Starbucks’ are great. You walk into one, you’ve walked into all of them – all over the world. So if working in a Starbucks is what you do, you sure won’t be disappointed.
But we’re not looking for the comforts of a familiar stomping ground. We’re looking for accessible wi-fi, seats, and access to plugs. Oh, and decent priced mocha apparently. The Starbucks on Lauriston had no plugs available, the one on Bread St. had no seats. And I’ve been told that Starbucks in the UK charge hard currency for access to their precious precious wi-fi.
So fuck that.
This place is chill. It’s smaller than the normal ones, which are bit crowded at times. The window seat is perfect – great view of the links and the best street-gazing of any café I currently am aware of, after perhaps the Elephant House. The mochas is awesome. The wireless is free and has never failed me. It’s open until six every day.
I also like the staff. Well, I would, as one of them is one of my good friends, and often has company, who I also know. So. Yes. Biased much?
But no, really, this place is great. The music is also good.
If you were to come, I would suggest walking over in December at around 3 when the light is failing. It’s beautiful walking across the golf course at that time.
If you didn’t know already, as I didnt – chai latte is amazing. Or, at least it is here. Tea Tree Tea is on Bread street, over new Tollcross. It’s a really light, airy café with white walls with cool pictures. I kind of expected more hipsters, but there’s a whole circle of girls knitting behind me, so I guess I can’t really complain about the lack of atmosphere.
There is wireless, and the password is easy, and it works. WPA, 1-8. And it’s not even BT, as far as I can tell. There’s also a massive Wifi symbol on the window, which is useful in case you doubted me.
Chairs are good. There is a nice plug next to a wide window seat with a long couch and a slightly water-stained Ikea table. This place is a total win.
Did I mention this chai latte is amazing?
I went here the other day. It’s across from Double Dutch and relatively new, in St. Patricks Square. I went for a full birthday lunch with some friends from Linguistics, and that’s pretty much what I got. It’s a bit expensive for the ‘let’s-go-study-and-sit’, but if you want a nice lunch, perhaps with a partner and aubergine, I would totally suggest it.
The coffee is great. I love Lebanese coffee.
I didn’t check the wireless. Mostly because I feel this is kind of a restaurant as opposed to a café. However – it looks very, very promising. Why? Because on the way out, at the tables outside the door, there was a guy smoking shisha.
Shisha is awesome.
Not, in fact, the Bongo Club.
I went here the other day. My esteemed colleague has already given his opinion. Let’s be brutally honest with you: we’re not here to review cafés. We don’t really care, most of the time, about the wallpaper or the taste of the caramel macciato. We’re here to review our experience of cafés. Which means how we, as students, broke, poor, informatic students, feel about a place.
Olly Bongos? I like it. It’s damn close to the university. 1 point. It’s got not one, but two really nice window seats. 2. They have plugs. 3. There is wireless in the form of edinburgh uni wireless. (I’m not sure about in-house; ask if you want to know.) 4. They have really, really good tea. I haven’t tried the coffee yet – rest assured, I will. 5.
I can’t really think of any drawbacks. My voice resonates: I think the person next to me got annoyed by that. But that’s not the establishment’s fault. The table is a bit too low, and you have to bend your neck a bit. Again, not really that much of an issue.
So, the meadow bar is pretty awesome, besides the fact that it has those weird divided doors that are heavy and some how impossible to get through. It has an upstairs, a downstairs, society nights, a function room, and chairs. There’s chairs most of the time, I’ve never seen this place full. It is also open late, which is a huge plus.
The music isn’t bad, either.
And there is wireless.
Really, I don’t see why I don’t go study in here more often.
No, really. I should. The chips are awesome. No word yet on the coffee – but hey, there is beer.
Today was the first time I’ve actually successfully remembered Olly Bongos name (hold on, is there an apostrophe in there?). The name is printed so teeny on front, I think most people are under the impression that it’s called “Cafe Bistro”. Or maybe it’s Cafe Bristo? That would be clever.
Anyway, I walked in, and one of the waiters helped me find a table with plugs, and I ordered some hot chocolate – cause lets be honest coffee tastes like ass – and a delicious apple pie. There wasn’t much hot chocolate, and I don’t really remember it tasting great, but the price was decent, and their Internet worked. It’s also possible to access both the Uni’s central and central-wpa wifi, so that’s another bonus. The chairs were too high for the table though, so I spent most of my time hunched over, which got to hurting my back pretty quick.
First off, I have no idea who thought up the company motto of “I think. Therefore I du Vin.” But it is kind of weird. Just saying.
Otherwise – yeah. It’s really, really, really classy. Like, leather chair classy. Like, finely polished wood classy. With fireplace.I’d kind of feel bad sitting in their café and doing work. (Is any one else annoyed by the use of é? I am. Too bad I can’t stop.) But it’s alright, because, as nice as the place is, and even though the gingerbread man was good – there’s no way I’m paying £3 for that caliber of coffee. At the end of the day, it’s just coffee, and I need bulk.
Go if you want to impress your parents, I suppose.
Oh, yeah, they have an outdoor fireplace as well. Kick-ass.
I changed my mind.
These guys don’t have wireless.
Although, they do have one, really nice window seat (when it’s free – read as: it’s never free). And their coffee is a cheap with the discount, if you remember it. And they do have a nice view out the back, say, if you had friends to go with you and talk instead of merely going to the café to study.
Unfortunately, I’m pretty much 100% an exclusive studier. And without wireless, I’d be back doing a Greek degree. Plus, the Elephant house is normally packed, so although it is open late, I’m just not convinced.
The worst thing about Edinburgh is that it is so ugly that walking is around is a horrible experience. There’s nothing worse than not knowing where to get coffee – Imagine the pain of having to trudge through the ugly, maggot-grey, victorian shite that is this pathetic slough of a hamlet. It’s made worse the fact that when it snows, the blinding purity of white serves merely to accent the hideous architecture. At least the ice that results partially covers the cobblestones.
Of course, all of that is completely ridiculous. Edinburgh is lovely. Driven out of my flat by the cold on a sunday afternoon, I spent a full thirty minutes before settling down in Café Jacques (Yes, it actually does have an accent on the é, which is awesome.) Once there, I got on the wireless. I’m not sure how. It wasn’t due to the password they gave me, so I’m assuming there is free wireless in the area (as well as a wireless called ‘euan’ – well done, Euan, for naming your wireless for yourself.) The coffee was alright, but I was a bit hurried along while drinking it. The place was a bit busy, being the grassmarket – but again, who cares? If I have coffee and internet, all is good. So – go here if you want a pretty walk.