Maison Hector

47 Deanhaugh Street. 332 5328. Mon—Wed l lam-midnight; Thu—Iiri

l lam—lam; Sat l().3(lam—Iam: Sun l().Mam—midnight.

You might think it's another unassuming bar in the heart of Stockbridge where cool tends to be done a little more subtly. but the smoked glass and plum-coloured frontage is deceptive. Through the revolving doors lies a high-ceilinged tardis of a bar. stretching back into the building. Its decor is gothic in a romantic sense. in that it mixes modern wrought iron fittings with a variety of comfortable chairs. couches and stools. Their slightly more sophisticated menu complements the surroundings well. and the captive audience of relaxed locals. both young and old. is not averse to sampling both this and the extensive bar delights on offer.


159—] ii Bruntsfteld Place. 229 3| l5. Mon—Sun 9am—lam.

With both a name and a classy frontage that suggests French sophistication at 5() paces. Montpeliers is kitted out in a rich mix of dark woods to'create a lounging space that's as comfortable for a glass of red and a rustle through the papers as much as a session with a trayful of ales. Perfect for eating as well as drinking. the reasonably priced menu attracts locals. a smattering of students and local workers for lunch and a moment‘s respite away from the numbers. The resulting atmosphere is one of measured cairn during the day. rising to a friendly bustle when the fairly upmarket younger crowd descend in the evenings.

Special tillers: 'I‘liu 5—7pm regular tasting events with others occasionally Wed 6—8pm.

l1 Kind [If Bar

4 a North Castle Street. 225 9461. Sun—Wed noon—l 1pm: Thu noon—midnight; Fri—Sat noon~ I am. Another startlingly new addition to Edinburgh‘s bar circuit. this drinking space. with its engagineg down-to-earth title. draws in the crowds for food and drink that's more interesting than most. Just off the beaten track in North Castle Street. avoiding the shoppers‘ bustle. its luxurious seating. pale wood and strikingly coloured fittings make it inviting at all times of the day and night. In an area otherwise dominated by office drinkers. here‘s a bar that stands out from the crowd.

Ne ocrants

45 7 Lothian Street. 225 ()3I3. Mon—Sun 9am—3am.

The sensible people who run Negociants are happy for their workplace to remain

14 The List Bar Guide 1999

undefined it’s a bar. a bistro. a cafe. depending on whatever fancy takes the varied clientele. Close to Iidinburgh L'niversity bill by no means exclusively populated by students. Negociants enjoys the presence of the dressed-up masses who populate the clubs nearby. In fact. the fully stocked basement club. recently retitled Club Nego. is one of the city's coolest spots in its own right.

Special offers: rlilli'i'r'ttt r/rink promotions every night.

The Outhouse

l2a Broughton Street Lane. 557 (ms. Mon—Sun noon— I am.

The hidden gem in the clustered jewel collection that is Broughton Street. The ()uthouse lives tip to its name by hiding in a lane just off the main drag and having a distinctly laidback atmosphere to boot. Stone floors and walls are juxtaposed with comfy seating and friendly service to create a welcoming atmosphere whichever of the two floors you find yourself on. Access to Iiden nightclub via the back garden now means that hedonists can shuffle towards the dancelToor without the inconvenience of having to put their coats back on. Happy hour: I-‘ri 5—7pm. most drinks [1.50.

[lxy en

3—. nfirmary Street. 557 9997. Mon—Sun l()am—lam.

Smog need never be an issue again with the arrival of Oxygen. Scotland‘s first dedicated oxygen bar. Served in wine bottle-sized containers. a breath of fresh air (literally) is the latest bar commodity and January sees the installation of specialised equipment which dispenses flavoured oxygen peppermint. orange and strawberry for starters. The big ‘0' is not the only thing on offer however. as Oxygen combines a cafe. bar and restaurant over two floors with a drinks outlet on each level. The design is more muted than others of its ilk browns and creams on natural fabrics like leather and suede which gives the bar an earthy but exciting feel.

Pivo Caffe

2—6 Calton Road. 557 2925. Mon—Sun l()am— lam.

A little nub of Czech cool in the grimy Edinburgh back streets. Pivo is by most definitions a theme bar. btit its interiors are distinctive enough to set it apart forth the hordes of plastic paddy Irish bars and other bland corporate endeavours. The bright. pale wood fittings and numerous alcoves give a sense of space and privacy except when it‘s full-to-bursting Thursday to Sunday. The young crowd that cram in on most nights make it their mission to head here for lethal cocktails

and a pre-club I)J line-up that‘s quite simply the best in the capital by far. Happy hour: regular r/rink discounts

from 57 7pm.

