The Grand Café
20 North Bridge
Tel: +44 (0)131 622 2999
Overall score: ★★★☆☆
The Grand Café is the spectacular new eating and drinking space at the recently refurbished Scotsman Hotel on North Bridge. One of the great perks of my day job is that I often get the chance to have a nosey around these new establishments shortly after they open, so when I heard The Grand Café were willing to create a bespoke vegan afternoon tea for my visit, I knew I had to bring my camera along and take some pictures!
Set in the beautiful former advertising hall of The Scotsman newspaper, The Grand Café boasts a gorgeous interior that dates back to 1905 full of character and period features. This is the perfect place if you are looking for somewhere guaranteed to impress.
Vegan food at The Grand Café
The Grand Café offers afternoon tea, as well as breakfast, brunch, lunch and evening dining. Of course, the regular afternoon tea is not vegan, but because I gave them plenty of notice when I booked, they were able to create a bespoke vegan afternoon tea especially for my visit (just like Peacock Alley).
As this afternoon tea was made completely bespoke, it is very unlikely that if you pop into the Grand Café and also order an afternoon tea, you will be served the exact same thing. Having said that, at least the pictures above give you an idea of the standard of what to expect.
When our afternoon tea was delivered to our table, the pastry chef came out personally to explain the options and what she had done to veganise some of the dishes, which was a lovely thoughtful touch.
Sandwich fillings included avocado, hummus and gazpacho tomato, served with a lovely pomegranate salad. Sweets included a vegan meringue, a mochi style dumpling, a light lemon and blueberry cake and coconut yoghurt with pineapple. And of course there was the usual plain and fruit scones with a lovely homemade jam.
Do I wish that The Grand Café has vegan options as standard on their menu? Yes, absolutely. But it is good to know that the team at this beautiful venue are willing to cater for vegans if you tell them in advance. It’s a promising start from one of Edinburgh’s most exciting new establishments.
Value for money: ★★★☆☆
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