Archive | Out Of Town RSS feed for this section

Cafezique, West End, Glasgow

2 Aug

Score: 5/5

Best For: Long mornings, lazy afternoons, chilled evenings

Prices: Cappuccino, £2.20; Tea, £2.40

This is a truly wonderful café which has an emphasis on great produce and style.  I know I’m not a food blog, but this establishment does the best brunch I’ve ever had – I mean just look at those beautiful eggs!  The only time I ever see yolks that yellow is when I’m eating eggs fresh from the chickens at home so these have to be properly free range.  Their cakes and sweet things are also sublime, but they don’t just excel with their food though as their coffee is also delicious which is a sure-fire way to make me happy.

Adding to the general mix of great quality food and drink there is also a fantastic decor.  The high ceilings and large windows make for plenty of light.  The mezzanine level give you great views down into the café and there is a delightful are for sitting outside (weather permitting).  I love a bit of al fresco dining/coffee drinking but I have to say I’m not particularly keen on sitting next to a busy road, and this is not a problem here as it is off the main thoroughfare and you can sit and sip your coffee and read your book in peace.

A great little stop if you’re in Glasgow for a while.



Day Trip: Ben Lawers, Perthshire

4 Jul

If you are a resident of Edinburgh, or just a visitor, may I please implore you to go out hill walking in the highlands.  Perthshire is not far away and it has some spectacular scenery as well as some fascinating geology and botany if you like that kind of thing.  Ben Lawers is particularly beautiful as they have set up a nature reserve.  At the start of the walk there is a fenced off area set up to create a habitat that is not grazed and it’s really interesting to see just how different the plant life is either side of the fence.  There are walks for all abilities in the highlands and I’m sure you can find something to suit you.


Day Trip: Holy Island of Lindisfarne

28 Jun

If you have a car, and you fancy a quick trip across the border, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne is a great place to go for a day trip.  There is a beautiful castle, a ruined abbey, cute little village and plenty of rock pooling action if that’s what you’re into.  If you catch it on a nice day it is just stunning and well worth a visit.  Also great for bird watchers, though I won’t promise the birds of prey I got to see when I was there.

Les Éditurs, Saint Germain des Prés, Paris

26 Jun

Score: 4/5

Best For: Posing, reading a book and feeling French

This is a great café and feels ever so French.  The decor is fabulous and books line the café half of this establishment giving it a chic, slightly bacheloresque feel.  It’s a little pricey (espresso, 2.00 EUR, café au lait 4.20 EUR), but this is Paris and everything is pretty expensive.  The coffee was very good, and came with a chocolate which is always nice.  Service was efficient. It even comes complete with disgruntled French man (who was waiting for his exceptionally late date).  You couldn’t ask for much more.

Day Trip: North Berwick

20 Jun

North Berwick is a lovely little sea-side town only 30 mins from Edinburgh by train.  If you have a spare afternoon on a sunny day it is well worth a visit.  Paddle in the sea (if you’re brave!), wander along the beach and soak in the rays.  Just make sure you pack a good coat, as no matter how sunny it is, the wind here is ferocious and I’d hate for anyone to get cold.

Day Trip: St Andrews

10 Jun

I spent quite a lot of time over the past few months away on day trips whilst the weather was good, and may I heartily recommend St. Andrews, particularly for a walk along the beach and for the AMAZING putting green.


8 Jun

A few weeks ago I was at home and the chickens were looking beautiful.  I know this is not exactly within the remit of this blog being neither about a café or Edinburgh, but I had to share.

Isn’t he just beautiful and glossy?

These three old ladies chill out together all the time.


The harem.

Kember & Jones, Byres Road, Glasgow

5 Jun

Score: 5/5

Best for: Food.  Mmmm their cakes and pastries are so good.

Price: Cappuccino, £2.15; Tea, £1.85; Cake, £3.00

Kember & Jones represent everything I like best in a café: great coffee, wonderful loose tea, delicious pastries, everything beautifully presented, lovely and bright and to top it all off efficient table service.  Honestly, what more could you ask for?  They also have a wall covered with books and tasty treats for you to buy and take home.  The atmosphere here is calm and relaxed, perfect for a Sunday chilling out.

There is a central  shared table, and a mezzanine floor with extra seating.  I can’t fault this place.

Kember & Jones: if you’re reading this, please expand and open up a new branch in Edinburgh.

Kember and Jones on Urbanspoon

Café Flo, Printemps, Paris

31 May

Score: 4/5

Best For: Staring up at the beautiful stained glass dome

If you’re in central Paris and have some time to kill, might I recommend the beautiful Café Flo.  It is on the top floor of the legendary department store Printemps and offers a wide range of teas and delicious coffee.  It’s best feature is the domed ceiling which is just breathtaking.  The tables even have mirrors on them so you get a beautiful view no matter where you are looking!

I had a dargeeling tea and some delicious macarons.  My only complaint is that the teabag came lose and not actually in the tea pot so I had to add it to the hot (not boiling) water provided in the tea pot.  I really can’t stand it when you go somewhere and the tea is pricey and they don’t even serve it properly.  It just doesn’t taste the same.

Bread & Roses, rue Fleurus, Paris

29 May

Score: 5/5

Best For: Food – thier bread and pastries are divine

Prices: Expensive (approx. 8.50 EUR for a strawberry tart 6 EUR tea)

This lovely little café is very close to the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg so once you’ve had your fill of chilling out reading your book in the sunshine, and are in need of a relaxing cup of tea and a delicious cake, this should be your number one destination.  It is not cheep, so if you are already finding that Paris is burning a hole in your pocket you might want to stay clear, but I think this place is worth it’s price tag.  The tea is leaf and served in a truly beautiful tea-pot, and the strawberry tart I had was out of this world.  I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything so tasty.

Also, despite the English name, this place is exceptionally French and ever so bourgeois.  It’s also not a hugely touristy destination and is full of locals leading to excellent people watching opportunities.  There are very well dressed little girls shopping for bread for their parents, ladies lunching and old regulars that chat animatedly with the waiters.  It really is a special place.

A Weekend in Paris

28 May

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Paris.  The weather was absolutely beautiful and I had a wonderful time cycling through the streets, doing a little sightseeing and of course, sampling the local cafés.  I couldn’t resist taking a few photos and so I’ve got a couple of reviews for you guys which I’ll put up over the next few days.

Kelvin Grove Organ Recitals

24 May

If you find yourself heading towards the Kelvin Grove Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow, may I recommend you try to time your visit with one of their daily organ recitals (1pm Monday-Saturday; 3pm Sunday).  It’s just wonderful to see this fabulous organ in action.  They even have cameras so you can see the organists feet!  It’s amazing.

Unfortunately the organ itself it totally obscured by the lights in this photo, but it really is very impressive.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  I hope you have had a lovely day.

I was lucky enough to be in Paris this weekend and had the most fabulous time.  If you happen to be travelling there yourself and like a nice trip to a gallery followed by tea and cake, can I please recommend the Musée d’Orsay’s amazing first floor restaurant.  They are quite simply the most sumptuous surroundings one could hope to have whilst sipping tea.  Avoid the downstairs café if at all possible.  They serve hot drinks in polystyrene cups (something that never adds to the drinking pleasure).