I managed to seize an opportunity for a breakfast quest in Leith, today. As the song goes, I was thankful to the chief for putting sunshine on Leith, as truly it was a gloriously bright start to the day. A trip to Marmalade, on Bernard Street, continued the sunny theme.


Housed in a very smart, beautifully corniced room, which I’m not 100% convinced they’re using to best advantage, Marmalade offers a broad range of daytime options, from breakfast rolls, to lunchtime soups and specials, along with a well-stocked sandwich counter.

What is immediately apparent from their chalkboard is that the prices are extremely reasonable. Espresso is £1, large soups £1.70, and breakfast rolls around the £1.30 mark. I opted for the first and last of these options, with a black pudding and brown sauce accompanied by an espresso.

Black pudding roll

The counter women were all superbly friendly. My accent is sometimes the source of considerable confusion. The puzzled look on the girl’s face when she wondered why I would want blackberries on a roll was a joy to behold. Once we’d established that I was saying black pudding, I did offer her one of my pair of BlackBerries, which I would happily have seen deep-fried for my consumption.

With the pleasant banter and financial transaction drawn to a close, I was on my way back out in to the sunshine. With a pause for photos, I was soon sampling my wares.


The coffee wasn’t spectacular. It lacked the viscosity that I’ve come to crave from my espresso, so whilst the flavour was fair, it was a little too like a short Americano for my tastes.

The breakfast roll was far better, with a nice, warm and soft slice of black pudding topped with good brown sauce. The fresh morning roll brought exactly the right ratio of bread to filling, so it was an item with which I was entirely content.

So overall, I was impressed with Marmalade. The wonderful service really makes the place, but the value on offer is also good to see. Their use of the elegant space will perhaps grow on me with familiarity. Certainly, it’s a lovely, bright and airy room, ideal for lingering in over a tall coffee and a chat. I’d happily pop back, and would encourage you to visit, too.

Blythe scores Marmalade
3.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20

Today’s quester was: Blythe

I ate: black pudding roll

I drank: espresso

I wore: blue shirt

Total bill: £2.30

Marmalade on Urbanspoon

Written by BKR