Villager Bar and Juniper, Edinburgh

Continued from Edinburgh Craft Beer Crawl

So if you’re a regular here you will know that I last left you in the The Potting Shed in Edinburgh full of craft beer…

…from there OH and I headed down past the Scottish Museum with the intention of heading towards George Street. However, we saw that the Villager Bar had comfy couches and cocktails and so decided to pop in.  There was a Cocktail of the Week so not one for reading menus, OH pointed at the sign and in his best Andy (from Little Britain) accent he said, “I want that one.” Miss Hoitytoity-Snootypants barmaid looked at him as if he was a bit soft, raised an eyebrow and enunciated perfectly, “Pardon?” He pointed again. “One of those.”

With a sniff that raised her nose even higher, she looked at me and asked if it was two. I said I was still deciding and continued to absorb the list of concoctions in front of me . She toddled off to start mixing.

After scouring the menu and eventually deciding I needed a gin based cocktail with something a bit different to it, I raised my head to find a different barmaid standing in front of me.  She asked if I had decided and I smiled and said I had but pointed to the other barmaid to say that she was serving us. This caused the two barmaids to have a pow-wow, which resulted in Miss Hoitytoity-Snootypants coming straight over. She looked a bit put-out but that just may be her normal look. She said something along the lines of ‘I’m not making one for you’. I apologised and said that I’d thought she was mixing OH’s one. She confirmed that indeed she was but not one for me. I told her I knew that because I wanted a Summer Number Ten ( tantalising, tarty and sunny mix of portobello road gin, st germain elderflower liqueur, rhubarb bitters, physalis and lemon, served straight up – £7.50) I’m thinking they use her look to sour drinks and don’t bother using lemon at all. She walked off as if she were wearing wooden knickers.

I decided to leave the bar at this point as I knew I was allowing myself to be irritated by the young madam and I didn’t want my day spoilt.  I therefore went through to where the comfy couches were and sat down. Soon OH joined me with both of our cocktails. It wasn’t long before Miss Hoitytoity-Snootypants came through and explained that as we weren’t eating we may have to move as they might need the table for diners. I told her that wasn’t a problem. She was very polite. 2015-05-16 17.05.51

It was minutes later when she came back smiling sweetly and asked us to move as she needed to set the table up. We lifted our glasses and smiling just as sweetly, went back through to the bar. I say smiling, it may have been a grimace.

Letting OH look after our drinks, I disappeared downstairs to the toilets. There were signs on the doors already apologising for the temporary state of them. I went in to find capped pipes sticking up through the flooring, mirrors balanced against walls and red painted hardboard surrounding one toilet. I could see where walls had been as I made my way towards the makeshift cubicle. It had only been a short while since I had been in a bar made to look like a potting shed. Now I was going to a loo actually in a shed.

Back upstairs, OH and I drained our drinks and left. £15 for 2 drinks and a very unhappy experience. I’m sure on another day, with a different barmaid, we would have had a lovely time but Miss Hoitytoity-Snootypants, whether deliberately or not, made me decide I won’t be back.

As we walked down the hill. the clouds were getting darker and we decided, if we didn’t want caught in the rain, that we should maybe find somewhere sooner than George Street. We headed down the News Steps and soon found ourselves in Juniper, a cocktail bar upstairs on Princes Street next to the restaurant Twenty. The trendy (and expensive) bar was full of dressed up women enjoying cocktails and having a laugh. It took a while to get a table but eventually OH and I were able to sit, looking over the fantastic scenery of Edinburgh, and sip a cocktail without a look of disdain in sight.  2015-05-16 17.59.49With hindsight, I should have taken all my empty cocktail glasses from Juniper’s back to the Village Bar, held them up and said, “Big mistake. Big. Huge!”