Tag Archives: New Town

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.

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.

Broughton St. Mary’s Parish Church

18 Jan

Artisan Roast, Broughton Street

9 Dec

www.artisanroast.co.uk

Score: 5/5

Best Coffee in Town

Price: Cappuccino £1.50; Hot Chocolate £2.00; Tea £2.00

Don’t let this coffee shop’s facade fool you.  It may not at first strike you as the high quality establishment it is, but go in, order a coffee and prepare to be amazed.  Here they roast their own coffee, and all the baristas are passionate about their art and could talk for hours about the coffee they make.  They supply many of the cafés and restaurants in and around Edinburgh and have a well deserved reputation for serving the best coffee in the city.  It is also the cheapest.  There seems to be a trend for good coffee costing less which is a little bizarre but there you have it.  If you really loved it, you can even buy your own coffee here and take back home the Artisan Roast experience.  I’m thinking this might make a good christmas present.

If you are not a fan of coffee, don’t worry – either you will be converted or you can have an amazing hot chocolate or delicious cup of tea.  I know someone who actually refers to Artisan Roast as the Hot Chocolate Shop he likes the hot chocolate there so much.  The white chocolate with lavender in particular is to be recommended.

The interior is cozy and the walls are covered in old hessian sacks making it feel very homey.  All this is topped off with excellent background music.

Had this coffee shop been open when JK Rowling was still writing in cafés, I’m sure she would have regularly frequented Artisan Roast.

Artisan Roast on Urbanspoon

Edit: Artisan Roast has been redecorated and looks lovely, though not exactly as you see it in the photos.  Hessian sacks allong that wall have been replaced by a sleek coat of white paint and it looks fresh and lovely, but still maintains it’s cosy feel.

The Dome, George Street

7 Dec

This place sometimes has face snow being pumped out from the roof.  No need for that at the moment.

Back Streets in New Town

26 Nov

Basement Stairs, New Town

19 Nov

Those are some mighty hardy flowers.

Sunshine on a Rainy Day, The Balmoral Hotel

18 Nov

Governor’s House, Calton Hill

17 Nov

Top Tip: Edinburgh Printmakers Studio & Gallery, Union Street

13 Nov

www.edinburgh-printmakers.co.uk

I love prints, I think they are exceptionally beautiful and have a warm texture I find very appealing.  I’d love to enrol myself onto one of their courses but can’t quite bring myself to stump up the cash.  Having said that, they represent good value for money, so if you have an artistic side you’d like to let loose, this could be the perfect vent.  If you enjoy looking more than doing, check out their gallery.  Upstairs there is a window onto the studio so you can watch the artists at work!

Eteaket, Frederick Street

11 Nov

www.eteaket.co.uk

Score: 3/5

Specialises in: Wonderful Tea

Price: Tea £2.10-2.85; cappuccino £2.35; Cake £1.85

In Eteaket you can, without doubt, have a fantastic cup of tea.  They treat tea very seriously with a great ceremony which enhances the whole tea drinking experience wonderfully.  There is also a boutique where you can purchase leaf tea, along with a whole lot of tea related paraphernalia.

What lets it down are all the things surrounding the tea particularly the cake and the service.  They do have table service, but three times I’ve been there, been sat down with a menu and waited so long for my order that I had to get up and find someone who would take it, even when it’s not busy.  This rather defeats the point and is very frustrating.  The cakes are nothing to write home about, I’ve tried various different types and haven’t been amazed by anything.  Their scones are large and dry, and the above croissant was OK but not great.

The décor is lovely, but somehow I find that the hard modernity of it jars with their equally lovely chintz tableware.  I understand why they went for a very modern look, they didn’t want it to feel like your grandmother’s living room, but somehow, for me it doesn’t work.  Either they should have gone one way or the other, chintz or modern, but not both.

On weekends, this café is absolutely ram packed, service is not good and you end up feeling flustered as opposed to relaxed.  I’d suggest purchasing their tea, then drinking it at home.  During the week however, if you get the chance to go during the day, it is actually very nice.  It is quiet, they have free wi-fi, their tables are a good size for solo working and you can sit with a wonderful pot of tea without feeling rushed.  Don’t order cake, you’ll only be disappointed.

Eteaket on Urbanspoon

Top Tip: Thistle Street Shops

9 Nov

http://www.thistlest.com/

There are some lovely independent shops to be found along Thistle Street.  Their wares may be a little pricey, but if you have some birthday or Christmas money to burn or enjoy a good browse, this is a fantastic place to head.  There is also some great eating and drinking to be done here.  It’s definitely worth a visit.

The Scottish Café, National Galleries of Scotland

8 Nov

http://www.thescottishcafeandrestaurant.com/home.html

Score 4/5

Great for: Afternoon tea with a view

Price: Cream/ tea £5.00, Cappuccino £2.50, Tea £2.00/2.50, Cake £2.95

A trip to the National Galleries wouldn’t be complete without visiting this great café, which to be honest, is worth a trip all of its own.  Cakes are of your traditional British variety, and whilst they do carry with them a great sense of nostalgia, they don’t quite hit the mark.  The cakes aren’t as good as your mum’s (though they are good) and the scones, whilst delicious themselves, come with whipped not clotted cream.  As a south westerner, this is a big no-no.  If you really can’t provide clotted cream, go with butter.  Whipped cream just doesn’t cut it, the texture isn’t right and if you leave it for too long it starts to melt and lose it’s air which is very off putting.  As for the tea, it was good not great.

So, if the food isn’t amazing how come this place gets a 4 and not a 3/5.  Well, that all comes down to the beautiful surroundings.  You just can’t beat the view and the huge windows frame it beautifully.  The service is fantastic, the tables are spacious and it never feels overcrowded.  It’s a very relaxing place and manages to be sleek and sophisticated without being snobby and pretentious.  Come here to while away an hour or so with a special friend for a good gossip.  Bliss.

The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Edinburgh Street Art, NW Thistle St. Lane

26 Oct

Edinburgh is not a city best known for it’s street art, but if you look carefully enough you can find a few gems.

Valvona & Crolla in Jenners, Princes Street

23 Oct

Score: 4/5

Best for: A Shopping Spree Pit Stop

Wow Factor:  Fantastic views of Prince’s Street Gardens (through anti-pigeon netting)

Prices: Cappuccino £2.25; Tea £2.25

This café is the perfect antidote to the hectic Prince’s Street crowds.  Navigate your way to the far corner of the Valvona & Crolla delicatessen and you’ll find yourself at a small cafe with a table that runs along the window.  The seating here is limited and it can be hard to find a space on a busy day, but it’s well worth it.  The views across Prince’s Street Gardens are wonderful, particularly in December with all the beautiful lights of the fair and the Christmas Market.  Both the tea and the coffee are good but what I enjoy most is the chocolate cake, which is to die for and comes highly recommended.  I wouldn’t recommend this place for more than two people because the seating arrangement does not lend itself to groups, with everyone sitting in a row.  This cafe is only let down by its service.  The staff themselves are very pleasant, but they always seem over stretched.  You are left standing around for a while for your coffee before you can go and sit down which feels a little strange.  If the coffee was brought to you at your seat once ordered, this place would get full marks but I think they’d need more staff for that.

Overall, this café has a great atmosphere and good quality produce.  It is definitely worth a visit if you’re getting stressed out by hordes of shoppers!