Gardener’s Cottage

MJ’s verdict

One Sunday we strolled up to Gardener’s Cottage for a bit of brunch before I had to make the drive back south.

It was set up the same as I remember it, with communal tables and people dotted about. It smelled amazing and I was starving so it was a good thing we had seats waiting.


We ordered a giant cafetiere of coffee, which was exactly what was needed after the previous evening’s wine and food. I ordered the bacon, black pudding, meat loaf, poached egg, brioche, greens, and hollandaise.

And, just to be difficult, I removed the hollandaise and changed the brioche to sourdough, because I remembered how good the bread was there.

For good measure, I also ordered us an extra order of sourdough. Beyond that, all I want to convey is how much I love black pudding and it was good black pudding.

To add to the joy of the meal, Murray, who owns Stag Barber Co. where I get my hair cut, was seated next to us.

Back to the food – it was all well executed, quite tasty, and I was delighted that the coffee was plentiful.

I am pleased that we went, and I would love to go back when I’m next in town.

Black pudding, meatloaf and such

Blythe’s verdict

It was lovely to have MJ back in town for the weekend. Following a spectacular dinner at Le Roi Fou the previous evening, we took the opportunity to head for Sunday brunch at Gardener’s Cottage.

We’d visited here shortly after it opened, back in 2012 and been a bit baffled by an oddly muted lunch. Since then I’ve got to know some of the folks involved with the business during regular visits to their Leith cafe, Quay Commons, which I like a lot. It felt like time to reappraise things.


The set-up is as it has always been. The signature cottage features two rooms with communal seating, an open kitchen and a relaxed atmosphere in which classic vinyl sets the mood. The acoustics can be a bit of a challenge for hearing every word from your dining companion, but that probably saved MJ from the worst of my jibber-jabber.

MJ is a great fan of black pudding so ordered a hearty dish of bacon, black pudding, meat loaf and so forth, swapping out brioche for sourdough and eschewing hollandaise. I opted for the kipper and poached egg.

First up was cafetiere coffee from local roastery Williams & Johnson. It did the job very nicely.

Kipper, egg, kale, brioche toast

Our food soon followed on eye-catching crockery. My kipper was a good sized beast and evoked memories of many a Sunday breakfast in my youth. The accompanying poached egg had an accurately oozy yolk and the toasted brioche and hollandaise worked well.

MJ was pleased with her selection which showcased good local products in a hearty breakfast dish. It set her up well for the all too imminent drive back down to her new homestead in Derby.

So overall, it was good to renew acquaintances with Gardener’s Cottage and find it on rather better form than before. I will now try to get along for their evening tasting menu, hopefully early in 2018, as I like what they do and am keen to sample more from their kitchen.

Blythe scores Gardener’s Cottage
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 16/20

Today’s questers were: MJ, Blythe

We ate: bacon, black pudding, meatloaf, poached egg, kale; kipper, poached egg, kale, hollandaise

We drank: coffee, water

We wore: layers, blues

Total bill: £32.95

Address: 1 Royal Terrace Gardens, London Rd, Edinburgh EH7 5DX

Written by BKR