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.
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.
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