Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is one of the most alluring destinations in Great Britain. A tour of the city must include its squares, charming streets, and alleys, as well as its grand monuments and unique museums.
If you wish to take some time and relax along the way, there’s nothing more traditional than a stop at any of its magnificent ancient pubs. Traditional Scottish pubs are famous for their history, atmosphere and good food as well as the beer and whisky they serve.
Let us take you to two of Edinburgh’s most famous pubs: The Café Royal and Deacon Brodie´s Tavern.
The Café Royal
19 West Register Street
The first Café Royal in Edinburgh, dating from 1826, was a tavern where patrons were served coffee, wine, beer and spirits. Its large dining rooms offered mainly oysters on the menu. The Royal Cafe has passed through many hands since it opened its doors although none of the proprietors ever changed the unique Victorian style of its interior. Time seems to stop when we cross the threshold of this legendary place with its elegant windows, fine plasterwork, and irreplaceable ceramic murals. The beautiful building that houses The Café Royal boasts two especially noteworthy rooms: The Circle Bar and the Oyster Bar. The first is a pub where guests can enjoy a choice of seven Scottish cask ales and over 30 local whiskies. The Oyster Bar is a beautiful marble-clad restaurant decorated with murals, colorful lamps and stained glass windows that play with the natural sunlight. The menu includes a broad selection of fish dishes, oysters, and mussels, highlighting its famous black pudding with scallops and a delicious seafood platter. It also offers an extensive choice of wines and the finest champagnes such as Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose, Veuve Clicquot and La Grande Année 2000 Bollinger.
Deacon Brodie’s Tavern
In Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile–in the old town–you will find excellent pubs, including Deacon Brodie’s Tavern, known for its wide selection of beers, whiskies and its generous servings of bar food. This old tavern, one of the most visited in the city, is named after Deacon William Brodie. Born in 1741, Brodie was a colorful character; he was the city councilor but kept a secret life as a thief and gambler. In 1778, he was arrested and sentenced to die by hanging. His story was the inspiration for the famous Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, who a century later wrote The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, based on the bipolar personality that characterized this perfidious deacon. At Deacon Brodie’s Tavern, one can enjoy a pint of craft beer, wines by the glass and Scottish whisky. And no one leaves without trying their traditional dishes such as haggis with neeps and tatties: a lamb or sheep sausage accompanied by mashed potatoes and turnip. Many consider the haggis served in this particular pub as the best in Edinburgh. ■