The decor here is mostly elephant related, but there are some Harry Potter and J. However its claim to be the “Birthplace of Harry Potter” has little basis as Rowling has stated that she conceived the idea of Harry Potter on a train ride from Manchester to London in 1990 and had already started writing her first novel prior to her arrival in Edinburgh in 1993.
In fact she has stated that she wrote part of it while in Portugal. Rowling in The Elephant House on the coffeehouse’s homepage, at the time of the interview Rowling had just sold her second Harry Potter book and was working on a third. It has been said that some of the gravestones here may have given Rowling inspiration for some of her famous Harry Potter characters.
Stop into Spoon for lunch or dinner or for coffee and a dessert! You may see the cafe’s name and address incorrectly spelled across the Internet by people who have simply copied and pasted the wrong name and address from others (there are hundreds of people who appear to have done this! The street is Nicolson Street not Nicholson street and the cafe was called Nicolson’s Cafe not Nicholson’s Cafe. You don’t have to make your own coffee, you don’t have to feel like you’re in solitary confinement and if you have writers block, you can get up and walk to the next café while giving your batteries time to recharge and brain time to think.
We also provide a walking map of all the Harry Potter spots in Edinburgh to help you explore on your own, a graveyard map to the famous Tom Riddle grave and others, and a list of tour companies that offer guided Harry Potter tours. Fateful train rides seem to run in the family as Rowling would first have the idea for Harry Potter on a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990.
Rowling would come to Edinburgh in 1993 to be nearer her sister and although she had already started work on Despite the connection between Edinburgh and the Harry Potter series, none of the filming for the movies took place in Edinburgh but part of the Harry Potter films were shot elsewhere in Scotland, including many of the famous Hogwarts Express train scenes.
The café was also once frequented by a number of other now famous writers such as Ian Rankin and Alexander Mc Call-Smith. On our last walk by the cafe, there was a note on the door saying that the cafe has instituted a policy where you need to either order food or a drink or pay a small fee for photographs if you want to come inside.
The Elephant House is typically open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by for a meal anytime or just a cup of coffee and pastry.
The gravestone also commemorates other Riddell family members, including his son Thomas Riddell Esquire who served as a Captain of the 14th Regiment and died at Trinidad in the West Indies in September 12, 1802 at the young age of 26.
There are several others graveyard names that have been thought to perhaps be tied to Harry Potter characters, and one could spend forever trying to find similarly named people in the graveyard.
I’ve included a helpful Harry Potter graveyard map which includes Voldemort’s grave and other Harry Potter graves below in case you need it: Greyfriars Kirk (Greyfriars Tolbooth & Highland Kirk) is a parish church of the Church of Scotland. 16 and it is most notable for being the site of the signing of the National Covenant in 1638.
It is still an active church as well as a concert and event venue, and there is a small museum in the church that contains an original copy of the National Covenant document.
These are listed in no particular order although see map towards end of post about where they are each located in Edinburgh:.
She had already started writing the novel before her arrival in Edinburgh, but she would finish the manuscript in Edinburgh, writing in her spare time while taking care of her young daughter Jessica.
I always wanted to try and get that one because it was out of the way in the corner.