Enjoying a superb location with stunning views up to the Castle, Gooseneck Café has been part of Edinburgh’s specialist coffee scene since early 2019.
Run by husband and wife pair Lucy and Matthew this airy and elegant coffee house has contributed to the revitalisation of an often overlooked quarter of the city. Indeed being “slightly off the beaten track” was one reason they chose the site: “It’s busy but manageable for the two of us”. The pair have experience of running cafés, having spent time at Patisserie Florentin in Stockbridge, so felt ready to open their own place.
They spent some time examining possible coffee options. After trying a range of Edinburgh based roasters, they finally settled on Sacred Grounds, an Arbroath based speciality coffee roastery which started in 2015. As Matthew explained: “We tried a lot of local places, many were good but Sacred Grounds coffee really stood out. Sacred Grounds have been really supportive in terms of offering advice and training…we’re really happy with the choice we made.”
The Ethiopian we tried (in Gooseneck’s stylish bright yellow takeaway cups) produced a really rich and smooth flat white.
The Covid-19 pandemic has clearly put many cafés under threat, with several retrenching or folding. With much of Gooseneck’s custom coming from the staff and visitors to the Lyceum Theatre across the road, the loss of these customers for a lengthy period was a big blow. Footfall has dropped markedly in this area of the city, with the usually busy Saltire Court on Castle Terrace very quiet, with so many working from home.
So far, thanks to a combination of government grants and an understanding landlord, the café has survived the storm. Matthew and Lucy have been heartened by the support they’ve received from other local businesses and said: “Lots of people have popped in giving us their support- there’s a nice communal feel around here.”
Though custom hasn’t matched normal levels, they’ve had a regular flow. Indeed they were nicely busy on the Saturday lunchtime we visited. The use of the nearby Castle Terrace carpark as a Fringe venue and weekly farmers’ market has given the area a boost.
In addition to coffee (and Eteaket teas), Gooseneck also offer a range of tempting baking (check out their Basque cheesecake!) and savoury dishes (quiches, soups etc), all prepared in-house. The shop itself is an elegant space with classy décor. The walls are currently adorned with fine pen & ink artworks by illustrator Hannah Kelly (the art is for sale).
Like nearby Brew’d, Gooseneck is another highly welcome addition to the coffee scene in this part of Edinburgh.
Gooseneck Café 22 Grindlay Street, EH3 9AP