In August 2007 a fire ripped through Romanes and Paterson, the Scottish store on Edinburgh’s Princes St and it was nearly 18 months before the shop re-opened in its original location. On the third floor is the Walter Scott tearoom, which is a large traditional space boasting excellent views across Princes St gardens and the Mound. The view will certainly be more picturesque when Princes St doesn’t resemble a bomb site, but observing the myriad of Edinburgh tram workmen was at least entertaining. The Walter Scott tearoom provided a great respite from the hustle, bustle and claustrophobic nature of Princes St - it was quiet, calm and relaxing at our window seat on the third floor.
The choice at the Walter Scott tearoom is great with the lunch menu hosting a good range of sandwiches (¬£4.50 - ¬£5.50), baked potatoes with many fillings, MacSweens haggis with oatcakes (¬£5.50), soup and a sandwich (¬£6.50), paninis (¬£5.25 - ¬£5.50), salads (¬£5.95) and macaroni cheese (¬£5.95). There is also a full breakfast menu, which the Walter Scott tearoom endeavours to serve all day. This includes a full Scottish breakfast for a very reasonable ¬£6.75. The Scottish afternoon tea is ¬£7.95, which includes a choice of sandwich, freshly baked scone, shortbread and a slice of cake. There is also a wide range of “sweet things”, including ice-cream, cakes and gateaux.
My chicken sandwich was served on delightfully fresh bread, although there was too much butter which wasn’t required alongside the mayonnaise. But at ¬£4.50 this proved a pleasant and refreshing sandwich. The mushroom soup was served with more of that great bread and it proved freshly and competently made. The Walter Scott tearoom offers table service, which was well-meaning, pleasant and friendly.
None of the offerings from the Walter Scott tearoom will win any awards, but all were fresh and honestly made. The menu also offers great value and it’s encouraging to see the Walter Scott tearoom is definitely not a tourist trap - the terrific view and quaint setting make this a fine location for local Edinburgh folk, even if you do need to pass through the Scottish music and tins of shortbread inside Romanes and Paterson to reach the Walter Scott tearoom. Recommended for a relaxing city centre lunch.
The Walter Scott tearoom is located inside the Romanes and Paterson store on Princes St - enter the shop and head up the stairs on the right: 62 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2DF. Telephone: 0131-225 4966.