Famously a haunt of J K Rowling, The Elephant House is a wonderful coffee shop in Edinburgh’s Old Town.
It’s a charming mixture of classic tea room trim, ornate chandeliers and….. elephants. Lots and lots of elephants.
My companion and I, lucky to find a seat on a busy Friday afternoon, parked ourselves by a window with a view of the castle. We chatted about Edinburgh (it was my first visit) and did the crossword, and I could have happily stayed there for hours.
I had a couple of coffees. Both were very good, although not (in hindsight) my favourite of the weekend. Also, I’m told the hot chocolate might not be as good as that on offer elswhere in Scotland’s capital.
But the draw of The Elephant House is its personality. It’s a place to tutor pretty young lady undergraduates in the ways of sodium chloride (the couple opposite), to beaver away at a laptop (the bloke on the next table) and to while away the years writing books about wizards.
There’s tradition and warmth here, and a good dollop of humour. It’s not just any old coffee shop.
21 George IV Bridge
We visited on 24 October 2008.