When driving from Dundee to Edinburgh as I do fairly frequently, I have often seen the sign for Loch Leven’s Larder and wanted to stop but never planned my journey with enough time to spare.
Taking Mum to the airport for a very conveniently delayed flight provided us with just the opportunity to pop in.
The setting for the family-run deli, gift shop and café is simply stunning. The surrounding rolling fields make up Channel Farm; land which is being farmed by the third generation of the family who first became tenants back in 1934.
The view from the fields reaches right down to the Loch and these vistas can be enjoyed from the children’s play area, the café terrace, or from the large picture windows in the café itself.
There are also two ‘pods’ in the garden in which food can be served if booked in advance.
The whole set-up feels like a cosy treat – customers enter through the gift shop and deli which is brimming with tempting delights and country-chic gifts. The deli sells locally sourced meat and cheese, as well as vegetables grown on the farm.
There is also the usual decadent selection of dips, sauces, dried ingredients and baked goods. Although we could have meandered around these parts for a while, we were really interested in the smells of baked bread coming from the café and so we asked for a table for two.
The café is one large room with a service area at the far end, tables dotted around and high tables with bar stools down either side. The clientele when we were there (a Tuesday lunchtime) ranged from couples lunching to groups of Mum’s out for a coffee and a natter, making full use of the high chairs and playground in the garden.
We were seated near the front from where we had a great view of all of the treats flying out of the kitchen. The décor is simple yet quirky and certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously, as evidenced by the message written on white underpants pegged up above the window.
I really enjoying perusing the menu as the selection is eclectic; as well as the abundance of cakes, bakes and sandwiches on offer, the Larder also serves more substantial breakfasts and lunches.
There is a really lovely variety of items from a home-made burger to a spiced cauliflower curry. Mum and I opted for the Scottish Sea Trout fishcakes with tomato chutney (£8.95) which arrived incredibly quickly. They were crunchy and piping hot and the chutney was packed full of spiced fruity flavour and really made the dish.
The accompanying coleslaw was also a hit and was light and fresh and as a normal mayonnaise-hater, even I enjoyed it. We also decided to share the beetroot and Champagne rhubarb salad with Gorgonzola (£6.95) which was a really delicious combination of flavours.
The menu describes the salad as a “Light bite” and I have to say that had I ordered it as my entire lunch, I would have perhaps been disappointed with the quantity but as we treated this as our ‘side’ we were very happy.
Our lunch was also enhanced by the freshly baked olive bread and butter of which not a crumb returned to the kitchen.
We managed to squeeze in a scone (£2.25) to end our meal which as we had anticipated, was melt-in-the-mouth and incredibly moreish.
Loch Leven’s Larder is a place of comfort and relaxation – a place to walk the dog, entertain the kids, pick up a treat for tea and have lunch with friends all at the same time. The ethos of ‘field to plate’ really resonates in the menu and in the deli and I will definitely be leaving a lot of extra time when planning my next trip to Edinburgh.
Price: Light bites £4.30 to £6.95; sandwiches and mains £6.60 to £9.95; cakes£1.95 to £3.95.
Info: Loch Leven’s Larder.
Address: Channel Farm, Kinross, KY13 9HD.
Tel: 01592 841000