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 22nd 2012
Join the chorus in the Skylark Café
What struck me first about Skylark Café is that the front coffee area is a beautiful, airy space, filled with light streaming in through huge windows.
What I noticed next was that there was a little room through the back. Josie and I wandered to in to see a cosy and comfy den bedecked with cushions, toys, and fun things for children to do.
The front area of Skylark - looking out into Stockbridge
This is the perfect place to come if you're a Mum or Dad looking after a baby or toddler and you'd like to have a break for coffee while they play somewhere safe and warm.
I started to chat with the owners, and it turned out that this was exactly their intention for Skylark.
Gill Bowman used to run music classes for children in her living room, and the parents who came all went out afterwards for coffee. As her daughter, Sandie Briggs, worked in the catering industry it was an obvious fit: open a café with space for the music and storytelling.
And that's what they've done. The storytelling area is decorated like a magical little cottage. It has a huge fireplace and is filled with colourful rugs and scatter cushions. Gill now uses it to teach a new generation of Edinburgh children the same classic folk songs that she taught her own children.
That's the story of how Skylark Café came to be, and it is a lovely little place.
The Song Circle meets regularly on weekdays, and is perfect for parents looking for something musical for little children to do. The sessions are structured with a coffee-break in the middle, so during a break in singing parents can make new connections with other local, like-minded families. All of the details on how to book are available on the Song Circle website.
Having focused on the Song Circle and the cosy cottage decor, I mustn't forget the food.
When we went in they had a special Hallowe'en-inspired pumpkin cheesecake. It was tasty, although quite rich so Josie and I shared it, much to her delight. I had a hot chocolate, and Josie some juice, and then we settled down to relax in the cosy cottage-like surroundings.
Soon, we were joined by a steady trickle of Mums, Dads and toddlers. The toddlers made a beeline for the toys in the back room, and I got the feeling that the café is well-patronised by the parents of Stockbridge.
Although this time we had just stopped in for a quick bite to eat and a drink, I'm looking forward to going back again to sample more of the baked treats in a comfortable café that feels like a home.
This reminded me of an old children's cartoon. I had to look up Wikipedia to find the name of it - "Noah and Nellie". It had a flying ship called the SkylArk and they would shout "All aboard the SkylArk". I wonder if that had anything to do with the name?