The decor in here gives an initial luxurious impression with lush patterned wallpaper, rich reds, golden picture frames, exposed stone walls, woodwork and leather seats. You walk into what feels like a small hotel lobby, with the bar on the right and a lounge area on the left. There’s another large room upstairs but we didn’t venture up there. It might be more of a dining room, but I’m not sure.
The clientèle didn’t exactly match the decor though. It was busy with all walks of life: grannies, actual punks, some wide boys out on the lash and ladies out on tour. The TVs were showing the winter olympics and some footy results.
This was pub 3 of 19 on our random February blowout. We started out with the aim of ticking off 8 pubs in the Grassmarket, but got very carried away and did a lot of the Cowgate too. The quality of these posts will deteriorate towards the end as notes become thinner and memory hazier. I’m not particularly proud of the achievement, it was pretty stupid.
6 casks: Caledonian Deuchars, Houston Crystal and Tartan Terror, Stewart’s Edinburgh Gold and SRA, and Thistly Cross cider. On keg: Tennent’s Lager, Guinness, Harviestoun Schiehallion, Peroni, Kronenbourg 1664, Carling, Aspall Cyder.
£14.60 for 3.5 pints, so a bit pricey really at about £4.17 per pint.
Pub classics like bangers and mash etc from £8 to £11, not including 3 variations on fish and chips from £8.80 to £13.50. It’s a bit steeper than Doctors, so there’s a definite Grassmarket tourist tax going on here.
The crowning glory really though is the huge beer garden, complete with outside bar. In the photo on the right there’s more seating out of the shot, up to the right. It was virtually empty on this visit and the bar was closed. Not surprising given that it’s February and cold out. There were some smokers congregating near the door, and that was the only sign of life. It gets very busy in the summer on a hot day, while the main bar inside sits almost empty.
Yes, as you can see above, there’s a decent view of the castle from the beer garden.