Pubs & Bars
Now that you are pining for a pint, Scotland is blessed with too many incredible pubs and bars in which to sample our finest tipples to mention, from centuries old coaching inns to the swankiest nightspots and pubs immortalised in literature.
The 2018 Pub and Bar Awards named Innis & Gunn Beer Kitchen in Edinburgh, WEST on the Green in Glasgow, The Plockton Hotel in Plockton and the Old Mill Inn in Pitlochry as the best in their regions. We’ve sampled them all and they are fantastic, blending great atmosphere with great libations, however, here are some of our Edinburgh favourites, just in case guests fancy popping ‘into town’ for a beer, a dram, a gin, a cocktail or some fizz:
The Devil’s Advocate
Found down a narrow medieval close, the interior is airy with open spaces balanced by cosy booths, finished in brick, timber and slate. Expect to find bold ales and cocktails.
The Canny Man’s
Recently voted the best pub in Edinburgh, The Canny Man’s is where to go if you like hanging baskets, nooks and crannies, memorabilia and drinking with the crème de la crème. The spiritual home of Miss Jean Brodie, the staff can be a bit frosty, but the vintage port and Bloody Mary’s are fantastic, as is the humidor full of Cohibas.
The Royal Oak
A modest little traditional and friendly pub, The Royal Oak has live folk music every night of the week. Its haunted cellars are said to have been used by murdering bodysnatchers Burke and Hare.
A gorgeous setting which was formerly a very grand bank branch, The Dome is full of chandeliers, marble columns, lilies and gilt. Glamorous cocktails, like a Mai Tai or a Singapore Sling, are the order of the day. It has simply the best Christmas decorations in the city.
Glitz and glitter personified. Think lots of black, white and pink hews, mirrored tiles, pop art and fair lights. Tigerlily is thought of as a cocktail lover’s paradise but has just as extensive a single malt list and plenty of local beers. Dress to impress.
A ‘speakeasy’, this gem of a cocktail bar is hidden in a Queen Street cellar and is consistently regarded as one of the world’s top 50 bars.
Cafe Royal Circle Bar
Like a belle époque Parisian courtesan, Cafe Royal us stylish, ornate and just the tiniest bit overblown.
Kaleidoscope Whisky Bar
Owned by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the ground floor of this Georgian townhouse is a surprisingly contemporary bar in which to enjoy a mind-boggling selection of single malt whiskies, including malts of the moment and cask whiskies.
Shining beer taps, dark wood and plump upholstery define this local boozer, almost as much as the New Town ‘men about town’ wearing red corduroy trousers who frequent it. The Cumberland was immortalised in Alexander McCall Smith’s episodic novel 44 Scotland Street. Eight real ales are on tap and a Sunday roast regularly sells out.
Under the Stairs
Utterly civilised with table service only, the cocktails are a bit different, Beetroot and Wasabi Margaritas for example.