tenement built in 1787, while the cellars below - part of the original Marlin's Wynd - were constructed in the 1540's.
Our exclusive historical surroundings provide a dramatic and unique setting for all your entertaining needs – private dining, private parties, product launches, corporate and media events and weddings.
Please note that the only access to Marlin's Wynd is via stairs so the venue is unfortunately not suitable for wheelchair users
In the early 16th century, when the High Street and Cowgate were first being paved out, numerous closes and alleys, or wynds, were constructed. These formed a link between the two main thoroughfares and housed all kinds of shops, stalls and dwellings, above and below the ground. Modern opinion varies, but it seems likely that Marlin's Wynd was named after John Merlouin, the French stonemason who paved the Royal Mile, or superintended the paving of it, around 1550. He and his family had a house at the head of the alley - now the site of Tron Kirk which was built over Marlin's Wynd in 1636 - and Merlouin, or Marlin, is believed to be buried here.
Located midway between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood House (whose ancient gateway was also constructed by Merlouin), Marlin's Wynd was, in the 16th century, a convenient bolthole for the various occupants of both noble establishments who had a tendency to quarrel amongst themselves, when not warring with the English. In 1591, King James VI fled the aggressive advances of the Earl of Bothwell upon Holyrood House and sought refuge in Provost Nicol Edward's fortified mansion, then situated between Marlin's Wynd and it's neighbour, Niddry's Wynd. And in the same year, the Earl of Huntly, at the head of a small army, took off from the house to assassinate the 'Bonny' Earl of Murray at Donibristle in Fife.
The rather bloodthirsty history of the house continues through the late 16th and early 17th centuries, when it saw service as an interrogation centre during the grisly witch-hunts of that time.
In 1786, Nicol Edward's house, by then the property of Lockhart of Carnwath, was demolished to make way for the construction of South Bridge, linking the old town to the south with the new town to the north. At street level, the area changed dramatically as, in 1787, tenements were constructed along the site of the new South Bridge. Below ground, however, the adjoining vaults of Marlin's Wynd, although structurally part of the bridge, continued to be put to use by the occupants of the new tenements.
To the west, at Blair Street, the first occupant was Andrew Wardrop, one of the city's foremost surgeons, who must have found the almost completely sound-proofed cellars ideal for drowning out screams from his operating theatre. To the east, Marlin's Wynd vaults were used by the Stewart family - well respected bankers who are best known for the foundation of Daniel Stewart's college - and less well known for having made a substantial part of their fortune from the slave trade.
Nearly 500 years on, the cellars of Marlin's Wynd have been brought back to life. Restored, renovated and splendidly refurbished, the stone walls glow with candle-light and ring with noise once again.
Capacities and Information
Seated Dinner - Minimum guest numbers 20, maximum guest numbers 80
Reception - Reception - Minimum guest numbers 60 (80 at weekends), maximum guest numbers 120 (please note that there is a minimum food spend for weekend receptions)
Music - Clients may play background AND party music on MP3 playlist through our system or arrange alternative entertainment (Bands, DJs etc)
Hi Rebecca, Thanks for your email. We had a wonderful day and everything was just perfect for us. Obviously apart from the rain but that didn't bother anyone once we were in the venue. It even dried up for us later on so we got some outside photos on the royal mile. Everyone has been commenting on how beautiful the venue was "very romantic"! I would also like you to pass on our thanks to the chefs on the day as the food was amazing! I have already recommended you to a friend who has now booked her wedding at the Caves for February 2018. Thanks for all your help with the planning.via email
Dear Caroline and the Unusual Venues Team, We can't thank you enough for all of your help (and patience!) in organising our wedding in Marlin's Wynd. We had the most perfect day and you made it as stress free as possible! We'll remember it for the rest of our lives. I will miss the random emails that I had to send you Caroline All the very, very best for a wonderful future and thank you so much again!via card (with flowers )
