We have the most beautiful Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. During autumn they hold an after-dark light show, which is really spectacular and a good evening out. But I dropped by on a Sunday afternoon for a friendly stroll and a bowl of soup.
The cafe restaurant in the main entrance is in a really terrific setting, built from wood and looking out over the colours of the garden.
After a slightly awkward arrival, in which no one really helped us and then we were moved to a different table as we had not booked (though the other tables remained empty throughout our visit…), we found a good seat by the window. Service remained painful and there was a sense of not belonging, which I cannot quite explain.
The menu was not particularly clear on the gluten free options, but it did point out that the Soup of the Day was GF and as that had been our purpose for going in, that suited well. I was brought gluten free bread and I must say that the soup was delicious and hot. It was made from sweet potato, coconut and chilli – ideal for lunch on a blustery and tempestuous autumn day. Two cups of tea/coffee later and we were on our way.
This place ought to be fantastic and it should have been packed out on a Sunday afternoon, but it somehow just lacked a sense of service and welcome. A pity, when the Botanics are so beautiful and well maintained, the building is stunning and everything screams quality at you … but it is worth a stop-off if you need refreshment after a visit.