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Scone Spy: Our cafe critic heads to Leo’s Beanery in Edinburgh

Leo’s Beanery is Scone Spy’s latest hangout
Leo’s Beanery is Scone Spy’s latest hangout

In life, there are a few three-syllable phrases that bring about instant joy. I love you, for one. Pass the cake, for another. This week, your dedicated Scone Spy learned one more – croque-mon-scone.

While visiting the capital, I had the pleasure of popping into Leo’s Beanery, a lovely independent-run eatery nestled near the bottom of Howe Street.

Just a few minutes’ walk from trendy Stockbridge (in this instance, trendy = eye-watering house prices) and a short bus ride from the city centre, the basement cafe caught my eye with its blue exterior and sunshine-filled terrace.

Inside, the airy dining room was filled with customers and a few happy pooches, and I soon learned why it’s so popular with the locals.

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The scones

Having just navigated the chaos that is Edinburgh traffic – my clutch only just survived the hill starts – I was in need of caffeinated refreshment and something sweet to wash it down, so the cake counter quickly caught my eye. But it was only when I clocked the breakfast menu that a toothy grin spread across my face.

As well as the usual hot filled rolls, granola and avocado toast, the cosy yet stylish café also offers the aforementioned croque-mon-scone – a homemade cheese scone, halved and served with either Parma ham and melted cheddar or a veggie version with tomato and spinach. Paris meets Edinburgh? Oui oui s’il vous plait!

Moist, perfectly baked and utterly moreish, I could have eaten my bodyweight in Leo’s scones, especially as there’s also fluffy fruit version, too. Delicious.

If you are looking for something more substantial for lunch (breakfast is served until 1.30pm weekdays, 2pm weekends), there’s a lovely fresh selection, including homemade frittata, quiche and galette tarts, salads, and filled sandwiches.

I was sorely tempted by Leo’s BLT and the “green goddess spread” with roasted peppers, but knowing I would be back for a return visit, I resisted.

With delightful dishes, beautiful bakes and faultless service from friendly service, I think I’ve found my new favourite Edinburgh haunt.

Scone score

Topped with ham and cheese? More please! 8/10