Peter's Yard

Price guide: Mid-range

27 Simpson Loan, Edinburgh, EH3 9GG

Price guide: Mid-range

That bread! IYUM!

By Alison Craig, your Edinburgh expert

I write for BBC radio, The Scotsman, .... Read more
#15 of 40
expert-rated restaurants in Edinburgh
Expert overall rating:4.6 out of 5
Food and drink:
4.5
4.5
Ambience:
4
4.0
Service:
2.8
2.8
Location:
4.2
4.2
Value for money:
4.3
4.3
Recommended for:
Backpackers / Students, Couples, First-time travellers, Foodies, Singles, Education, People watching, Trendiness

Expert review of Peter's Yard

Dreamy Swedish bakery and coffee shop with sublime fresh food in the university quarter.

The question that started this wonderful place was 

"How come after hundreds of years of development, now in the 21st century, we aren't able to produce decent bread?" The answer came when Peter and his partner Christer went off in search of the master bread maker, found him in the shape of Jan Hedh, were taught his secrets, techniques and magic - allowing the rest of us mere bread-eaters to enjoy the spoils of their labour.

Entering Peter’s Yard is like a lesson in self control. The aromas of baking curl straight up your nose and as I queued to order at the large counter, it took all my self control not to pick up any of the fabulous bread, rolls and cakes on display and just wolf them.

Food and drink: 

You'll find soup, open sandwiches, pizzas, buns, every conceivabe shape, size, texture and variety of bread - and their award winning crispbread. I knew this was a very special place when I tasted their crispbread, which I had previously pigeon-holed as a necessary evil of dieters: a small, tasteless surface with the consistency of a carpet tile. No more! It seems I am not alone as this is the re-birth of the crispbread; it is now being stocked by some of the country's most discerning suppliers.

Recommended dishes: 

Cardoman buns have been known to bring tears of joy to the eyes of the tired and emotional. And the homemade soup comes with three different varieites of bread as standard. Beetroot and parnsip was an unusual mix, but boy did it work!

2 different homemade pizza varieties daily sold in individula slices, goats cheese & mushroom, chorizo & rocket. Always one veggie one meat.

Ambience: 

Large industrial looking interior with glass walls and a wooden floor; the ceiling with pipes exposed gives a cutting-edge feel to Peter's yard.

At the far end of the place are a few tables for four, a couch and a coffee table, separated from the near end of the room by a two-sided bookcase. This end of the room has one long refectory table which seats about eight people each side. A counter runs the length of the window too, from where you can sit and gaze at the university buildings outside. Sit where you can, the smells are so good that sitting on the floor would seem like a perfectly reasonable option.

Service: 

You queue to order at the counter, during which time you gaze hungrily at the goods for sale. By the time you have walked past it all the plan to have a quick coffee will inevitably have changed to something considerably larger. Once you order a member of staff will bring your food over.

One annoying thing is you have to pay at the counter when you order. So if there's a queue, and there usually is, you have to wait all over again for your coffee and cake or whatever you fancy next. This is why I recommend taking a younger person with you, who can be bribed to stand in the queue for "a piece of that amzing cake over there". It worked for me with my 15-year-old, who is still hectoring me to take him back.

Location: 

Meadow Walk, which is officially called Simpson Loan. It's a walkway that cuts through the meadows beside George Square and the university on the south side of the city. Ask anyone, everyone in the area knows the place and are probably on their way there too.

Price advice: 

Open sandwiches around £5; soup £4.80; the famous buns £2.10.

Other useful branches: 

If this one is full, literally just round the corner is a little offshoot which does take away only. Equally good food but no seating.

More information on Peter's Yard:

Price guide:
Mid-range
Type:
Café, Coffee shop, Deli
Food:
Scandinavian, Snacks, Vegetarian
Address:
27 Simpson Loan, Edinburgh, EH3 9GG
Telephone:
0131 228 5876
Website:
http://www.petersyard.com
Serves:
Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Afternoon Tea
Opening times:
Mon-Fri 7am–6pm; Sat-Sun 9am–6pm
Accepts Credit Cards:
Yes
Reservations:
Not possible
Free tags / Keywords:
Swedish, bakery, cakes, Homemade

Have you been to Peter's Yard? Would you recommended it?