North Berwick – magical but cliquey?

North Berwick – magical but cliquey?
North Berwick holds so many magical memories of my childhood.  Long sunny days on the beach, family games of putting, the outside swimming pool, the trampolines, the parks, the fish and chips.

My parents would hire a cottage in Dirleton in the summer and we would spend wonderful long days on the various beaches and in the various parks. It was one amazing adventure and we loved it.  So of course it is a place I want my kids to love too. East Lothian is a place for making memories.
Now that Charlie is a little older and wiser, I feel more comfortable taking both kids to the beach without Daddy pig.  So last week, on a beautiful sunny day, I took my chance. That is my favourite thing about the scottish summer.  We cherish every single sunny day, like it is our last.  I packed up the car and texted friends who I knew would be there.
I have spoken to people who live in North Berwick who tell me that, like any small town, it can be extremely cliquey and if you’re not born and bred there you’ll know about it.  I guess I can see why the locals are so protective over their wee toon, it really is a special place.  Although we also need to remember to move with the times.
On arrival, the 2 year old and I were desperate to find a toliet.  A mango smoothie and cup of tea was probably a bad idea before we set off.  I had stopped down a country lane for Charlie once already but my bladder was well and truly full to the brim.  My pelvic floor amazes me after two kids at nearly 10 pounds, good effort love! I digress.

Quirky toliets at Steampunk

My ideal scenario was that the toliet would be at Steampunk because I have been desperate to try the place for a while.  I asked a local for directions as soon as we parked, I knew it was near the high street and not on the beach.  The local chap I spoke to was lovely and so helpful but I noted his dissapointment in my coffee place of choice.  Why did I want to go to Steampunk like so many others do?  He asked if I was a blogger and I had to laugh.  Yes, I have even brought my new camera to take some snaps.  He explained he finds the coffee overrated and a bit too cold.  Not the best start.  On asking where we should go for lunch, he suggested the Lobster Shack which is where I had planned to go so not all was lost.
I had already been warned by locals that Steampunk is not the best joint to go to with kids. With kids it is apparently best to go to Cake. It’s noisy, pretty messy and they have a little play corner and are very patient with all the kids.  Noted to try there in future!
I am coffee mad though and wanted to follow my caffeine love over softplay ease on this occasion.  I loved Steampunk and with a book and no kids it would have been so chilled. Unfortunately, despite it being a beautiful sunny day, it was windy and the kids wanted to move inside.  I would have happily sat basking in the sun.  The coffee was delicious and not too cold for my taste.  The carrot cake with cream cheese frosting was equally good and it looked lovely too.

Coffee and cake at Steampunk

I managed to get a few shots of us outside.

Steampunk coffee entrance


Lovely sunny morning for a steampunk coffee but a pity about the wind


Trying to keep the kids still outside at Steampunk coffee


The face of a Mum rushing her coffee wanting a few more minutes to relax

As many locals say, the best part of living in North Berwick, or closeby, would be the proximity to the beach and the fresh clean air.

North Berwick Beach

I have to agree and I remember this wall well from my childhood.  It is great to be able to relax knowing that this is one lovely, shallow paddling pool for the kids to play in.
After a morning swimming and paddling on the beach, we hit the Lobster Shack.

Half Lobster and chips at The Lobster Shack

The food was delicious.  Just remember to carry cash as they don’t accept card payment so I had to run and pay at their sister restaurant.  Thankfully we were there with friends so I didn’t have to brave the run back with two hungry little people.

Lovely lunch at The Lobster Shack

The food was fresh and delicious and the beach vibes were super chilled.  The kids scraped their plates as I had promised them ice cream which they had been asking for since 8am.  Not bad given the fact it was now 245pm.
We ran out of time but I would have loved to have taken the kids up to the park.  I am also looking forward to them being old enough for a putting game by the sea.  Not to wish the years away too quickly!
Locals also inform me that North Berwick is a  great place to bring up kids, it is safe and the schools are very good.  Some days we talk about moving closer to the beach but would we take it for granted?  The beach is most definitely a happy place.  The salty air, sea breeze, sand on our toes.  What’s not to love?  I love watching the kids run around, free like little birds.

Beach Life

In terms of those precious kiddie free nights out, I did a little survey and the herringbone comes out tops for the best atmosphere. One to add to the list.

The Herringbone, North Berwick

The only con for me is there is apparently no dancing in North Berwick.  Nothing a good house party can’t sort out.  Already looking forward to going back #beachlife.
Note – I am going to start posting my top coffee finds here, please feel free to share yours as this is a community page.  The page was origincally called Coffee with a View but I found my life ain’t quite exotic enough for that title at the moment so I have changed the name to Coffee of the day.
Any top food and fizz finds will be here as usual, including recipes.


  1. July 25, 2017 / 8:20 pm

    Steampunk is my favourite too but def prefer it without kids in tow, have also heard locals say it’s not hot enough but I don’t like my coffee burning hot, like to be able to drink it!
    Herringbone’ cocktails are amazing but I always daydream about sipping espresso martinis over the glass balcony at steampunk with a dj playing tunes in the corner and everyone dancing downstairs. How cool would that be?!?
    But for now there’s always after party dancing at my house!!!!
    Maybe I’ll catch you next time you visit.
    Love NB, I’m not a “born and bred”local but have been here for 23 years now and I think it’s less cliquey than it used to be and is definitely a brilliant place to raise your kids, my first 3 have done primary and high school and all left for uni and my baby is starting primary 1 after the holidays! X

    • July 25, 2017 / 9:20 pm

      Awe that would be lovely ! And lucky you living there such a fab place. Love the idea of the steampunk cocktail sesh xx

  2. Ruth
    July 29, 2017 / 10:39 pm

    Great blog about North Berwick. Looking forward to more 🦋

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