On the street front you pull up a seat, shielding your eyes from the low winter sun. Stockbridge to the left of you, Stockbridge to the right, bifurcated by the Water of Leith. And at the centre of it all, Peter’s Yard, an artisan eatery where the good people of the world gather to check their privilege.
Yummy mummies with well-shod kids in tow. American women wearing brooches as brash as their accents. Distinguished gentleman whose salary expectations are written on their finger rings. Gap year students whose stomachs never rumble.
There’s pecan pie and parsnip cake. Arcade Fire playing softly. Flickering candles on every table. An evening salad of rocket, goat’s cheese and capers (with honey balsamic dressing). Mismatched wooden chairs – the sort that seemed so naff in school, but have since become inexplicably cool. The soup board doesn’t say Soup – it says Soppa. Of course. Then there’s the street sign that reads Artisan Bread.
This cafe isn’t in Stockbridge – it is Stockbridge.
Pull up a distressed chair in Peter’s Yard
A business can’t run on middle-class platitudes alone, of course, and thankfully Peter’s Yard has the victuals to match: scrummy pastries and the sort of coffee that will keep writers churning out colourful metaphors till the low winter sun has left the building.
Let’s be honest: Peter’s Yard could be managed by Rupert Murdoch and built on the sweat of child labour yet you’d still come here. Good coffee forgives a multitude of sins. As it is, the staff are friendly and the children sipping Victorian lemonade look extremely contented, as you’d expect of kids who are getting iPad Airs for Christmas.
Based around a core philosophy of pizza, ice cream, bread and cakes, Peter’s Yard sucks up vast swathes of the local womenfolk whose carb cravings are sated in a warm, cheerful environment.
Carbs and caffeine
The No Compromise Pizza is served from 5-9 on weekdays and 12 till 9 on weekends. How uncompromising is it? Try asking them to hold the artichokes to discover how much wiggle room there is with the No Compromise Pizza. The No Surrender Sourdough was presumably renamed at the last minute.
Peter’s Yah, as Ed Uncovered affectionately knows it, attracts a diverse crowd – provided your idea of diverse is white, over 30 and £35K+ pa. That’s OK though. The Yard isn’t meant to be a melting pot of cultural diversity; it’s meant to sell banging coffee, and this it does with aplomb. At busy times, you’ll find yourself rubbing shoulders with well-heeled English and well-heeled Americans who share tables while respecting personal space.
For women who love their carbs – i.e for women – and for men who love their coffee – i.e for men – Peter’s Yard is rather lovely. Don’t let low income bloggers tell you otherwise.