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Baby friendly cafes in Edinburgh part 1: the cakey ones

cafe melang diary

I’ve been meaning to write this post for ages! It’s a resource I wish I had when I first had Milo, but when I googled it, all I found was a mumsnet thread on child friendly places, but that’s really not the same thing – when your baby is really small you don’t need a high chair, because they’re too small to sit in that, and you’re not worried about them running around causing havoc. But you do need space to put your buggy by the chair, and baby changing facilities. You’re likely also going to need space for more than one buggy.

This is what this list is about, although all these places are also great in their own right!

I’ve decided to divide this into two posts. Today: coffee and cake!

Here’s my selection, It’s slightly south side centric because that’s where we live now, if any readers have any suggestions for places elsewhere, please leave a comment.

Peter’s Yard. This is a big Swedish-themed café on Middle Meadow Walk that does amazing cinnamon and cardamom balls. And cardamom hot chocolate! There is space for buggies, but it’s communal tables and it does get really busy at the weekends, so more one for weekdays. It’s got a terrace as well, so if the weather is nice there’s plenty of space.
Quartermile, 27 Simpson Loan, EH3 9GG * website

Looking Glass Books. This is a bookshop café just round the corner from Peter’s Yard, tucked away in the middle of the new blocks of flats. It’s like a secret place. They have just four tables, but plenty of space around them. And of course it’s fun to browse the books and gifts. I would sound a note of caution in that last time I was there they had the surliest and most useless assistant who had to ask me ‘what kind of mocha I wanted’, then after I explained what a mocha was he brought me a cappuchino, but all other times I’ve been all the other staff have always been lovely, so hopefully he’ll leave or improve.
Quartermile, 36 Simpson Loan, EH3 9GG * website

Toast at the top of Marchmont Road. Has longer opening hours and is bigger than the other Marchmont cafes, where I’ve never managed to get a seat with Milo. Slightly less cake choice than some of the other places but all very tasty. Does food too, though I’ve never had that.
146 Marchmont Road, EH9 1AQ * website

Loudons. This has the same type of plain wooden tables Peter’s Yard (not sure if it’s the same owners), but scaled up with more space and non-communal tables. The cake is presented in a massive table right as you come in, so much choice with lots of gluten free options. Good for after the baby cinema in the Cameo or Filmhouse.
94b Fountainbridge, EH3 9QA * website

Loopy Lorna’s in the Church Hill Theatre in Morningside. This is my no 1 choice. It’s big, you always get a space, it’s always full of babies and kids, yet doesn’t have that manic atmosphere usually associated with kiddie-friendly places. Lot’s a of cake choice and knitted cozies for the teapots. Oh, and they give you nappies in the baby changing!
33A Morningside Road, EH10 4DR * website

Mimi’s Bakehouse at the Shore. I haven’t actually been there with Milo, but whenever I’ve been they’ve always had groups of new mums in and they’re super nice about it. Also, massive cake selection, changing daily.
63 Shore, EH6 6RA * website

Lovecrumbs. Vintage style, with mismatched furniture and hornsea crockery, and the cake is presented in a wardrobe. Cakes always top notch although I’ve found the coffee to be a bit hit and miss. They do have amazing flavoured hot chocolate though (rose, cardamom and orange I think are the three flavours). Also no dedicated baby changing though plenty space in the toilets. Hasn’t stopped me going there all the time!
155 West Port, EH3 9DP * website

Spoon. This is a funny one because it’s on the first floor so has about 20 steps to get in and no lift, just a stairlift that moves at a snails pace. But if you’re willing to carry the buggy up the stairs or leave it downstairs (there’s plenty of space), you’re rewarded with loads of space, a relaxed atmosphere and lovely vintage furniture. You can always get a seat! There’s a children’s corner with toys as well. Slightly smaller cake selection than some others but does food too (though I’ve never tried that).
6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH * website

Café at the Botanical Gardens East Gate. This is more a takeaway with chairs and tables on a terrace than a proper café, but if the weather is nice that’s perfect. There’s another café in the centre of the Botanics too, though that’s not that nice, and if it wasn’t outside shitty weather, you probably wouldn’t be there in the first place.
20A Inverleith Row, EH3 5LR (that’s the address for the Botanics as a whole) * Botanics website

I’d be grateful if people could link to this post so that it makes it into the google search results so future new mums have it a bit easier! And please, do tell me about thing I’ve missed!

See part 2, a list of baby friendly restaurants/food places here.

Illustration by hyoin min is clickable for source

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jen 16 September 2013, 8:42 pm

    My baby is 7 now, but when we next come to Edinburgh we are going to visit some of these. Thank you so much for the recommendations and the lovely illustration.

  • Wendy @ Moral Fibres 25 September 2013, 9:02 am

    This is a great list Franca – I agree with all of these! I visit all of these places on a regular basis – surprised I haven’t bumped into you yet! Loopy Lorna’s is my favourite too!

    My only gripe with Peter’s Yard is the one on the Meadows doesn’t have any highchairs (Stockbridge one does though) and they don’t do kids portions of food (though they did kindly split my massive bowl of soup into two bowls for my daughter and I to share).

    I’d also add the Youth Hostel on the corner of Annandale St/Leith Walk to your list. I know, a youth hostel doesn’t immediately spring to mind as being baby friendly, but it does have a good cafe that serves you massive slices of cake really cheaply (I couldn’t eat all of mine!) and there is a little free softplay room for kids that patrons of the cafe can use. There’s heaps of room for buggies too, there’s baby changing and staff are always friendly and helpful.

    There’s also a few good places in Stockbridge. Skylark and another one that I can’t remember the name (really useful, I know!) that does parent and baby afternoons, where you can get cake and coffee cheaply and they do free baby-cinos.
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    • Franca 25 September 2013, 11:09 am

      Sadly my coffee drinking will be pretty limited from now on, as I’m working Mon-Thu and take Milo swimming on Friday morning. I’ve never heard of skylark, I’m not in stockbridge very often, though I do think I know which one it is! Let me know what the other is if you remember!