CAFÉ ROYAL CIRCLE BAR 19 West Register Street, 556 1884. Sun–Wed 11am–11pm; Thu 11am–midnight; Fri & Sat 11–1am. Basic pint: £3.15

At almost 150 years old, the Café Royal’s stained glass and delicate wood finishes make an impression before you’ve even ordered a drink. With real ales, whiskies and recommended food (particularly the oysters and mussels), it has substance to go with the style. High point: Edinburgh’s most classically good- looking bar

THE BON VIVANT 55 Thistle Street, 225 3275. Mon–Sun noon–1am. Basic pint: £3.50

Although it unwinds on weekend nights with funk and soul DJs, the Bon Vivant is most notable for some of Edinburgh’s finest restaurant quality bar food in classy but informal surroundings. High point: Excellent and affordable food

VOODOO ROOMS 19a West Register Street, 556 7060. Mon–Thu 4pm–1am; Fri–Sun noon–1am. Basic pint: £3.50

Set around a beautiful upstairs bar tucked away on a back street, the Voodoo Rooms offers a bit of everything, including an impressive cocktail list, regular big-name live bands in the ballroom and DJs on the weekend. High point: Combines style and function well As a hub of Edinburgh nightlife, George Street boasts many pricey bars which are blandly over the top. Thankfully Tigerlily, which incorporates a restaurant and boutique hotel, adds a bit of personality to all the flash and style. High point: George Street’s finest


1 Northumberland Place, 539 8070. Mon–Sun noon–1am. Basic pint: £3.25 2 Picardy Place, 556 4272. Mon–Sat noon–1am, Sun 12.30–1am. Basic Pint: £3.10

A local pub with the kind of lived in feel that its regulars appreciate, the Star Bar goes out of its way to keep the customers entertained. Enjoy darts, foosball, a range of board games or sport on the big screen, or sit out in the beer garden if you’d rather just make conversation. High point: Versatile and personable

TIGERLILY 125 George Street, 225 5005. Mon–Sun 8am–1am. Basic pint: £4

The Street’s large 80s disco-ball and street-like walkways leading to leather lounges give it a funky, metropolitan appeal. The drinks menu has eight types of martinis, shooters and pitchers. Live DJs every night (except on wisdom-Wednesdays) range from house to hip hop. High point: Best LGBT hangout ALSO RECOMMENDED: Pivo (2–6 Calton Road) for late-night hi-jinks. Hawke & Hunter (12 Picardy Place) for their impressive pool room.

BRAMBLE BAR 16a Queen Street, 226 6343. Mon–Sun 4pm–1am. Basic pint: £3 (bottle) It’s small but beautifully formed, and this tiny, alcove- filled basement bar is well worth stepping off the well worn New Town drag for. Its light, roughcast walls are warm and subdued under candle light at any time of the evening, while DJs lend a pre- club atmosphere on Friday and Saturday. The counter’s so compact that only bottled beers are available, but the cocktails here are second to none. The main list of more than twenty varieties changes a few times every year, while capable and friendly staff can reliably create many more off- menu selections. High point: Exceptional cocktails

18 THE LIST 2–16 Dec 2010