BookNook: The Scottish Cafe

BookNook is a weekly feature in which Fiona Grew shares her favourite spots around Edinburgh to enjoy a good read.

“I liked the library before it was cool to be here,” exclaimed a friend of mine when I ran into him in the HUB last week. Unable to find a seat, he was disgruntled to find that regular library users do not have some kind of priority status in peak busy periods. In conclusion, the library is currently crammed to the rafters with students stressing about essay deadlines. As such, I (unsurprisingly) took myself far away, to work productively elsewhere.

Studying with a nice view is important for us Edinburgh folk. We like to look out at the rooftops from the fifth floor of the library or the thirteenth floor of David Hume Tower. We like to lunch in the wood-panelled glory of Rainy Hall in New College. We love to brag by sharing online the scenic snaps we take whilst strolling through the meadows daily. So what could be more appealing than relocating to The Scottish Café at the National Gallery? It is hardly off-the-beaten-track but with one wall of floor-to-ceiling glass looking out over the Princes Street Gardens, this is definitely studying with a view.

I have had my share of stress this week, with two essays due in on Thursday, and it is a huge relief to spend time away from the library. Fortunately enough, the set reading for my final class of the week (Fridays at 3pm – which should be a drag due to the timing but is actually my favourite!) was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. So I can smugly say that reading ‘the Battle of Hogwarts’ here counts as a productive morning.

It is getting too cold to sit outside with a book for any length of time, as I would dearly love to do, but The Scottish Café is definitely the next best thing. Moreover, they actually sell afternoon tea for one… I haven’t tried it but I am glad to see that they welcome solitary visitors (like myself) with open arms!   

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