Tag Archives: Edinburgh

Loudons Café and Bakery, Fountainbridge

20 Nov


Score: 4/5

Prices: Coffee and cake for under £5

Best for: Working/meeting up with friends

This lovely café shares a great resemblance to one of my favorite cafés in Edinburgh, Peter’s Yard.  I belive the owner of this café was once a chef at Peter’s Yard and that establishment has clearly had a great influence of the style of this café as most of the fittings are identical and they have chosen a similar space with provides the café with a lovely sence of light and space.  The coffee was completely delicious but I was a little disappointed with my food (I went there for brunch) which fell slightly short of my very high expectations.  Their cakes look delicious though, and I look forward to going back so I can test them out.  definitely one to try if you haven’t been there already, and do follow the link to their website because it’s beautiful!


Roof Terrace, Scottish National Gallery

9 Nov

Edinburgh is a fantastic city for views, but I think the roof terrace at the National Museum of Scotland offers a unique opportunity to see the city at roof-top height.  Most of the time, when you look out at a view of Edinburgh, you are looking down at the city, here you are looking across the chimney pots and towards the spires.  It is simply beautiful.  The roof terrace is not exactly easy to find however, so you really have to be searching for it.  It makes a fun game though.  First one to the roof terrace wins!

New Town Front Door

9 Aug

During the hectic month of August, there is nothing I love more than walking through the New Town on a sunny day and admiring the beautiful houses, in particular the wonderful front doors.  The roads are lovely and wide and filled with light, and there is a beautiful calm about the side streets that is the perfect antidote to bustling crowds of the centre of town.

Festival Crowds

6 Aug

Summer Rain

19 Jul

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.


The Elephant House, George IV Bridge

18 Jun

Score: 3/5

Best for: Taking visitors

Price: average

The Elephant Coffee House’s prides itself on being the birth place of Harry Potter, and they certainly milk it for all it’s worth.  As such it is constantly full of tourists, not that that’s a bad thing, it is what it is, but you’re not going to get a particularly local vibe here.  This also makes it very busy at weekends so don’t be surprised if you end up sharing a table.

Inside it has a very colonial feel, what with all the elephants etc. and with the high ceilings, large windows and beautiful plants everywhere it has a light, airy and relaxed atmosphere.  You can expect to find patrons reading newspapers or novels, or working away at computers with the large tables and copious light.  During term time it is full of students working midweek, making the most of the large tables.  This café really comes into its own in winter when it’s lovely and cosy and warm and you can look out of those big windows towards the castle taking on the grizzly weather.  And there is a superb view of the castle if you get the right seat.

The food here is not great, and the coffee very average.  I guess being constantly full puts the pressure off high standards in that department, and for that reason I’m not so keen on The Elephant Coffee House.  Having said that it is a nice place to take a visitor to the city, especially if you can get a seat with a view.

The Elephant House on Urbanspoon

Arthur’s Seat and the Crags

15 Jun

Frederick’s Coffee House, Frederick Street

14 Jun

Frederick’s Coffee House

Score: 4/5

Best For: A relaxed break from shopping

Price: Cappuccino, £1.85; Tea, £1.85; Cake, £1.60 – £3.45

Much like spoon, it’s easy to miss this place due to its first floor location (above Blacks), but this place is worth a visit as it is bright and airy and an oasis of calm from the busy shops on Prince’s Street and George Street.  I spied it whilst waiting for a bus, and decided a visit was more interesting than a long wait in the cold.

They have clearly worked hard on the interior and it does look great.  There is a mix of seating with tables and chairs as well as sofas and comfy chairs.  I’d say my tea and cake were only really average, but they do have great coffee (thank you Anna for the tip!).

This café is certainly nicer than any of the near by chains, so if you are in the vicinity you should pop in.

Edinburgh’s Chimneys at Sunset

13 Jun

Leo’s Beanery, Howe Street

11 Jun


Score: 4/5 (so nearly a 5/5…)

Best For: Coffee with a Friend before/after hitting the Stockbridge charity shops.

Prices: Cappuccino, £1.90; Pot of tea, £2.40

Despite being below the level of the road this café manages to remain bright and airy.  It’s got a lovely calming interior and plenty of newspapers and magazines for your perusal which immediately makes you feel you can sit down and relax.  The staff are pleasant and I really like that they give you water with your coffee without even having to ask for it.  The service is table and the coffee was very good, though not the best I’ve had in Edinburgh.  I’m finding my scoring system a little restrictive.  Whilst the atmosphere and interior are fantastic, and the food and coffee are very nice I’m not sure it quite has the wow factor of a 5/5 establishment.  I’ll have to give it another go to make sure…

Captain Taylor’s Coffee House, South Bridge

7 Jun

Street Work

Score: 4/5

Best For: A quick stop off/meeting point/take away

Price: Cappuccino £2.00; Tea £1.40; Cake & Coffee £2.70

This is a cute little café and they certainly do produce delicious coffee (supplied by Artisan Roast), and good sandwiches and cakes.  There is an amazing cow in the back of this café and it is quirky and cool on the inside, but could do with a little more space. Pretty much all the seating in this café can be seen from the photo above as it’s all on a bench along the window.  From the outside you would imagine it to be much bigger, and indeed they are planning to expand the seating to downstairs though I believe that has been in the pipeline since October, so it’s probably not going to happen any time soon.  The seating is fine for a little bit, but it doesn’t make it somewhere you’d want to hang around for hours.

 This is a café with great potential but I guess the best thing about this café is  association with the charity Streetwork.  They work with people who, for whatever reason, have ended up living on the streets.  Their vision for this café is to establish a space that will provide training and employment for the homeless along with funding for their core services.  Therefore, every cup you buy will be helping them out a little.  For more information follow the link above.

Go check them out.  The coffee is great.

Top Tip: Hannah Zakari and Analogue Books

4 Jun

Half way down Candlemaker Row you will find these two little tresures.  One is Hannah Zakari a beautiful shop full of great jewelry, bags, stationary and lovely prints.  Perfect if you are shopping for gifts or treating yourself.  They also have a great range of cards if you are looking for something a bit different.

And right next door you’ll find Analogue Books which is an art book shop and gallery.  It’s fantastic for a good browse and you’re sure to find something truely original here.

A sunny evening at the Meadows

3 Jun

View from Arthur’s Seat on a Rainy Day

2 Jun

Whilst these may not have been the most pleasant conditions in which to climb Arthur’s Seat it certainly did provide some atmospheric views.  Edinburgh Castle looked very mysterious and the Cockenzie Power Station rather eerie.