Posts Tagged With: Bathroom

Mimi’s Bakehouse

Mimi’s Bakehouse is a tearoom I’ve been wanting to visit for some time. It’s situated in the Leith area of Edinburgh, a part of the city I know reasonably well, having inhabited three different flats in the vicinity.

Edinburgh, and Leith in particular, has been on my mind quite a bit lately. In the past couple of weeks I’ve read two Ian Rankin books set in Edinburgh, and the main character in my own novel (still under construction, currently at 25,000 words) lives in Leith.

All of this, combined with my desire to meet up with a chum who lives in the great metropolis, led to me nipping down there last week.

The day was dreich (wet, damp, dull and – some might say – a bit miserable) but, arriving a bit early, I wandered round some of my old haunts.

One never knows, on revisiting a place, quite what one’s feelings will be. I was half expecting to be irritated by the noise and traffic, put off by the general busyness of the city, which has sometimes been the case when I’ve been back to Edinburgh after my quiet life in leafy Perthshire. However, I was surprised to find that I felt happy, exhuberant and delighted to be back. Quite a few of Leith’s streets are cobbled, rather than covered with tarmac (is this known in the US as asphalt? I’ve never been too sure): I was glad to see this old chap again, a fellow I often used to walk past and bid good day to: Although some of the shops, pubs, cafes, etc. have changed since I was last here, it was reassuring to see that some looked exactly as I’d left them. This wee pub has probably looked much the same for the past 200 years, dating back as it does to 1785: Inside, Mimi’s provided a bright and welcoming contrast to the weather. Indeed, far from feeling the chill outside, the ladies on the wallpaper appeared to be feeling the heat: We opted to sit in one of the sofa areas, which was decorated with some stylish cushions: The main point of interest to my mind, however, was the cake counter. I opted for the coffee and walnut: If I’d been in a chocolate mood I would have found this creation hard to resist: And if I’d been craving the malty crunchiness of Maltesers, this little gem would have been top of my list: To go with my cake, I ordered Teapigs Chai tea, which came in a little teapot with a slice of orange on the side: The cake was heavily iced (a bit too much for me on this occasion, although if I’d been desperate for a sugar rush I’d have scoofed it back readily enough), but the sponge itself was extremely light and fluffy:

Just as coffee and walnut is one of the cakes I frequently like to try, my chum is very partial to a caramel, or millionaire, shortbread. Mimi’s had large slabs of the stuff on offer, and he jumped at the opportunity, pairing it with a cappuccino: I wasn’t too fussed about trying it, since it looked a bit heavy and solid to me, but when I tasted a little corner I was astonished by its melt-in-the-mouth texture. The biscuit, toffee and chocolate disappeared together in a most pleasant manner. It was, surely, one of the best of its kind.

Mimi’s is, altogether, rather a stylish establishment. The ladies toilet can be located by this attractive notice on the door: The black and white theme evident throughout the tearoom itself, is continued in the bathrooms: After our delicious repast, my comrade had to get back to work and I thought I’d get a little exercise by way of trotting round the Botanic Gardens, which were on my route out of the city. The colours were beautiful but it was raining quite heavily. One good thing about going to the Botanics on such a wet day was that I virtually had the place to myself, including the magnificent hot houses: While I was pounding the pavements in Leith and driving through the city, I noticed that there are lots of new tearooms that weren’t there in my day.

The trouble, if you can call it that, is that there are far more tearooms to sample than I have the capacity for. Just as I don’t expect to die with an empty in-tray, neither do I anticipate managing to consume all the cakes I would like to gorge on in this one short lifetime. If ever there were a reason for reincarnation, that must be it.

Categories: Architecture, Baking, Cake, Chocolate, Coffee, Edinburgh, Photography, Scotland, Tea, Tearooms | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Danish Pastry

Yesterday, I do believe I had the best Danish pastry I’ve ever tasted (I’ve had them in Denmark, where they were pretty good, but this one may have topped even those).

My delightful assistant and I were heading north, in order to rummage around the astonishing second hand complex that is Steptoe’s Yard (I posted about it on my Teacups Press blog¬†here, if you’re interested), and we needed something to sustain us during our exertions.

Slightly off our main route to the second hand shop, in a tiny village or indeed hamlet, is a tearoom I have been trying – and failing – to visit for some time now, ever since fellow blogger and ceramicist, Anne, recommended it to me. I have made various attempts to take lunch there, which have been sadly thwarted for different reasons, but yesterday I finally struck lucky and succeeded in enjoying morning refreshments.

It wasn’t the sunniest of days but, even so, I thought the outside of the tearoom looked very welcoming:

The entrance was pretty marvellous too, with a little porch:

The porch had attractive windows on either side:

The tearoom is run by Danes, who sell Danish designed homewares in the adjoining shop. The tearoom chairs reminded me of Ikea (which, admittedly, is Swedish, not Danish) and I found them very comfortable:

I should perhaps have expected Danish pastries in a tearoom run by Danes, but I might not have anticipated the options. There were cinnamon, berry and custard pastries, and I chose custard. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a fancy napkin in a tearoom:

The pastry had been freshly baked and was still slightly warm. The whole thing was incredibly light and the custard slipped down almost before I knew it. The pastry was tasty, light and utterly delicious. It was a decent size but I wouldn’t have been at all upset if it had been bigger.

My delightful assistant had a berry pastry, with coffee, while I had English Breakfast tea:

Inside the bathroom, there was a commendable supply of loo rolls, and a stack of small hand towels, including three hung up next to the toilet rolls:

There was also a choice of five different coloured liquid soaps, sitting in a wire holder, with instructions to “just squeeze the middle and soap will come out”. I squeezed the light green one in the middle and, right enough, soap came out, straight through a hole in the wire netting:

After enjoying our comestibles, we had a quick look in the shop, which appeared to be doing excellent business with a queue forming at the counter. The displays had been done beautifully, and I especially liked one featuring a small day bed full of teddies relaxing (not perhaps terribly clear in the picture, but the middle of the picture shows a metal bed or sofa lined with fabric and housing a number of stuffed creatures):

I’m delighted that I have finally managed to visit this tearoom, particularly as we took advantage of the special morning deal offering a pastry and a tea/coffee for ¬£3. Unfortunately, this place is not included in my tearoom guidebook, because I didn’t manage to visit it in time, but I will be going back to have lunch there one day, and when I come to run a second edition of the book I hope to add it in.

Categories: Architecture, Baking, Books, Guide to tearooms, Photography, Scotland, Tea, Tearooms | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 51 Comments

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