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Monboddo at Doubletree by Hilton
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Monboddo
34 Bread Street,
Edinburgh,
EH3 9AF
0131 221 5555

Monboddo has recently had a refurb and is now a somewhat swanky city centre bar. A turquoise and purple colour scheme, views of the castle, hotel service and comfy seating all help. Factor in some killer cocktails and cakes and you are on to a winner. 

Or so we thought. Liz and I had booked in for Afternoon Tea but our aperitif was a disappointment. The Fizzy Tree is their best seller - No 3 Gin with a scoop of orange sorbet, lime juice and a dash of pineapple all topped up with Prosecco sounded great but our drinks had no sorbet, no fizz and the juice was thin. Luckily Jaume arrived. Jaume is head barman and native of Barcelona and after a 'wee chat' things improved significantly. 

A Beyond the Basil arrived for me. Smirnoff Black, pungent basil, freshly squeezed blood orange and lemon juice, basil syrup and quince bitters all beautifully presented. Now we are talking. Fresh seasonal fruit juice, homemade bitters all mixed expertly resulted in a drink with a super sophisticated profile. Liz's Nightbird was presented in a balloon glass full of crushed ice and we feared a violent seventies concoction but soon drank our words. Angostura rum, cardamom essence, vanillas syrup and a touch of crème de cassis was sultry and exotic without being too sweet. Imagine humid Louisiana nights. 

We can also recommend the signature cocktail. 'Monboddo' which comprises Carounn Gin, freshly muddled pomegrante and passion fruit, bruised mint leaves, lemon juice, passion fruit syrup, passion fruit and cranberry juice; all beautifully presented.

I haven't forgotten Afternoon Tea! We couldn't forgive slightly stale sandwiches and although fillings were fine we thought a deconstructed chicken coronation would have worked far better than the conventional mix. It was really the cakes that stole the show. 

Scones were definitely 'up there' whilst chocolate brownies were actually extremely good ganache with a dollop of cream and a nice ripe slice of strawberry. Cupcakes were enormous homemade rich cakes with abundant buttercream and a few flakes of chocolate. 

Someone in the kitchen knows exactly what they are doing when in comes to cakes as does Jaume in the bar.


 

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