Walking along Princes Street – Edinburgh’s famous and busiest shopping street, it was time to step away from the bustling shops and stop to refuel, a rest and a quick lunch was needed!
The Princes Street area is full of places to eat, but finding one in the middle of lunch time (1pm) where there wasn’t long queues, somewhere that offered a relaxed atmosphere and also didn’t charge too much, perhaps was a bit of a tall order!. Then I spotted a blackboard outside the entrance to the Mecure Hotel. It advertised the fact that it’s Princes Dining Room was open to non residents for lunches. The blackboard menu displayed light lunches, they were competitively priced, so I stepped inside hoping not to see queues!
I had the choice of taking a lift or climbing the sweeping staircase to the first floor restaurant. Once on the first floor I walked past the Reception area into the Princes Dining Room.
The restaurant is spacious with floor to ceiling windows lining the entire length of the room, through which light flooded in, which is good because otherwise the dark wood decoration and dark coloured flooring would perhaps make it a little dull.
I saw there were plenty of diners but I also saw plenty of available tables – no need to queue here!!!
I noticed a canteen style service so I went over to it. There were various traditional style British meals – meat, fish vegetables. Staff told me a table service with a separate menu was also available so I took a window table and read the menu. It was quite a varied menu, but I was just after something simple. I quickly found what I wanted – Jacket Potato, home made coleslaw, mixed salad. Then I sat back and enjoyed the splendid view of this beautiful city.
Sitting at my window table I almost faced the magnificent Edinburgh Castle which dominates this city and what a view of this incredible castle I had!! Edinburgh’s Old Town with its ancient architecture also faced me. Beneath the castle and the Old Town the view changed from interesting architecture to the green open spaces of the tiered Princes Gardens. The great bridges which link the New Town (where I was sitting) to the Old Town, were clearly visible as was the towering Scott Monument. My seat provided me with the most panoramic view of Edinburgh city centre. It was good to note that with such a spacious window area there were plenty of window tables available – allowing as many diners as possible to enjoy the views.
My meal cost just £4.50. Bearing in mind that I was in Scotland’s Capital on its most famous street I had expected to be paying capital prices, so I was a little concerned as to what the quality would be like, but I need not have been concerned. The potato was crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy inside, the salad very fresh and with good variety of salad vegetables and leaves. The chunky coleslaw was delicious. Had I wanted a desert there was a good choice and they did look tempting! Service was good.
My quick meal actually turned into a leisurely meal break! It was hard to drag myself away from the lovely views in this relaxed, peaceful atmosphere. I took time to enjoy the scenery and to watch life go by on the street below – people hurried about, trams and buses passed by, all with a wonderful backdrop of the castle bathed in Spring sunshine.
I left refreshed, ready to enjoy the city and shopping again.
The Mecure Hotel is a three star hotel on Princes Street, just two or three minutes walk from Edinburgh’s main railway station – Edinburgh Waverley. The hotel’s dining room is somewhere I would recommend to people wanting a simple quick lunch at a competitive price in a relaxed atmosphere with great views.