In Scotland we say 'yer tea's oot’; on the continent it's 'a table'. But the name of this new continental café in Edinburgh’s Howe Street is particularly apt as its main feature is in fact its table. Not just any old table, mind: this enormous piece of reclaimed oak can seat twenty at a time, was commissioned from a cabinet-maker in the Netherlands and was sent over here in four parts to be constructed on site. Customers sit round and dine together, but there's still room enough for privacy, because of the sheer size.
Frenchwoman Catherine Bernard and Kerry-Leigh Buckley from Dublin (via Brussels) met through their jobs with Friends of the Earth. Setting up in business together, they both wanted to bring a touch of genuine continental culture to Edinburgh. 'The idea is that everyone who comes in sits around this one table,’ says Buckley. 'It’s very informal, relaxed and friendly.’ With wooden floors and yellow textured walls, a table is sunny and simple. Your coffee comes in bowls and food is served on china brioche platters specially made in Belgium. The atmosphere is traditional but comfortable.
The cafe is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am and from 10am on Saturday, so you can stop off for a petit déjeuner of coffee, croissants and conserves first thing in the morning. The lunchtime speciality is the tartine — an open sandwich available with toppings like parma ham or brie and walnut. Fresh soups are served with
Twenty times table: a table sourdough bread and there are platters of roast vegetables or charcuterie. 'The food is fairly rustic,‘ Buckley explains. ‘We've based the whole menu around the bread, which we serve with most dishes.’
In addition to its regular hours, the cafe will be happy to cater for parties or business meetings, and there's an outside catering service as well. With both proprietors having a background in environmentalism, there's an emphasis on food quality. All of the fruit and vegetables, as well as many of the other products, are organic so the farmhouse feel goes well beyond the table you're sitting at. (Moira Jeffrey)
I a tab/e, 4 Howe Street, Edrnburgh, 220 5335
in places like inexpensive noodle dishes to a Whole
In the last year or so, Glasgow’s Byres Road has seen a huge profu5ion in eateries of all kinds. The West End
5 seems to be generating stylish
sandwrch bars and cool cafes at an
1 ever increasing rate. The latest new
venture is a welcome addition: Chow, a moderately priced and stylish Chinese restaurant with a clean, chic feel. Chow is the brainchild of Teresa Chau. With one venture already underway in Eaglesham, she was keen to return to the heart of Glasgow’s West End, where she spent her schooldays, and to provrde the kind of friendly meeting and eating place that
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SANDWICH DELI & COFFEE BAR
2'74 CANONBATE, ROYAL MILE, Eomaunau TEL & FAX: 0131 557 9583
MON - Fm 7.30AM - 4.30994
OVER 20 YEAR. CREATIVE CATERING EXPERIENCE FOR YOUR LUNCH, BUSINEII OR PLEAEURE.
100 THE "81' 3—17 Feb 2000
Wagamama. The result is a straight- forward and Simple venue With frosted glass, maple furniture and mint green walls. Downstairs tables are organised booth-style along the wall, upstairs, on the newly burlt mezzanine floor, the maple tables and chairs create an airy atmosphere. Chow cleverly crams a lot into a small space and can easily cater for parties.
Chow’s menu covers the classic Chinese selection With an emphasis on spiced Szechuan flav0urs, from
aromatic duck, There's also a range of noodle soups With a definite Japanese emphasis. With dishes like mussels in black bean sauce already on the menu, Teresa Chau hopes to extend the seafood selection later this year At lunchtime, a three course special comes in at a very resonable £6.50 In keeping With its clean cut looks, the restaurant is a smoke free zone (Morra Jeffrey)
I Chow, Byres Road, Glasgow, 334 9878.
Chic Chinese: Chw
Spit or swallow
It’s all a matter of taste.
Ever considered Wines from Britain? Probably not But before you start envrsroning bottles of 8ch kfast being passed around the dinner table, bear in mind that things are looking better than ever for this market Scotland is too (old to grow Wine grapes, but a couple of places make Wine from other fruits England, however, has true Vineyards as far north as Yorkshire
Moniack Castle Silver Birch llnverness, £5 25) A dry, resinated Wine srrnrlar to Greece’s Retsina, it is made With the resin Of Silver Birch trees and is reputed to have been Queen Victoria's favourite drink Very llll( k, powerful aromas of resin and sherry dominate Not for the ldllll—llOdind, but (Oiild be enjoyed as a full-bodied drgestrf
Moniack Castle Dark Cherry Wine (Inverness, £5 49) As the name suggests, this smells of black cherries -» a Whole Black Forest gateau, in fact 7 and is reminiscent of an Italian style The palate is light, medium dry, and again full of the anticipated cherries Ideal for those Who find many reds too dry and full-bodied
Chapel Down Summerhill (Kent, £3 99) If you didn't know Where this was from, and only paid £4 for it, you'd be very surprised It's light, dry White, loaded With very refreshing lemony frurt Without being too tart Get rid of the stigma and you've got a genurne bargain
Chapel Down Bacchus 1998 (Kent, £4.99) England’s answer to a New Zealand Sauvrgnon Blanc. A fresh gooseberry nose tempts yOu into a palate bursting With crisp lemon and grassy flavours Qurte an amaZrng complexrty for a £5 Wine.
I Monrack Cast/e wrnes avar/ab/e from PeCkham’s, Chape/ Down wrnes var/able from Ma/QSl/C Wrne Warehouses
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