Planet But

(i Baxter's Place. 52-1006]. .\Ion»-I‘ri 4pm— I am; Sat~Sun noon~ lam.

With its none-too-subtle moniker and lurid orange exterior. it's clear that this bar's not exactly backward in coming forward about its status as one of Iidinburgh's foremost gay-orientated (but straight-friendlyi watering holes. Naturally situated within the city's Pink Triangle. its clientele consists of an eclectic array of immaculately dressed. beautiful people indulging in a pre-club swally as well as plainer mortals otit for ' quiet pint. The walls and seating are awash with a combination of red. orange and animal prints. but surprisineg this isn’t as natisea-inducing as it sounds and makes for a strangely pleasing drinking environment.

Special tillers: 2-for-1 spirit doubles.

Po Na Na

43b Frederick Street. 226 222-1. Mon—~Thu 8pm—3am; liri 7pm—-3am; Sat 8prn—3am; Sun l()pm——3am.

Stepping down into this basement bar- cum-club. you are transported from deepest darkest Iidinburgh to deepest darkest Morocco. To the uninitiated (and the slightly inebriated). the layout's warren-like quality could result in the loss of a friend or two for the better part of the evening. It does. however. allow for the delight of discovering other chums and chance meetings around every corner. The decor is suitably ltish. with richly coloured couches and sandy landscape murals adorning the room. The atmosphere is suitably both club and pub-like. with the back room dancelloor swiftly becoming a seething mass of bodies most nights. The party attitude hedonists make a point of setting tip catnp here while the fun continues. if not so actively. in the bar otit front.

Special rifle/is: Sun—.llott. vodka and Red Bull [/50 all night.

The Pond

2—4 Bath Road. 467 3825. Mon—Fri 4pm-larn; Sat—Sun 2pm—lam. Brand-spanking. just-out-the box new. The Pond can be viewed in two ways. We can delight at its bolstering of l.eith's all too inconsistent night life. btit also marvel at just how exciting and original any bar can be. A distinct I'-turn from the minimalist chic and pared-down natural surfaces that clutter the drinkways of the city. The Pond's shocking yellow frontage gives way to wicker chairs on springs suspended from the ceiling. a huge fish tank and a car in

tltc garden pond otit back. All this and cigars. fine wines. spirits and beers. Take an adventure otit of the town centre. and you'll be heartily rewarded.

Traverse Bar Cafe

li) Cambridge Street. 228 5383.

Sun-- Wed l().3(lamv midnight; Thu Sat lll.3()aru- lam.

With a bar longer than the Autumn River. the Traverse takes industrial chic to its logical extreme. with elegant decor housing a diverse mix of drinkers and eaters. Students and theatre—goers rub shoulders with office workers and the odd famous face enjoying the unfussy. inlernatiotuilly influenced cuisine. the odd cocktail and a varied bill of entertainment. Despite the potential for thespian pretentiousness. the atmosphere is easy going rising to hectic. depending mainly on which show s are on in the two theatres at the time.

Special tillers: different (lt'tltk offers all night. every night inc/ruling (ilennioraitgie [I a shot. Stella U5!) per bottle. Look out for cheap cocktails too.


I33 Lothian Road. 228 5-107. Mon Thu

l I.3()am~l2.30am: I-‘ri —Sat

l l.3(lam—lam; Stm 5.3(lpin- l2.3()am. Billing itself as ‘the Aboriginal .-\lternative' l'luru provides a stark contrast to chilly Lothian Road with a little bit of Attstralian warth on the well beaten pub crawl track. The fittings suggest the sparse but still highly enjoyable elements of outback life. right down to the corrugated iron roof and the simple wooden furniture a refreshing change from the corked hat and kangaroo cliches many other Australian concessions indulge in. It might not be traditionally an Aussie sport. btit they base a pool table too.

The Watershed

4-1 St Stephen Street. 220 377-1. Sun~-Wed l()am--midnight; Thu-Sat lilarn—Iam.

Indicated by only a menu and a tnuted blue neon sign. you'd be forgiven for missing The Watershed when passing down this Stockbridge street. famous for its speciality shops. A place where young locals mix contentedly with older residents. it is deceptively airy and bright fora basement bar and is bedecked in de rigeur pale wooden flooring and furniture which is coolly augmented with space age. w all assaulting couches. The reasonably priced but adventurous food is an added bonus. making the overall experience a relaxing and rewarding one.

Happy hour: every night 5 7pm. Sun

5 lllpin. 2-for—l pitchers.