Dear Sir and Ma’am, Recently we have had a wedding reception held at Marlins Wynd in Edinburgh and would like to pass on my compliments. We were contacted in good time by our wedding coordinator, Ailidh, who efficiently managed our concerns, suppliers and requests even though we were not able to meet face to face until two days before the event. On the day the staff were helpful and very competent in setting up and took our last minute suggestions in their stride as well as making the venue beautiful. At all time the staff were courteous, professional, friendly and very hardworking. The food was excellent, the service quick, polite and efficient and the whole day was a resounding success. Please pass on our thanks to your staff and thank them for their time and effort.via email
Dear Rebecca and Lisa Just want to say thank you for hosting our student conference a week past Friday. The venue looked amazing, the food was delicious and your staff on the day were excellent. The AV guys were also great so all in all a great success. On another note, can you please advise how many you can take for a drinks reception in each of your three venues. Also confirm whether they are all without disabled access. Thanks for all your support. Kind regards Janvia email
Hi Ailidh, Thank you so much, what a fantastic day we had.. the venue was amazing and even more so, the staff... big thank you to everyone for all there hard work and efforts, much appreciated. Please pass our thanks onto the chef for the amazing food that was served, everyone commented on how delicious it was! And lastly, a very special thank you to you, you've been fabulous! Kind regards, Lisavia email
Just a quick little note to say how much we all enjoyed having my daughter,s 21st birthday party at Marlin's Wynd on Saturday evening. The venue was beautiful and all the staff extremely helpful and efficient. My daughter Kristen had quote " one of the best nights of her life" so thank you for helping make it a night to remember. I will certainly recommend booking this venue.via email
Hello , Just wanted to send a big thank you to a wonderful young wedding coordinator named Marta. I delivered a cake to Marlins Wynd last Saturday and Marta was so pleasant !, and most helpful indeed , there was also a gentleman in the kitchen he too was very pleasant. I have been to quite a few weddings and Marta is by far the best wedding coordinator I have ever encounter.via email
A huge, huge thank you to all your staff who made Caitlin and Beth’s party such a fantastic night on Saturday 28th November- they had a ball as did everyone else. The venue, the food, the drinks, the running and organising - everything went just as planned and the evening was a huge success. So a massive thank you to everyone at Marilyns Wynd - what a fab venue, fab party but most of all a fab team of staff - thank you.via email
Just to say what a great time was had by all at the party on Saturday and how fabulous the venue, food, drink and all the waiting and bar staff were. Thanks especially to Pierre who did a wonderful job to make sure everything went smoothly. Many people came up to me and said how impressed by the venue they were so I suspect you will be having several more bookings!via email
We had such a fabulous day and can't thank you and the rest of the staff at Marlins Wynd enough for looking after us all so well. It truly was a wonderful day in such a wonderful setting. So many of our guests said it to us how fantastic a setting it was. Everything went to plan and we enjoyed every minute until we got too tired to stand and to speak so we left everyone else to it about 10.30pm! Thanks from both of us to you for all your hard work and for your kind words of support along the way. Warmest wishes to you all for the future.via email
Just wanted to say a huge thanks for the help with organising our reception. Everything about the venue exceeded our expectations in terms of setting, food, facilities etc. Lynn and I loved it, we had a blast and as you might imagine all of the foreign contingent loved the Scottish side of it all and even those used to Scottish weddings absolutely loved everything about it. If you could also extend a huge thank you to all the staff involved, it was all very professionally run. Hopefully the place wasn't too much of a mess the next day!via email
We had a brilliant night on Friday. Everything went like clockwork and the staff on the night were fantastic. Thanks for all your help setting it up.via email
When I first viewed Marlin's Wynd I knew it was the venue for us. Absolutely stunning and atmospheric! Everyone I spoke to during the planning and run up to our big day was friendly and helpful but big thanks to the Wedding Team who answered my almost daily questions with unendless patience! On the big day itself the venue looked spectacular. Food was gorgeous and table setting looked gorgeous. The staff were brilliant especially the Front of House Manager who looked after us right up to the very end of the evening when our taxi failed to show up, phoning and stopping taxis on the street for us! We honestly had the best day, and all our guests enjoyed themselves also. Wish we could do it all again!via email
