Cubitts, Edinburgh: we get an eye check at the hip new spectacle boutique

Our vision gets a thorough inspection in the New Town

Cubitts York Place
Cubitts York Place

I once tried to pat a plastic bag in the street, thinking it was a cat. Without my glasses or contact lenses, I am Mr Magoo.

I’m not sure how I survived high school without them, though the urge to not wear specs was strong. I doubt I’d feel the same these days, since glasses got hip.

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The ones I wear now are from Scottish brand, Iolla, and I get my regular eye tests at good old Specsavers.

Cubitts interior

There’s also this very trendy company to add to the mix.

Cubitts has opened two shops in Edinburgh, both in beautiful prime properties, all the better to showcase their frames, which come in at £125. There’s the Old Town branch on 88 West Bow, and, to serve the New Town, this corner property on York Place.

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It’s a beautiful Georgian property, and they've lined the interior with display cases.

In Scotland, we get our NHS eye tests for free. I’ve never really thought about paying for one. I very much take this benefit for granted.

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However, Cubitts invite me along for one of their Enhanced OCT Eye Examinations, which are private and cost £65, so I can see how the other half live.

In essence, the test is similar to my usual, except there’s a bit more time. While I’ll usually be in Specsavers for an efficient but brisk 20 minutes, and there will be a bit of queuing involved, this version takes a leisurely 40 minutes.

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I’m given a thorough vision test, and we find that my prescription is pretty much the same, though there needs to be a tweak on the axis, as I have an astigmatism. I nod sagely, with little idea of what he’s talking about.

We also do the check of my peripheral vision, where you look at a dot on a screen, then press a button when you see another spot fluttering on the outskirts. I enjoy this game, and I score highly.

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There’s the pressure check, when they blow air at your eye with a tonometer, in order to detect problems like glaucoma. I usually hate this, but they have better and more subtle gadgetry here, so there was no need to flinch dramatically.

The main difference with this eye exam is the scan. My eyeballs and optic nerves are photographed and the red-tinted pictures resemble the surface of a planet. I get a thumbs up.

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As it’s closing time, I have to dash off, so I don’t get to browse the specs. I do, however, take a fancy to the new Marchmont frames. If I eventually buy them, I will be the hippest four-eyes in town.

NB: Specsavers are welcome to use my plastic bag incident as a future advertising concept.

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Enhanced OCT Eye Examination, £65 at Cubitts, 1 York Place, Edinburgh (0131 557 8267, www.cubitts.com)