Brunch at Montys

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A decent breakfast cafe on your doorstep is essential for good weekend living, and where better to brunch than Montys in Bruntsfield.

First thing – make sure you book, Montpeliers is always packed at the weekend, but they are great at squeezing you in if they can.

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Recently refurbished, Montpeliers is now a very lovely, bright space with a French cafe feel – lots of light wood, huge windows, wrought iron features and exposed lightbulbs. The crockery is cute and cool at the same time, and the breakfast menu is delicious.

For a really serious brunch you can choose The Fully Monty – ‘the biggest brunch in Bruntsfield’. However this time we stuck to what we know best.

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Perfectly poached eggs benedict with really crispy bacon and a good hollandaise sauce….

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And an indulgent stack of banana pancakes with butterscotch sauce and creme fraiche.

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Looks tasty right? Next time we go I’ve got my eye on the Mexican tortilla or the french toast, but that’s all for now.

Enjoy brunchers. x

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Commuter blogging

Since changing jobs my 30 minute walk to work has been swapped with 30 minutes sitting on the bus. Not ideal as I would prefer to walk, but I’m now working in the food and drink sector which I adore, so it’s a change I am quite happily adapting to.

It’s not exactly a huge commute, however I’ve got a whole hour of extra time in my day which, as it turns out, is perfect for blogging. These posts will probably be much shorter than usual, but still full of lots of yummy food and drink ideas!

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So, on to today’s topic… delicious smoked trout (yes that’s right, trout, not salmon!) with creamy, scrambled eggs on a toasted bagel. It couldn’t be quicker or easier, but it really hits the spot on a Saturday morning.

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Smoked trout is a brilliant alternative to smoked salmon. The smoked fish flavour is not quite as intense as that of smoked salmon, so for breakfast it’s perfect. It carries all the health benefits of smoked salmon – high in Omega-3, a great source of protein and it’s low fat.

For this breakfast bagel I used RR. Spink & Sons Loch Etive smoked trout. If you are drawn in by the lovely package, you’ll be pleased to hear the contents don’t disappoint. But first things first, how to make the perfect scrambled eggs.

For two people:

Whisk 4 medium sized eggs in a bowl, add some salt and pepper and a dash of milk. If you want real luxurious eggs add a dash of cream instead of milk.

Melt a reasonable sized knob of butter in your non stick frying pan. Just as the butter has all melted add the eggs to the pan. Leave for a minute to let the bottom start to cook, then using a wooden pan or plastic spatula, move the eggs around every 20 seconds or so, allowing the eggs to cook through. I like mine a little runny so I take them off the heat just as the last bits are starting to cook.

Slice your bagel and pop it in the toaster. Lightly toast and then assemble your eggs and then your smoked trout on top. You might like to squeeze over a little bit of fresh lemon or crack some more pepper.

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Now all that’s left is to get yourself a cup of tea or coffee and tuck in.

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

City girl goes North!

The Storehouse

This post is not about somewhere new I have discovered, but it is about somewhere YOU need to go and discover. It’s about an old favourite which keeps getting better every time I visit. In fact, if you read this and go see for yourself, part of me might feel a teeny, tiny bit jealous that you are getting to take it all in for the first time…

First things first – look out the Barbour jacket, hunter wellies and any other “country accessories for a city gal” that you, like me, feel The North Of Scotland requires, and head to Inverness, the captial of the Highlands. The sausage dog unfortunately stayed put this time..

Hunters and Barbour jacket

Just a little North of Inverness, you’ll find The Storehouse of Foulis. It is a foodies dream location. The family run restaurant and farm shop sits on the shores of the Cromarty Firth, a gorgeous location all year round, with dramatic views across to the Black Isle.

The couple in charge of this operation are Quintin and Michelle Stevens, (Mr F&P’s sister and her husband) and it really is a family run business in every sense. Millie, their gorgeous working cocker spaniel can often be found moseying around whilst Michelle works in the office upstairs, and Quintin can be found at the Storehouse every day, and as a result knows all the regulars well. Their boys, 4 and 2, are also often around, adding to the friendly, relaxed family atmosphere of the place.

Storehouse sign

The restaurant at The Storehouse is open 7 days a week and offers an extensive brunch, lunch, supper and snack menu. With so many fresh, delicious plates on offer, it’s no surprise I’ve never been when the place isn’t buzzing. On Sundays there is no better place for a roast, as Quintin and his staff turn the food counter into a full blown carvery.

