Young charming café, Strumpets, has hit William St and added to Edinburgh’s West End, bringing with them not only the predicted tea and crumpets, but plenty more with book clubs, witty banter and a distinctively pleasing aesthetic. Hayley MacDonald, Jessica Dale and Ingrida Dornbrook spoke to The Fountain about what they have on offer at this relatively new establishment, which will no doubt give the city’s local residents more of a reason to frequent the West End of Edinburgh.

TF: Where did the inspiration for the name come from? 

Originally, for a cafe name we had been thinking of variations on the word “tea”, and of course, serving tea and crumpets. Then, one day, we were at the Thursday morning auction on Jane Street when we got chatting to a lady who had said that she knew of a brothel madame who lived near to the West End a few decades ago, so wasn’t it funny about Crumpets and Strumpets in Edinburgh? We took that as a good omen and decided to go ahead with the name “Strumpets”. With that in mind, on Sundays we serve homemade crumpets!

TF: And you pride yourself on your range of cakes, I see, providing gluten-free also, with some non-conventional mixes? What have been your favourite cakes in the café so far? 

Yes, we certainly like to keep life interesting with a variety of cakes, from gluten-low to dairy-free, from protein-rich to full-fat, dainty torte slices to plumptious two-tiered beauties; and the list goes on! Our favourites include the dairy-free courgette and lemon loaf, which is zesty and lush without being too dense. If we’re feeling particularly indulgent we love the white chocolate and cardamon cake, which is two tiers of moist cardamon-spiced sponge and glorious white chocolate cream. Recently we’ve debuted an apple and cinnamon mouth watering muffin, and for winter we’ll be bringing in more ginger and other seasonal flavours to our customers’  palates.

TF: What influenced you girls to set up? is it a passion for baking and coffee?

Hayley and Jessica had always wanted to set up a cafe with their own baked goods, and Ingrida originally joined along for the ride and now has been converted to only enjoying the best quality cakes and coffee.

TF: What else do you offer aside from coffee and cake?

Strumpets is ostensibly a cafe, but in truth it is an alternate reality of calm, where our customers can pass the time in a comfortable, aesthetically sophisticated atmosphere and partake in witty banter with the Strumpets proprietresses should they wish. Our function room in the back of the cafe is the ideal haven from the hustle and bustle of the city, with soothing sounds from the fish tank and large format art books for our customers’ viewing pleasure.

TF: And, are you looking to branch into more savoury options for your customers?

Currently we offer various quiches and soups for those wishing to enjoy savoury meals, and we are in menu development for more savoury breakfast goods as well.

TF: Where are you hoping to go from here? It’s been just over six months, and you must have further plans in the pipeline?

We certainly do wish to expand, whilst simultaneously surpassing the expectations of our customers! Please do follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram on @StrumpetsCoffee to be a part of the journey.

And I advise you do, be precisely part of that journey. Not only do the staff give you the warm welcome that makes you feel at ease in their café, but their immaculate attention to detail leaves you wanting to support this contemporary oasis. Whether that be in replenishing their minted water, which accompanies their coffees,or in their quirky light fittings. We hope these Strumpets are here to stay.