Leith Walk Pub quiz Reviews

Tuesday football and quiz at Robbie’s, Leith Walk

To my shame, I didn't recognise Katy Perry
To my shame, I didn’t recognise Katy Perry

Robbie’s on Leith Walk is an Edinburgh institution. Situated on the corner of the Walk and Iona Street, it’s a no-nonsense pub with more televisions than you can shake a stick at. Popular Edinburgh author Tony Black has even penned a short story about the place, Ten Bells at Robbie’s, and admits he’s a huge fan of the place.

So it was that Robbie’s was chosen as a decent, local, football-showing pub for a recent catch-up with a mate. Despite an initial worry that they were showing Chelsea in the Champions’ League rather than the Celtic game, this proved to be unfounded as the channel was switched in time for kick-off. The less said about Celtic’s performance against AC Milan, the better, but how did Robbie’s perform?

Lothian Road Reviews

The Red Squirrel for pre-dinner drinks

The Red Squirrel, Lothian Road, Edinburgh
The Red Squirrel is looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on Lothian Road

I think I’ve decided that I’m more of a squirrel person than a bat person. Admittedly, I’m basing this purely on my two recent experiences of Lothian Road pubs. A couple of weeks ago, I visited the Hanging Bat but this week it was the Red Squirrel, further down Lothian Road towards Princes Street. And a pleasant, if slightly pricey, experience it was too.

It was Guy Fawkes Night and myself and Mrs Bar Fly had dinner booked at One Square, the main restaurant in the Sheraton Hotel. The reason for this was a free steak promotion but the less said about the rubbery mass of sinew we were faced with, the better. This is about the Red Squirrel.

Canonmills Then & Now

Then & Now: The Stags Head -> The Other Place

white strip

As I’ve noted, Edinburgh’s pubs have been changing rapidly in the past year or so, nowhere more so than down in Canonmills where two old stalwarts, The Stags Head and McLachlan’s have been replaced by modern bars The Other Place and Cross & Corner respectively.

In the first of a series looking at before and after these transformations, here is The Stag’s Head magically turned into The Other Place.

Other Place Staggs BEFOREOther Place AFTER

Simply drag the slider right and left to see the transformation that has occurred. It’s a real pity they have to put those ugly blue wheelie bins there . . . If you’re on a tablet, you may only be able to see the full before or the full after but you’ll still get the idea.

Reviews Royal Mile

The Mitre on the Mile

The Mitre on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh
The Mitre looked welcoming on a wet Edinburgh evening

The pubs of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile are generally avoided by any self-respecting local, who knows that they are merely tourist traps out to make maximum profit from visitors through minimum effort and maximum tartan and haggis. The Mitre, however, I’ve always found pretty solid.

On a dark, wet night in town, you’ll see from the picture that it’s an attractive looking hostelry. Now, I have to admit we’d chosen the Mitre on this particular evening to use a £5 e-giftcard that Nicholson’s Pubs had emailed for the completion of a survey. Of course, once I’d ordered a couple of pints, I couldn’t locate the email on my phone. “Don’t worry,” said the barmaid, “I don’t think we’ve been running such a scheme.” And here lies one of my biggest bugbears with pubs that offer discounts and incentives: you have to tell your staff. I hate handing over  a voucher and being looked at as if I’ve just handed over a bagful of human waste. “I’ve never heard of this, I’ll have to check with my manager,” is a common refrain before there is a lot of huffing and puffing ultimately leading to a reluctant acceptance. Now, it’s probably not the staff’s fault but the pub company should not put a load of marketing effort and money into getting me through the door only to then treat me like a criminal.

Lothian Road Reviews

The Hanging Bat: where else in Halloween week?

The Hanging Bat has an impressive array of beers
The Hanging Bat has an impressive array of beers

The Hanging Bat’s been hanging around on Edinburgh’s Lothian Road for nearly a year now, moving into the old Mr Modos premises in November 2012. Appropriately, The Bar Fly was able to get along for the first time in the week preceding Halloween.

On a wet Saturday evening, the bar took a little bit of spotting with its muted frontage. Once in though, there’s no doubt the place is warm and inviting. The lighting, colourful original artwork and wooden furniture (the bar looks like it’s been beautifully made with what looked like a carved batman on every tap) makes the place feel cosy despite being spread over two floors. And these guys must be doing something right because the place was bustling even as early as 6.30pm.