Good morning, my dearest readers!
How are you today? How was your weekend? So I’m home for the semester holidays, which means I’ve been busy eating tacos and getting in touch with old friends. However, I’m not quite done with university stuff; I still have to write a term paper and I still need to study for an exam, but for now, I’ll just enjoy my ‘free time’. Besides, it’s time for Chiles en Nogada here in Mexico, and it’s pretty much the second best time of the year (after Christmas, of course).
Speaking of food, let me tell you about the many merry places where you can mix it with books and literature.
Eating and Drinking
If there’s something the Scotts like, it’s their bars and cafés with literary names. Here are some of the ones I saw while I was walking:
Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland & Alice Through the Looking Glass) was not Scottish, but I did come across his name several times: coffees, postcards, home accessories, etc. The Mad Hatter restaurant can be found at 4/8 Torphichen Place, Edinburgh EH3 8DU.
Many coffee shops claim to be the place where J.K. Rowling wrote her famous novels, but the one we’re sure of is the Black Medicine Coffee, which belonged to her brother-in-law. Nowadays it belongs to someone else, and they say the new owner doesn’t like Harry Potter at all. Address: 2 Nicholson St, Edinburgh EH8 9DH.
The Kenilworth shares its name with one of Sir Walter Scott’s most famous novels, Kenilworth. References to the author are all over Edinburgh, but I will tell you about them in a few days. This pub is located at 152-154 Rose Street, Edinburgh EH2 3JD; a charming little street with very particular flower pots.
The street was not my favorite, but it’s great looking at the people standing in front of the pots, trying to read the quotes.
Drinking and Reading
One of my favorite places was just across university, which allowed me to go a couple of times to buy a coffee and admire the books.
Looking Glass Books (Lewis Carroll, anyone?) is a book-shop-café located at 36 Simpson Loan, Edinburgh EH3 9GG.
The coffee is great and the desserts are awesome, but what I loved most was the fact that one can sit and enjoy the food while surrounded by books.
I would’ve loved to show you the tables and the chairs, but when I asked permission they told me not to take photos of the clients. That proved to be hard, since there was a client on every single chair, but I hope you can get a nice idea of what the place looks like.
Reading and Reading
The last place I want to talk to you about was the place where I felt like staying forever.
Happiness is found behind a blue door at 53-62 South Bridge, Edinburgh. Blackwell’s, with its walls, tables and corners full of books, and with its wonderful classic collection, was the place where I spent the first 20 seconds of my visit just looking around and flapping my hands like a crazy woman.
The best part about going to a book shop with other philology students is that one can stay as long as one likes, knowing that the others won’t get bored. As soon as we got inside, we went separate ways and did not see each other until it was time to go. Afterwards, we compared the books we had bought and happily went home.
I bought Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë; The Jungle Books, by Rudyard Kipling; Dracula, by Bram Stoker; and The Life of a Stupid Man, by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa.