It’s taken a few years for me to come round to the idea of the Cask & Barrel on Broughton Street. On paper, I should love it: plenty real ale, a traditional pub feel, and a wide selection of crisps. However, pub-going is not done on paper, as is often said of football too. And this is where the key to my new-found warmth for the Cask & Barrel has come from: The Beautiful Game.
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?
I’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.