During our trip to Edinburgh in Scotland in October, my friend Elki and I scored with the location of our hotel. Hotel du Vin is charming, cozy, and near everything. Admittedly, it wasn’t easy lugging our suitcases uphill, but it was worth it. We were a little creeped out to find out that it was also near the cemetery where we took a Haunted Graveyard Tour. While walking around to acquaint ourselves with the area, we passed a coffee shop named The Elephant House with a sign saying it’s Harry Potter’s birthplace and wondered what that could be about. Hours later, I remembered that J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter in a coffee shop in Scotland. (When I was still a student, my friends and I would ask each other trivia questions about Harry and J.K. – such geeks!) We figured it must be a really popular tourist spot, so when we passed by it at night and there was no queue, we took advantage and went in. All tables were taken, but luckily there were some free seats at the bar.
The café has a certain enchanting and comfortable vibe – a personality that lacks in the run-of-the-mill coffee chains that we see so often nowadays. No baristas shouting your name (or made-up coffee house names) across the room, and no fancy synonyms for small, medium, large. I really loved Elephant House’s assortment of teas. I ordered tea and Malteser cake made of Maltesers, caramel and shortbread. If I could, I would only eat Malteser-everything. So good. Perfect for ending a cold, rainy evening.
Unfortunately, I did not get any magical, best-selling idea for a book while there, but I did get to sneak a pic of me pretending to think while having tea.
The Elephant House
21 George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EN