Loudons has an enviable reputation around Edinburgh and it’s very easy to see why. From the spacious, scrupulously clean interior to the charming, affable staff and the prompt and efficient service, this place quite simply ticks all the boxes – so when we and our guests decide to step out for a late breakfast, it seems the obvious place to head for. After all, it’s just a quick stroll away. The only slightly strange thing is that we haven’t got around to trying it before now.
We start by ordering coffee and we’re asked would we care to try Ruli Masasa, a new Rwandan blend they’re trialling? Yes, as it happens, we would – and very tasty it proves to be. As we sip, contentedly, we peruse the menu and it quickly becomes clear, that the only major problem is going to be which of the many delights on offer we’re actually going to choose. After some deliberation, Susan orders the American style pancakes, which arrive promptly and prove to be thick and satisfying, layered with bacon and baked banana (shouldn’t work, but trust me, it does!). The impressive stack of pancakes is topped with maple syrup, icing sugar and cocoa powder. If you have a sweet tooth, this is definitely the one for you.
I’m in the mood for something more savoury so I choose an offering called the ‘Hoots Mon’, which, despite that awful name, is just wonderful. It comprises an English muffin, halved and liberally layered with haggis, black pudding and bacon, then topped with two poached eggs and a tangy tomato ketchup chutney. It is quite simply delightful, the bacon thick and crispy, the eggs poached to perfection, so that when you prod them with a knife, a gloopy yellow yoke gushes over the lower layers. Oh, yes please! Needless to say, I make very short work of eating it.
One of our companions orders French toast, which is served with bacon and maple syrup and looks very nice indeed. The fourth, a person of more modest appetite, plumps for a traditional fresh scone served with butter and jam, and pronounces it excellent. Pretty soon, all four plates are clean and we’re very happy punters.
OK, so maybe Loudons isn’t the cheapest cafe you’ll find around the city (most dishes are around the £10 mark) but, for a pleasant brunch, you’d be hard put to better it and, since I can’t find a single thing to fault in the order, it must surely receive the maximum number of stars. What about that name, ‘Hoots Mon’? Should I deduct points for that? No, because you could call it ‘desiccated wombat’ and it would still taste incredible. Full marks it is, then.
For those of you contemplating an exhausting day of touring around the many festival venues, this is the logical place to refuel. And for those of you who’ve slept in, I hear they do excellent lunches too.