It is the last week before the Christmas holidays, the exams are over and I have plenty of time to indulge in my favourite activity in Edinburgh i.e. to wonder around and about the cafés and to drink cappuccino. However, the festive atmosphere must have triggered the creative part of my brain since after months of complete lack of inspiration I finally found something to write about.
I haven’t really thought I was a foodie. However, it turned out that I am! To be more specific I am a foodie and a coffee/tea addict (I think every university student in some moment of their life is too dependent on coffee than it is recommended). I’ve shared before that the numerous cafés are one of my favourite features in this city. I have visited just a couple of them, but I decided to do a short review on the best ones from this trimester.
The beach house
Online menu: http://www.thebeachhousecafe.co.uk/menu.html Location: 57 Bath St, Portabello, Edinburgh EH15 1HE, United Kingdom; Opening times: Monday to Friday : 9am – 5.30pm; Weekends : 9am – 6pm
That is a must see, must go, must eat place! I went there with my friend Eva this October and it turned out to be a great place to start your day in. It is at Portobello beach and you can enjoy the sea view while sipping your coffee or have a walk to help with digesting the delicious breakfast. The prices are not as high as in other places and the portions are big enough to actually fill full after. It smells of freshly baked cakes and scones so I do not recommend the place if you are on a diet. However, it is not a coffee shop where you can sit in with a laptop for hours or study for exam. Also, it seems to be a very popular location among the locals so a free table is not always guaranteed, especially around 10 in the morning.
Area C Coffeehouse
Location: 239 Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 8NY
Opening times: Tuesday- Sunday 10 am. – 5 pm.
This is my favourite for the trimester (mainly because of the service ;)). The atmosphere is arty with reggae music on the background and furniture so heterogeneous that you feel as if the wooden and wicker chairs and tables were added through the years with every new customer. The pictures and quotes on the walls make me smile every time I look at them. It is light, though it is a little bit cold inside. They have a variety of teas and coffees and the menu consists of paninis, falafels, toasts and soups, everything freshly made. And when you go MIND THE STEP (you’ll see what I am talking about)!
Mimi’s bake house
Online menu: http://mimisbakehouse.com/pages/mimis-menus
Location: 63 Shore, Edinburgh EH6 6RA
Opening times: Mon-Fri 0900:1700; Sat-Sun 0900-1800
Only the portions in my granny and auntie’s places beat the ones at Mimi’s bake house. So if you want to be as full as if you have just been in your grandma’s, that is the right café. If I have to be completely honest the prices are not the lowest but after trying their full Scottish breakfast and waffles with fruits and syrup you will just forget how much you have paid. It is perfect for a special occasion or for an occasion when you want to feel special 😉 It is also in a beautiful area, close to the Water of Leith, so outside it looks a little bit like Amsterdam, at least to me. It is popular tourist destination so I recommend you don’t go during the weekend.
The Elephant’s house
Online menu: http://www.elephanthouse.biz/house-menu.html Location: 21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EN Opening times: M – Th., Sun. 9 am. – 10 pm; Friday-and Saturday – 9 am. – 11 pm.
I declare myself a huge fan of Harry Potter and at the same time I have no idea why I waited so long to go to the Elephant’s house where the author has drunk her coffee and created this amazing story. However, I can understand what J.K. Rowling has seen in this place. Even without the whole Harry Potter fuss the atmosphere is conducive to art work and writing in particular, especially in the rest room…All walls are covered with messages and dedications to both J.K. Rowling and the boy who lived…so I guess there is something in the air :D. The cakes and toasts are nice, so if you visit Edinburgh you should definitely check it out.
The Café W
Location: 128 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4AD
Opening times: Monday – Saturday- 9am – 7pm; Sunday 10:30am. – 6 pm.
I think the best analogy I can make here is that if Area C Coffeehouse is my favourite lover for this trimester, the Café W is and will be my long-term husband… Seriously, as if someone has read my mind and fulfilled one of my fantasies. It is a CAFÉ in a BOOK SHOP (and it has a wifi)! What more can a girl ask for? Therefore, I think I don’t even need to comment on the cakes or drinks, which are quite good by the way, especially the carrot one…just don’t read the calories intake label!
Fair trade coffee shop
Location: 30 Albert Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
Opening times: Mon- Fr. 7:00 -15:00; Saturday 8:00 – 15:00; Sunday 9:00-15:00;
Last Thursday morning I was sitting in the comfy sofas at the Fair trade coffee shop in Albert place. It was my first time there, but after having a cup of amazing cappuccino as big as my head and enough French toast to feed my morning apatite, I was sure it won’t be the last. The place is quite arty with posters of rock bands, musicals and plays on the walls as well as black and white photos of old smiley people (how adorable, i bet that is me 50 years from now). What I loved is that you can sit there for 3 hours with your laptop without being bothered neither by the owner of the place with a ‘when are you going to leave ‘look nor by the extensive crowd and noise which for example you face in Costa or Starbucks (where I usually tend to sit for hours). And the French toast is …mmmm :3
Location: 94 Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 5BX
Opening times: Sun 9:00 – 18:00; Mon – Sat 8:00 – 6:00
In Casa Amiga you won’t find full Scottish breakfast or pancakes so don’t go there if you search for a proper breakfast. At the same time the place is perfect for an early afternoon coffee date. They have an extensive range of hot drinks so even if you are the most picky person you will find something…though I am not sure whether you won’t spent too much time choosing. They also have some cakes and fresh croissants that go pretty well with the hot chocolate 😉
Serrano & Manchego
Online menu: from Facebook https://www.facebook.com/serranomanchego
Location: 297, Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 8SA
Opening times: from 9 – 11 (not quite sure about those)
Well, I was a little bit hungry after being here, though if you eat as little as a chicken (as my friend Eva does) I guess it is fine. The atmosphere is actually more suitable for an evening aperitif rather than an early brunch, so I would definitely recommend it if you search for a place to have a glass of wine with some tapas. Their crispy Spanish churros served with chocolate are fantastic.
Wow, it turns out I have been wondering around a lot this trimester, ( no surprise I couldn’t really put off weight despite the hours of training). However, I hope you also have a chance to visit some of those places above and enjoy them as much as me.