Food News: Edinburgh’s Printing Press Bar & Kitchen Launches Brunch

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The stylish Printing Press Bar & Kitchen on Edinburgh’s iconic George Street is ‘brunching out’ with a new offering for diners this August.The new weekend brunch has arrived just in time, as locals and visitors alike search for something delicious before another jam-packed day of Festival shows.
Served on Saturdays and Sundays from 12.30 to 3.30pm, Executive Chef Colin Fleming has created a three-course brunch menu, priced at £28 per person including a glass of Prosecco.
The menu focuses on brunch classics, peppered with produce from Scotland’s natural larder:
Pancakes or waffles with berry compote, maple syrup, whipped Crowdie
Poached Peterhead smoked haddock kedgeree with cauliflower pakora, crispy duck egg
Hot-smoked Scottish salmon, sourdough, chopped free-range egg, Orkney brown crab mayonnaise, caviar
Smoked ham hock, garden pea and Isle of Mull Cheddar potato cake, cherry vine tomatoes, Arran mustard hollandaise
Much-loved favourites—such as Smashed avocado and poached eggs on sourdough, Eggs Benedict and Florentine—also make an appearance, and the sourdough used across the menu is made in-house by new Head Pastry Chef, Dominic Maciocia.
Mains also come with a complimentary side dish from sautéed chestnut mushrooms with tarragon butter to crispy potatoes, bacon and shallots, or just some extra toasted sourdough, smashed avocado or fried eggs.  Additional sides are charged at £3.50 per portion.  After the main event, diners can indulge their sweet tooth with a dish from the dessert table.

Go Try: Lunch at The Printing Press, Edinburgh

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If you’re visiting Edinburgh for the festival this summer, chances are, you’re going to want to go somewhere fun for lunch. Somewhere central, affordable and serving great food – and I’ve got the spot for you, and it’s located slap-bang in the centre of town.

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Part of the gorgeous Intercontinental Edinburgh (it’s recently been rebranded from The Principal), The Printing Press serves everything from breakfast to dinners and cocktails and it’s one of my favourite spots in town. Not only is it super convenient to visit (it’s right on George Street after all), but I’ve always really enjoyed myself each time I’ve visited.

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A couple of weeks back, we headed through to try out their brand new lunch menu. With the opportunity to enjoy two courses for £15.50, it’s got to be one of the best lunch deals in town! Since it was a Friday when we visited, we couldn’t resist opting for the Craft ale-battered fish and chips. An absolute whale of a portion, this was the fish and chips of dreams. With a crisp batter, mountain of fluffy chips, and delicious mushy peas, I’m not going to lie, I stole a couple of mouthfuls, and it was absolutely divine.

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I had opted for the Steak Sandwich served on sourdough bread alongside a marrowbone gravy. All the sourdough is baked in-house by the very talented kitchen team, and the effort really elevates the dish! Talk about comfort food but elevated, this sandwich is everything you dream about when I’m hangry.

With generous slices of steak nestled in watercress on toast, this was absolutely divine. The pairing with the piping hot gravy was genius. I’m not going to lie – it was the perfect dipping sauce. Rich and full of savoury goodness, it was a seriously satisfying way to spend a Friday afternoon.

To enjoy alongside our mains, we couldn’t resist trying a couple of side dishes. Obviously, the Steak Sandwich needed a portion of fries to go along with (not going to lie, these were dipped in that glorious gravy) and we also opted for the young broccoli, brown butter, hazelnuts which was absolutely delicious too!

Desserts couldn’t have been more summery, and we opted to share, so we could both enjoy all that seasonal goodness. First up was the Kirriemuir strawberry and black pepper pavlova. Unlike pavlovas I’ve tried in the past, this wasn’t the blousey, meringue-y mess which you might expect, but a seriously modern take on the classic. Macerated berries were sweet, and the whipped cream was just perfection. The star of the show was the meringue which was caramelised on the bottom, lending the dish a rich toffee note which was absolutely divine.

