Today I did something I never thought I would: I went to The Elephant House.
There are really only 2 reasons I figured I would never go in there: it’s always super busy with tourists, and it proudly claims to be the “birthplace of Harry Potter”, which it isn’t – although it was in part written there.
However, as I am running out of places to review in Edinburgh, I found myself braving the crowds and going in for some tea and cake.
Although I knew it was going to be busy, the queue still took my by surprise. It was so crowded! When you enter the café, you are to place your order by the counter before you can take your seat – a measure presumably enforced to prevent Harry Potter pilgrims from simply coming in without purchasing something. It makes sense and isn’t too much of a bother, providing the crowd isn’t too big. Which it was.
The decor is nice, with lots of elephant statuettes scattered around and an overall comfortable and warm air. There is essentially no service to speak of, as it was too busy for the staff to deal with.
As for the tea and cake, I decided to go for the Japanese Cherry Green Tea infusion, with a slice of Walnut-Nutella cake. And I was charged £6.40, a price unrivalled in Edinburgh I think, which is quite the achievement in an already expensive city.
This sudden lightness of my wallet, combined with my hard prejudice against this place (I have to admit), weighed heavily on my shoulders as I was about to tuck in.
I also have to admit that it was delicious. The cake was perfectly moist, with the exact right amount of nuts, and without an overpowering amount of Nutella. The tea was beautifully delicate, the cherry notes providing the perfect amount of sweetness and the green tea never reached bitterness. It was, quite frankly, very good.
Was it worth £6.40?
Well, considering that it wasn’t coated in gold, nor was it presented to me on a silver platter by a butler assigned to me- I would have to say definitely not. That said, the satisfaction I got from the guilty pleasure cake and the elegant tea did soften the stinging pain from my wallet a little bit.
Go to The Elephant House if you are a) a die-hard Potter fan who believes the claim on the window, or b) very rich and forgot the value of money. Or c), silly like me.