The Roseleaf has blossomed into one of the hippest and most relaxed places to dine on the Shore. The atmosphere is cordial and the service is excellent. The Roseleaf comes heavily recommended as a place where quality meets style and comfort.
The Roseleaf is located just over the bridge from the Shorefront, opposite some rather stylish flats and from its exterior seems, at first, an innocuous little boozer, belying the quality inside.
It is inside that the Roseleaf truly reveals its charm, with its hazy dim lighting and candlelit small tables. The Roseleaf becomes instantly romantic whilst also being perfectly good as a cosy little pub for just a few drinks with friends.
The Roseleaf is cluttered with all kinds of strange ornaments which collectively add to its unique charm; old-fashioned typewriters are found in the alcove above the door. Nearby sits an old piano. Above the bar is a collection of antique memorabilia, like clocks and teapots, which jostle for space amidst the selection of spirits on offer.
Floral wallpaper adorns the walls and there’s a fancy chandelier-style piece, jet black with cascading glass droplets, which sets the ambience on relaxed mode. It is oak-finished and the seating goes all around the bar. This extends into a back room which seats larger groups. The toilets are a riot in the Roseleaf: prints of comic book characters and old vinyl records are stuck to the walls, with a chalk board above the urinal for reasons unknown. The music is excellent, just like the entire venue.
Both the clientele and the bar staff are a bohemian and friendly lot. The Roseleaf is excellent for couples given its comforting ambience, yet it also seems popular with a whole range of people. It all comes together to make a welcoming atmosphere, a really happy place without pretence.
Thoroughly delightful offerings, at reasonable prices, make the Roseleaf amongst the premier places in Leith to catch a bite to eat. Special mention must be made for the smoked mackerel sandwich, beautifully brown and crisp at the edges, it gives way to delightfully white shreds of fish complete with a side salad. This is swimming in lemon sauce, with generous portions of red onion and comes served on malted organic brown bread - simply delicious.
For starters, try homemade waffles (£2.95), which comes with a variety of extras or the Scottish smoky bacon strips (£3.95). The mains are typically filling yet homely and nicely-portioned, such as Roseleaf’s eggs On the Shore variety, a particular favourite (£6.95). The sandwich selections are huge and come in a variety of breads and fillings. The paninis are also great, such as the balsamic roast beetroot, feta and red onion (£5.10) Breakfast is served until 5pm, and is called the Leafer (£6.95) or the Big One (£7.50). The evening menu is served until 10pm.
For desserts there are sweet waffles, as well as several daily special desserts, which can occasionally include the banana, honey and cinnamon tart (£2.50) amongst many others.
The usual suspects on draught are accompanied by some interesting exotic additions, and the wine and spirits on offer are encased in a wonderful quirky bar. Leffe Blond and Hoegaarden are £3.20 a bottle and Kronenbourg is £3.20 a pint. One of the venue's specialities is cocktails. If you buy two of the same they serve them up in a tea pot. Very cute.
The Last Word
The Roseleaf is a must-go for the uninitiated, and a must-keep-going to those who already know about this wonderful little bar on the Shore.