Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Review - The Elephant House

Before I left, we got brunch at the Elephant House. Partly because my companion loves elephants, partly because he'd enjoyed a delicious bagel from its sister cafe, Elephants and Bagels and mostly because I'd read about it on Time Out. The night before, we'd eaten out but again, no traditional Scottish fare. We had takeaway from Bangla Kitchen, much appreciated because I was as hungry as me when I'm hungry and it was an appropriate precursor to gin and tonic jelly. But it wasn't traditionally Scottish. Nor was it traditionally Bangladeshi for that matter but that's a good thing since the memory of Hell 'Holiday' 2012 has yet to fade. Anyway, I suspected Elephant House would offer a Scottish breakfast (with haggis and the word tattie appearing somewhere) since I'd seen many a breakfast place offer that. I was wrong. They had an extensive breakfast menu but no haggis was to be seen anywhere. I thought of ordering the scrambled eggs and smoked salmon (that's good in Scotland, right?) but really I wanted something meatier. Haggis on the brain or whatever. But I didn't fancy the full breakfast so went for beans on toast (with a couple of sausages on the side).
Elephant House has a sit by strangers policy and somehow, my companion managed to make friends with the middle aged couple we were sharing a table with. They were nice enough but I'm not much of a talker in the mornings and also sometimes irrationally just don't want to make an effort with strangers so this fact didn't please me. The man had however ordered the scrambled eggs which I'd considered. It didn't look great. Apparently it didn't taste it either, their response to our questioning how the food was was a mere 'alright'. That encompasses well how I felt about my food. It wasn't bad but also not actively good. It was just fine. The sausages were interesting, possibly spiced since they were a curious reddish colour. On the plus side, the coffee was good, the orange juice freshly squeezed, the bread was good quality (but they were meagre with their butter) and the atmosphere/decor lovely. Many and varied pictures of elephants. Also I enjoyed the toilets. Initially I winced since it looked grubby but then I realised that all the graffiti were odes to JK Rowling. Apparently the Elephant House has a reputation for being popular with her back in her non-millionaire days. Oh, as an aside, I love Harry Potter and appreciate the fact that she's kept all her money in the UK. Yay JK. Anyway, I'd probably have said that the food was absolutely nothing special but the cafe is still worth visiting for the vibe but then I noticed unidentified black particles swimming around in the dregs of my water so I had to dock a star.

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