As I said in my previous post, I was at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last weekend. We had a pretty late night on Saturday night so when we woke on Sunday, the only thing we could think of was breakfast. My initial thought was to go to the City Cafe but there are always such a queue to get in there and I really didn’t fancy queuing for my breakfast with a hangover.
I needed to find somewhere near our hotel on Cowgate and thought of Monteiths, a gorgeous little restaurant and cocktail bar on the Royal Mile.
I discovered Monteith’s a few years ago when my boyfriend and I were freezing cold and looking for somewhere to take refuge. As we were walking down Royal Mile, we spotted a beautifully quaint fairy-lit close and we decided to investigate.
We found ourselves in a beautiful space full of nooks and crannies with an open fire, armchairs and a mix of tables and chairs. We ended up spending the whole afternoon in there, playing Trivial Pursuit by the fire whilst drinking Bloody Mary’s. It was a fantastic day.
As it is August, the fire obviously wasn’t lit and the place looked a bit brighter. I love the decor…it looks a bit like someone’s living/dining room with mismatched furniture and lots of wood.
Monteith’s start breakfast at 12noon at the weekends. We were the first in, at 12.03pm. We immediately went to order some Bloody Mary’s when we realised they have a luxury Bloody Mary menu! Carmen ordered the classic Bloody Mary with Findlandia vodka (£6.90) while Matt ordered their Bloody Maria (£7.50)…a twist on the classic Bloody Mary with the addition of Jose Cuervo Tradicional tequila, fresh beetroot and whole grain mustard. As a big fan of gin, I liked the look of their Red Snapper (£7.50). As it says on their menu, the Bloody Mary was officially renamed the Red Snapper at the St. Regis Hotel, New York, after Vincent Astor bought it in 1935 because he felt the original name was too crude. Modern day recipes utilise the name Red Snapper signify the inclusion of gin over vodka. This Red Snapper was made with Hendrick’s gin, fresh cucumber and fresh rosemary along with tomato juice, lemon juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, sea salt & black pepper.
I must say, my Red Snapper was inspired, I loved it.
For breakfast I ordered Eggs benedict (£9) with salmon…
This was very good but as you can see, very small! I order Eggs Benedict a lot and this is the first time I’ve ever received just one egg. Normally you get two eggs served on two halves of an English muffin, so I was quite disappointed to have such a small portion, especially when it cost £9! I would expect double the amount for that price. Yes, it was delicious and I especially liked the hollandaise sauce which had just the right amount of vinegar in there to give it an edge, but I finished it in seconds. I would have ordered another one but I do think £18 for a standard-sized Eggs Benedict is going a bit too far.
Luckily, Carmen and I had ordered a portion of wild mushrooms on toasted sour dough topped with a soft poached egg (£6.50)…
This was a good sized portion and cost a lot less than the Eggs Benedict. I don’t really understand the pricing here as wild mushrooms aren’t cheap. The only ingredient slightly pricey in the Eggs Benedict was the salmon but the version with bacon was also £9 so that still doesn’t make sense.
I loved this dish. A good helping of wild mushrooms with a beautifully soft poached egg adding lots of richness to it, on top of a thick slice of sour dough toast. Gorgeous.
Carmen ordered the omelette “Arnold Bennett” (£9.50), a rich omelette of smoked haddock & hollandaise…
I really liked this. The omelette was light and fluffy and the smoked haddock was a lovely addition.
To be honest, I was still hungry after I’d finished by Eggs Benedict and half of the wild mushrooms so I ordered a hot chocolate and an espresso to jolt me out of my hangover.
The espresso definitely did its job…I had heart palpitations for the next hour! Carmen and Matt ordered cappuccinos which came in these delightfully quaint tea cups and saucers.
I do love this place…its a lovely oasis of calm just off the bustling and often over-bearing Royal Mile. The atmosphere is cosy, the staff are incredibly friendly, the food is great if a tad overpriced in parts, and the Bloody Mary’s are fantastic. I will keep coming back here when I visit the beautiful city of Edinburgh. If you’re planning a trip to Edinburgh, please add this to your to-do list. And please try the Red Snapper Bloody Mary!
Monteith’s, 61 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR
Tel: 0131 557 0330