Breakfast

Toast

04/10/21

The Shore, Leith

We’re meeting friends. Hurrah! This still seems like a big deal as we slowly ease our way back to a semblance of normality, and we’re keen to make the morning a success. Said friends are on their way further north, with a camper van and two dogs to look after, so it doesn’t make sense for them to come into the city centre. Instead, we agree to meet them at the Shore, where they can take their pooches for a beach walk and park with relative ease. As we’re less au fait with Leith, I ask the Hidden Edinburgh Facebook group where’s good to go for a dog-friendly breakfast, and Toast tops the list.

So Toast it is.

It’s a bright, sunny morning, so Philip and I decide to make the most of it and walk there, along the Waters of Leith. It’s three and a half miles of absolute pleasure, all dappled green light and sparkling water. And we’ve certainly built up an appetite by the time we arrive.

We start with coffees, which are good and strong, then spend some time perusing the menu. Philip opts for toast Benedict, which comprises toasted sourdough, two poached eggs, two rashers of smoked bacon and a hollandaise sauce. It looks delicious, and he declares it a triumph. The eggs are perfectly cooked, and the bacon, only subtly smoked, is superb quality. I have the French toast, and so does one of our friends. It’s the same sourdough, this time dipped in egg, vanilla & cinnamon, before being fried in butter. I add crispy praline bacon, hazelnut & maple syrup to the mix, because, well, why wouldn’t I when it’s on offer? The portion is huge, but I make my way through it womanfully, because I’m nothing if not stoic, and only a fool would leave any of this on their plate. I don’t lick the plate clean, but I can’t say it doesn’t cross my mind. I bet my friend is thinking the same thing. Our other friend has a toasted sourdough sandwich with sausages and eggs. He doesn’t say a lot about it; he’s too busy eating. He looks happy enough though.

The only slight negative is the peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake Philip orders afterwards. We’ve been sitting a while, ordering more coffees, chatting, and the cake cabinet is right in front of us, so it is very tempting. Sadly, he makes the wrong choice. The cheesecake is vegan (which the lovely waitress does inform him). He decides to try it anyway, but there’s none of the gooey naughtiness of dairy, just a not-quite-sweet enough, worthy, healthy tasting snack. It’s not awful, but it doesn’t feel like a treat. Luckily, our pal (who has also fallen prey to the allures of the sweet counter) lets him sample a pear tart, which is exquisite. He’ll know what to order next time.

And there’ll certainly be a next time.

4.3 stars

Susan Singfield