I have never been more concerned that I’d be unable to pick up a pint again as when I wandered past the Royal Mile Tavern in Edinburgh.
My arms were weighed down with plastic bags containing all manner of tat from the city’s souvenirs stores. From whisky to walking sticks, hats to hipflasks and T-shirts to tamoshanters, I had it all, and some. Thank crikey I stumbled across a pub, well two actually.
I could have gone to either the Mitre or the Royal Mile Tavern, Edinburgh as the two boozers sit side-by-side, but I settled on the latter with it’s regal green and gold exterior.
I just about mustered the strength to push the door open, thankfully the pub was fairly quiet with just a smattering of punters. So I limped – a hot sweaty mess, gasping for breath – to the bar where I dropped my the tat in a heap and ordered a pint of Harviestoun Grizzly (3.8%).
This beer is proof that appearances can be deceiving. It’s a dark ale which is smooth and surprisingly light-bodied, making it easy to drink for hot, sweaty tourists like myself.
When I say I was sweaty, I really mean it. Just look at the picture of the pub. My lense was all steamed up.
I found the choice of real ales at this boozer to be disappointing and the pub itself uninspiring. It certainly won’t linger long in my memory.
It has a long narrow bar with the obligatory pictures of bygone Edinburgh. At the end of the bar – should you make it that far – is a raised dining area.
Despite the pub being quiet, the staff seemed to have a lot on their minds.
They were braced for the lunchtime rush of hungry punters eager to take advantage of the very good food menu. They needen’t have worried, the rush failed to materialise, despite a regular flow of tourists.
And therein lies the meat and bones to this pub, it’s a tourist trap. There’s very little here to keep the seasoned drinker hanging around.
I felt rejuvenated after my pint of Grizzly to such an extent I positively sauntered out the door – loaded with tat, of course – back on to the Royal Mile itself.
This boozer is a one-pinter. Drink it, then move on to the next one.
THE INNSPECTRE’S SUMMARY
ADDRESS: THE ROYAL MILE TAVERN, 127 High Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian,
EH1 1SG. www.royalmiletavern.com
ATMOSPHERE: ** I heard a punter laugh.
DECOR: *** The dark wood panelling and old pictures – including a nice one of bathers at Portobello Beach – was actually quite nice.
SELECTION: Timothy Taylor Landlord, Deuchars IPA, Caledonian 80 ale.
PRICE: *** Grizzly was 3.70 which is just about OK.
SERVICE: ** The barmaid seemed like she had the previous night’s edition of Coronation Street on her mind. A smile would have been nice.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS: The Royal Mile Tavern hosts live music sessions seven days a week.