This used to be an old faithful pub for a Friday night for us many moons ago, the sort of pub that would hand out free sandwiches at the bar to keep you buying more beer. Of course it’s had a big revamp since then and possibly new owners too.
It feels a little over-produced, and there’s a hint of fakey Ye Olde Pubbe about it, but overall it’s nothing to complain about. I got a similar impression in the Golf Tavern, and it’s no coincidence since they were both fitted out by the same folk (Tibbatts Abel, if you’re interested).
It’s a medium-sized pub as Edinburgh goes, with various nooks and crannies. There are quirky, perhaps even original booths round the back of the bar, and a slightly intimidating collection of wine bottles stuck to the ceiling. I like the effect, but don’t really want to sit under them. A few are missing, which is a little disconcerting.
As for ownership, this place is part of the Signature Pubs group, though I can’t find a definitive list of their pubs anywhere. However, after some quick searching on the web they also own and run The Huxley, Element and the Black Bull at least. Also, the board of directors for Signature is almost identical to the Speratus Group. You may remember that name from the Golf Tavern, and Amicus Apple.
There are 4 cask pumps, 3 of which were operational tonight: Harviestoun Old Engine Oil, Williams Gold, and Caledonian Deuchars. On keg: Innis & Gunn Lager, Guinness, Moretti, Blue Moon, Heineken, Carling, Singha and Coors Light.
The round was £19.30 for 5.5 pints (3 Williams, a Harviestoun, a Guinness and half a Blue Moon), so a fairly reasonable £3.50 per pint.
There’s a cocktail menu too.
It all sounds a bit fancier than your average pub (confit pork belly, pan fried coley), but prices are still hovering only slightly above average pub prices these days, all mains near enough £9. Everybody seemed happy enough with their meals on this visit as far as I remember, and the waiting staff were friendly and accomodating.
We got shunted through to the “PD room” (private dining, I think), a small room at the back of the pub with its own telly and stereo system.
TVs were showing football. Covered seats outside.
Nowt. It turns out it was just a bit dark or we got lazy and didn’t check. There’s a clear view of the castle from the patio outside.