The Lemon Posset sounded too good to resist, and it was truly a taste of the summer. The posset itself was silky smooth, with a wonderfully zingy lemon flavour. Super fresh and gloriously indulgent – this was one of those puddings you never want to end. The berries on top were succulent and sweet – balancing everything out perfectly.

Thank you so much to The Printing Press for having us – you can find out more about the restaurant here.

Taste: Prestat Releases Eight New Chocolate Bars*

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When it comes to comfort food, is there anything better than a truly heavenly chocolate bar? Not one of those cheap ones with gritty chocolate or grainy fillings, but something rich, smooth and seriously chocolatey?! I certainly don’t think so, so when Prestat sent over news of their eight new chocolate bars, I had to try a couple!

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As chocolatiers to the Queen, Prestat’s new chocolate bars are suitably regal. Each of the eight new are covered in the most darling illustrations specially commissioned by Storm Athill, and they look as good as they taste! Each of the new bars are made with a bespoke Domori range of single origin Côte d’Ivoire couvertures, using a manufacturing process that roasts and mills cacao beans at lower than normal temperatures to preserve their aromatics. These lower temperatures and a more natural production technique both help to make the chocolate more environmentally friendly.

The first of the bars I got stuck into was the Dark Chocolate English Mint Crunch – one of the line’s five vegan options. It’s a glorious bar to tuck into too – with rich dark chocolate speckled with crisp nuggets of mint. Since the bar is so rich, it’s perfect to enjoy a square or two with a cup of coffee for an afternoon pickmeup!

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The second bar I got to try was a little more unusual – Milk Chocolate with Earl Grey Tea and Lemon. As it’s a milk chocolate, it’s not suitable for vegans, but it’s an absolutely glorious treat! Satin-smooth and with an unusually high 38% cocoa content, it’s a real foodies’ chocolate.

Delicately scented with the floral notes of bergamot, thanks to the Earl Grey. It’s an almost summery flavour, with a real hit of lemony freshness which I don’t think I’ve ever come across in a chocolate bar before.

Each of the bars are a real treat to enjoy – and I’ve already got my eye on trying another few (who could resist Dark Chocolate with Raspberry or Milk Chocolate with Sea Salt and Roasted Almonds?).

The bars are priced at £4.50 each and are available from John Lewis, Waitrose and Selfridges.

A Taste of New Orleans with the US Consulate*

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It’s not every day that an email from the US Consulate pops into your inbox. Even rarer is one inviting you to brunch. Not quite sure what to expect, I headed over to the stunning Principal Officer’s Residence in the heart of leafy Edinburgh for a taste of New Orleans in the heart of Scotland.

As part of the Taste of America initiative, top US chef, Tory McPhail had travelled to the UK to introduce us to a true taste of New Orleans. Executive Chef at the iconic Commander’s Palace, and winner of 2013 James Beard Award Best Chef South, I don’t think that we could have been in better hands for the afternoon!

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After kicking things off by getting to learn about the Consulate’s role in US-Scotland relations, as well as a taster of Southern cuisine, we were treated to some milk punch. Called an ‘eye-opener’ when you’re brunching in ‘Nola’ and made up of bourbon, half and half (single cream in the UK) a splash of milk and grating of nutmeg, it was a delicious start to the proceedings.

Soon it was time to tuck-in, so we headed through to the dining room to try some of Tory’s signature dishes. As with all great chefs, Tory is a real champion of what’s fresh, what’s local and what’s in season, so rather incredibly, The Commander’s Palace menu changes daily, with even the recipes being tweaked each time! We were treated to a seafood starter, with a trio of seafood – salmon, lobster and caviar. Served on a warm blini with a grated duck egg, it was incredible – fresh, surprisingly light, and full of flavour, it paired perfectly with our champagne!

