I went to Carlysles Court to take just a couple of images for a student area guide as The Shabby Scholar, an award-winning boutique-style tapas bar that is located there, was recommended as one of the best and amiable places for students. An urban gem situated in a cosy courtyard in the very centre of Carlisle, the Shabby Scholar is popular with students for its casually stylish and comfortable decor, tasty cocktails mixed to perfection and a great atmosphere to share tapas with the group of friends (that is, if you book in advance). You can enjoy the sunshine while having a cup of coffee at one of the outdoor tables or have a selection of high quality imaginative tapas bites in a delightfully quirky indoor setting. Indeed, it has been nominated for the Best Casual Dining award for the second year running.
True to its name, the bar embodies the shabby chic aesthetic and boasts a well thought out combo of vintage decor pieces, mismatched tables and chairs, rustic citrus fruit displays and vintage-style cushions with embroidered sayings. It was such a treat to my photographer’s eye that I stopped for a late lunch, a cheese toasty imaginatively served on a heart-shaped board, with hand-cut chips and salsa on the side and my cutlery unusually presented in a mini bucket.
As there was a lull before the cocktail hour I took some additional editorial lifestyle photographs of the Shabby Scholar’s attentive and amiable stuff and its quirky interior. On my train journey back to Dumfries I caught myself recommending the place left and right to my travel companions.