There are a couple of café spaces that I particularly love in Edinburgh. They are full of light and even when the day is grey they somehow make you feel that the sun is shining. The design is seemingly simple, colours neutral, the furniture pale and both have high ceilings. Until recently I didn’t realise that these two spaces, Loudons and Peter’s Yard off the Meadows in Edinburgh were created by the same architect, Peter Humphries. He just happens to be the father of Loudon’s co-owners Chris and Douglas.
Today I am at Loudons. It’s busy. As it is lunchtime, most people are on their lunch hour but there’s the usual smattering of students; mums with kids, retirees. The café has a broad reach. I used to work close by and we often held one to one meetings there. It’s just about the only thing I do miss about that job!
Recently, I taught a bread workshop in their kitchen, but it is good to be back sitting enjoying the food and exploring the new menu. Since my regular visits table service has been introduced so there no longer any need to wait in line. Service is swift and pleasant and whilst I wait for my guest to arrive I look at the menu. People with dietary requirements are very well taken care of, there are plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.
My guest orders aubergine with salad which she is very happy about, explaining that her husband is not particularly keen on the vegetable so she doesn’t get it eat it often. The salad is beautifully flavoured and includes quinoa, peas and rocket, served with equally well flavoured roasted aubergine slices and a yogurt dip. She comments “It is so lovely to order something and it arrives looking exactly as you imagined it”. The yogurt dip was just a little bit more watery expected but otherwise a standout dish.
Ever a lover of Eggs Benedict in its various forms, I was very pleased to see this dish served for lunch rather than just for breakfast. You’ve won me over there. Spoilt for choice, I added smoked salmon to my Eggs Benny. You could also choose pulled pork, sauted spinach or chorizo andblack pudding. It was a smashing combination. Just the right amount of hollandaise, to their homemade muffin and to salmon.
There’s a really good range of soft drinks, which is often lacking, including two smoothies. The raspberry smoothie was very raspberry-ish just as it should be, just the right consistency and pleasantly cold.
And so to cake. Loudons is justly renowned for its cake. I have to admit I do miss the cake table that was the first thing to greet you as arrived. The cakes are now nicely displayed under domes on the counter. There are plenty of gluten free options and there are also scones and cookies. Spoilt for choice we opt for a pear/chocolate frangipane and a raspberry polenta cake. Both are delicious, but the frangipane won by a small margin.
Sufficiently sated, my fellow diner heads back to work and I sit and catch up over coffee with another friend. Loudons is just that sort of place. Good food is available from breakfast through to late afternoon but equally good for a quick catch up too. It’s a welcoming, relaxing place that makes you want to return again and again. We certainly will. Open 7 days a week. Brunch is also served at weekends.
Regular Bread Workshops are held at Loudons. Danielle dined at the invitation of Loudons.