As a person of Scottish descent, I managed to resist the siren call of Homecoming Scotland for most of 2009 - and I still haven't visited the Aberdeenshire home of my distant ancestors. However, my day job has meant me spending time north of the border recently - in the fascinating borough of Leith (whatever you do, don't call it a suburb of Edinburgh), where multiple layers of history, culture and migration remain visible, and medieval lanes and Victorian municipal monuments jostle alongside renovated warehouses and spanking new housing developments.
Time, then, for a shout-out to a few of the town's excellent and incredibly civilised cafés, which have made my visits all the more pleasant. I was going to recommend La Cerise, an attractive patisserie and coffee shop right in the middle of Great Junction Street, but unfortunately they were flooded out last week and won't be open again until the New Year. Instead, you could try Café Truva, a cosy Turkish / Mediterranean cafe right on the shore, overlooking the old dockside. Even better, linger awhile at The Water of Leith on Coburg Street, where you'll be assured of great food, an art gallery, free wi-fi and a warm welcome.
I'm looking forward to my next visit.