Elephant House (George VI Bridge, Edinburgh)

  based on 7 reviews   write a review

Edinburgh, Scotland

Elephant House (George VI Bridge, Edinburgh) Reviews

vicky_mcc vicky_mcc
7 reviews
Busy Cafe/Tourist Attraction Nov 10, 2012
This is a nice cafe/coffee house and has good views of the castle if you can get a table at the back.

The place is best known for being home to J.K Rowling where she wrote the first few Harry Potter books, and the owners have certainly taken advantage of this fact, having posted a sign on the window (where tourists often pose for pictures). This means that whenever I have gone during peak times, the place is crammed, hot and stuffy and it can be very hard to get a table. It has sort of become a tourist stop for Potterheads everywhere. But saying this, I love Harry Potter and have visited quite a few times. It is really nice for a cup of coffee and cake, if you go when it isn't so busy.

A visit to the toilet is a must as fans graffiti all over the walls with slogans such as 'RIP Dobby' and 'Dumbledore's army recruiting here'. As a fan of the franchise, I think this is great, who knew a book series and toilet could bring so many people together?! And maybe my pen slipped when I ventured in there on my first visit... (yes, I've been more than once).

Basically, if you're a fan of HP, then you have to visit, and try to go when its quiet. If its busy, then try the Italian cafe across the road which is also nice, but lacks the character and coziness that the Elephant House oozes so effortlessly.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
ilserita ilserita
37 reviews
Elephant House Oct 13, 2011
This is a place where students and literary people gather. We got a table in the back room and there was soft light and nice atmosphere. We had a nice view up to the Castle.

Writer JK Rowling also sat in the backroom, writing her early novels while overlooking Edinburgh Castle.

I ordered a Meat Antipasti Platter with a selection of cured meats with crusty bread, today's homemade tart, marinated olives, sundried tomatoes & mixed salad.

Elephant House opened in 1995 and it is considered to be one of the best tea and coffee houses in the town.
The Elephant house 21 George IV B…
pictures of elephants on the walls
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
sarahelaine says:
I went there for treats when I was a student. :)
Posted on: Nov 03, 2011
aliasunder aliasund…
3 reviews
Birthplace of Harry Potter - worth a visit! Mar 12, 2011
So, being the Harry Potter fan that I am, I could not visit Edinburgh without visiting the cafe where JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter novel. It was worth seeing for that reason alone. The cafe is very cute and comfortable, and there is a nice variety of menu options. The food and coffee is a bit expensive for what you're getting, but they can get away with it because of the fact that it is a well-known tourist destination for any Harry Potter fan. I went there on a Sunday afternoon, and it was full of people. I ordered some coffee, which was nice, and also a baguette. I was not that pleased with the baguette as the bread did not taste fresh and was a bit chewy. Also, it had taken quite a long time for the order.

That aside, I didn't go there for the food anyway, so I did not have high expectations. It's worth a visit for the simple fact that JK Rowling wrote a book there, and the overall nice atmosphere.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
vinniegill vinniegi…
2 reviews
Great View Mar 21, 2011
Hi, great place, good food, reasonable, lovely view of the castle, no wonder JK Rowling was inspired. Also nreaby you will find the status of Greyfriers Bobby and the cemetery behind.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
89 reviews
Brekkie At the Birthplace of Harry Potter Jan 02, 2008
The Elephant House is a lovely tea and coffee house that was made famous by J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.

The interior had a warm, calming feel and the smell of fresh brewed coffee would perk anyone up. We wanted to sit in the back room with a view of the castle but the seating was all taken. So Mar and I found ample seating in the front because it was empty. The entire space, front and back, has huge windows to let soft natural light in.

Mar ordered the soup and ham sandwich and tea. I ordered the soup and tea. The soup, I think is was vegetable, was good enough to warm us inside out. I had a bite of Mar's sammy and it was very meaty. I had jasmine tea and it came with it own cute little teapot.

The Elephant House is open 8am-11pm. Their menu is a smorgasbord of food items like nachos, chili, panninis, loaded baked potatoes,

burgers, salads, pizzas, and of course the Scottish tradition of haggis, neeps, & tatties. Oh and don't forget the sweet treats in the refrigerator case!

The tea was lovely. The food was satisfying but mediocre. Their extensive coffee drink menu would warrant a return visit from me.

If you want views of the castle while sipping tea or coffee or a huge Harry Potter fan, this is the place to be.
Soup of the day with bread and but…
Tea...the proper way to start the …
Outside The Elephant House
Inside The Elephant House
Ann_Hells Ann_Hells
33 reviews
Birthplace of Harry Potter Nov 28, 2008
The friend who I was staying with brought me to this wonderful little cafe on George VI bridge. From the seating area there is a great view of the castle with large windows facing it. There was a very cozy feeling about this place which really made me happy to step in out of the cold air and thaw a bit over some tea and good company.

It wasn't all that cheap, but nothing is in the UK. I am a big fan of tea (especially in places where you can't drink good coffee) and it was great here! We tried two different varieties, I remember the blackcurrant being delicious. I highly recommend the caramel shortbread. This is the best place I've had it. Melts in your mouth.

Because this is the place where JK Rowling began writing the first lines of Harry Potter on a little napkin, my friend Willow came up with the idea of everyone writing a little phrase on a napkin whenever she brought them here. It's a great place made even better (or at least better known) because of this famous story.
my lines
Vikram says:
You look hot!
Posted on: Dec 24, 2008
stephen980369 stephen9…
1 reviews
Jun 18, 2007
There is a nice place on North Bridge in the Old Town called the Elephant House Coffe House which is located next to the library on George IV Bridge. Its quite a cool and casual place to have a coffee and bite to eat, nothing too over the top but nice home made cakes, sandwiches, soup, lasagne etc. They have a great choice of tea's and coffee's too.

At the back of the room there is a lovely view of the south side of the castle, the tables are quite large and wooden and its not unsual to have people ask if they can sit at your table if its busy. There are also 3 computers to use too, but just next door is the library which offers free internet access too.

There are some times live music evenings too. The Elephant House lives up to its name, there are many elephant pictures, photo's and newspaper clipping on the wall and they also sell t-shirts and hoodies with thier elephant on :) and also J.K Rowling started writting her Harry Potter books there!

Check Edinburgh Hotel Deals

Edinburgh Map
1 review
1 review
1 review
photo by: vances