REVIEW – The Orchard, Howard Place

*****

The Orchard Bar is a fabulous bar and restaurant near to the Botanic Gardens and Canonmills. It’s stylish and welcoming and the best the premises has been over the years of changed ownership.

The Orchard, Howard Place

The Orchard, Howard Place

Although it’s primarily a bar, I attended for the restaurant quality food at reasonable prices, having sampled its sister restaurant, Avoca in Stockbridge, on many occasions.

What I love about the Orchard is that you never have to leave your seat (apart from bathroom breaks) as everything, including drinks are brought to your table.

We were in no rush the day we dined, had left the car at home, and ready for 3 courses.  After ordering our food, we saw a neighbouring table being served one of the sandwiches on a slate plate which looked delicious, so also a place for a quick business lunch.

For start, my dining partner opted for the Arbroath smokie pate, with seasonal leaves and toast (£6) whilst I opted for the grilled goats cheese on toasted brioche with seasonal leaves and red onions, confit and pesto dressing, £5.

Arbroath smokie pate starter

Arbroath smokie pate starter

Both of the starters were beautifully presented, a theme which occurred for the rest of the meal.  The pate was extremely flavoursome and the toast, a perfect accompaniment along with the salad.

Goats cheese and toasted brioche

Goats cheese and toasted brioche

The goats cheese was melt in the mouth quality over the hot brioche with the red onions making a wonderful combination.

I drank a lovely glass of pinot grigio at  £3.75 whilst my dining partner sampled a few of the ales and lagers on offer.  For main course, we both opted for the Cockburn’s black pudding with Ayrshire bacon, poached egg and hollandaise sauce (£10).

Balck pudding, bacon and hollandaise

Black pudding, bacon and hollandaise

The black pudding was extremely flavoursome and the combination of the bacon salad and poached egg was delicious.  Throughout our meal, the service was attentive and we were asked if everything was to our liking and replied ‘yes, it’s delicious’.  Our drinks were refilled smoothly and enough time left between courses.

For dessert, we opted for the chocolate and marscapone cheesecake with Baileys ice cream and the pear and almond tart with vanilla pod ice cream, both £5.

Pear and almond tart

Pear and almond tart

Chocolate cheesecake

Chocolate cheesecake

Again, both of the dishes were beautifully presented and tasted as good as they looked.  The cheesecake was nothing short of perfect with the ice cream and fruit compote refreshing on the side and a break from the chocolate high.  The pear and almond tart was served warm and beautifully baked with the almond flavour wonderful.  Both of these desserts were simply divine, as did the the others on the menu look.

More drinks followed after dessert and we were never rushed to leave.  I can’t recommend the service and quality of food in this place enough and beats its sister Avoca in my eyes.

Suitable for disabled ?  Yes, there is seating  on the ground floor, but would perhaps be advisable to book ahead to ensure a table, the rest of the seating is raised up some steps.  Bathrooms on the ground floor.

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