Bright pink and extremely Instagrammable dessert parlour, Sugar & Shakes, has landed in Edinburgh's Bruntsfield

It’s inspired by London cafe chain, EL&N

Published 30th Jul 2021
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

If your eye has been drawn to a bubblegum pink property in Bruntsfield, that’ll be the newly opened “retro dessert parlour”, Sugar & Shakes.

In the former premises of a plumber, it features blush-coloured walls, shelves stacked with sweets in jars, and a display wall of rubber iced doughnuts. Undeterred by the recent introduction of a sugar levy, they’re serving a menu of waffle and cookie sandwiches, doughnut-topped sundaes, ice-cream, milkshakes, freakshakes, and cupcakes thickly piped with icing.

Ice-cream shake

You can sit in, or just outside, but everything is also served to takeaway in striped boxes with love-heart logos.

Its young owner, Annie McMillan, 23, is from the area, but lived in London for a few months, where she took inspiration from EL&N, which calls itself “the most Instagrammable cafe in the world”. She’s also been influenced by the Californian look of Bustle & Wed in Napa Valley, and The Beverly Hills Hotel, with its pink livery alongside monochrome stripes.

“I’ve always had a passion for design and owning a business has always been a dream of mine”, says Annie. “So when the opportunity arose to get the shop in Bruntsfield, I immediately knew what I wanted to do. The colour pink was a no-brainer, as I wanted the place to really stand out and feel unique. We have tried to keep our menu simple but creative, selling mainly ice-cream based products such as our ‘cookie ice-cream sandwich’”.

The plan is to eventually expand to other areas in Edinburgh - “we are currently considering opening another in the Stockbridge area” - who may also be in need of a touch of pink alongside a hefty sugar fix. For now, Annie is enjoying the Bruntsfield vibe.

“Over the past few years it has become quite a hot spot in Edinburgh for trendy bars and restaurants”, she says. “The area is really attracting an upmarket clientele which is exactly the kind of vibe we were going for. Our neighbours at Honeycomb & Co and Tempo Perso have been nothing but enthusiastic and welcoming, and customers seem to be very impressed by the changes we have made”.

3 Merchiston Place, Instagram @sugarandshakes_

Ice-cream cookie sandwich

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
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