One of Edinburgh’s newest bars and the “home of Edinburgh Gin”, it opened only a few weeks before we visited. There are a few similarities to Bramble, from the modest brass plaque outside, to the basement location, nooks and crannies, bottled beers only and low lighting. However, they’re a good bit bigger than Bramble and it’s quite different inside, with mis-matched old armchairs and furniture, slightly on the kitsch side, a fake wood stove, and a touch of the “craft” meme (wood, industrial lights, scaffolding-tables etc). I liked the wee cellar rooms on the way in, they seemed cosy and inviting, though Russ thought they were scary, so we sat in the relative brightness of the bar area. The main attractions though are the two Gin stills, and they’re not just for show. Apparently they’ll be making some “experimental” gins in the near future.
They went a bit overboard with the copper piping, I think maybe the designer sympathised with Vic & Bob’s Barry White (you have to watch to the end, or don’t bother). There’s copper piping running everywhere for the lights on the ceiling, with pointless detours all over the shop like that old Windows screensaver. Too much, I say. Madness!
On this Tuesday night visit, around 6:30 pm, it was a bit quiet with 3 or 4 couples in, but they also haven’t been open long. The barman was friendly and helpful, he seemed to know the menu very well at least. I was really enjoying the music to begin with, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the like, it seemed appropriate, then it progressed to chillout stuff like Bonobo, but started turning sour when Abba chimed in. Disco in a relaxing gin joint doesn’t work I’m afraid.
Bottles only: Singha, Meantime Lager & Chocolate Porter (yum!), Innis & Gunn Toasted Oak IPA, Fyne Ales Jarl, Vedette Extra White.
They do cocktails and, of course, various gins. Since they make it themselves on site you’d think it might be cheaper than usual, but oh no, it’s converted into extra profit instead (probably to pay for all that copper piping). We can’t have the riff-raff coming in for cheap gin and spoiling everything. Cocktails are from £7 to £8.
The beers are quite pricey, mostly £4.25, though the Chocolate Porter and I&G are £4.50.