Let the sunshine in
There are two types of brunch in my eyes, there are those that you stumble out of having drunk your own body weight in Mimosas (or Bloody Marys if you’d rather). And then there are the ones at the other end of the spectrum, where you leave perfectly satiated, feeling ready to take on the world. With a day of walking around The Fringe Festival, it was very much the latter that led way to 4 slightly weary faces surrounding a table in the light, airy interior of The Pantry in the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh.
Contrasted with the previous day’s cozy trip to Urban Angel, it really hits you as you walk into the main room of The Pantry that this is a much more open environment. Large surrounding windows letting floods of the summer into the room, immediately starting your day with a dose of a Vitamin D. This mixes perfectly with all the little touches to the decor; the walls adorned with mirrors to further enhance the feeling of optimism, etched with clever little food quotes from such sources as Winnie the Pooh. Despite our slightly fuzzy heads, an immediate smile crept over the knowing faces.
Pouring over the menu the selection is well thought through. There are a good mix of egg dishes, avocado based plates and more substantial offerings such as fry ups. For those with a sweet tooth, waffles, and pastries. Maybe it’s the enticing choices, or maybe it’s the well-made, rich and full Americano kicking in. All I know is suddenly the weariness is starting to leave the faces. Instead, it’s replaced with rumbling stomachs and greedy thoughts.
I’m going to start by letting you know that there’s some excellent looking porridges and granola style goodness on offer here for those after a light snack to start the day. But you heard the state of our heads, right? So straight to the heartier sections of ‘big dishes’ and ‘smashed avo plates’.
A man who likes being able to compare, I’m simply unable to resist chorizo and eggs. It’s a weakness. I had to opt for toast adorned with both, paired with aubergine and avocado. Continuing the childhood show themes; these are a few of my favourite things. Crusty, fresh bread, is smothered by grizzled chunks of chorizo and a fresh dose of creamy avocado and tomato. Air-dried ham with poached eggs, hazelnuts, and balsamic glaze is a refreshingly different take on the usual breakfast standards. It’s light, despite the wintery ingredients. Rich egg yoke gives way to salty ham and a satisfying crunch of the hazelnuts.
There’s also a confession I feel it’s only fair we concede at this junction. Although none of us wanted to order a sweet dish, the sight of the fluffy waffles whizzing to other customers was too much for our table. And so, the term ‘table waffles’ was born. That’s right, we added an order of waffles on top of everyone’s ordered meals. Not a single one of us regretted them. A more subtle approach than the usual sky-high American waffles that are all dough, these are light and golden with a smothering of sweet maple syrup and crisp bacon. It wasn’t our most restrained moment of the weekend, but it was one of the more delicious.
Wiping the final crumbs off the plates, the four of us glanced at each other. Satiated and slightly more alive than 30 minutes prior and ready to take on the day again. Nothing costs more than around £9 per dish. Given the ample portions, this is a more than reasonable start to Day 2.
If you’re not after a boozy option and just need a caffeine kick and a brunch without the usual greasy fry-ups that are common in more central areas, then The Pantry and Stockbridge’s quieter streets come fully recommended. Clear your head and make yourself smile.
Brunch fit to clear the cloudiest of heads
An airy, playful brunch spot with interesting twists on the usual morning offerings. With lighter options for those not after a heavy start to the day (the cakes looked fantastic), there are more substantial options that will leave you full through lunchtime whilst wandering the streets of Edinburgh.