Location: 16a Queen Street, Central Edinburgh
Visit: Friday evening, 8pm
To Note? If you cannot see the door look for the doormen, its downstairs behind them. And check out their tea cups on wine glass stems, love it!
Any extra LBS rating (for that je ne sais quoi): **
If you are venturing down into this Edinburgh bar take note - at the bottom of the stairs there is in fact a glass door. I say this because my companion almost walked through this door - glass and all - to much hilarity...on my part...
So I had heard about this bar from many different corners and was warned that by 8pm on a Friday night we would be lucky to get through the door. Perhaps it was the beautiful Edinburgh evening but as we stumbled in we seemed to be the first customers. I say "seemed" because we were in fact blind. Stepping from a bright evening to a basement bar, we barely made it to the bar safely and promptly decided this was where we were to stay.In fact this did not cause a problem; plenty of space for others to order and a great opportunity to chat to the barmen.
Now i have only docked one point for the whole bar and that was for the menu. I am sure it was great but it was so dark we could not read it! This was a double edged sword because since all barmen love to be challenged (?!) we worked our way through a variety of their own whisky, absinthe and gin creations at an outrageous £6.50 each - we ripped them off!
As we left we saw that the bar was made up of nooks and crannies with antiques couches, there may have even been a bed at the back! The bar was filling up but not overcrowded and the music was turned up ready to go.
It seemed a mix of The Whistling Shop, Bed (anyone remember that one?) and the ever-expanding speak-easy trend. However this is not a criticism - as far as I can see they are taking the best from these ideas and making it work, we stayed for hours and the barmen truly knew their stuff. And the extra two stars? One for the wine-glass-meets-teacup creation and one for a stunning Ardbeg cocktail made over a mini iceberg - genius.