Exterior sign

Exterior sign

Not only has the West End and Haymarket been a coffee wasteland for a good while, it has been home to a fair amount of Starbucks and Costa grimness. In one fell swoop, Noir has addressed both issues, taking over the Sbux on the corner of Palmerston Place and bringing much needed coffee excellence in its place.

Manager Dean is late of Artisan Roast (having worked at Machina and Cult along the way, too) and was the man pulling the shots at Artisan’s excellent Holy Garage pop-up during the 2015 Festival.

He’s joined by a team of familiar faces from other fine Edinburgh coffee purveyors in this exciting new cafe.

The interior is much changed from the previous place. With bank conversions – I remember the days when this was a branch of RBS – it usually takes a couple of refits to shed the formal feel of financial fixings. This now feels modern and contemporary, and is refreshingly free from filament lightbulbs. I liked it a lot.

My array of cups

My array of cups

The initial coffee offering brings together a couple of smart Artisan Roast coffees – Cobblestone and a Nicaraguan single origin. These are joined by some really exciting beans from Horsham.

Given the place is five minutes from my abode, I’ve visited a fair bit since I heard about it from the Edinburgh Coffee Lovers.

On my first visit, on day seven of business, Dean was kind enough to treat me to a sample array of both espressos, then a long black and flat white to show them off to best advantage.



The Cobblestone is likely to be their go-to house espresso, at least to begin with. It has excellent balance and will satisfy a range of tastes. The Nicaraguan had much brighter complexity and will be a real winner with espresso devotees.

Their food offering is still developing but will feature soup, in due course, to go alongside the simple sandwich, pastry and cake selection currently on the go. They’re sourcing from nearby Patisserie Maxime, which is a smart play.

So overall, Noir is doing excellent work. I look forward to seeing how things develop and will come back to review the food, in due course. They’re starting out with one of the smartest coffee offerings in the city, so make sure to visit soon.

5 stars 2

Address: 1 Palmerston Place, Edinburgh EH12 5AF

Written by BKR