Ah, autumn in Edinburgh. The realisation that we are already a solid three weeks into first term is reason enough to perhaps crack open a book instead of watching DIY videos on YouTube with no intention on DIY-ing anytime soon. However, if studying in halls or your flat provides too much temptation to crawl under your duvet and nap, and the main library is certainly out of the question – even if you can find a seat, the atmosphere is nonexistent and the fluorescent lights dampen your spirits.
Perhaps you like a cheeky bev when analysing an academic article or a bit of light background noise. Maybe the heating is broken in your flat and you just need to find somewhere warm to work. In any case, these cosy bars can provide just what you need for a Sunday evening study (or any other day you may choose).
Akva is a Scandinavian bar off Lothian Road. It is massive, with a sprawling ground floor and lofted first floor with numerous nooks and crannies for you and your stack of books to hide. It also has a few ping pong tables for stress relief – hitting things with paddles has a 100 per cent chance of improving productivity (well maybe not always) – and an excellent cocktail menu for when Foucault’s theories become too much to handle.
Next is The Ventoux in Tollcross, a cool and cosy little pub hang out. Its proximity to George Square makes it a convenient place to head to after being traumatised by the state of the library. It boasts a fish tank, which I find to be an excellent source of procrastination – who doesn’t love watching fish scour algae off coral? No one, that’s who. It is a super relaxed option with cafe vibes; feel free to alternate spirits and espresso as you study away the evening.
And of course, the perennially hip Checkpoint, which is just a few steps away from the remnants of Bristo Square. It is super spacious, literally never closed (okay, occasionally closed) and serves food until late so you can not only drink quietly in the corner while you work, you can snack quietly in the corner while you work.
Let’s face it, studying in bars is has so many advantages over studying in the library. Now it is up to you to choose your study place, and leave the library behind.
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