The Mad Hatter is a fairly new pub in the West End, not far from Haymarket station. It opened earlier this year, a sister bar of The Cuckoo’s Nest up near Tollcross. The upstairs decor is simple but stylish with assorted furniture, perhaps vaguely Scandinavian, a few slightly quirky ornaments here and there. It was all decked out in World Cup flags, and the TVs were showing pre-match coverage. The downstairs bar was empty and unstaffed when we visited, but the lights and the telly were on.
It was a little quiet on this Tuesday night visit, around 8pm. There was a friendly atmosphere and great tunes (Echo and the Bunnymen, Smiths, Blur, Pulp, David Byrne, The Strokes, Rolling Stones, Divine Comedy), and the staff were patient and accomodating.
A previous Saturday night visit proved much busier, when Iain and I nipped in after getting off the last train home from Glasgow. There was a good atmosphere then too, somewhat moodier, and full of attractive people. That could have just been the beer goggles though.
Kegs only: Heineken, Amstel, Moretti, Guinness, Caledonian Three Hop, Affligem, Symonds.
Bottled beers from Knops, Stewart’s, Alechemy, La Chouffe, Vedette, Flying Dog. They also had Pistonhead Kustom Lager in cans, nice to see something unusual.
The round was £21.50 for 3 pints, a can of Pistonhead, a Gin Fizz cocktail and a soft drink. Cocktails are all about £6, the Pistonhead around £3, I’m guessing the softy was £2, so the pints were something like £3.50.
“Very good nachos” according to Russ, our nacho connoisseur. Do I remember you saying they were amongst the top contenders in town Russ, or am I making that up?
Everyone else was happy with their tea here too. It’s quite a small menu with “sandwiches” instead of burgers (example on Facebook). They’re almost burgers really but with beef brisket or pulled pork etc instead of a burger patty. There are some other bits and bobs including some veggie options. Prices are mostly £7 but up to £9.
Pub quiz Wednesday at 730. I think the downstairs bar (pictured right) is available for private hire.