As we sat across the road in The New Town Bar we debated whether Stac Polly really counted towards our mission. In the end, we couldn’t argue with the big shouty lettering outside that read “THE GIN AND WINE BAR”. It’s a bar, it counts. You go through the bar to get to the restaurant downstairs, not the other way around.
Anyway, it’s an upmarket place, quite elegant, with a mixture of contemporary and traditional decor. The bar itself has a slightly sterile modern hotel look. Next to that is a warmer, generally beige, long, thin room with stone walls, a long leather bench, nice solid wood tables and a big painting of Stac Pollaidh. Beyond that is a Georgian-ish front room, complete with fireplace, but no sofas, just more tables and an abundance of ceiling roses (no picture, sorry, try here, on their website).
We had the place to ourselves, but being quiet on a Tuesday night is fairly normal round these parts. The bar man was very friendly and helpful, recommending various gins to those of us not drinking beer. The music was a mixture of smooth jazz and salsa-ish vibes from the likes of Bebel Gilberto, but it wasn’t far of lift or hotel lobby music.
One beer on tap, Peroni. Bottles from Innis & Gunn, West, Erdinger, Deuchars, Baltika (the biggest name in beer I’ve never heard of).
Billed as a “Gin and Wine Bar”, it’s not surprising there is an above-average selection of gins to pick from too. From my perspective, the wine list wasn’t very big, but maybe it’s a great selection, I wouldn’t know.
I’m not sure what the round cost, but beers are about £4.25 for 330mL bottles and £5 for 500mL bottles, gin with mixer was anywhere from £5 to £7. Yes, you read that right, £5 for a bottle of Deuchars!
The brasserie serves food at lunch times, Monday to Saturday. Pricing is easy, all starters £5, mains £11, dessert £4. Food sounds tasty, but a bit posh, certainly not your typical bar meals.