Tag Archives: Recommended

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.



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.

Spoon Café, Nicolson Street

24 Feb


Score: 4/5

Great for: Working in groups/A wonderful cup of tea, in pleasant surroundings

Price: Tea £1.90, Cappuccino £2.20, Cake £4.50+

I have often walked past Spoon Café many times but never really thought to go in.  I think I was always put off by the fact that, because it’s on the first floor, you can’t look in through the window to see what it’s like before taking the plunge and entering.  I’d feel rood walking in, and turning straight around if I thought it wasn’t my scene.  However, on the recommendation of a friend I decided to pay this café a visit.  I was not disappointed.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but I certainly didn’t think I’d find such a chilled out relaxing environment.  There are a mix of tables (small and large) and sofas and the large, bright room is separated by book shelves, folding screens, pot plants and standing lamps giving the room a very lived-in, chilled out atmosphere.  The vintage wallpaper, furniture and tea cups all add to its charm.

I had a homemade ginger and lemon tea which was delicious.  They don’t really have cakes and if you want something sweet you’ll have to order it from the eating menu, which makes it a little more expensive than your average tea-shop cake, but I’m sure they are very good.

The only thing that lets this place down slightly (and the reason it doesn’t get a 5/5) is the grumpy and slow service.  A smile is all I ask for.

If you, like I, have walked past this place time and again always choosing Black Medicine over Spoon, I say think again.  Try it.  You’ll love it.

And here I something else I found:

Spoon Cafe Bistro on Urbanspoon

Artisan Roast, Broughton Street

9 Dec


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 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

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

Top Tip: Edinburgh Printmakers Studio & Gallery, Union Street

13 Nov


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!

The Fruitmarket Gallery Café, Market Street

27 Oct


Score: 5/5

Perfect for: Taking your mum out for tea

Prices: Cappuccino £2.55, Tea £1.85 , Cake £1.95

The Fruitmarket Gallery is one of my favorite places in Edinburgh.  Not only is it a fantastic contemporary art gallery with constantly changing exhibitions, it also has a fabulous bookshop packed with quirky books you won’t find anywhere else and one of the best cafés in Edinburgh.  You are seated and served at a table so there is no stress involved.  Just sit down, make your order and relax.  As for the order itself, the cakes are delectable, their coffee is perfectly good and tea is served in a tea-pot with a tea-cup, a necessity in my eyes.  Try their rhubarb tart with crème fraiche and root ginger, or their orange & almond polenta cake.  Yum.

The Fruitmarket Gallery Café may dissapoint slightly if you are a coffee or tea purist, but it ticks enough boxes to get full marks from me.  It’s right next to Waverley train station, so if you’re travelling anywhere, schedule in some extra time to pop in.  It’s also a great place to bring your parents if they come up to visit, trust me they’ll love it.  A little bit of luxury in the centre of town.

Their current exhibition, Martin Creed’s ‘Down Over Under’, finishes on Sunday so go quickly!  It’s a fun and interactive exhibition that “focuses on stacking and progression in size, height and tone” (http://fruitmarket.co.uk/exhibitions/current/).  It has musical stairs and a singing lift.  You just can’t beat that.  Take a group of friends, have fun trying to make some music, then eat cake.

The Fruitmarket Gallery on Urbanspoon