Tag Archives: Old Town

Balcony Café, National Museum of Scotland

12 Nov

Score: 4/5

Prices: Average (tea/coffe and cake for under £5)

Best For: Relaxing after taking a stroll around the museum

I’ll admit that it was very close to closing time when I got to this café, hence the tea in a cardboard cup (usually you would have a china cup and tea-pot) and the slightly sad-looking piece of cake.  I have therefore been generous with my score because I think this café would usually be much nicer than my experience of it.  There was very little cake left, and crumbs all over the place which didn’t make it seem all that inviting but it was delicious (orange cake – yummy) and I’m sure they were just sold out because the other cakes were equally good.  They have a wide selection of loose teas, I had ginger and camomile.  The set up of the café is also lovely, on a balcony (as the name would suggest) and beautiful and bright.  You can people watch to your heart’s content and soak in the precious light.  It’s a lovely place to stop for a minute when you actually at the museum, but I don’t think I’d make a special trip just to go to the café.


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.

Kilimanjaro Coffee, Nicolson St.

12 May

Score: 4/5

Best for: Reading a paper in afternoon sunshine/catching up with friends

Price: Cappuccino, £1.95

I don’t know why it took me so long to visit Kilimanjaro Coffee.  I’d heard great things about it, but I think something about the red and yellow of the shop front made me think it was going to be very oppressive inside.  How wrong I was.  It is light and airy and has a perfect café atmosphere: relaxed and inviting.  You feel like to could happily spend hours chilling out in this space.  It’s a calming sanctuary from the bustle of Nicholson Street.  There is a lovely and varied crowd of patrons from locals to students.  Add to that a delicious tasting coffee brought straight to your table and I’m a happy bunny.  Nothing to complain about here.

Full Moon over St Giles’ Cathedral

19 Jan

The moon was stunning this evening – did you see it?

Happy New Year!

6 Jan

A little belated I know, but I am now back in Edinburgh after a little Christmas hiatus.  I am very excited about getting back into the swing of things in Edinburgh, getting some great shots of the city, exploring more cafés and of course eating cake.  Yum.  Here is a snap taken from the Castle in Edinburgh, beautiful wintry weather.  I’m afraid I didn’t review this cafe, having paid the earth to get into the Castle I rather objected to spending even more once inside.  Sorry about that.

Another little piece of news: one of my photos made it into the COLLECTIVE 5!  Can you guess which one?

I hope you guys all had a wonderful Christmas and have a great 2011.


More Snow in Edinburgh, Mound Place

21 Dec

St Giles’ Cathedral Ceiling

12 Dec

St Giles’ Cathedral in the snow

6 Dec

New College, University of Edinburgh

2 Dec

The Edinburgh Larder, Blackfriars Street

27 Nov


Score: 5/5

Perfect for:  Catching up with a friend whilst eating and drinking well.

Prices: Cappuccino £2.05; Tea £2.00; Cake £2.50; Afternoon Tea £4.50;

I’m going to share with you one of my favorite places which seems to be a bit of an Edinburgh secret.  This little establishment just off the Royal Mile only seats 20, but for reasons I can’t fathom isn’t often full.  It is a delightful little place which is comfortable, relaxed and bright, these photographs really don’t do it justice.  Their tea is from Eteaket, their coffee from Artisan Roast and their deli sells the most delicious things either made in Edinburgh itself, or elsewhere in Scotland.  It’s hard to go wrong when you stock top ingredients, and not only are their teas and coffees good, but the cakes are also brilliant.  This time I went and had afternoon tea.  The scone was HUGE, but fresh and delicious and served with clotted cream and jam.  Perfect.  Service is also top notch.  There is really nothing to complain about here.

If you find yourself in the centre of town, do stop in here and give this place a try.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

The Edinburgh Larder on Urbanspoon

The Storytelling Café, Royal Mile

24 Nov

Score: 3/5

Great for: Watching the world go by / Families with small children

Price: Cappuccino £2.25; Tea £1.85; Cake £1.85-3.25

This lovely little café, which can be found inside the Scottish Storytelling Center, is a great spot for some delicious cake!  Above you’ll see an absolutely delicious raspberry & almond tart, which was perfect for casting off those wet winter blues.  They have an enormous selection, all displayed in a tantalising and beautiful fashion at the counter.   The coffee here is not good, I ordered a cappuccino and it was too hot (I burnt my tongue), bitter and milk just sat on-top of the coffee, there was no nice silky gradient.  They clearly don’t have a passion about coffee in this café but they do have a passion about cakes and this does go some way in alleviating the disappointment.  I would suggest ordering tea.

The decor is lovely with nice chunky wooden tables and chairs and it’s a very relaxing place to settle down.  When it’s quiet, this café has table service, and when busy it’s best to order at the counter.  If you fancy doing some work, they have large tables and they also have free wifi.  One of the best things about this place though, is the large window facing onto the Royal mile.  You can sit with your cup of tea, and enjoy the people watching from this prime spot.  After your break you can check out their bookshop and any displays they have on.  I’d say this place is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

Grey Day

22 Nov

Bring on some sunshine, this is miserable.

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

Victoria Street

15 Nov

Another great spot for some fantastic independent shops.

Old College, University of Edinburgh

10 Nov