Last year, I wrote a piece on the best places to get cake in Edinburgh on a Sunday afternoon. I still go for cake most Sundays (and quite a few Saturdays) but I no longer go to the same places. Here’s some of the places I’ve been to in the last 12 months.
Part tea shop, part tea house and part antique shop, Anteaques offers a great range of teas (including an extra smokey Lapsang that I rather adore) as well as tarts, Dundee cake, scones and truffles. (And all kinds of antique china, furniture and objet d’art.) They have very few covers so you’re best calling to book a table. Once there, enjoy the crisp white table cloths, well mannered service and the elegant glass tea pots. Am rather a fan of a pot of tea and a selection of truffles of a Sunday afternoon, surrounded by precious things. There’s something about Anteaques that makes me want to converse. They’re open till six on a Sunday, and since they’re on Clerk Street, Anteaques is a great place to go after a walk in the Meadows or an afternoon of secondhand shopping in Newington.
A bright new kid on the university block, Brewlab does coffee slightly differently from every one else. No screaming espresso machines here, instead there’s an intricate brewing system that’s supposed to make the coffee better. I have mine with more milk than coffee so can’t tell the difference, but I enjoy the gym hall floors, exposed brick walls and benches of this instantly popular café. They do nice soups and sandwiches, have pastries large and small and I’m rather fond of the lemon and rosemary cake. It’s always fairly busy and I enjoy the mix of people chatting or working, young and old. Since it’s on South College Street it’s handy for Jordan Valley Foods and Blackwells for leisurely Sunday afternoon shopping.
I’m still a fan of Cuckoos and their delivery service is brilliant. They have have a great selection of standard cup cakes and do different specials every week. You’ll find out what the specials are by following them on Facebook. I haven’t made it down for the double dipper – a chocolate cake with Italian meringue that’s dipped in chocolate – but have had several of their other cakes. My Easter gift to C. was their Easter collection (and yes, I ate half of them so strictly speaking, it was a gift for both of us) and it was very well received. Cuckoo’s is on Dundas Street and I must admit that it’s not a place I ever walk past – if I go there, it’s to go to Cuckoos. The café is bright and cheerful with white walls and a central temptation, sorry, display, of cup cakes large and small.
A new player on the cake stage, Lovecrumbs has amazing and generous cakes. The café is hidden away on West Port, at the top of the hump, just before it dips down towards Grassmarket. Here, you can get large and tasty cakes and tea with a thermos of hot water to top your cup up. There are tarts, layered cakes, cheese cakes and scones, all impossibly large on display but luckily normally manageable on the plate. The apple and toffee cake is fab although I couldn’t eat all the icing. I didn’t have that problem with the dulce the leche cheese cake. The vibe is relaxed, the cups unmatched and the tables charmingly worn. Staff are sometimes a little grumbly but the cake makes up for it.
If you want to find out more about Lovecrumbs, read our review.
And in other news…
You can now get cinnamon buns in Stockbridge: Peter’s Yard has opened a café there. They are not the only café with more that’s branched out. Earthy, my favourite place for weekend lunch, has a second unit in Canonmills. I prefer the original café, but its good to see Earthy’s combination of shop and café reach other parts of town.
6-8 South College Street,
Edinburgh EH8 9AA
Telephone: 0131 662 8963
1-6 Canonmills Bridge, Canonmills
Edinburgh, EH3 5LF
Telephone (café): 0131 556 9696
155 West Port
Edinburgh, EH3 9DP
Telephone: 0131 629 0626
Peter’s Yard, Stockbridge
3 Deanhaugh Street, Stockbridge
Telephone: 0131 332 2901