BookNook: The Storytelling Cafe

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

As a Theology student in Edinburgh, I hear a lot about John Knox. In fact, there is even an intimidating statue of him in the courtyard outside of New College – he stares down on all that enter, condemning those that do not subscribe to the literal word of God as written in the Bible.

What is the reason for my preamble about John Knox? Well, it just so happens that his house hosts Edinburgh’s Storytelling Centre at the bottom of the Royal Mile and attached to the Centre is the cracking Storytelling Café. It’s a rainy, already-dark-outside, Friday afternoon and I’m currently devouring a very gooey slab of post-tutorial chocolate brownie.

I’ve walked past this place many a time en route to my German classes at Paterson’s Land but have never had time to stop in. The décor is simple and functional but the cakes are sublime and they put an extra shot of coffee into my drink (hallelujah) without needing to be asked. Having said that, it is somewhat concerning that I look so awful that total strangers are offering me extra doses of caffeine at no additional charge. Hurrah for the end of third year essay season, whereupon one realizes that they have yet more essays due in a mere three weeks!

Regardless, this is exactly the comfort I need to kickstart what promises to be a long and boring weekend at the library. I’ve spent all week trying to (physically – I hid it behind our grotty microwave for a few days) avoid my copy of Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals through sheer terror of the essay that lies inevitably ahead but I fear it is time to face my demons.

However, before I do I am just going to enjoy “a couple of pages” of Alexander McCall Smith’s The Forever Girl – which, in case anyone was curious, seems to be his take on Nicholls’ One Day. Oh, and I’m definitely going to have to come back to try the scones.

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