The story goes that Deacon Brodie was born into wealth, became an upstanding member of the community and a magistrate, but his drink and gambling habits got the better of him. In order to pay off his gambling debts he took to robbery, but was betrayed by an accomplice and ultimately executed for his crimes. He lived in a close near the pub in the late 18th century.
The pub is well presented with lots of dark wood, an interesting decorative plaster ceiling, some leather benches and old photos on the walls, but still perhaps a touch over-produced. It was reasonably busy for a Tuesday night, with what appeared to be more office or business types than the tourists I was expecting to see. The staff were friendly and the beer was good.
It’s a Nicholson’s pub, so stable-mates with The Kenilworth, The Haymarket Bar, The Conan Doyle, The Mitre, Greyfriars Bobby’s Bar and The Last Drop.
On cask there was Brains I Sea Santa, Adnams Rudolf Nose Best, Harviestoun Sleigh Driver, Broughton Dark Dunter and Nicholson’s Pale (which I still haven’t tried, but an old fella at the bar said was his favourite). I didn’t write the keg selection down, but they’re likely the same as the other Nicholson’s bars, e.g. Guinness, Tennent’s Lager, Carling, Peroni, Stella Artois etc.
The round was £22.70 for 5 pints and a mulled wine, so around £3.80 per pint.
Full meals are only available upstairs in the restaurant. Some snacks and starters are available in the bar downstairs. The menu’s likely the same as most Nicholson’s pubs, with a few burgers, pub classics etc. See their web page linked below for more detail.
Yes, you can see a turret of the castle from outside the pub. The photo’s pretty cack, but you can see it above the taller bus stop sign.