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Fancy some appeltaart? Dutch cafe Greenwoods shows us its new branch on Edinburgh's Frederick Street

They will specialise in brunch and lunch

Published: May 14, 2021
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“We’re looking at doing our Dutch apple pie - it’s quite a big thing in Holland, especially on birthdays”, says Greenwoods Edinburgh director, Jen Nelson.

On May 20, a new cafe will be opening on Frederick Street, in the former premises of The Wee Restaurant.

It was established in Amsterdam in 1988, with a branch on the Singel canal, then another on Keizersgracht in 2012.

Opened by Australians, Gabrielle Mary Wheeler and Janet Isabel Pratt, it was taken over by Dutchman, Daniel Post, in 2010.

“It’s always been this place for expats - people get their breakfast and fix of home”, says Jen, 31, originally from Perth.

As the owner has Scottish connections, and Jen wanted to return to her homeland after nearly a decade at Greenwoods, it became their dream to open a cafe in Edinburgh.

“It was time to come home, I miss my family and Brexit had a lot to do with it,” says Jen. “There are also so many similarities between the cities, as Edinburgh has a European vibe and a cafe culture”.

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Jen is the perfect advocate for these businesses, as she wrote them a letter back in 2011, asking them for a job, after falling in love with one of their cafes on a visit, while she was working as an au pair in The Hague.

They took on the 21-year-old Scottish girl, who had originally planned to be a teacher, and she’s worked her way up from waiting tables in the Keizersgracht cafe, to managing both Amsterdam branches, them becoming director of this new branch.

“I love Greenwoods more than anyone,” she says.

For those who have visited the original cafes, there will be lots of familiar dishes on this menu.

Open from 10-4pm daily, their focus will be on brunch, though they’ll also do lunch.

As well as their signature “appeltaart”, there will be cocktails, eggs Benedict, their burger on a brioche bun, and dishes like their Cajun melt. It features their own Irish soda bread, which has been on the menu since the Eighties.

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“That’s the biggie, we’re definitely bringing that, I had the first taste of it last week and I thought, I’m home”, says Jen.

There will also be a selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes, as well as something called the banana bread tumble, which sounds like a feast.

“It consists of our toasted banana bread topped with white chocolate mascarpone with almonds and fruits”, says Jen. “Bacon on the top is optional”

While the original branches brought a taste of home to British ex-pats, the Edinburgh branch will be doing the reverse, and offering a taste of Holland in Scotland.

They haven’t gone the full clog with the interior. However, on the white walls, there is a modern looking cuckoo clock and a windmill mural.

“There’s also an open kitchen,” says Jen. “The thing that we love about the new venue is that diners can say hi to the chef.

"The guests can see everything going on, smell the smells and feel the energy”.

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Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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