Falko Gullane Kaffeehaus

Finally, after several very bland days of weather (actually, that’s a lie, the recent wind couldn’t be called ‘bland’ but we haven’t had the early spring which they’ve had further south) today’s sunshine called for a good stretching of the legs. The car nosed its way down to East Lothian and a lovely walk was had near Aberlady. The car’s autopilot then took it took Gullane where, nestled amongst the gentile golf course, villas and high street, is Falko Konditormeister. 

Falko is legendary in Bruntsfield, here in Edinburgh and they also have a stall at the weekly Farmers’ Market, but the real baking action takes place in Gullane.  It’s certainly not cheap but the cakes are both beautiful and delicious, and they are an authentic taste of kaffee und kuchen here in Scotland.

The coffee itself is perhaps not at the top of the Edinburgh game, but it is brought with a smile, and the milk often comes in a kitsch cow-shaped jug which in turn makes me smile.  After a rich slice of Sachertorte a simple espresso brought back sufficiet energy for the drive back to Edinburgh.

Sachertorte has appeared several times in my twitterfeed over the past couple of weeks.  At the beginning of this month my colleague blogged about the ‘dark and complex feelings’ which he recalls accompanying eating the cake as a child (http://richardjwilliams.net/2014/03/01/cake-and-the-couch/).  I’m not sure that I would agree that it is a ‘sad’ cake, although it is certainly heavy and rich, and you need a good walk before attempting it.  It wouldn’t be my first cake of choice, but as a coeliac (and therefore needing to follow a strict gluten free diet) there is little choice, meaning that any cake is better than no cake.  Actually, that’s not true, so much of the Frankenstein-style free-from food on offer is simply awful (Falko is certainly not guilty of this, the Sachertorte just happens to be flour-free), in which case no cake is by far the most sensible option.  


Falko Konditormeister http://www.falko.co.uk/

Coffee: espresso, with a wee jug of warm milk on the side

Place: small but cosy

Gluten-free: limited choice but excellent understanding

Date: 16 March 2014


Why coffee?

Four things have made me think about the coffee I drink over the past couple of weeks:

1. Emptying my handbag, I counted 19 coffee loyalty cards from different coffee shops across Edinburgh. Several were duplicates, but it did drive home to me that coffee is central to my everyday life (I always joke that the University where I work is greased by goodwill and coffee in equal measures).

2. At a recent evening lecture to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight I was considering what I could easily do to make my consumer footprint more sustainable.  Buying and drinking better coffee seems like an easy win.

3. Meeting a new colleague, she told me that her daily cup of ‘proper’ coffee is her brief escape. I liked the thought that everything should stop, if only for a few minutes, every day.

4. On twitter, I came across @100CupsCoffee who is blogging about the independent coffee shops across London at http://100cups.blogspot.co.uk/. I thought it might be fun to do the same in Edinburgh.

Coffee is many things to me: everyday fuel; an opportunity to catch up with friends; punctuation at the end of a meal. I started drinking (serious) coffee (seriously) when I lived in Italy, and have dabbled in the dark art ever since. I don’t believe in taking it seriously now as it is after all only a drink. But a bad cup of coffee can make a bad day even worse.

Why blog about it? I miss writing. I still write, of course, mostly in emails at work it seems, but I miss writing in a more personal voice.