I have to admit that until recently, I had assumed the Bow Bar on Victoria Street had been around for a long, long time. I thought it was a Cafe Royal or Guildford Arms that had been delighting Edinburgh’s pub-going fraternity for generations. It came as a surprise then to find out that in its current guise, it has only existed since the early 1990s. This hasn’t affected my opinion of the place, it just made me go, “Oh, really?” Anyway, what is the Bow Bar like?
It’s 5.01pm on a Friday afternoon and the Waverley on St Mary’s Street is definitely shut and doesn’t exactly look about to open. I carry on to the Holyrood 9A and alert my acquaintance to this fact. He gets this message 10 minutes later. When he’s in the Waverley. It’s comes as no real surprise as the Waverley has always been a bit of a mystery, but unlike a Rebus or Skinner tale, this is a very pleasant, unassuming mystery. So what does go on behind those black doors of an evening? Continue reading The Waverley: a step back in time
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. Continue reading The Mitre on the Mile