The Elephant House – Edinburgh Scotland

Dessert at The Elephant House Harry Potter Edinburgh Scotland

The Elephant House.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, then it’s likely that you’ve heard about The Elephant House. Touted as “The Birthplace of Harry Potter”, it is said that J.K. Rowling penned some of her works here.

Dessert at The Elephant House Harry Potter Edinburgh Scotland



Here’s my disclaimer. Prior to planning a trip to Scotland, I’d never watched all any of the Harry Potter movies. Sure, I’d seen bits and pieces. I’d even been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter because we had annual passes to Universal Studios when I lived in Florida. I was knee deep in babies and toddlers when the first movie came out. I didn’t have time to brush my hair, much less watch a movie. Then I didn’t want to see them out of order…time passed…and the. I was going to head to Scotland.

So I binge-watched the entire set of movies…and started reading the first book on my plane ride to Edinburgh.

Must See List.

As I perused “must-see” places in Edinburgh, The Elephant House (a gourmet coffee and tea shop) made the list.

I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so we decided to head there one evening, for dessert. We were coming from a dinner down in the Grassmarket. By the time we got the coffee and tea shop, located at 21 George IV Bridge, it was close to closing time. We weren’t sure if we were too late, but they seated us for dessert.


The menu had a good selection of drinks and tasty sweets. My mom opted for the hot chocolate. I went with a hot chocolate that had Bailey’s Irish Creme.

Everyone said they were yum. Overly sweet drinks and I don’t mesh, so I should have gone with coffee or tea. I paired my drink with a decadent slice of red velvet cake.


In a place called The Elephant House, you would expect an Elephant motif. And it did not disappoint. We ended up at this cool table in the back of the restaurant that had this amazing chair.


There really is a view of Edinburgh Castle out the window.

I can definitely see the appeal of sitting here and writing over a nice, warm drink.


Of course one of the things that I heard about was the graffitied bathrooms.

I don’t really take bathroom photos, but snagged this one because there are traces of “ginger” in our family. In fact, while Mr. D’s hair has become a shade of reddish-brown, it was very red when he was born.

On our return to Edinburgh (after Glasgow), I went back to get some photos in the daylight.

We did the bus tour in Edinburgh, on which it was mentioned that many places claim Harry Potter fame, but that only The Spoon Cafe was given a plaque.

That was okay. I didn’t visit The Elephant House because I am a hardcore Potter fan.

I visited because I take inspiration in a woman who poured out her ideas, her words, her imaginations…who created…who took a chance.

It makes me want to be more fearless.

To take chances.

To create.

Let your light shine!


23 thoughts on “The Elephant House – Edinburgh Scotland

  1. I’ve read all the books, not seen the movies, but can’t recall if The Elephant House was in the books! If it was it didn’t stick with me. Your cup-a-cocoa laced with Bailey’s sounds good to me, and that chair! It’s really neat. I think I would want a miniature one for my dollhouse. 🙂

    Did you sign the bathroom wall? Leave a quote? There’s a bar/restaurant in Mexico that has all the walls filled with people’s signatures, and quotes, dates etc. I borrowed a sharpie and left my name and the date I was there in a corner. I doubt I’ll ever be able to find it should I return. 🙂 There weren’t any bare spots! Someone has probably written over my name by now.

    1. The Elephant House’s claim to fame is that J.K. Rowling wrote some of her works there. I didn’t know that prior to my travels. I added that to the post.

      I did not come prepared, so no signature from me. :(.

      1. Ah. So, that’s the connection. Got it!

        You’ll have to go back for lesser sweet drink, and perhaps sign the wall. 🙂

        I’d love to go one day. Both my Mom and I recently had our DNA analyzed and found we have more Scottish dna than British and a couple of surprises that shocked us. Since then I said to her we should do a trip over there exploring a little. We’ve both been to England, but not Scotland. Ireland is also on my list.

      2. I’d love to get back to Scotland!
        Who did you use for DNA analysis. I’d love a breakdown on the Scottish portion. My testing lumped my 79% as being England, Scotland, and Wales. My husband had some fun surprises. Mine was pretty vanilla. lol. Ireland, England, Wales…I want to see them all…and more Scotland. Again and again as I’m quite ensnared with it. 😊

      3. We used It doesn’t break it down to the minute details. It’s lumped into a Top Group named Ireland then sub groups are Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. The shocking park is that is 15% of my make up. The British part of my make up is a lot smaller than either my Mother and I thought. I don’t have an over abundance of anything. Truly a mutt! 🙂
        The shocking things are finding Scandinavian, and Jewish dna. We now suspect that the ancester that first arrived in the States in 1609 was probably Jewish from the Netherlands. Was he really Dutch? We have no idea. He used a made up name.

      4. That IS interesting! My Ireland is 10%, but when you add that to the 79% Great Britain, I become 89% derived from that region! I definitely thinks that’s why I have a pull to visit it all. Even the remaining parts are not from areas distant.
        What an exciting mystery about your ancestor! I love mysteries, but I like them to be solvable. Made up names make that so hard.
        I’ve uploaded my raw data to Gedmatch. They have programs for admixture/oracle (which breaks down heritage). Usually they are focused by researchers who were looking for a certain population, but now they have a way for you to type in what heritage (population substring) you are looking for (I typed Scottish) and it tells you the best reference program to run. I still don’t understand it all. I just find it fascinating.

      5. My whole Europe percentage is 99% which wasn’t a surprise knowing what I do know about my family history, and folklore, but the way it broke down was surprising in a couple of areas.
        I’ll have to check out Gedmatch. I’d never heard of them.

        It is fascinating. I wonder if the pull I have for France comes from some deeply rooted gene that I didn’t know I had, but looks like I do have some connection to France? 🙂

  2. Absolutely loving all of your Scotland posts! I am dying of envy. My husband and I hope to go for our 10 year wedding anniversary! We both have Scottish roots. What an amazing trip!

    Also, I want to go to the Elephant House and see if I can absorb any magic JK Rowling may have left behind 😉

  3. What a lovely post! I’m knee-deep in reading the Harry Potter series for the first time and I’m almost finished the Order of the Phoenix book! I’m also craving a mug of delicious hot chocolate right now!

    1. I’m not sure I’ve written in public venues. I think I might need more silence. I’m not even good at writing when the kids are yabbering all around me. The hot chocolate and cake together was a mistake on my part. I’m not big on liquid chocolate to start with…I just wanted the boozy benefit after a long day. 😂. The vibe was nice.

  4. I am SOOOO excited you posted this!!! *** ALL THE HEART EYES!!!!*** I have imagined what this place looked like from your descriptions, and it is exactly as quaint (and delicious) as you described! Thank you tons for sharing your experience and this inspiration. Ahhh, I need to visit this place one day!

    1. I hope you get there someday!!
      It really was a quaint and yummy place. I didn’t go in with high expectations as their reviews are not wonderful, but our dessert experience was fine. 😊

  5. We did the studio tour at Leavesden with the kids earlier this year – in the atrium area where you queue to get in there is a wonderful series of written panels by J K Rowling looking back at the places she started writing. From memory most of it came about on long journeys on the train back and forth from Scotland – but yes, lots of cafes too.

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