An August 2006 trip
to Edinburgh by Red Mezz
Quote: From one end of Edinburgh to the other, the pubs to choose from can be dizzying...here's a full account of the good, bad and ordinary.
Restaurant | "The Cafe Piccante"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 29, 2006
19 Broughton Street
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 3JU
+44 0131 478 7884
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 17, 2006
9b Victoria St.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 20, 2006
4-6 South Bridge
+44 (131) 5575114
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 22, 2006
Jekyll and Hyde
112 Hanover Street
+44 (131) 225-2022
Attraction | "The Cougar Lounge"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 29, 2006
28 Bernard Street
Leith, Scotland EH6 6PP
+44 (131) 476 8080
At the top of Broughton Street and just a few doors down from the Piccante Cafe is the great little traditional British style pub, Mathers. Though it is true that pubs of this style are a often a dime a dozen in Britain and it's hard to find a street in Edinburgh that doesn't claim at least one, there are still certain important elements to such a place that can make all the difference in a great pub to visit, and one like all the rest.
Pubs of this kind are in danger of becoming one of two things, either a local’s pub which have a tendency to give off a bit of a hostile vibe to visitors or those who aren't regulars, or to be too touristy and always be full of tourists which can ruin such an environment just as easily.
And I think that Mathers manages to straddle these two opposites rather nicely. I doubt very seriously you will find it in any tourist guides; and it's probably not on many 'things to do in Edinburgh' lists. But that doesn't mean it doesn't have a lot to offer.
A lot of the locals do go here, but it still maintains a very pleasant and inviting atmosphere. The decor is very traditional and extremely pleasant. One of the best aspects of Mathers is its fire place which, though not large or ornate, makes a great warm environment to sit and enjoy a pint on a cold winter evening. The other thing that Mathers has going for it (along with the fact that it is rarely over crowded and also rarely empty) is the food. It is pub food, no mistake. It is not gourmet by any means, but it's nice, and very eatable along side a pint and a blazing fire. But more than the food itself or the selection (generally fish or burgers--general pub food) it's the price. It is extremely cheap for what you get... often running specials for two meals for £6.
This is an especially good place for backpackers or people travelling on a shoe string. It's only about 5 minutes walk down Queen Street from the bus stop, and is very cheap and filling. It couldn't be easier to find, turning onto Broughton Street off of Queen Street at the Conan Doyle and several doors down on the right.
The staff have always been pleasant and pretty good in this pub, much better than the infinitely pricier pub, the Conan Doyle just up the street.
This pub is very different from the others in this review, but it's good for a lot of different reasons, all depending on what you hope to get out of your pub experience. Warmth, hospitality and a filling and cheap meal are what it does best.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 30, 2006
25 Broughton Street
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 3JU
+44 131 556 6754
What would a pub crawl review be without a cocktail bar on the list? And though it's true that Bar Kohl is really not a pub in the strictest sense of the word, it's a great place to add to this list of what may more appropriately be called Bar Hopping. Quite different from most of the other place I've reviewed in this pub crawl, Bar Kohl has quite a lot to offer, whether your staggering in at the middle of making your way though this list, or coming in for a pleasant evening to taste test what is a staggeringly impressive menu of cocktails and vodka shots. This is a nice place, simply put. It's a bit on the trendy side, yes (OK, a fair bit on the trendy side) and does fill up with students; but then what Edinburgh bar doesn't? Despite its tendency to be trendy it's still got a really good atmosphere, and particularly on the weeknights (if you are more about a nice vibe and sampling their selection) are very chilled and you get the place largely to yourself.
It's a nice looking bar, mostly done up in brick but lit all over with candles with tables both tucked away in private little coves and pick nick style tables across from the bar, which spans both sides of a not too cramped area. There is even a gigantic screen in the back room that while I was there played the British cult classic 'Monkey' the whole time, which made for a rather unique step away from being too trendy and pretentious. A lot of people I've heard have complained about the music played in Bar Kohl but to be perfectly honest I remember nothing about it. It can't have been to grating. Another thing that separates this bar from the bars that I normally review is that this one is not cheap. It varies from moderate to very expensive depending on how deeply you want to delve into your pockets. But then it’s a cocktail bar, and from what I can tell it's one of the best in Edinburgh. I have heard locals who make the cocktail bar rounds more than I have say that there are one or two others that are as good or better, but this is far and away the most impressive I have been to, and would recommend it to any one who likes a good cocktail. The staff really know what they are doing and of the 10 of us who went we all came out very very pleased and impressed with what we got. Plus, as you will see in the big chalk board when you walk in they have no shortage of vodka shooters and interesting drinks and pitchers, including one called the 'Big Pimping' which includes champagne and comes with cherries covered in edible gold. Yes gold. Its £62, but it is very nice. Also at a good location, a nice bar to visit.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 20, 2007
54 George IV Bridge
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1EJ
+44 131 225 6936
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on March 13, 2008
49 London Street
Edinburgh EH3 6LX
+44 0131-556 9808
Inverness, United Kingdom