Exterior

Exterior

Having visited the previous incarnation of the Colonnades at the Signet Library, the Gran Caffe, on a number of occasions, I was interested to see the effects of their recent revamp. I popped along on a rainy lunchtime.

The place has been getting a lot of coverage on blogs of late as their PR people, Pagoda Porter Novelli, organised a blogger event to show off their afternoon tea selection. As with most events of that type I couldn’t make it along, but given that fellow writer Danielle has her baking featured on the menu, I had to get along for lunch to try it.

Soup

Soup

The interior remains much the same, but the furniture has been given a beneficial spuce up. It remains one of Edinburgh’s finest cafe spaces.

The menu, catered by Heritage Portfolio, has been significantly broadened from the Gran Caffe days, with a full breakfast, lunchtime and daytime menu, including their signature afternoon teas.

Swirl

Swirl

I stuck to a oft-used method by nodding when details of the soup and tartlet of the day were relayed. This meant red pepper and tomato soup with one of Danielle’s savoury swirls to start, followed by a blue cheese, asparagus and kale tartlet.

First up was the soup. It was bijou in its portioning and solidly decent. The accompanying savoury swirl was first-rate and right up there with the savoury scones from Bon Papillon as the best soup accompaniment in the city.

Tartlet and salad

Tartlet and salad

The tartlet featured thinly crisp pastry, which was excellent, but the filling lacked the expected blue cheese tang, instead being rather generically savoury. The accompanying salad was simple and crisp.

So overall, the Colonnades is doing fine work and represents a very good option for a stylish lunch. Over the Festival season this will be an ideal place to impress visiting friends in a beautiful Edinburgh building that serves highly pleasing food. I look forward to visiting again, soon.

Scores
Blythe scores the Colonnades
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
4.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 16/20

I ate: red pepper and tomato soup with Danielle’s savoury swirl; blue cheese, asparagus and kale tarlet

I drank: water

I wore: rain-spotted trousers

Total bill: £15.25

(As a side-note, we were invited to book via the PR company for a complimentary lunch, but given I rather suspected we’d be saying a lot of similar things to our previous review – which was to a large extent the case – we declined the offer and paid via our usual tried and trusted cold, hard cash method).

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Written by BKR