BookNook is a weekly feature in which Fiona Grew shares her favourite spots around Edinburgh to enjoy a good read.
“Lovely day for a mojito,” the barman says as he’s mashing together that perfect combination of Bacardi, lime, sugar and fresh mint for me. Mojito’s are my favourite cocktail – they remind me of my sweet-toothed best friend, Jessie, who always asks the barman for extra sugar (and I’m talking please-hand-me-the-bottle-of-syrup kind of extra rather than a cursory additional spoonful) and nibbles on the mint from my glass.
It’s 4.30pm on Friday afternoon and if I had any doubts about the appropriateness of enjoying a drink this early the elderly gentleman enjoying a pint (whilst reading the papers) at the table next to me has assuaged them.
It’s been a bad week. On Monday I faced the petrifying realization that I had two essays due in less than three weeks time. On Tuesday, I dropped my computer on the floor. On Wednesday, I had technical difficulties that prevented me watching The Great British Bake Off final live. Altogether, I felt in need of a pick-me-up.
So here I am – Blackbird. I originally had other ideas for this column but on Wednesday the wooden tables, open brick walls and mismatched chairs of Blackbird sprung to mind with such force that I could not resist them. I arrived an hour ago, stumbled through the doorway and had a nice chat with the barman whilst he made my drink. He may have been inwardly judging me but I was impressed by his supportive attitude towards my (potentially dubious) life choice to work whilst enjoying a cocktail.
I’m not sure if cocktails in the late afternoon are the path to a better life or not (at any rate, I’m fairly sure it isn’t the path to better grades) but they do also sell yummy food and non-alcoholic beverages all day if that is more to general taste! Either way, I’m going to sit back and enjoy my mojito whilst I make a start on re-reading Northern Lights for next week’s science and religion seminar.