Saint Giles Cafe & Bar, 8 St. Giles Street, Edinburgh EH1 1PT
Wednesday, 9 am
Black Americano (regular): £2.40
The board outside the cafe promises delicious coffee. Suffice it to say that my disappointment was the only bitter thing that I experienced in this establishment. My initial optimism (inspired by no burnt smell) soon vanished at the first sip. Presumably the barista is also a homeopath because despite the cup being the right size (ie not a thimble and not a Starbucks-sized mug that can also double as a vase or a holiday home for a family of four) the “coffee” was just brown water with no caffeine, no crema and no taste. I suppose I should have lowered my expectations after my request for a black Americano was met with, “Would you like milk on the side?” 1/10
Beards: 0.5. One of the baristas had something growing on his face. It was neither stubble nor a beard.
Computers: None at all. Maybe no one feels the urge to blog in coffee shops whilst they’re having breakfast.
Decor: The walls, tables and chairs are all made of the same dark wood. Rather than make the place feel claustrophobic, it sort of creates a cosy atmosphere – even on a bright and sunny morning.
Food: I didn’t look at the food menu, but other customers were tucking into hearty breakfasts or jamming croissants into their mouths sideways. I have since noticed that reviews of this cafe mention that they serve waffles with maple syrup. With brie. Draw your own conclusions from that.
Ambience: The staff were a bit overly jolly and table service seems a bit odd when all you want is a coffee.
Wi-fi: I didn’t notice any.
Toilet: I didn’t notice any.
Summary: A bit of a shame as I really liked the venue, but the coffee was just ridiculously weak. I actually left wishing I’d had the presence of mind to have had one of the sachets of Nescafe in my hotel room before heading out. I think this has potential as somewhere to go for food and alcohol. But not coffee. Never have the coffee. 2/10 (based on coffee alone).