I would just like to thank all of your team, especially those involved in our evening celebration, for such an amazing event put on for our wedding reception held in Marlins Wynd. We have all been impressed from initial set up to the final event and your professionalism and courtesy is astounding. We would especially like to mention the Front of House Manager who appeared to go over and above his duty in ensuring that our evening was everything we wanted it to be. He personally made sure that we were happy with the venue set up and ensured that all of our guests were catered for and comfortable. He did not appear to rest at all and was always courteous and pleasant and an absolute joy to have around. The food was also of a very high standard and was delicious. Overall we were extremely happy with your venue and service and our wedding day went without a hitch and will be memorable for a long time to come.via email
Just wanted to say a huge thanks to you guys. We had an amazing day and everyone loved the venue and the delicious meal. Thanks for all your help in making our day really special.via email
Graeme and I wanted to express our thanks for making my 40th birthday party truly fantastic and fabulous. Chris, Pierre and Alex (minus his long locks) and the rest of the team, did you proud; there were clear food plates (I even think they were scraped clean!) and the venue was commented on as being completely magical by our friends. Thanks again, Thea Simpsonvia email
We just wanted to thank you and your colleagues for all your help with the wedding planning. You have been a star and have been amazing! Everyone had the best day ever, it was thankfully even better than I could have possibly imagined! Everything went smoothly and everyone loved the venue. A big thank you again for everything!via letter
I can’t thank you enough for all the care and attention you gave to Megan and Fergus’s amazing wedding on Saturday! The Wedding Teams advice and guidance through the planning process was very much appreciated as was their patience with all the (very many!) queries about the food, all handled with good humour and a smile – just brilliant! The chef produced an absolutely superb Wedding breakfast for everyone including vegetarian, gluten free, nut free, dairy free, and lactose free items which met all our needs – no small task I’m sure. The waiting staff and bar staff were excellent, courteous, helpful and friendly. The venue itself was fantastic, just what the bride and groom wanted for the Ceremony, the Wedding breakfast and the Party – an extraordinary, romantic venue beautifully lit and oozing with history! Thank you again to everyone concerned in making it such a wonderful and memorable occasion. With our very best wishes to all at the Caves, and special thanks to the brilliant Wedding Team
We just wanted to sa ya big thank you for all your help organising our Wedding at Marlin's Wynd. Everything looked great & the food was fantastic!! We had so many comments from our guests, they all had a great time we couldn't fault it. Also a big thanks to the team, they really looked after us and made it really special.
To The Amazing Staff at Marlins Wynd, Thank you so much for giving us the best Hogmanay Wedding! We had the best day of our lives and we have the most amazing memories, thanks to you all! You guys do go back and beyond your job and we thank you so much! Best Wishes, Kirsten and Neal p.s Thanks to Lisa for fixing my bra!... lol
A huge thank you to all of the team who helped make Saturday’s event at Marlins Wynd a really good party. Kirsty’s phone was alive with messages on Sunday morning, and I get the impression that all our guests had a really great time. The food was good, the band were lovely people and clearly enjoying themselves, and Chris and his team were delightful too. Bacon sandwiches at midnight was the best suggestion ever ... they simply vanished in minutes ! Please pass on our thanks to everyone who was involved.
Thank you so much for organising my perfect wedding I couldn't have asked for a better day and all the staff were amazing everyone had a great time.
We meant to follow up after the party a couple of weeks ago to say the 21st party the girls had at Marlyn’s Wynd on 20 February went really well. We all had a great time and so did all the guests. Your staff were really helpful, and all the guests both young and old were very impressed with the venue which was perfect for the occasion. The ceilidh band were also very happy with the lay out and the acoustics and the space for dancing was perfect. It was a lovely evening we will remember for a long time. Thanks again, we will certainly be recommending it as a venue to our friends if they are looking
Hi Caroline and all the staff from Marlin's Wynd on Saturday. Daniel and I are so very happy with how everything went. Your ability to be there when we needed you and solve last minute hiccups (like the lack of piper....) with ease and without any interruption made our day magical. Robb in particular took control of everything and made us feel very relaxed and looked after throughout the day. I wish we could do it all again! Thanks!