Leo’s Beanery in Edinburgh’s New Town – a beezer.

Bad photo taken by myself too keen to get face into cake

Shuffling about looking for lovely places to eat and drink for Simonseeks.com today when I came upon a wee gem.

Leo’s Beanery was opened in February by a lovely young couple, she said sounding 130, called Joe & Marie Denby just below ground level at 23a Howe Street.

With sweet  peas spilling out of the flower beds and statuesque sunflowers guarding the door I mooched in for a quick coffee.  As I do like a chat I started blethering to the proprietor Marie  as she delivered a piece of home made carrot cake drenched in delicious sweet icing.

Only open til 5pm the food that is coming out of this kitchen is top notch. Husband Joe was a personal trainer who on a whim turned his hand to making the tables for the beanery when he saw the retail price of the ones they liked.  If my long suffering husband  offered to make me furniture I would hit the bottle, once I had regained consciousness obviously, but Joe’s wife is clearly a more trusting woman as she gave him her blessing. Off he headed to  EASY (edinburgh architectural salvage yard) where he bought some old pews and made the tables himself. And they are lovely, characterful, made with love.  So much so,  they have already had requests for people in for a coffee (cappuccino 1.80)and a snack if he can knock them up a table too.

The food is mouth wateringly fresh, homemade, local produce, the local butcher and character George Bower’s meaty delights are given big billing as are cheese from Mellis, bread from Dough-re-mi and in fact all ingredients which are sourced locally and ethically. Her cakes and scones are a delight. The salads served on slate consisting of meat, cheese, oatcakes and leaves a favourite.

The menus are printed with the faces and scenes from the past. On closer investigation I found Joe’s late Grandpa is the Leo of Leo’s beanery and the images of their relatives from many decades ago add even more authenticity to this charming local purveyor of excellent food.

Breakfasts, include scarmbled eggs on toast . £3.95, Bowers bacon roll £2.75, Cooked delight £7.25.

And don’t forget the lunches & cake scoffing which are of the highest order.

With 28 covers the pressure is already on for Joe to hand over his planned Personal Training studio for expansion in the back. They”ll go for it. They’ll go far.  And you should too for a visit. Great.


Writer & broadcaster.

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