STEPPING into an empty Henri of Edinburgh in Stockbridge late on a Sunday afternoon, there was still a surprisingly good atmosphere. The soft but jovial music which played in the background and the friendly nature of the staff helped greatly.
Heading to the seating area to the back of the shop, we had to pass the irresistible counter of delicious cheeses, cured meats and other antipasti.
Presented with a menu which changes daily, we were told, it was hard not to want to try it all. Featuring charcuterie and cheese options, there was also fresh quiche, tasty sandwiches, a specials column and many other French delights almost all under £10.
Unable to resist the mixed charcuterie and cheese assiettes, we decided to share a large one (£15.95) and some mixed Provencal olives (£2.50) to pick while we waited. The olives, despite still having stones, were of great quality. The charcuterie platter came on a rustic chopping board with a basket of mixed bread on the side. Each meat and cheese was of a decent size, allowing us to both try each one. Ranging from chorizo to honey roast ham in the meats and reblechon to a lovely cheddar in the cheeses, the selection varies daily depending on what is at its best.
Pairing this was an Austrian white (£16.95) from the concise wine list – we could also have chosen any wine from the shelves with a £1 corkage fee. With the daily menu and consistently good quality in produce, Henri is perfect for pretending you are on the continent in this dismal summer. I would recommend going early afternoon, though, as some of our bread was a touch stale that late in the day.
• Henri of Edinburgh, 48 Raeburn Place, 0131-332 8963