BookNook is a feature in which Fiona Grew shares her favourite spots around Edinburgh to sit and enjoy a good read.
“You’ve never been to Urban Angel? You haven’t lived,” my flat-mate’s friend tells me on Sunday morning, having crashed on our sofa after attending a school-reunion turned boozy night at The Shack. So now it is Tuesday morning and, thoroughly disappointed with the amount of procrastination achieved yesterday, I thought I would treat myself to breakfast in the hope that it would be a good start to a productive day (and offer much needed energy after the gruelling Yoga class I attended last night – back bending is unnatural, everything is aching).
There is a little bar at the front of Urban Angel, with space for one person to sit right in the window looking out on the bottom of Hanover Street. Here I have parked myself, with the staff chatting away behind me about today’s menu choices and a large bowl of the most amazing muesli, yogurt and fruit compôte next to me (I didn’t dare to totally undo the effects of the Yoga class by choosing something heartier!). There’s plenty of space for me to get some work done without distractions but there’s also a good buzz in Urban Angel, with staff who are genuinely chatty and welcoming.
It’s refreshing to spend some time away from the central area, where students are almost certain to bump into someone they know in any of the favourite coffee haunts local to Bristo Square. No doubt I sound highly antisocial but surely it is not just me that has a love-hate relationship with the fourth floor of the library for the very reason that it is so social and distracting! It is also a relief to find a relaxed enough atmosphere to feel comfortable sitting alone and working without resorting to a Starbucks.
The staff are friendly, the food/coffee is great and I like that this window seat is solitary. This is the perfect New Town location for alone time with my book.