Lunch at Patisserie Valerie
Updated: Feb 18, 2020
Everyone knows the leading patisserie in the UK - Patisserie Valerie. It may be from religiously slowing down as you pass by to stare at the gorgeous cakes on display. Some will say sod the diet and have tried the cakes - all of them. Some will have heard about their recent past financial difficulties.
Many will not know they are growing from strength to strength following investment from Causeway Capital who realised the power of the chain. Most of you will not know that they offer so much more than their namesake - those gorgeous, creamy, difficult-to-eat cakes - but a whole host of lunch options from salads to stews.
We were invited along to try their very special festive menu at the Rose Street restaurant in Edinburgh; showcasing two exciting new partnerships including Neal's Yard Dairy and Anges de Sucre’s Reshmi Bennett, star of Bake Off –The Professionals 2019.
I have to say I was one of the many who assumed Patisserie Valerie offered coffee and cake, but when we went upstairs to the French-style restaurant we were very pleasantly surprised.
Whilst I was there to analyse the food, I will start by saying the staff could not have been warmer, more efficient or pleasant. It was an absolute joy to spend time with them, albeit for only a short amount of time.
The second thing that impressed us was speed of service. Our two course lunch took around 40 minutes - perfect if you are popping in mid-shopping trip. Whilst being the heart of the Edinburgh in one of the main thoroughfares, we managed to escape for a while and enjoy the peaceful Parisian ambience.
The main menu includes all day brunch options, Croques, salads, seasonal soups and stews, sandwiches and a huge variety of patisserie options. One of star attractions of the menu is the new Croque Monsieur; grilled bloomer bread with a blend of Ogleshield and farmhouse cheddar from Neal's Yard Dairy, Wiltshire cured ham and creamy bechamel topped with freshly ground nutmeg, served with side salad. Absolute heaven.
With a holiday round the corner, I opted for the glorious Avocado and Halloumi Salad - good grief. Chunks of cheese were placed over a generous helping of rocket coupled with beetroot and a fig, pear and white balsamic dressing. Winter salads are now my thing.
For Phil's main, he opted for a classic BLT served with salad and crispy fries; perfect portion size and he nodded his approval, mouth full. Both meals were under £11 each - excellent value for money.
The good news about having a salad as your main means you feel ZERO guilt when ordering puddings and I couldn't contain my excitement.
With two new specials on the festive menu, the made to order Winter Spiced Cheesecake and readily available Salted Caramel & Chocolate Bombe, I opted for the latter; a chocolate pastry case full of salted caramel and chocolate ganache covered with a chocolate cremeux dome and finished with salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream. Sold yet? Wait until you see it. ↓
This dessert was a thing of absolute perfection. Not only did it look exquisite, it tasted as delicious as I made it sound ;) Dunk me in one of these and I'll see you in 2020. Even Phil's vanilla slice paled in comparison but I politely asked him if he was enjoying it - he nodded his approval, again mouth full.
Patisserie Valerie are in the midst of an exciting period of change and redevelopment. By working with such renowned chefs and producers, they want to move away from "just" being famous for their spectacular gateaux, tarts and pastries but for so much more. The food was delicious, the staff all highly trained to offer the best of service.
It bridges the gap between restaurant and cafe, offering guests high-end dining at low prices. The sad thing was the lack of locals enjoying lunch. With three spots across the city - Rose Street, North Bridge and George IV Bridge, next time you ogle at their cakes pop in and discover what more they have to offer.