There’s nothing quite like the exquisite joy of starting the week with an 8.30am dental appointment. However, what that meant, on this occasion, was that by 8:50am I had been given a clean bill of dental health and advised not to return for six months. In addition, I was now in need of a hearty breakfast to celebrate, so I popped along the road to Victor Hugo, on Portobello High Street.


As a student, Livingston Place was a semi-permanent abode for me, as friends of mine had a flat there, at which I passed a good deal of my extra-curricular university career. Consequently, I was well acquainted with Victor Hugo’s original branch, which is just on the corner. They opened this Portobello branch, a few months ago, and though MJ and I have spotted it on our travels, a couple of times, I hadn’t had the opportunity to visit, until now.

A simply appointed café space, serving light breakfast, lunch and snack selections, the welcome was warm but relaxed. I sat in a window seat and soon settled upon a black pudding roll as my preferred choice. I was given four roll options (white, brown, herb focaccia, or bagel), from which I chose brown. I added a pot of breakfast tea, to wet my whistle.


Tea was with me immediately, so I poured a cup and contemplated the week ahead. In the meantime, a couple of casual customers drifted in to buy freshly baked good, which were apparently still cooking. Before long, my roll was with me, with a thick layer of black pudding smartly filling the floury brown bap.

I do declare that it was one of the finest black pudding rolls I’ve had in a long time. With just the right amount of brown sauce to add a fruity tang, I was profoundly pleased with what I munched.

Black pudding roll

Another cup from the teapot brought the curtain down on what had been a heartily enjoyable Monday morning treat.

This branch of Victor Hugo has a different feel to it from the Marchmont original. There’s a little more space, more light flooding through bigger windows, and a generally calmer atmosphere. While the original will always hold a particular place in my affections, I can see myself returning here more often. Portobello does have a lot of nice café and bistro spots, these days, but I’d happily recommend Victor Hugo as a smashing wee place for a feed.

Blythe scores Victor Hugo
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 14.5/20

Today’s quester was: Blythe

I ate: Charles McCleod Black Pudding roll

I drank: breakfast tea

I wore: pinstripes

Total bill: £4.65

127-129 Portobello High Street
EH15 1AF

Written by BKR