As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Strumpets has permanently closed its doors. I miss it often.
I believe that Strumpets is a true hidden gem in Edinburgh serving delicious coffee. Tucked away on William Street in the West End, the light blue facade brings a pop of colour to the Georgian New Town. With a large range of teas, coffees and hot chocolates as well as plenty of food options, it’s the perfect place to study or catch up with friends. You can tell that it’s a popular spot for regulars as Ingrida remembers everyone if they’ve been in before.
I first visited Strumpets when studying for my exams in early May and I was so honoured that Ingrida remembered me on my second visit almost three months later. We chatted about my travelling, dogs and Instagram as she’s always so grateful whenever I share Strumpets on my story. She is the loveliest woman and I’ve yet to see a person not smile in her presence.
As I write this I’m sitting at the lovely little window seat, always my favourite seat in any coffee shop. I previously sat through the back where it was quiet and studied at a little table in the corner. There are also seats outside in case you fancy enjoying some of the rare Scottish sunshine. I love the home-y feel of Strumpets. The light furnishings, velvet armchairs and rich blue chest of drawers means it looks a bit like a living room so you feel instantly relaxed. The duck egg blue of the shop front is also reflected in the coffee cups and plates
My usual coffee order is a cappuccino. However when I come to Strumpets, I love to get a hot chocolate because unlike most other coffee shops, there is a selection to choose from. There’s the regular milk chocolate, cinnamon & cardamom, sea salt & caramel, lavender or chilli and I’ve been told about a speciality white chocolate flavour that’s soon to be on offer. I tried the lavender hot chocolate upon my last visit and it was delightful. I was worried about it tasting of soap or perfume but instead it had a lovely subtle taste that worked incredibly well with the chocolate. Also, as a treat, there’s a little bit of cake accompanying the hot drinks that always tempt me to indulge further into the cake cabinet. One of my favourite things about Strumpets is the water carafe filled with mint as it’s a great post-coffee palette cleanser.
In the cake cabinet, called the “Cabinet of Wonder” by Ingrida, they have a great selection of cakes that can include lemon shortbread, apple and cinnamon loaf or slices of a frangipane tart. Strumpets also stock salads and sandwiches which is served with olives and savoury popcorn instead of salad and crisps like you may find at other cafes. I absolutely loved the mozzarella, sun dried tomato and pesto sandwich and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since.
It is of course worth noting that Strumpets is dog friendly and on behalf of everyone I encourage you to bring your dogs along as it makes everyone’s day better. I was lucky to meet a Westie called Eddy and an old black labrador called Moss last time and they became honorary strumPETS (a fabulous pun). There is also great wifi making it the ideal study spot unless you’re like me and will be constantly distracted by the dogs.
Strumpets is the second coffee shop that I’ve written about that holds a spot in my “Top Five Places for Coffee in Edinburgh.” Previously I’ve written about Burr & Co, Oqo and Lovecrumbs in my ‘Coffee in Edinburgh,’ series and I know the frequency of those posts will escalate when university stats again and I spend more time than ever studying at my favourite places. You can be rest assured that I’ll often be in Strumpets trying to get some essay writing done.