The Waldorf Astoria at the Caledonian, Edinburgh has certainly hit upon a winner with the launch of their Quintessential Breakfast Experience, celebrating all things Scottish.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I don’t think it will be long before many of their competitors will be copying their approach but the Caledonian has nailed it first, with a breakfast dining experience that pleases all the five senses.
Served in the grandeur of the Pompadour dining room, with its hand painted panels depicting colourful Scottish birds, I had the pleasure of dining with other bloggers, a few who were nursing hangovers and exam fatigue, in the side private dining room, which has some of the best views over Edinburgh Castle.
The Quintessential Breakfast celebrates the larder of Scotland
The indulgent breakfast, lovingly prepared by Executive Chef, Ryan McFarlane took us on a journey celebrating all the best things about breaking the fast from sweet to savoury.
Starting off with a zingy palate cleanser smoothie of strawberry and banana, it was the perfect introduction to what was to follow.
The Quintessential Scottish Continental Breakfast includes a basket of freshly baked breads and pastries, a selection of speciality coffee or tea, freshly squeezed orange juice, (which just kept flowing), and an exceptional continental selection including a range of Scottish fruits, cheese and meats, all beautifully presented on a three-tiered serving stand.
There was even a vegetable platter of avocado, tomatoes, grilled aubergine and courgette, instead of the meat, for the vegetarian in the room, which I was just slightly envious of, even though I’m a self-confessed carnivore. Fortunately for me, she didn’t mind me sharing.
The breakfast also features three types of salmon served from an exquisite silver-service trolley. These included a special orange, ginger and star anise home-cure, gravalax with lemon & dill and traditional smoked salmon. It was all so theatrical and beautifully served by Natasha, who is in charge of the breakfast dining experience and her staff.
Following this, there was the option to choose from four locally-sourced dishes, which have been themed into the four regions of Scotland – Lowlands, Highlands, Islands and Speyside. And for anyone whose Scottish geography is a bit rusty, a map of the country, which had been found in the depths of some cupboard in the hotel, helpfully reminds you.
With such an amazing array from which to choose, it posed a dilemma so early on a Sunday morning. Highlights of the menu included drop scones with Glenfiddich 18 Year Old soaked strawberries, a Stornoway black pudding with apple chutney and poached egg but I finally opted for the Highland, with Natasha kindly swapping the smoked salmon for some Scottish smoked chicken, with eggs Benedict. It was the perfect marriage, with the perfectly poached eggs oozing their yolky centres over the muffin base, as I cut into it.
I’m really excited by this new offering at the Caley and can’t wait to return. Whilst I love afternoon tea, I always long for more savoury to sweet ratio but that never happens, so this Quintessential Breakfast might just win my favour now instead as you get the perfect balance of both sweet and savoury options.
The ultimate hangover cure
It’s fair to say that by the end of the Quintessential breakfast, any hangovers present at the beginning were now gone and we were all suitably ‘stuffed’. In fact, I didn’t eat anything else for the rest of the day.
The breakfast starts at £25 per person for the Quintessential Scottish Continental Breakfast or £35 for the full Quintessential Scottish Breakfast experience, which includes one of the choice of dishes from the Highland, Lowlands, Islands and Speyside and is available Monday to Saturday from 7am to 10am and on Sundays from 9am to 12pm. Private dining is available.
The Waldorf Astoria at the Caledonian
Edinburgh EH1 2AB
To book: 0131 222 8888.
Facebook: @CaledonianEdinburgh #waldorfmoment