I have tried their cakes on a couple of occasions as their branch on North Bridge is not far from my office and the inevitable leaving dos and birthdays are occasionally populated with their wares. The cakes are generally very pretty, very big and very sugary; a monstrous, sickly case of all sizzle and no steak.
But I approached breakfast with a clear mind and their red formica topped tables very much helped to get me in the greasy spoon way of thinking. They were a very odd mismatch with the gilt mirrors and Parisian poster art.
Service was very welcoming with the international flavour of the staff matching very nicely with the predominantly tourist customers. The atmosphere was effervescent and impressively warm.
I was in the mood for their full Scottish breakfast which brought together haggis, sausage, bacon, poached or scrambled eggs (I opted for the former), toast, tomatoes, mushrooms and beans. This arrived after a short pause looking very much as expected.
The first thing to report was that the eggs weren’t poached, they were baked in that great misnomer item, an egg poacher. What’s more they were cooked through to solid yolks. If this is how they prepare their eggs for the range of Benedict-type dishes they offer, I would avoid these like the plague.
This aside, the breakfast was really pretty good. The haggis was decent as was the bacon, and the sausage and mushrooms were both a notch or two better than that. The toast was of good quality, as was the butter. This was all pretty pleasing.
So overall, it was a slightly mixed bag from Patisserie Valerie, but their friendly approach just about won me over. Until they can demonstrate a change of approach, avoid their “poached” eggs, but that aside I’d be happy to come back for breakfast in sure knowledge of receiving a good feed.
Blythe scores Patisserie Valerie
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20
I ate: full Scottish breakfast (poached eggs, bacon, sausage, haggis, toast, mushrooms, tomatoes and beans)
I drank: water
I wore: lilac shirt
Total bill: £7.95