Going out to the pub for breakfast is something I’ve only really discovered in recent years. Now it’s one of my favourite things to do. So the other Saturday when Mrs Bar Fly and I fancied a fry-up fix, we headed down to Teuchters Landing – a break from the norm, it has to be said. Living in Edinburgh, near Leith, I have to admit my default option for a weekend breakfast up till now has been the King’s Wark at The Shore, which does an excellent breakfast albeit often accompanied by somewhat shambolic service. Not rude, just disorganised. So would Teuchters Landing be able to equal or better its nearby rival?
Where does Edinburgh stop and Leith begin? The top of Leith Walk? Halfway down? I’ve never quite worked it out but there’s no doubt that despite Leith now being part of Edinburgh, it is an area fiercely proud of its history, its community and and its importance in the development of Scotland’s capital city. And nowhere is this pride better illustrated than in The Persevere Bar at the bottom of Easter Road.
The Percy as it’s popularly known is a bit of a gem. Taking its name from the motto of Leith, this is a no-frills, warm, community-focused pub that embodies everything that is good about this part of town. Up to a couple of years ago, it was a bit of a mystery to me as I’d been past it hundreds of times but never popped in. I also had no idea what it looked like inside due to its frosted glass exterior. That has gone, however, the paintwork has been overhauled, the flower baskets proudly hung and its signage shines golden and bright. It’s inviting and it was high time I visited.
Anywhere that serves roast beef flavoured Monster Munch is always going to score highly with me. If it happens to also sell Jonny’s Onion Rings, real ale and hot dogs then they’re going to have to really offend me to not get an enthusiastic reception. Thankfully The Brass Monkey hasn’t done too shabby at all on my many visits there.
Firstly, a note of caution – if you intend to meet someone in the Brass Monkey, Edinburgh then note that there are two of them. This one is situated by Pilrig Church on Leith Walk while its sister, smaller venue is up on Drummond Street, near the Festival Theatre. A non-cautionary note would be that you should feel free to meet in either as they’re quite good.
An American woman at the bar summed this place up beautifully as she sat at the bar with her husband recently: “I’ve been here several times but the last time was 15 years ago. It looks and smells exactly the same as it did then.” Let there be no doubt, this was a positive comment.
Situated down at the Shore area of Edinburgh, the Malt and Hops looks like it could be stuck in a time warp, were it not for the constantly updated beer list on the mirror behind the bar showing what’s on and what’s racked. It’s a sign of the priorities here – beer and people.
I wrote in my last post about an old man’s pub being transformed into a fabulous modern yet characterful boozer when I mused on the Fountain at Fountainbridge. Well, a week later and I was in yet another conversion from old to new. This time it was The Flying Dog, formerly the Trafalgar Bar, on Henderson Street in Leith.
Now, I was never in the Trafalgar so can’t pass comment on it pre-refurb though I can imagine it was similar to a number of pubs in the Leith Walk/Easter Road area. Local, uninspiring, coming away at the edges and never quite the same after the smoking ban. So what of it in its new guise as The Flying Dog?