There are more touristy ways to spend a lunchtime than with a trip to Clarinda’s Tea Room on the Canongate, but I can’t think of many. In the heart of the historic Old Town, this place has been plying its trade for a good many years, to international appreciation.
For people of a certain vintage it will remind them of trips to their granny’s house, for others perhaps an auntie. For those of more recent stock, think of the tea rooms from Withnail and I.
A busy place at most times, I was lucky to find an available table. I was pressed for time so kept things quick and focussed. I ordered their soup of the day, which was carrot and parsnip, and added a half sandwich as per their lunchtime deal. I chose brie and cranberry. The accommodating waitress asked if I’d prefer that toasted. I was happy to go with her suggestion.
I felt duty obliged to try some tea, so chose a pot of the vanilla variety. It was lightly perfumed and aromatically calming so was a very good choice to promote the required lunchtime relaxation.
The food arrived promptly. The soup proved very good with a blend of sweet flavours from the winter roots. The toastie was of the simple white bread variety, but of its kind it was rather good with the brie well melted and the cranberry making for tasty eating.
So overall, I thought Clarinda’s was charming and that their food was a good deal better than I’ve tasted in similar tourist-oriented places. I’d be happy to recommend their soup, as the variety I tried was very good. Next time you’re looking for a slice of old-world charm, give Clarinda’s a visit.
Blythe scores Clarinda’s
3.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20
I ate: carrot & parsnip soup; brie and cranberry sandwich
I drank: vanilla tea
I wore: brogues
Total bill: £7