Everything you need to know about Montpeliers Edinburgh, one of my favourite Bruntsfield restaurants – and I’m not the only one!
Looking for the buzz? Then head to Montpeliers Edinburgh.
If you want to dive into the best of the Bruntsfield restaurant scene then the buzzy and bohemian Montpeliers Edinburgh is it. It’s so popular I don’t think I’ve ever seen it not busy!
You may not be overly familiar with the Bruntsfield area in Edinburgh, but if you are, you’ll know that Montpeliers is the beating heart of the bustle. Located on the corner just before you turn into Morningside Road, its busy outdoor seating area is a familiar sight. When have a not walked past and been slightly envious of the chattering crowds spilled out onto the street at the many tables and chairs, sipping on vat-sized drinks and nibbling delicious food over a long leisurely lunch, seemingly without a care in the world? The great news is this: today I was one of them.
Well, apart from the fact that we had to sit inside because it was chucking it down with rain. Oh, and I wasn’t drinking, particularly not a vat-sized glass of wine. But apart from those two vital characteristics, I was definitely one of those people I’ve often seen here.
So what brought me to Montpeliers this time around? Well, I’m currently house-hunting and Edinburgh is very much in the mix as one of the potential areas I’m looking at. When we had a few hours to kill in between property views, Montpeliers was the perfect pitstop.
Despite it being the Monday that pubs and restaurants were allowed to start serving alcohol again, we were able to walk in and grab a table. And not just any table – a great table! We were seated right next to the window which meant I could people watch to my heart’s content. It’s so buzzy here in Bruntsfield so it was great to soak up those street views!
Where is Montpeliers Edinburgh?
As I’ve mentioned, Montpelier’s is located in the Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh. It’s a thriving area that’s well known for its boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants. Located about 15 minutes-walk from Haymarket station, the Bruntsfield area is also near to Tollcross, Morningside, and Marchmont. And there’s plenty to do in all of these areas.
More on that a little bit later!
Montpeliers: what’s it like inside?
Montpeliers is stunning as soon as you step through the door. If the yummy sounding menu (more on that below) or the crowds of people having a great time outside doesn’t tempt you inside then, trust me, the décor definitely will. The first thing I noticed was the tiles.
Patterned, artfully worn, mismatched tiles stretch out across the floor, leading your eye the full length of the restaurant. There’s lime green velvet bonket seating, artfully arranged prints on the wall, and a deep green ceiling that adds to the cosy atmosphere.
I also loved the nod to bringing the outside in with branches and greenery arranged along the walls, which again adds freshness and a touch of rustic charm to the restaurant.
The menu at Montpeliers is artisan, intriguing, and original, offering a huge variety of dishes that will suit a whole manner of occasions. After an indulgent brunch? Pancakes, eggs benny, or the yummy-sounding Mexican tortilla will certainly tick a lot of boxes. Craving something a little bit lighter? How does king prawn tacos, tikka salmon or a charred chicken salad sound? With everything from pork belly, butter pastry pies, and moules frites on offer here, I think I could eat here every week and still find something I’d want to order!
Montpeliers is also a real showcase for local suppliers. In fact, they actually have a stamp on the menu to highlight the items that have been created using locally sourced Scottish produce. Such a classy touch and a great way to sample the local scene if you’re a visitor.
What I ordered at Montpeliers
We wanted to order a late lunch at Montpeliers. As it was a Monday I also didn’t want to order anything too heavy, so deliberately swerved all of the super heavy dishes. Well, I say that, I couldn’t miss out on a little bit of cheese and some deep fryer action!
In the end I plumped for the classic order of someone who’s trying to eat relatively healthy… but also wants something really tasty. A starter and chips! Am I right or am I right?
I ordered a beetroot tart for my ‘main’, which consisted of two pastry disks topped with dollops of horseradish and a generous handful of rocket. On the side were three deep-fried goats cheese bon bons – cheese balls in batter to you and me – which came drizzled in a sauce that I couldn’t quite identify but was very lovely all the same. My only criticism would be that I could have had a bit more beetroot with the tart to offset the strong blue cheese.
For the fries I went for zucchini fries which came with basil mayo – which was excellent! All in all, it was the perfect amount of food and it definitely hit the spot for me.
You can view Montpelier’s menu here
Montpeliers: key information
Address: 159-161 Bruntsfield Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4DG
Telephone: 0131 229 3115
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 9am-10.30pm
What else can you do in Bruntsfield?
You might be reading this thinking, well, this is all well and good, but do I actually want to walk out all the way to the Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh just for a nice lunch?
Actually, there’s a lot to see and do in this neck of the woods and some of it may be pretty untapped to the average tourist. Bruntsfield and Morningside are packed with interesting and – in some cases – pretty unique things to do. I’ve written a full blog post on them that you can read about here but let’s take a quick look at some of the highlights:
Things to do in Bruntsfield and Morningside…
The Wild West in Morningside
Tucked away up a side street just back from the main street in Morningside is the intriguing Wild West. So what is it exactly? Well, it may look like an old film set from the John Wayne era, but it’s actually the remnants of an advertising gimmick from a 90s south western furniture company in the area. Don’t miss the cantina, saloon, and even a jail!
The Union Canal
You only have to walk down a couple of streets before you arrive at the Edinburgh canal, which is always a charming and welcoming sight. We crossed over in the late afternoon and with the sleepier pace around this area it was just lovely; I could definitely imagine just chilling here with a couple of friends in the summer months. There are also plenty of canal boats to enjoy. Not joking, if there were any for sale I’d take a look!
Explore Morningside and Blackford Hill
If you’d like to take a walk either before or after visiting Montpeliers then I’d highly recommend walking up into Morningside. There are coffee shops, boutiques, and a great selection of charity shops known for their hidden treasures. There’s even an art deco cinema!
If you turn into one of the residential streets then you can enjoy an instant hit of tranquillity away from the traffic, with cherry blossoms, beautiful traditional Edinburgh tenements, and even Blackford Hill to climb if you’re feeling particularly energetic!
Coffee at Café Grand
Café Grand was my eyeline when we were at our window seat at Montpeliers as it’s directly across the street. The old-fashioned gold lettering on the window piqued my interest and so when we had half an hour to kill we headed over. I had an Americano with coconut milk which was lovely. I’d love to come back when I had more time to linger!
There are also really nice prints of locations around Edinburgh on the wall which I loved – if you’re looking for a charming memento of your trip to Scotland these could work a treat.
One of my other absolute favourites in the Bruntsfield area is Honeycomb, which I write about in this blog post. It’s a really cool eatery. If you’re in the area then I’d definitely try and make sure you find time to visit. I’ve had brunch here before, but they also do an array of mouth-watering cakes which are an absolute must-try! Mmmm!
Other boutique restaurants in Edinburgh
Looking for other boutique restaurants in Edinburgh? Why not try…
- Black Ivy Edinburgh
- The Ivy Edinburgh – read my review here
- Tiger Lily Edinburgh
- Dishoom Edinburgh – read my review here