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Scone Spy: Wellington Coffee, Edinburgh

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Jugglers and actors and comedians, oh my! If you have ever been to Edinburgh during The Fringe, you’ll know it’s a spectacular sight to behold.

Overnight the population doubles as hundreds of thousands of performers and visitors descend on the capital’s cobbled streets for the likes of stand-up and ballet, musicals and satire.

It’s the world’s largest arts festival and certainly a highlight for culture vultures. Alas, it’s also the busiest, most overwhelming and loud the city ever gets – something I only remembered when I popped through for a quick catch-up with friends.

Dear reader, let me tell you, nothing ever happens “quickly” during the festival. Walking just a few metres can take a lifetime as you pace slowly behind snap-happy tourists, dodge street performers, and avoid paper cuts as leaflets are thrust into your hands. Really, my flying visit had all the speed of a funeral procession.

In order to survive – and, indeed, enjoy – the hustle and bustle of the festivities, it’s essential to find a port in the storm, a quiet place to sit down with a cup of tea and catch your breath. Luckily, I know just the place.

Nestled on the corner where George Street and Hanover Street meet, Wellington Coffee has always been my go-to spot in the city centre for a good cuppa and a tasty treat or two. Small yet perfectly formed, it’s easy to miss the basement café but once you’ve found your way inside, you’ll be surrounded by locals who know their Arabica from their Robusta.

The menu, like the space, is small but you can enjoy all the usual coffees (latte, flat white, espresso), as well as a selection of teas and some artisan soft drinks. However, the drinks are a mere accompaniment to the cakes and scones, which are mammoth in size. Sitting in the outdoor terrace, I enjoy their fruit-filled version, slathered with butter and cream.

Utterly delicious, I wolf down every single crumb within about 60 seconds.

When it comes to good cake, it seems some things do happen quickly during Edinburgh’s silly season.

Scone score

The bigger the better, I say!