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With a beautiful open kitchen, we were able to snoop on proceedings – wondering what was coming next. It was absolutely mesmerising to watch Tory and Executive Chef Meg Bickford at work as they whipped, plated and served up at record speed.

Our main course was the stuff of dreams – the most tender pork had been rubbed with Creole spice, which gave it the perfect amount of peppery heat, and it was served alongside toast, melted brie, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, mushrooms and an absinthe vinaigrette. Indulgent doesn’t even begin to cover this dish – the rich hollandaise was the perfect foil to the heat from the pork, and the sharpness from the vinaigrette absolutely shone. Truly, I don’t think I’ve ever had a dish quite like it – and I’ve already attempted to replicate the pork at home. As we tucked in, we were able to discuss what life and eating is like in New Orleans with Tory and Meg, and it was so inspiring to hear about how they keep an iconic restaurant like the Commander’s Palace at the top of it’s game. Opened in 1880, it’s a landmark for the city and is regularly ranked as New Orleans top spot. It was fascinating to learn about dishes which are a real part of the Louisiana culture, like Turtle Soup and Jambalaya.

All too soon it was time for dessert, and honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such an exciting preparation of pudding! The iconic Bananas Foster was on the menu, so the entire table headed through to the kitchen to see Meg and Tory at work!

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If you’ve never tried the dish (stop everything and try a classic recipe like this one), it’s an absolute riot. Bananas are sautéd in butter and brown sugar, and just when they reach a soft, pudding-y consistency, they’re flambéed with rum then served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can see how it all went down here.

The result is pretty much everything you want from comfort food – soft, sweet and deliciously rich – it really is the ultimate pudding!

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The afternoon finished with strong black coffees brought over from New Orleans – and they were the perfect pick-me-up after such an indulgent few hours. It was such a delight to meet Tory, Meg, Chief Officer Ellen Wong as well as everyone who attended. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that New Orleans is now topping the (rather long) list of holiday spots!

Thank you so much to the US Consulate in Edinburgh, Chief Officer Ellen Wong, Tory McPhail and Meg Bickford for having me, and educating me in all things New Orleans. You can find out more about the Commander’s Palace here

Try Out: Enjoying Wimbledon with M&S*

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When it comes to excuses to hold a party or a gathering, I don’t need a big one. I love prepping for friends to come round, and even though I’ve been super busy recently, M&S have made enjoying Wimbledon an absolute breeze with their summer goodies.

Obviously, when it comes to summer gatherings, especially those centred around tennis, it’s fun to keep a bit of a British theme going – so I’m loving their Victoria sponge and their Strawberry & Cornish Clotted Cream Cake.

With a rich, buttery, homemade taste, and a generous jam and buttercream filling, the Victoria sponge is perfect for summer purists. Served with a cup of tea – it’s the perfect accompaniment to an exciting match, or even as a dessert. I love is served alongside sliced berries and a dollop of Cornish Clotted cream.

The Strawberry & Cornish Clotted Cream Cake is an absolute show-stopper too! Affordable at only £3.50 for the entire thing, this cake is a glorious update on a classic.  Indulgent buttercream icing is swirled with strawberry jam on top of the Victoria sponge, meaning it looks as good as it tastes, and we’ve already earmarked this one to enjoy on Friday during the men’s final.

If you’re after something a little lighter – you can’t go wrong with the iconic strawberries and cream. This year, you can pick up M&S exclusive Red Diamond™ Strawberries which are their sweetest British strawberries. They’re absolutely delicious paired with the new pink gin cream (which has a rather delightful boozy kick) or with simple pouring cream.

As if a range of seasonal treats wasn’t enough – M&S have a bar-full of tinned cocktails, which are a snip at only £2 each. From Blackberry Gin Brambles, to classic G&Ts and Pina Coladas, you can indulge in a cocktail or two straight from the fridge. I’ve been loving the Think Pink Gin and Tonic and Raspberry Mojito for a refreshing summer drink!

Thank you so much to M&S for helping me to enjoy Wimbledon!

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