Edinburgh is like a pleasant wine – it is easy to drink, easy to love, and leaves one with a pleasant memory and yearning to return again.
It is also an immensely beautiful city with it’s old and storied buildings, cobblestoned roads and wonderful little lanes and corners to discover with each bend in the road. It is also a very hilly city, which makes for fantastic views of the layered buildings and roads from a distance.
Pub crawling has never been my thing, but with at least one pub on every corner and every street, it was inadvertently easy to do so in Edinburgh. In the biting wind of early spring in Edinburgh, its smaller, cosier pubs were warm and welcoming havens, and their whisky a comforting balm for the chill.
Naturally, hubby and I also ate out a lot at various pubs in our short time there.
The Canon’s Gait – Craft Beer Bar and Kitchen
The first pub we visited was The Canon’s Gait, named after its location in the Canongate district of Edinburgh, with “Canon” meaning clergy/priest, and “Gait” meaning way or passage.
“The Gait’s” seafood chowder (£5.25)
Pigs in blankets, wholegrain mustard sauce & rustic bread (£5.25)
Mini fish and chips (£5.95)
Left to right: Stewart Brewing – Holyrood Pale Ale, Orkney – Dark Island
The food was decent, and a bit on the heavy side. The drinks were amazing. Loved the local craft brews.
White Hart Inn
On the second day of our trip, we dropped by Edinburgh’s oldest pub – the White Hart Inn.
White Hart Inn (not the one referred to by Arthur C. Clarke in his Tales from the White Hart. This White Hart Inn can still claim an equally illustrious literary history with the poet Robert Burns availing himself of the hospitality of this inn in 1791 (and they memorialised his visit on the ceiling beams.)
My first drink was a whisky, an Inchimurrin 12 year old (£5.10) – described on the menu as being creamy, rich and sweet – this has spicy barley, salted caramel, candied peel, herbs and pear drops.
I found that it was indeed as promised, and very delicious drinking. Can totally understand now why it’s drunk in cold cold cold places. Whisky so warming!
The cold encouraged me to try a second whisky – a Talisker 57 North (£8.25) – described as explosive – peppery smoke, sweet chilli, creamy toffee and salty seaweed.
This wasn’t as easy drinking as my first one, but still good. The flavour combination tasted somewhat medicinal.
Hubby had a White Hart Ale from Belhaven Brewery in Dunbar, Scotland, which was their house ale, and described as pleasantly bitter with mild biscuit and raisin notes. Brewed to celebrate their bar’s 500th year anniversary in 2016.
Wee Taste of Haggis (£5.49) – if this is wee, I dread the size of the mains version Chieftain Haggis served with creamy mashed potatoes, bashed neeps (parsnips) and creamy whisky sauce
Grilled Scottish Salmon Hollandaise (£12.99)
Thumbs up for both food and drink.
No.1 High Street
Our final meal at Edinburgh was at No.1 High Street.
This pub, ironically was not our No.1 choice, as we had originally intended to patronise The World’s End across the street from it. However, the wait for a table at The World’s End was 30 minutes, so we made our no.2 the no.1. No regrets.
We did end up changing tables though, as the first table we sat down at in the front corner with the cushioned bench smelled a little wet and dank. However, that was the only thing off about the place when we were there.
Left to right: Whisky Mac – a measure of Black Bottle whisky and ginger wine (£4.30), Belhaven’s Best (£4) – bloody good beer. Really sad we probably can’t get this in Perth.
Sharing Platter (£11.95) – Contained chicken wings, potato wedges, onion rings, garlic bread, battered haddock goujons and haggis fritters served with barbecue and mayonnaise dips.
Guys, I gotta say this now. Fried haggis is best haggis. The deep fried haggis fritter in this dish was hands down the best thing I ate in Edinburgh for the entire trip, and topped a dish (coming up in last post on Lovage) I thought couldn’t be topped.
For dessert, we shared a Cranachan (£4.95) – pronouced Kra-nak-kan. This is a classic scottish dessert with whipped cream, whiskey, honey, raspberries and toasted oatmeal (that tastes a bit like Nestum).
I need me more of that Belhaven’s Best. And fried haggis is best haggis.
All posts in series
- Eat Drink Edinburgh -The Pubs of Edinburgh (this post)
- Eat Drink Edinburgh – Breakfast, Hogs and Eating In
- Eat Drink Edinburgh – Lovage – Pretty lights and lovely food