We arrived at The Storehouse late morning, meaning we attacked the brunch menu with gusto. I tucked into an enormous scone with blackberry and pear jam, whilst Mr F&P enjoyed muesli, fresh fruit and yoghurt, followed by a sensational bacon, gruyere and rocket sandwich – a fitting breakfast feast for a man who ran up Ben Wyviss at the crack of drawn that morning.

Muesli, fresh fruit and yoghurtScone with blackberry and pear jamGiant sconeBacon, gruyere and rocket sandwhichsandwich up close

After a perfect brunch, it was time to head to through to the farm shop. Just outside the main shop, there is another little wooden hut – a second treasure trove of gifts, but we will come to that later.

Inside the farm shop, Michelle and her team have the shelves and display cabinets bursting with attractive foodie treats. Alongside a deli counter and a Black Isle Dairy ice cream counter, you will find locally sourced meats, fruit and veg, preserves, biscuits, cheeses … everything you’d hope to find in a well stocked farm shop and more. Good relationships with local suppliers mean Quintin and Michelle can ensure both the food hall and restaurant are stocked with fresh produce all year round.

Deli The StorehouseCheese counter The StorehousePreserves at The StorehouseDisplay chest at The StorehouseIce Cream at The StorehouseWide view shop The StorehouseFruit & Veg The StorehouseCrockery The Storehouse

Impressive right? Make sure you factor in ample “wandering around the shop” time in your visit, because every time you look at a display cabinet you see something else you like the look of!

Now, you’re wondering what on earth could be left to go in the gift shop outside? Let me show you…

Gift Shop outsideGift Shop The StorehouseMore gifts at The StorehouseLadies accessories The StorehouseMore scarves at The Storehouse

And look at these little guys just chilling outside!

Garden animals The Storehouse

Finally after a wandering around the shop, you can pop down to the pebble beach and take in the highland scenery. In the summer months, when the sun is shining, the seating area outside is packed and little tots with sticky ice creams cones on the beach are plentiful. Perhaps it’s because I’m not from this beautiful part of Scotland, but for me, these views never get old.

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For now, it’s back to base in Edinburgh, but I am content in the knowledge it won’t be long until I’m packing up my wellies and heading North again.

 

Brunching Around Town

 

Brunching at Urban Angel
Brunching at Urban Angel

Breakfast is, without a doubt, one of my favourite meals of the day.  The reason? It’s totally ok to have sweet and savoury items one after the other, and you can happily have at least two or three different plates. Turning breakfast it into a whole morning sliding into the afternoon activity called brunch is genius. I’m in.

Edinburgh has lots of great places to brunch and Urban Angel on Hanover Street is one of my favourites. It’s always mobbed at the weekends, but if you are happy to wait at the seating area by the entrance, you can usually nab a table in no more than 15minutes. Luckily today we strolled right in.

Decor inside Urban Angel
Decor inside Urban Angel

The lay-out is cosy and the cafe has a country kitchen feel. Lots of chunky wood panelling. Two rooms feed off the central corridor. In both there are enough tables for the place to be full and buzzing but not squashed, i.e. you feel like you are brunching with your chosen companion, not the table next to you as well!

The brunch menu runs 9am-5pm and has all the usual suspects on it. Everything from granola and yoghurt to eggs (almost any way you want) and breakfast rolls. For me, brunch is either French toast with bacon and maple syrup or eggs, and today I chose the latter. Eggs Benedict with crispy bacon. The hollandaise sauce was sharp and tangy and in my eyes went perfectly with the saltiness of the bacon. The eggs were cooked to perfection, runny in the middle, and served on two lightly toasted muffins.

Urban Angel's eggs benedict with crispy bacon - yum!
Urban Angel’s eggs benedict with crispy bacon – yum!

Along with my eggs I ordered a pot of earl grey tea. I am too lazy at home to tea leaves so I always really enjoy a proper pot of tea. My Mum (the aforementioned companion) enjoyed an absolutely enormous fruit scone which, I can verify from tasting, was also delicious.

Urban Angel's fruit scone with butter and jam
Urban Angel’s fruit scone with butter and jam

Tea

In my eyes brunch should never take less than 1 and a half hours, maybe even 2! Today we chatted and brunched for the best part of two hours, completely unaware of the time, and not once were we asked to move on. For somewhere so busy that’s got to be great customer service, especially on a Saturday. So if you are reading this on Saturday I seriously recommend heading for a lazy Sunday brunch tomorrow. I know I’ll be back… is twice in one weekend too much?!