The Pommery Champagne Bar, Signet Library, Edinburgh 

THE LOWDOWN For those wanting to inject a little class into their Edinburgh fringe frivolities this year then a trip to the The Pommery Champagne Cafe Bar is a must. Only around until the 26th August, this posh pop-up has proudly taken up temporary residence in one of Edinburgh’s most celebrated and exclusive venues, The Signet Library – an architectural masterpiece sitting just off the Royal Mile.  Serving up a selection of gourmet goodies and plenty of fizz, an evening here is the perfect escape from festival madness and an opportunity to embrace a more cultured, civilised but equally as enjoyable side to Edinburgh.

WE WORE In defiance of the drizzly Scottish summer evening, I donned a green floaty dress and wedges – accessorised with an umbrella of course.
WE ATE As tempting as their Fresh Whole Lobster & Wedges with Garlic Aioli sounded, we opted instead for the more humble Homemade Burger & Wedges and certainly weren’t disappointed. The burger was a beautiful mass of oozing cheddar cheese, fresh tomatoes and a beef burger glistening with juiciness and enveloped in a slightly sweet bread bun that was slathered in homemade tomato and paprika jam. And the best bit? It tasted as drool-worthy as it looks and sounds: meaty, flavoursome and cooked to perfection, it was a solid 9/10 in the Leagues of Burgers. The irony, however, was that despite the elegance of our surroundings there was no eating this burger gracefully; eating etiquette proved futile and we were soon devouring it with our hands because, lets be honest, is there really a refined way to eat a burger?! On the side sat a bucket filled with homemade wedges, seasoned to perfection and so morish that we both wished they were a little more generous on portion size.

WE DRANK Our not-so-elegant burger consumption was enjoyed with a glass of champagne, or two…or three. Ok four. Although we did finish the evening with a Kir Royale that was beautifully served with blackberries.

WE LOVED  The ambience: grand, elegant yet funky, with pink-lights and cool table decorations providing a dramatic contrast to the traditional literary backdrop. There is something so deliciously indulgent about sitting surrounded by a wealth of books and architectural history as you sip champers whilst discussing and debating the trials and tribulations of the twenty-first century twenty-something. It was that contrast between the old and new, between hedonistic merriment and the intellectual surroundings that, for me, made it such a special and unique dining experience.

OUR VERDICT The mixture of bubbles, books and burgers makes this festival pop-up a unique culinary experience not to be missed.

Originally published August 2013 on . Click here to read article.