Falko (Scotland): A Lovely Spot of Lunch

IMG_3248Sunny days in Scotland — about as hard to come by as you might imagine. (From my experience, anyway.)

So when a late July morning gives you the gift of sunshine and clear skies, the choice is clear — it’s time to get in the car and just go.

Where to? North of Edinburgh, to a little stretch of tranquil coast along the scenic Firth of Forth …

Falko

You have your pick of little waterfront spots along the Northern coast of Scotland, about 20 minutes from Edinburgh — there’s the working man’s port harbor of Seton, filled with mud-bound fishing boats during low-tide, little Aberlady, with a beautiful historic church and a smattering of pubs and cafes.

Much of the coast is craggy, with a sweeping view of Edinburgh, a wide gray smudge across the water. My favorite is Gullane beach — or bents, in localspeak — which is a laidback neighborhood beach filled with children and dogs. (If you walk toward the right, all the way to the end, there’s a neat, quiet spot dotted with black rocks — perfect for a little sit.)

After a stroll, there was an attempt to leave my mark. (I’m sure this lasted.)

Scotland

But the other big draw of Gullane is a cozy corner cafe: Falko’s, a delightful German konditerei where you’ll find hearty breads, sandwiches, out-of-this-world ice-cream and a fetching selection of German-style cakes and pastries.

Falko, the founder of this bakery, is from Heilbronn, near Stuttgart, and is actually certified as a konditormeister (a master pastry chef in Germany). You can probably tell from this display that he has some serious baking chops.

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First things first though — lunch.

Falko

The savory menu is slender — a few breakfast and after breakfast items, plus some extras on a board.

Falko

We started with a basic salami and cheese sandwich (4.90 pounds) — not bad. “Very fresh,” my lunch companion noted.

Falko

 

My favorite of the meal, however, was the fleishkase (4.90 pounds), a German-style meatloaf sandwich.

Now, this may seem super basic — just a bun with a slab of meat. No condiments, no extras. The fleishkase was packed with flavor, though — all you really need is the bread and a bite of that meat. (I tried bits with mustard and horseradish on it and it really wasn’t necessary — much better without.)

Falko

 

Dessert is a must here, naturally. This being the a summer day at the beach, ice-cream was in order.

This here is my favorite Scottish discovery so far — sea buckthorn ice-cream. It’s made from a tangy orange berry that grows along the coast here and the flavor is just perfect for summer — slightly tart (like gooseberry, but less tart), a little orangey and not too sweet.

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Anything cherry at Falko’s is a wise option, I’ve learned. Amareno cherry ice-cream — terrific.

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(And, if you’re still hungry, I highly recommend the cherry cake — it’s a custardy confection studded with beautifully tart cherries.)

Sun, surf, azure skies, meatloaf sandwich and a lovely scoop to finish … just the ingredients anyone needs for a perfect Scottish summer day.

Falko, 1 Stanley Street, Gullane, East Lothian; +44.01620.843168; http://www.falko.co.uk/visit-us/gullane-kaffeehaus-east-lothian