John Gibson: You’ve got to take it or leaf it

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When you’ve been padding over the Pentlands all day and you fancy a refreshing cuppa once you’ve hit town, virtually your first coffee stop will be the Leaf & Bean.

The what? Well, it’s relatively new on the block, opened six months ago at the foot of Comiston Road, close by Morningside’s Holy Corner.

It’s Lindsay Hay’s first business venture. “I had all of 17 years as a shipping executive and stagnation had set in when I started to prowl looking for somewhere to set up on my own. Working for myself is a change of pace. A completely different atmosphere.

“Did my homework and Morningside suited in many respects. Don’t dare say a better class of people, but, yes, folk in these parts are a bit different and they seem to appreciate what we’re doing. They’re not used to tea poured from a china teapot, nor the sight of coffee beans. Filtered-loose leaf tea.” So Leaf & Bean was her idea for a name for what used to be a post office and formerly a bathroom showroom.

Room for 30 people and she has her 19-year-old ex-Boroughmuir son, Tommy, as her chief assistant. “Some day he’ll fall heir to this and a chain of Leaf & Bean franchises,” she laughs.

When she’s not filling the teapots Lindsay keeps something else brewing. A hockey enthusiast, she manages our under-16s and under-18s women’s hockey teams.

Fact that she now runs her own business at Morningside’s Holy Corner possibly would excuse a certain self-righteousness. No sign of that, though.