Hemma is a huge, modern bar over two floors, entirely glass-fronted so it gets lots of natural light. Inside there’s a long, curved wooden bar, an assortment of mistmatching tables and chairs, a few couches and a fusball table. It’s a good job the windows are so big because it seems like the lighting is otherwise pretty low.
It was very quiet, almost empty, which always seems worse in a big pub. The usual excuse applies, this visit being around 530pm on a Tuesday, typically very quiet all across town. It seems like the sort of place that will be rammed on a Friday night after work at the very least, especially with the number of large offices nearby.
It’s a Boda Bars joint along with Joseph Pearce’s. They have other bars outside of our scope, all down in Leith. The group recently won the British Institute of Innkeeping (Scotland) Bar Operator of the Year award against strong competition.
Cask: Barney’s Good Ordinary Pale. Kegs: Williams Joker and Draught, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Guinness, Coors Light, Singha, Blue Moon, Paulaner Munchen and Hefeweizen, Grolsch. Their twitter feed says 12 beers, so I’ve missed one out. There’s a reasonable bottle selection too from at least Williams Brothers, Black Isle and Idun’s ciders.
The round was £11 for a Draught, a Paulaner and a schooner of Sam Adams. That works out at around £4.15 per pint, a bit pricey. It was probably the Sam Adams to blame, the Williams being £3.80.
The menu looks interesting, different from your average bar food. A relatively small selection but there are various smaller portions for grazing. There’s nothing over £10 unless you add toppings on a burger.
If you’re even slightly a spud fan, definitely have some Hasselback Potatoes. Mmm… spuds.
The name Hemma is Swedish for “at home” apparently, so it’s entirely appropriate that they have a play area for kids upstairs during the day. Upstairs is available for hire and they have some semi-regular events and meetups like a clothes swaps and craft meetups (not craft beer, silly).
There’s also table football plus lots of outdoor seating on long strips of fake grass.