Sir Walter Scott’s Tea Room
I seem to be being tempted by uncharted Princes Street waters rather regularly at the moment. Following trips to Cafe Alba and Firedog, I was lured in by a trip to Sir Walter Scott’s Tea Room on the second floor of Romanes & Paterson.
I had my expectations set to pricey and moderate as I traversed the seemingly endless swathes of tartan carpet between the door and my cafe destination.
I have a dim and distant memory of a school friend working here many, many years ago and popping in to visit her. The place didn’t ring many bells with me beyond that so I suspect this was indeed my first visit in twenty plus years.
As with other Princes Street eateries the view is one of the prime attractions. I bagged a window table but sat with my back to the view because I’m that kind of twat.
The welcome and service was a strength throughout. It was clear that the folks working today knew the menu backwards and forwards. They managed the room well throughout.
The menu did indeed look rather overpriced so I settled upon their soup and panino deal from £9.95. I chose the beef broth – described as “stick to your ribs” – and a haggis and brie panino, which was presumably supposed to be emblematic of another Auld Alliance collaboration.
Dishes arrived ensemble, as expected, looking like they were trying to make the best of some not so bonnie items. The soup came with a lid which revealed a dark beige broth, for example.
The soup was hearty fare although the accompanying “bakery bread” had seen better days.
The panino was a mixed bag, too. The casing was the bread equivalent of shiny white toilet paper, but the filling was plentiful and tasty with good Macsween’s haggis. The accompaniments brought about that most quintessential of Edinburgh tea room activities, eating Mackie’s crisps with a fork.
So overall, I’ve probably been a little mean to old Watty and his Tea Room as what they served was generally fine. Should we be doing better than this with our tourist traps? Yes, we should indeed. But meaty soup and a haggis sandwich, however shite the bread, are generally going to please me. If you find the occasion when that’s what you need, too, give this place a look. Just make sure to bring your tartan-cancelling shades.
Blythe scores Sir Walter Scott’s Tea Room
3/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 13/20
I ate: beef broth, haggis and brie panino
I drank: water
I wore: grey, black and blue (and green)
Total bill: £9.95
Address: Romanes & Paterson, 62 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2DF