On the road Reviews

On the road: The Badger Bar, Rydal, Cumbria

The Badger Bar, Rydal, Cumbria
The Badger Bar, Rydal, Cumbria

A late autumn break in the Lake District and a great chance to escape Edinburgh for a few days and explore some of Cumbria’s fine hostelries. Top of the pubs on this trip was the Badger Bar, part of the Glen Rothay Hotel near Ambleside.

With a sandwich board outside promising “Real Ale, Real Food and Real Staff!”, it was with high hopes that we entered the beautiful, whitewashed, traditional inn. And the traditional look continued inside. My spirits rose when I saw that there was a 10% CAMRA member discount and 36p was duly deducted from my pint of local brew Cat Nap (Barnsgate Brewery) and a pot of tea was brought over for Mrs Bar Fly.

Food Leith Walk Reviews

A hot dog deal at Jeremiah’s Taproom

Jeremiah's Taproom, Elm Row, EdinburghI’m not a regular user of deal sites such as Groupon and Itison but when an offer for Jeremiah’s Tap popped into my inbox recently, I decided to give it a whirl. For just £9, I would get a hot dog and fries plus a half pint of Innis & Gunn or a small glass of wine for two people. The promise that it would be a Crombies sausage sealed the deal for me.

Now, this wouldn’t be my first visit to Jeremiah’s Tap, formerly the Elm Bar on Elm Row that has recently undergone a major refurbishment and is looking pretty good. (Albeit that it is now a member of the Fifty Shades set, though the classiest of the bunch.) I’d popped in for a quick beer on the evening it opened and I’d also been in and out of it very quickly when Mrs Bar Fly and I were looking for somewhere to do the crossword on a Saturday afternoon where she could also indulge in a hot chocolate. Despite being advertised on the drinks list outside, we were disappointed when the barmaid explained that they didn’t have any because “we’ve just opened”. They’d been open a fortnight . . . To Joseph Pearce’s we went for a hot chocolate that day.

General Opinion

50 Shades of Grey: The Modern Frontage of Edinburgh Pubs


Edinburgh can be grey. Very grey. From around October to February, it is probably the most common colour in Scotland’s capital. The weather is grey, the buildings are grey and sometimes the people can be a tad on the grey side as well. Therefore we don’t need any more grey. Yet, current trends for pub frontage are adding to this great city’s greyness.

Pubs should be welcoming places. And this doesn’t just mean having a friendly face behind the bar. Before you get that far, you have to be enticed in. The place has to have “kerb appeal”, as smug Phil Spencer might say on one of his many property porn shows. So, why, why, why, are so many Edinburgh pubs’ frontages grey? And I’m not talking about old, weathered, faded facades. I mean new, and newly refurbished hostelries.