Liam Rudden: Secluded champagne bar lets you escape the hustle and bustle of Royal Mile

Street entertainers on the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Picture: Getty
Street entertainers on the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Picture: Getty
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NOWHERE is the hustle and bustle of the Fringe more evident than on the Royal Mile. There, a never-ending procession of costumed characters dance, skip and weave their way through the crowds, distributing fliers and bending the ear of anyone who will listen as they proclaim the brilliance of the production that has brought them to the Capital.

It’s glorious mayhem, but sometimes you just need an oasis of calm in the heart of all the madness to recharge Fringed-out batteries.

Which is why I was delighted to be invited to the Pommery Pop-Up Champagne Bar, this week.

Set in the lower library of the Signet Library, just behind St Giles’ on Parliament Square, this temporary bar offers an escape, along with a chance to soak up the Georgian grandeur and elegance of a room described by King George IV as the “finest drawing room in Europe.”

I dropped in for afternoon tea – a selection of sandwiches, cakes, and the obligatory scone with jam and cream. All of which were served with a choice of tea or coffee – Earl Grey please – and a glass of Pommery Brut Royal.

At £17 a head (£25 with the Champagne) it might not be the cheapest afternoon tea in the Capital, but it’s by no means the most expensive either. All the produce is locally sourced and prepared on the premises, and a full menu is also available. Lobster for me next time.

The pop-up bar concept is an intriguing one, giving access to historic buildings you might never otherwise visit. Check it out before is pops off on August 27. It’s worth a look.