I very rarely visit the Edinburgh Quay area, but whenever I happen to go down Fountainbridge, there are a few venues that catch my eye every single time. Since I was heading for a meeting in Cargo (which positively surprised me, on the contrary to the comments I heard about it), with a half an hour to spare, I decided to visit the cafe that I had seen across the street from there; but when I got there, I was taken by surprise: there where two cafe’s, side-to-side. This was a tough decission: both glass-walled, both looking cool and stylish, and both full of people – which was a good sign. I compared the names of both and eventually opted for Loudons, calling itself a “bakery” as opposed to Cuthbert’s Coffee classifying itself as a “bistro” (which proves that wording does make a difference).
The inside resembled Peter’s Yard: a huge, open-space venue with a self-service table by the entrance (scones, cakes, sandwiches…), a wide, kitchen-pass-like counter, and plenty of tables and chairs scattered around the place. The guy behind the counter seemed very cool and relaxed; the barista making coffees little less so, although, by the look of some latte art, he definitely wasn’t a novice, which made me think he was either stressed or foreign (without sounding racist, I hope!). I ordered and paid and took a seat, feeling a bit exposed in these surroundings, although they were probably more to my liking than some tiny, cramped cafe with the capacity for five.
It was a big cup of coffee, which would explain the price (not as shocking as at the Yard though); but, it didn’t impress beyond the size. There was a thick layer of foam on top which I was still spooning out half-way through the drink; it also lacked flavour, apart from the distinctive soya milk, which I asked for. I was tempted to add sugar, as it wasn’t either very chocolatey or coffee-ish, but I thought that finishing the whole thing was bad enough for my diet (and sugar would probably not aid the coffee much either).
In the end, I did regret not choosing the neighbouring place, and although I quite liked the stylish interior and some of the food on offer, I won’t be bringing my friends along here. So far, out of the bakeries that I have visited, only the German one didn’t disappoint.
Verdict justification: A big cup of not very impressive coffee. OK but nothing to go crazy about.