I'm a working mum writing about life in Edinburgh (and anywhere else we go) with two curious, adventurous, and imaginative children. Visit my blog at www.linzertortes.blogspot.co.uk. Follow me on Twitter: @LinzerLaw
Published November 11th 2013
Come take a bite at the cherry
La Cerise is a fine little patisserie just off Great Junction St. in Leith. It has friendly and knowledgeable staff, tasty homemade food, and is very reasonably priced.
Downstairs there's a wall covered with ice cream sundaes drawn by patrons. La Cerise provide the sundae templates, crayons, and there's also a book library to keep little people entertained. For adults, there's also a selection of newspapers and magazines. My older daughter and I have often whiled away a few hours, lingering over ice cream while we both read and colour.
There's a range of books for children of different ages.
There are also interesting glimpses into what the building used to be. Set into one wall is an old oven, suggesting a former use as a baker's. It looks original, as does the beautiful tiled mosaic in the front doorstep.
The evidence is mounting that this was an old bakery...
The savoury food is comforting and reliable. I often have the macaroni cheese or baked potato scooped out and refilled and baked with a delicious cheesy mixture. This time, the macaroni cheese was made a little bit more interesting with the addition of ham, and some tasty herbs run through the cheese sauce.
This was just what I needed on a cold November day.
Josie had a cheese and ham toastie, which she knew she would have before she went in. She resisted any other suggestions from me. She knows that the cheese and ham toasties here are good, and she likes them, and that's that.
So good, I didn't even get one tiny bite before it was eaten.
I don't want to describe the cakes as reliable, it seems too boring for them, but they are reliably delicious. I've sampled quite a few over my visits, and I've never had one I didn't enjoy. This visit I didn't try one, because Josie wanted us both to have ice cream: she'd drawn the menu for me, you see, so I had to pick from that. I wasn't complaining, the ice cream was lovely. Unlike many shops, La Cerise don't start with a white ice cream base to which they add flavourings, instead they create the flavours and texture right from the start of the ice cream making process.
Someone is very pleased with themselves, and their ice cream too.
It certainly showed in the ice creams that Josie and I chose. I had chocolate and hazlenut, and maraschino cherry with vanilla. The cherry had a lovely sweet and delicate flavour, and the chocolate and hazlenut had chewy little chunks of nuts and a proper chocolatey taste. Josie had mango sorbet, a favourite of hers, which was zingy and fruity in all the right ways.
It was a struggle to wait for this photo to be taken.
La Cerise is quite a small place, with only 6 or 7 tables, so it can get quite busy. I would recommend it though, it is well worth a visit down to Leith to try out its charms. The service is good and they are a very child-friendly place. La Cerise has been a long-term favourite of mine, and nothing in my latest visit did anything to suggest that will change in the future.
I didn't even have to go upstairs to pick ice cream; a newly handwritten menu was delivered down to me.