The Breakfast Menu Breakfast reviews from the South Coast and beyond


Café Marlayne, Edinburgh

Café Marlayne [map]
13 Antigua Street
Tel: 0131  558 8244

Opening Times: Breakfast is available from 9am, seven days a week

Last Visited: January 2011

One lingering breakfast regret since my last visit to Edinburgh, was that I came home without a review that reflected the city’s rich cultural and culinary appetite.  Finally on Antigua Street,  a restaurant a mile from the tourist centre of the city, Café Marlayne provided me with my first real breakfast experience in the city.

A French restaurant in style, atmosphere and decoration, its chic interior design and expansive menu was a refreshing change to the conveyor belt delivery of breakfasts found in the tourist area by the castle.  Though there was seating for 40 in the dining room at the rear of the building, I instead took a window seat in the café area at the front of the restaurant.  With a  comfortable armchair, a Louis Armstrong CD playing in the background and a scenic view, there surely isn't a better place to start the day!  One note though, the tables in the café area are a little small compared to the size of the plates, so if you order more than one main I would suggest sitting in the restaurant area.

The breakfast menu was not just restricted to just a few items as seen in the many menus I encountered on my previous visit to the city. On offer was an enticing mixture of French, contemporary, international and traditional breakfasts; so if porridge, a croissant or fry-up is to your taste all are available.

When ordering the breakfast the waitress informed me that the ingredients were sourced, as much as they can, from local farms and if not available they instead went to their nearby butcher.  Encouraged from what I had heard about the ingredients, I selected the Traditional Scottish Fry-up and after a short wait during which I perused the daily paper and enjoyed an excellent cup of coffee, I was presented with a breakfast worthy of any of the UK’s best.

The sausages supplied by Crombies of Edinburgh, though visually not cooked as much I like, were bursting with flavour, meaty with every bite and were a class above the rest of the catering sausages found in cafés on the city's Royal Mile.  The smoked back bacon was thick and succulent, whilst the juicy butcher’s shop black pudding was devoured in record time.  It was apparent that care and attention was paid to every item sent out and despite the small flaw with the sausages, every bite was food heaven - for only £6.50 this was easily the best value breakfast in Edinburgh.

The service, like the breakfast, was of a high standard and the pride in what they were doing  was clear to see.  As one of the first customers of the day, I could not tell how well they would cope under pressure, but with a number of staff members turning up during my stay I felt assured that their high standards would not drop.

On a cold grey January morning in an area more concerned with getting people in and out, the Cafe Marlayne’s bright and refreshing approach to breakfast made my walk worthwhile. I highly recommend you visit and hope your experience will be as enjoyable as mine.

C'est magnifique!

Mr NoEggs

Portion Size: ★★★★½
Value For Money: ★★★★★
Service: ★★★★½
Ingredient Quality: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★★