Dovecot Café by Leo's
Smart, bright daytime café in Edinburgh's world-renowned tapestry studio, serving freshly prepared soup, sandwiches and bakes.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
Firmly established in the minds of many Edinburgh residents as 'a little place I know', the inspiring Dovecot Tapestry Studio and its resident café is in a slightly unprepossessing location in a former municipal swimming pool just off South Bridge. A change of operator in 2015 has seen Stag Espresso replaced by the team behind Leo's Beanery of Howe Street, but there's every evidence that they have the right mind-set to keep the cultured and discerning clientele of the venue content. Brown paper coffee bags sit artfully among colourful bobbins of wool, various blackboards have daily specials and suppliers chalked up, while piles of traybakes are tagged with luggage labels on the counter. Leo's have a partnership with Ted's Bakehouse, primarily as a source of gluten-free breads (hence the new Leo & Ted's café at Tollcross), and here they also draw on the Bearded Baker for bagels and Dough-Re-Mi for focaccia and granary for various filled sandwiches. Combine these with large bowls of soups such as yellow split pea and coconut, or dive into a chickpea, beetroot and goat's cheese salad, either in the main body of the café dominated by a huge contemporary still-life tapestry, or in one of the two hideaway tables for two with a street view.
- High point: You're going to struggle to get out without the traybakes winking at you
- Low point: Occasional frenetic moments jar in such a calm arena
- Notable dish: Bearded Baker bagels special: salami, peppadew peppers, cream cheese and chive
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access
- Music on stereo: Nothing
- Live entertainment: Changing exhibitions and events
- Capacity: 38
- Open since: 2016 under current management