Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Review: The Beach House Cafe, Portobello

I've spent the last few weekends moving house - endless cleaning, lugging, hoovering, attempting to work out what was on the inventory... all of that stuff. I have no internet yet, and am not entirely sure where most of my kitchen things are (in a cupboard, a bag or a box, but I'm not sure which). So for the moment, while I sort myself out, I'll be doing a bit of reviewing.

Last week, the sun shone, and my mum came up for a day. It was rather nice having a 4 day week, and complete fluke that the weather was beautiful. This negated A Drive. The intial plan had been to head south of the city, in search of a nice country pub with a beer garden and lunch menu. Sadly, there's not as many of these around as mum had hoped - she's clearly used to the Dales and Lakes - and the nearest we found was a Brewers Fayre. We carried on, looping back round towards town, and ended up in Portobello.

There's a pub down on the front which I'm a fan of - The Espy - but it was too busy and too dark for us on such a glorious day, and we decided to chance it at the cafe next door. It's not one I've been in before. I can't honestly say I've ever really noticed it. I did, however, fall in love with the interior.
I love the white chairs, sturdy tables and fresh blue walls. I love the 1950s beachy print, the flowers and the light and airy space.

Both mum and I were impressed by the menu, too. Healthy, tasty food - lots of options for vegetarians - and a cute little kids section. There's a nice statement in the back of the menu about chicken and eggs being free range, and as many ingredients as possible being locally sourced (you can read more about this on their website). It ticked lots of boxes for us.
A lovely drinks selection too - lots of tasty soft drinks - not just your usual coke. Including my favourite Belvoir pink lemonade.
We placed our orders, and waited. And waited. And waited. We're talking maybe half an hour here - so long in fact, that the couple next to us had arrived, ordered and had chomped down half their lunch before ours was delivered. We asked the waitress, who apologised, and promptly brought it out.
My meat platter. Generous with the meat, stingy with the butter. Gorgeous bread though, and a nice sweet lightly curried chutney. A deceptively large portion due to the hunks of bread.
Mum's courgette and halloumi salad came with a nice lemony dressing, but was not the biggest portion. Mum had asked for bread rather than the pitta it came with (they forgot, and she sent it back). When the bread did arrive, they rather stingily gave her one slice, cut into two rather than the two wholemeal pitta it had before.

This cafe has so much potential - the view was stunning, the staff friendly, and the food good quality albeit expensive - but the length of time we waited spoiled the experience. The staff (I think there was 4), were run off their feet, and it was well past the main lunch rush by the time we arrived. This was partly due to the enormous queue they had for icecreams and takeaway, which we had to join to pay for our lunch, but it put us off staying for cake and tea afterwards (the cakes did look lovely, although FoodieMum has a 'thing' about cakes being out and uncovered, which is a fair criticism).
I'd go back, but I wouldn't rush back.

Lunch and soft drinks for two: £22

The Beach House
On the corner of Bath Street and Portobello Promenade
EH15 1HE


  1. That meat platter looks REALLY good. I'd be a bit annoyed about a long wait for something like it too though, as it is just assembly really.

    The place is lovely inside. I shall put it on the list of plan B places!

  2. It was great quality and really generous with the meat - they do a cheese one too, which I might have to try if I head back!