Festival dining: Pommery Champagne Cafe Bar

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IN the soaring grandeur of the historic Signet Library there is a pop-up bar like no other, where indulgence and quality abound and the welcome is warmer than a roaring fire.

The Pommery Champagne Café Bar occupies the lower library, which they’ve filled with mirror-topped tables, displays of orchids, flattering lighting, and even a disco ball casting reflections across the sky-blue ceiling.

The champagne is truly divine, offered by the bottle or by the glass, and if you can’t make up your mind from the wonderful options, try their £35 tasting menu. Pommery was the first French house to produce champagne in the modern, dry style and remains the only firm offering seasonal champagnes. We selected a bottle of Springtime Rosé N/V that swirled around our flutes in delicate spiraling bubbles and tasted utterly amazing: full of rich berry flavours without being overly sweet and cloying. Bottles start at £65, glasses at £12.

The food is every bit as good. From nibbles to full meals, the menu features seasonal, regional delights, and there is plenty to choose from. We ordered the Seafood and the Charcuterie tasting platters (£16.50/£16.00). Highlights included a mouth-pleasing beet-cured smoked salmon and a range of delicious gluten-free oatcakes and bread. They can even provide a gluten-free Afternoon Tea that doesn’t scrimp on scones, cakes and sarnies.

The wait-staff, adorned in tee shirts with cheeky sayings such as ‘Let’s get Fizzical’, could not have been friendlier or more helpful. The mood is casual sophistication, but free of highfalutin airs and graces. This is the perfect place to go if you want to feel properly pampered; my only criticism is that it’s not here all year round.

The Pommery Champagne Cafe Bar, Signet Library, Parliament Square, until 25 August, noon-late, 0131-226 1064