Republic of Leith faces uptowner invasion. To the barricades (aka tramworks)! – Susan Morrison

Here in the Republic of Leith, we’re being hemmed in by artisan bakers.

The tramworks may be necessary to stop a stampede of shoppers hurtling down Leith Walk (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)
The tramworks may be necessary to stop a stampede of shoppers hurtling down Leith Walk (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)

It’s not like we were ever entirely ignorant of the world of cakes and bakes. You’re never far from an Empire biscuit at the Foot o’ The Walk, even if you insist on referring to it as a German Biscuit. Or even a Bismark. Which is just plain wrong.

After all, we boast Greggs, Baynes, and the mighty icon that is Storries. These great bastions of sugar, butter and flour still stand, selling delicacies like Scottish pineapple tart. You know, the one with rubbery yellow icing that bends when you cut it, revealing the weird white creamy filling. What exactly is that? It's got the texture of shaving foam mixed with jam. It expands in your mouth like the stuff they use to extinguish fires on jets. Never seen that on the Great Bake-Off, have we?

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Let's be honest, it’s great. And superb value, too. That icing sticks to your teeth. You can chisel it off later for a post-prandial snack.

Now the new kids in town boast cakes so shiny you can see your face in them. Towers of profiteroles. Brioche packed with cream and fruit. Brownies.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for diversity in baked goods, but it looks like we’re being ringed by a diabetes-inducing doughnut. I swear you put weight on just looking in the windows.

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Naturally, I suspect tram-based foul play. Leith Walk is slowly reviving and buses have been seen going in both directions, but we remain wary. Are all these cakes and goodies here to placate us? Will we reach a point where we just stop leaving Leith?

Come to think of it, it's not just the bakery boom. New booksellers are opening. Cool little retailers are bringing shuttered shops back to life. There are wonderful independent purveyors of wine and beer like Cornelius, Beets and The Leith Bottle Shop.

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Jings. Wait till those uptowners hear of our groovy retail offerings. They’ll stampede down here. Perhaps we need endless tram works to keep them out of our shopping heaven.