Saturday, June 30, 2018

Addressing the Elephant in the (Tea) Room: Famed Edinburgh coffee and tea house where Harry Potter began

Tea  and scones at Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter

In the shadow of Edinburg Castle, just a scone's throw from the Royal Mile, sits The Elephant House, a gourmet coffee and tea room with a history as delicious as its menu. A bustling venue with rustic, contemporary décor punctuated with over 600 elephant pictures and collectibles, it was the inspiration of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, much of them written in the back room where the old Scottish castle is in plain view. But, whether a budding author or weary tourist, there's something for everyone on the menu, with a great selection of coffee, tea, and adult beverages to accompany a variety of  pastries and main dishes. I ordered a pot of Earl Grey and a plate of scones while seated at a table, located mid-way between a very large portrait of an elephant and the scenic window views of Edinburgh Castle. Although during this visit, I didn't write much more than a check, I was inspired to pen more blogs!

The scones were scrumptious as was the Earl Grey. The tea is loose and allowed to steep in silver pots, which can then be poured into cups topped with strainers (one of my favorite ways to have tea served up).

My husband, Chris, also had scones,  but selected a "Scottish coffee" for his accompaniment. It's a variation on an Irish coffee, swapping Irish whiskey for Scotch- a tasty twist on the classic apres dinner drink.

Front counter that's home to tempting pastries and assorted elephants

The hallway that leads to the back room of The Elephant House

There's not a bad seat in the house, but for Harry Potter fans, you'll want to make the trip from the front counter to the back room, where J.K. Rowling wrote about her young wizard of Hogwarts.
Unfortunately, time did not permit us to sample much on the menu, however, the views of the front counter displays filled with dazzling desserts, told us we must come back soon and partake of more.

The back room of the Elephant House with views of Edinburgh Castle where one can channel the world of Harry Potter

Edinburgh Castle, inspiration for Hogwarts?

Better view of the Edinburgh Castle

(Although I came late to the Harry Potter fan club, my daughter, Rachel was an early adopter and read every book as soon as it came out. That prompted a visit to Harry Potter World in Orlando in 2013. )

Harry Potter World in Orland 2013 with roots in Edinburgh

Sipping butter beer at Harry Potter World

Whether a Harry Potter enthusiast or not, The Elephant House in Edinburgh will enchant any visitor.  Amazing views of the city and castle, an appealing menu of food and drink along with hundreds of elephants, this coffee and tea house will cast a spell on you. No need to shy away from the elephant(s) in this tea room, you'll want to address them - and everything else here - head on.

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