A blooming good lunch at Canonmills’ The Orchard Bar

The most enjoyable pub lunches are often unplanned. That was certainly the case with The Edinburgh Blog’s visit to The Orchard Bar at Canonmills; a pub which shares its owner with the welcoming Avoca Bar and Grill in Stockbridge. The Orchard Bar is larger than Avoca but the same friendly, welcoming vibe was reassuringly still present. On sunny days The Orchard have a small cafe bar on the pavement outside; thankfully the traffic along Howard Place isn’t too heavy. Our pub lunch at The Orchard provided a great mixture of fresh, tasty and hugely satisfying pub grub.

Crombies pork and leak sausages on a bed of black pudding mash  at The Orchard Bar, Canonmills, Edinburgh Caesar Salad at The Orchard Bar, Canonmills, Edinburgh

We sat by the windows overlooking Howard Place, in a spot that catches the sun well. The Orchard bars multi-tiered layout lends itself to seating areas which give the illusion of privacy and there is a good mixture of traditional pub seating and the more interesting sofas and armchairs. Table service was excellent, with our waiter taking a drinks order shortly after we arrived and the good service continuing throughout our meal.

Salmon fishcakes at The Orchard Bar, Canonmills, Edinburgh

The Orchard Bar’s menu is split between small plates e.g. soup of the day (¬£2.70) or potato skins topped with chorizo and cheese (¬£4.00), gourmet sandwiches e.g. ciabatta with tuna and melted cheese or The Orchards BLT and main courses e.g. beef and Black sheep ale stew topped with puff pastry (¬£7.50) or beef burger and chips (¬£7.45). The dishes our lunch group ate and their respective opinions are below:

  • Crombies pork and leak sausages (¬£7.25). Three humongous sausages were served on a bed of gorgeously thick mash potato, with black pudding mixed into it. The sausages were, as you’d expect from Crombies, absolutely delicious. They were cooked to perfection and the gravy was great too. A very substantial and excellent sausage and mash.
  • Caesar Salad (¬£6.70). Generous portions of chicken, bacon and croutons mixed into a fresh and lively salad with an appropriate quantity of salad dressing. A solid and satisfying Caesar salad.
  • Salmon fishcakes (¬£7.50). These were served with a good mixed salad and cucumber dipping source. The fishcakes were delicious, obviously homemade and large enough to satisfy most appetites. A really good dish.
  • The Orchard’s steak ciabatta (¬£6.00). This would win no awards for presentation, but there were ample pieces of well cooked and lean steak. The mustard mayo added real flavour. It didn’t taste cheap like many steak sandwiches.

Pints of Carling lager at £2.80 and pints of Miller £2.90 mean The Orchard is a good location for after work drinks and The Orchard provides competition to old favourites like The Cumberland and Hamiltons which are nearby.

What I really like about The Orchard Bar is its flexibility. The Orchard Bar is a good location for a working lunch, after work drinks with snacks, a weekend pub lunch or perfect for food and drinks after a trip to the nearby Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden. The Orchard Bar is a welcome addition to the area and a venue I’ll definitely visit again.

The Orchard Bar, Cafe and Grill (as described on their business card) is located at 1-2 Howard Place, Canonmills, Edinburgh EH3 5JZ.
Telephone: 0131 5500850

4 Responses to “A blooming good lunch at Canonmills’ The Orchard Bar”

  1. Mr & Mrs J Wilson on August 8th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    8th August 2008
    On a recent trip to Edinburgh to celebrate by husband’s 60th birthday we visit the orchard and would just like to say that the food was exceptional and the staff were really friendly and helpful.

    We had three wonderful meals there and everyone was as good as the first and would highly recommend that if anyone is in Edinburgh on holiday or short break please make time to have a meal there, I know that you won’t be disappointed.

    We cannot wait to go back there again when we visit Edinburgh.

    Kate & Jim Wilson

  2. Went there 17/10 - no potato skins on the menu, which was a shame as really wanted them after reading the review - this place has turned into more of a gastro style pub which, on this occassion, was not up to scatch. They advertised jumbo chips - what they meant was large chips brought from the supermarket - cheeky (which werent jumbo). Was part of a largish group so maybe that caused a strain on kitchen. Service wise, everyone friendly and pleasant. I would say a little over priced for what they offer but am willing to give one more chance to see if they can redeem themselves.

    will let you know what happens.

  3. the fishcakes are not homemade, infact they are frozen. Much like alot of the dishes on the menu, for a chef that came from harvey nics, they have slumped to a microwave kitchen, a shame really, as the food was great back in the old days

  4. Visited here in March 09 with my partner, after an afternoon round the Botanical Gardens. Can’t speak for the food, but staff were pleasant and helpful, even offering to bring drinks to the table. The ales were in good condition (always a good sign), and a swift pint turned into three. Great place on a sunny afternoon.

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