It was always going to be tough for The Other Place at Canonmills to impress me given that it was my first pub visit after a trip to New York where service and food had been exceptional. What’s more, given that they claim that their menu is American-inspired, I’d be testing them on an iconic NYC speciality – the hotdog. So did this relatively new boozer deliver a successful ale and sausage-based experience?
What has happened to me? In recent weeks, I have twice had cocktails with male acquaintances. Surely it is too early for my mid-life crisis? Of course it is. By pure coincidence, circumstances have taken me to the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews and also to Monboddo on Edinburgh’s Bread Street. Both definitely more bar than pub but both very pleasant in their own special ways. Given that my focus here is Edinburgh, let’s talk about Monboddo, part of the Doubletree Hilton hotel.
Hectors is one of those places that everyone knows about and has probably been to at some point. Its position in the centre of Stockbridge guarantees great footfall and a recent visit there proved it’s cross-generational popularity. Is it any good though?
I’ve never hidden the fact that I like Edinburgh’s traditional pubs – the Guildford Arms, Bennets, that kind of thing. So I find the Queens Arms on Frederick Street a funny one. Opened back in 2010, I’ve been in briefly a couple of times and I’ve never shaken that nagging doubt that it’s a new pub trying to be old and that somehow that counts against it. But then I got thinking – does that matter? Should I penalise a pub for actually trying to be what I want? It needed an in-depth investigation and a Monday night dinner with Mrs Bar Fly was the vehicle for my enquiries.
The Raeburn Hotel languished lonely and unloved in Stockbridge for a number of years until it was re-opened earlier this year as simply The Raeburn. Offering boutique hotel rooms, a bar, restaurant and various terraces, a lot of money has clearly been spent on the place as we discovered recently when we went for Sunday brunch the day after a wedding. Eight of us plus Eric the dog were looking forward to a hearty breakfast and a look back at the previous day’s momentous events in the company of the bride and groom themselves. So did the Raeburn measure up enough for us to consider a long-term relationship?