Edinburgh’s Charming Hidden Cafe

Speaking of Edinburgh, I have to tell you about a little hidden cafe my daughter and I stumbled into.


We were looking for a coffee shop where we could warm up our hands and find a bite to eat, but wanted to stay away from the big chains which seem to be on every corner. We almost missed the little yellow sign at the top of Chalmers Close, but I spotted it out the corner of my eye just before we passed by.

What a treat! We had found Forsyth’s Tea Room, which is the exact opposite of the big chain coffee shops.

Meet Mrs. Forsyth.

Christina Forsyth

Christina Forsyth


She has owned the tea room for eighteen years, and has run it by herself ever since. She told us that it was built in the 14th century, and was a pub before she bought it. She didn’t know how long it had been a pub, but it seems that it was most likely centuries. It took her years to get the smell of smoke out of the rafters, but now it smells like cake and tea. Some time before its life as a pub, it was the home of a Bishop, and a periwig maker before him.


She hand crocheted the sugar bowl covers, and makes the tea cozies herself, and she often quietly sings Scottish songs while she’s working.


She serves a full menu of breakfast and lunch items, cakes, biscuits and scones. I can tell you that her carrot cake is fantastic, and so rich that my Girl and I could barely finish a piece between us. So good!


The inside of the shop is so unexpectedly charming after coming off the busy, and touristy Royal Mile that we were completely surprised and happy to stay for nearly an hour as we warmed up and enjoyed our drinks. I hear she serves a fantastic cup of tea, but we opted for a hot chocolate and a mocha. Both were better than any other cup we’ve had in Edinburgh so far.


If you find yourself in Edinburgh on the Royal Mile, keep an eye out for this tiny yellow sign on the north side of the street about half way up. The shop is just steps off the main road, and in a while different world.


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About akil3655

A Scotsman and his American photographer wife traveling the world and writing about it. Tales, reviews, photos, interviews and crazy goings on. Because you never know what's going to happen.

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15 Responses to Edinburgh’s Charming Hidden Cafe

  1. Mary-My Life in Scotland February 26, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    looks heavenly!!
    Mary-My Life in Scotland recently posted..A Walk To NowhereMy Profile

  2. Tamar February 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    I’d love to see that part of the world!! Thanks for sharing it today!
    Tamar recently posted..Purim!My Profile

  3. debra @ homespun February 26, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    She and her shop are wonderful!

  4. Pearl February 26, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    What a sweet find. Good to support the little business where ever you are. Amazing to think of a business or building that’s been in use for so many centuries. If only the walls could talk, they’d get slapped with a restraining order.
    Pearl recently posted..Our Poetry WorldMy Profile

  5. Kim Cunningham February 26, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Oh my goodness! How utterly perfect for a tea break! I wish to visit Scotland someday! I love this very kind of thing!
    Kim Cunningham recently posted..Happy Things.My Profile

  6. bettyl February 26, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    What a wonderful little place! I bet people spend a lot of time there.
    bettyl recently posted..sailboatsMy Profile

  7. Emille/Jesh StG February 26, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    What a a delightful post! The cover for the sugar bowl was particularly interesting! If I would be a regular visitor, I would ask the owner to make me a tea cosy:):)
    Emille/Jesh StG recently posted..LOOK UP AT THE SKYMy Profile

  8. Paul O'Rourke February 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    The descriptions has me wanting to go there straight away. Fantastic photographs as well.


  9. Nicki February 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    Sounds absolutely divine – so much more personable than the chain stores (which I do enjoy when just wanting the expected).

  10. Amanda Watkins February 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland.. and just read a book last week based there, and highlighting Edinburgh.
    I just blogged last week that it is my secret longing to speak with a Scottish burr. :)
    Thanks for sharing this place!

  11. Katherine Vargas February 27, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    Mrs. Forsyth has a beautiful shop.great find and post lovely photos.