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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.

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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.

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On the road Reviews

On the road: The Badger Bar, Rydal, Cumbria

The Badger Bar, Rydal, Cumbria
The Badger Bar, Rydal, Cumbria

A late autumn break in the Lake District and a great chance to escape Edinburgh for a few days and explore some of Cumbria’s fine hostelries. Top of the pubs on this trip was the Badger Bar, part of the Glen Rothay Hotel near Ambleside.

With a sandwich board outside promising “Real Ale, Real Food and Real Staff!”, it was with high hopes that we entered the beautiful, whitewashed, traditional inn. And the traditional look continued inside. My spirits rose when I saw that there was a 10% CAMRA member discount and 36p was duly deducted from my pint of local brew Cat Nap (Barnsgate Brewery) and a pot of tea was brought over for Mrs Bar Fly.

Categories
Food Leith Walk Reviews

A hot dog deal at Jeremiah’s Taproom

Jeremiah's Taproom, Elm Row, EdinburghI’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.