Marchmont is just a little too far for me to happily reach in a lunchtime, from my regular work base, so it has been a largely neglected area for questing consideration, thus far. But following my recent trip to Toast, I resolved to make a better effort to explore its restaurants and cafes, and a long-overdue visit to Freeman’s fitted in very nicely with that aim.
I’ve sampled the Freeman’s brand of coffee excellence via regular trips to Lockup Coffee, which is the brainchild of owner David Freeman. He’s been doing work with a number of Edinburgh restaurants recently, too, in a plot to raise the standard of restaurant coffee, which is a much needed enterprise. The Pantry has been a notable recipient of his sage advice.
On a sun-bathed lunchtime, I found Freeman’s busy with patrons, both inside, and outside on their sun-trap bench seats. Their food menu focussed on sandwiches and soup, which was fine by me. To their pastrami, Monterrey jack and pickle hot sandwich, I added a mug of their soup of the day, a curried sweet potato and carrot.
The surroundings were of the shabby chic, eclectic variety. Where some locations feel like they’re trying too hard to pull off the look, this place radiated an easy charm. The diverse crowd, with students, working stiffs like me, and retired gents and ladies, added to the “come one, come all” welcoming sense of the space.
With my order placed at the counter, my items were soon brought over. They looked really good, neatly presented on camping crockery, much in the same way as at Woodland Creatures.
I appreciated that the pickles were presented in a little Kilner jar, on the side, as they can be a polarising item. I’ve grown to be a great fan, but appreciated being able to heap them on, myself. The sandwich was really good, with lovely fresh lightly toasted bread, and a generous filling that came together for enjoyable mouthfuls.
The soup wasn’t quite so good, but was still a solidly pleasing effort. It was a little under-seasoned, for me, but this was quickly rectified with a twist of salt from the dinky little condiment mills.
With the eating completed, I took the opportunity to try their Climpson & Sons espresso, blended specially for Freeman’s. You can find out my verdict on it over at the Espresso 100 chart. It’s safe to say that it was a high quality item, that was worth the visit, alone.
So overall, I really enjoyed what Freeman’s had to offer. Much like Sprio, things are a little pricey, but the strong quality on offer makes the value high. Their coffee is excellent and their food really pleasing. It’s a great place to relax and contemplate the world, while the helpful staff members make things very comfortable for their customers. I’d be happy to recommend you pay it a visit, at your earliest convenience.
Blythe scores Freeman’s
3.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 15.5/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: curried sweet potato and carrot soup; pastrami sandwich
I drank: espresso, water
I wore: pinstripes
Total bill: £9.70