Tag Archives: light

Day Trip: National Museum of Scotland

6 Nov

Have you visited the newly refurbished National Museum of Scotland yet?  Because if you haven’t you really should try to make some time to go.  It is sad to see the loss of the gold-fish ponds, and it’s a little strange entering the museum in the basement as opposed to the grand entrance, but the displays are simply beautiful.  I particularly enjoyed the natural history section which has just the most amazing taxidermy.  How can you not fall in love with that cheeky giraffe.  It makes for a great day trip, and they have a nice café where you can refresh yourself, aswell as their wonderful roof terrace with unique views of the city, but more about them later…


Le Café Royale, Royal Mile

7 Feb

Score: 3/5

Good For: Escaping Royal Mile Madness/A nice pick-me-up on a rainy day

Price: Cappuccino, £2.20

If you pick the right spot there is a delightful view of Calton Hill from this café.  This is just perfect if you are in need of an escape from the rain and just want to sit down and relax with a book and a coffee.  The large windows make sure that this north facing cafe is always filled with light and there is a very pleasant atmosphere inside, with bare stone walls covered in beautiful prints of Edinburgh.  The only downside is that the table with the best view also has a large panel of menus stuck to the window, slightly obscuring the view once you’re sitting down.  You have to sit up very straight to take it in, so I guess it’s good for your posture!

As for the coffee, I have no complaints though it didn’t blow me away.  I’m afraid I didn’t have any cake here, though I hear they do a good apple pie.

All in all, a nice little place with a light and relaxed air.  The only thing that puzzles me is the French name.  I don’t feel like this place exudes a French atmosphere and they don’t sell particularly French products so it just seems bizarre to give it a foreign name.  So, francophiles take note.  I wouldn’t want you to be disappointed by entering under false pretences.

Peter’s Yard, Quartermile

16 Nov


Score: 5/5

Perfect for: Any occasion – working, chilling, gossiping, impressing, first dating.

Price: Coffee £2.40; Pastry £2.10

I cannot shower this little establishment with enough praise.  Their produce is top-notch, and the atmosphere they create is pitch perfect.  The modern interior is a stark contrast to most of the café’s you will find in old tenement buildings in Edinburgh, and the three walls of windows flood the space with light (a precious commodity in Edinburgh during the winter months).  The coffee is delicious and silky smooth and their pastries are scrummy.  If you are able to walk past this place without succumbing to the lure of a cinnamon bun, you are a stronger person than I, especially now that they’ve opened up smaller shop just behind their present café precisely for the purpose of take aways.

You’ll find a lot of people sitting working in the light and airy room, and the communal table in the center is a great place to spread out when it’s quiet.  You will equally find plenty of people just sitting here enjoying the café and their company.  There are smaller tables for more intimate catch-ups and if you’re lucky enough to get them, some comfy chairs to chill out in as a group.  It manages to bridge many niches and pulls in a very varied and interesting crowd.

Come in, make your order, sit down with your pastry of choice and wait for your amazing coffee, or delicious tea to arrive.  Marvel at its beauty, then savor the taste.  Quite why anyone would choose to go to the next door Starbucks over Peter’s Yard is quite beyond me.

It can get quite busy around lunchtime.  That’s pretty much the only downside as far as I can tell.

Peter's Yard on Urbanspoon

Edinburgh Rain

29 Oct

Last night I ended up walking for 40 minutes it the rain which was less than pleasant.  On the upside, it did make the cobbles and tarmac considerably more beautiful than normal.