Reeves bakes a huge variety of breads, cakes, croissants, scones, pies etc.

Some of their branches, such as those in Salisbury and Amesbury, have cafés attached. None has piped music as far as I know.

Reeves is an independent bakery with nine shops in towns across south Wiltshire, Hants and Dorset. Their original and largest shop is in Butcher’s Row, Salisbury.

Waterstone’s Book Shop, Oban

This branch of Waterstone’s is blissfully music-free. The manager was told by the company to put music in and he refused.

On Oban’s main street, very near the railway station.

Lakeland, Edinburgh

This is part of a large chain of shops selling kitchenware, items for the home and garden, foodstuffs and gifts. It is a wonderful place to browse and the Edinburgh branch is blissfully musac-free.

Bäckerei Gottschalk

If you see a bakery with a queue out of the door – morning and afternoon – you know it’s going to be good. Gottschalk’s Bakery is recommended for the baked goods and the coffee and also for the bustle of a busy shop, untainted by musical wallpaper when we were there last summer. There’s a small indoor cafe beyond the bakery counter, with more tables outside. Graal-Müritz is a seaside resort with a sandy beach on the fringes of the North Sea port of Rostock.
Station: Graal-Müritz (15 mins), reached by local trains from Rostock.

Foyle’s Bookshop

What is still probably ‘Europe’s largest bookshop’ stocks more than 200,000 titles plus cards, stationery, printed music, classical music CDs and Classic and World DVDs. It also hosts Ray’s Jazz Music and Books, the Café and a Gallery and an events space. Totally refurbished in 2004, it has shed its old Soviet-style approach to customers and now has 80 helpful, informed and informative staff who really know their stuff.
Open 9.30 am to 9pm six days a week and 11.30am to 6pm Sunday.
There are sister branches – smaller of course – at St Pancras International, London’s South Bank Centre, One New Exchange (in the city of London) Westgate, the giant shopping complex in west London, and at Cabot’s Circus, Bristol.

‘Europe’s largest bookshop’ – and perhaps its best.

Marks and Spencer (Marble Arch branch)

This chain of shops was, for many of us of modest means, the place where we disposed of the chore of clothes shopping. Alas most of the London branches of M & S have succumbed to the curse of piped music. A member of staff at this branch was horrified to hear that things had got so bad elsewhere but assured me that five flagship branches were music-free. These branches are also better staffed, with people available specifically to help customers.

My visit was for a jacket and trousers to cope with a sartorial emergency. Within five minutes, a cheerful committee was working on me; rejecting my first choice of jacket as too sombre, another as not quite fitting, then disappearing and returning with a few pleasant twill shirts in my size (apparently, I risked being in breach of some important rules of colour-combination). Tip top service.

Oxford Street. Near Marble Arch Underground Station.

Waterstones Bookshop, Princes St, Edinburgh

A rare quiet spot in the West End of Princes St to browse and have a coffee.
There is no music here any more, neither anywhere in the bookshop nor in the cafe on the second floor, due to the efforts of the Edinburgh Pipedown group.

This is the westerly of the two Waterstones in Princes St

National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

Quiet place to sit. Lots of computers. Excellent home made soup and good coffee. Snacks.
The National Library is opposite Edinburgh’s Central Lending Library.

Internet cafe in the Foyer of the National Library in the centre of Edinburgh.
Monday-Friday: 08.30-20:00
Saturday: 09.00-17.00
Sunday: 14.00-17.00

Peter’s Yard, Edinburgh

In the new development of Edinburgh’s old Royal Infirmary.
Artisan bread and Swedish pastries, soup and snacks at lunchtime.
High quality and highly priced but a pleasant atmosphere.
Outside tables in most weathers.

Weekdays 7.00 am- 6.00 pm
Weekends 9.00am – 6.00pm

Central Edinburgh, peaceful location near the Meadows

Daunt Books

While Daunt’s originally concentrated on travel books, its branches now stock books on a huge range of subjects and their staff are most unusually helpful and informative. The atmosphere in all shops is almost dangerously agreeable – dangerous to the pocket, that is. The original branch in Marylebone High Street is ‘the most beautiful bookshop in London’, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Hours Monday ~ Saturday 9.00 ~ 19.30. Sunday 11.00 ~ 18.00. The Belsize Park branch is open an hour longer on Sunday. Check their web-site at