BookNook is a weekly feature in which Fiona Grew shares her favourite spots around Edinburgh to enjoy a good read.
Every week I sit down for an hour, with some form of caffeine (or ‘liquid gold’ as my colleague calls coffee) within easy reach of my right hand, to write BookNook and invariably end up mentioning how my selected spot lends itself to solo visitors. I never consciously list this amongst the criteria for a good BookNook but I’ve come to realise that it is actually high upon my priority list.
For precisely this reason, this week’s mention goes to The Treehouse Café, an already established Toll Cross favourite. Every time I have been here there have been solo visitors, either sitting at the bar people-watching or with the daily papers spread out in front of them on the table. Treehouse suits these people, and myself, because they sell good coffee in an unpretentious and relaxed environment. It could be as silent as the library in here (bar the background music) and no one would feel uncomfortable.
The last time I came here, 8:30am for breakfast on the day I moved out of my old flat last May, I arrived with a copy of 100 Years of Solitude crammed into my coat pocket which I read whilst awaiting company (it was unreasonable to expect a fellow student to be on time at 8:30am, especially just after the completion of exams). This time it’s The Testament of Gideon Mack in my bag and the fear of essays preying on my mind, rather than the impending challenge of attempting to cram all of my worldly possessions into the finite space of a rented Fiat 500L. The sun is setting at 4:30pm and I am watching outside the children with parents already beginning to emerge in their Halloween attire, whilst sipping on a festive Gingerbread Latte. A lot can change for students in five months without seeming abnormal, (moving flat perhaps, or even abroad for a semester or two), but The Treehouse Café remains to provide us with a sanctuary wherein to sit and read in peace.