Weekend mornings. Despite having long bid farewall to my hungover student days (ah, memories), mine still generally involve lazy long lies, endless cups of tea and TV in bed. However on hearing more than a few good things about the Lioness of Leith, newly-opened eaterie on Leith's Duke Street, I decided it was time to trade in my PJs and head out for some brunch with partner-in-blog Katey.
Other discerning diners had clearly heard similar things and we were welcomed to a friendly and buzzing restaurant. Between Instagram snaps and reviews I had a pretty good idea that the Lioness of Leith would fall into the quirky rather than traditional pub category, and the space definitely lived up to expectations, decked out with retro pinball machine, deer heads topped with tiaras, a neon marquee sign and an enormous roaring lion mural.
It's a kind of styling that from some sniffy quarters might draw criticisms of "hipster chic" but I thought it was pretty cool - I love the fact that more new openings in Edinburgh are delivering something different, fresh and characterful, and have no objections to places that pay attention to style, so long as the substance is there too.
Happily there is, in spades. The weekend brunch menu is split into two classic but extremely commendable themes - fancy eggs you won't make at home, and a marvellous "build your own" classic British roast, which lets you pick and choose your sides, or indeed your whole dinner, which means vegetarians (and those on a bit of a niche diet, like me) can get in on the action. Katey and I opted for the latter and it hit the spot very nicely indeed - a delicious platter of tender, herby chicken and veggies, with special mention in particular going to the orange and vodka-braised fennel and the gloriously creamy helping of cauliflower cheese. Perfect Sunday lunchtime fodder.
With a number of adorable wee pooches enjoying a relaxing Sunday afternoon along with their owners, the LOL gets a thumbs up not only for food, but also for their dog-friendly policy, so it's a lovely spot for non-human members of the family too.
In Edinburgh we're pretty spoiled for good places to eat on a lazy weekend, but I think the Lioness of Leith is certainly worth a repeat visit. Definitely re(arrrr)commended.