Thursday, 21 April 2016


With so many tea and cake shops, bakeries and cafe competing with other it is hard to really stand out from the crowd especially when you have opened up in a foodie hotspot such as Edinburgh. Place an Eiffel tower in your window decorated with macarons on the other hand and you are onto a winner! La Barantine's beautiful looking French display is what caught my eye as we wandered around Edinburgh's Grassmarket area one delightfully sunny Wednesday afternoon. So much so that when it came to thinking about somewhere to grab a quick nibble and a pot of tea to refresh our tired little legs, I purposely went back there to go and check them out. The big question was this; is the display just for show or do the goods in there deliver as well?

On the picturesque Victoria street in the shadow of the castle, where the streets are lined with multi-colored boutiques underneath tall medieval buildings of old, we walked into La Barantine and were lucky to grab a table. The seating area is small but this is befitting to the concept. This small tea room wouldn't look out of place on the street of Paris. We were greeted to a chorus of "Bonjours!" as we walked through the door from the friendly team behind the counter. The french thing is not a gimmick it seems. Reading up on La Barantine online I saw that it is ran by two french natives; Vincent and Celine who wanted to bring a proper authentic french patisserie experience to the street of Scotland. Mission accomplished so far!

As well as those gorgeous macarons dotted around (and in handy gift boxes to takeaway too!) were all sorts of tarts, cakes and pastry to choose from. It was a difficult decision but we went for one of the delicious looking eclairs. These were no four for a quid jobbies you would get down the high street, these were beautifully filly soux pastry fingers filled with a rich and creamy custard filling and topped with a gorgeously glistening strip of tempered chocolate that cracked as you cut through it. A perfect accompaniment for the pot of tea in which it was served alongside.

I went for one of the tarts and it just had to be the lemon meringue. Doesn't get much more french than a meringue really and La Barantine know their meringues. It had a crispy outside and a soft and chewy centre, perfect in my eyes. The lemon filling was smooth and had just the right amount of citrus tang to not be overpowering. All of this sat inside a perfectly baked, golden and  buttery pasty tart case which melted in my mouth. I had this alongside a pot of spring garden green tea, possibly one of the nicest green tea's I've ever had. It was subtle and sweet and I'd love to get my hands some to enjoy at home!

It was short and but most definitely sweet but our trip to La Barantine was just what the doctor ordered. If you're struggling to climb the hills of Edinburgh city centre and need a pit stop in a quaint environment then this is the place. The owners of La Barantine wanted to bring France to Scotland and they have certainly achieved that! As the french would say: Magnifique!

Find out more about La Barantine, their story and their delicious treats at their website here!

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