Best Bar 2014: One day left to vote

Staggs,North High Street, Musselburgh.  Owner Nigel Finlay with some of his regulars.
Staggs,North High Street, Musselburgh. Owner Nigel Finlay with some of his regulars.
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Have your say

Tomorrow is the final day for you to tell us who we should crown Best Bar 2014 in Edinburgh and Lothians.

And while we will soon be naming our winner, there is still time to have your say.

Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'Pub Crawl GV's Tynecastle arms gorgie road

Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'Pub Crawl GV's Tynecastle arms gorgie road

Our list of the Lothians premier pubs has been reduced to just ten – and each one boasts its own unique selling point.

Having a pint is a great British tradition, whether you do that at your local pub, club or bar in town after work. It’s a time for relaxation, whether you like to enjoy a bit of quiet time to yourself, or meeting up with friends for a drink or ­having a bite to eat.

For many pub-goers, finding that regular watering hole and calling it your own is just as important as picking where you live.

Does it serve real ale? Is the food good? Does it show sport? Does it have a dart board or even a quiz night?

Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'Pub Crawl GV's Ye old Inn, Davidson's mains

Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'Pub Crawl GV's Ye old Inn, Davidson's mains

Perhaps your favourite is renowned for its real ales and entertainment; maybe it’s the fantastic atmosphere and friendly staff - or perhaps it’s just the ideal place to relax and catch up with friends. Our great competition provides a fantastic ­opportunity for all local establishments where you are likely to prop yourself on the bar ­regularly to shout about how great they are.

So whether you submitted a nomination or not, it’s time to help your favourite earn the top spot.

We’ve already profiled six of our top ten, and below are some details on the final four venues vying for the coveted crown, plus all the information you need to cast your vote and help us decide which area’s alehouse is the best in the business – bar none.

Dickens BAR (038)

Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'Pub Crawl GV's Dickens dalry road

Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'Pub Crawl GV's Dickens dalry road

DICKENS Bar in Dalry Road has always been a go-to watering hole.

The venue markets itself as “a down to Earth pub where you can have a drink and enjoy the football”.

And according to Gina Wilson, who’s been working at the bar for 21 years, it does exactly what it says on the tin.

“Not a thing has changed since I’ve been here,” she said.

“That’s something that our regulars really enjoy.”

Dickens also boasts a bustling entertainment schedule, and tends to be a regular stop amongst Hearts fans – with the walls adorned with memorabilia charting the club’s milestones.

“We know our regulars, what they like, and make sure everyone has a good time,” Ms Wilson said.

Ye Olde Inn (020)

FOR more than 100 years The Ye Olde Inn has been a Main Street staple.

Yet despite its age and name, the Davidson’s Mains bar isn’t as ancient as it sounds. A recent overhaul has actually given the bar, dining room and lounge a complete facelift, allowing for the traditional family pub to take on a whole new modern feel.

Since taking the helm, manager Rana Barnsley has placed emphasis on ensuring The Ye Olde Inn ticks all the boxes – from family-friendly activities such as Christmas fairs and church choir shows to acoustic music afternoons and festive parties.

The pub is also popular for its changing seasonal menus, and has earned patronage from dog owners across the city for its rare animal-friendly status.

Staggs (005)

STAGGS is one of Musselburgh’s oldest family-run businesses.

Officially The Volunteer Arms, for more than 150 years the High Street pub has served as one of East Lothian’s top watering holes – and owners the Finlay family are embracing that rich heritage. And after a recent Victorian restoration, manager Nigel, whose family has owned Staggs since 1858, says being in the pub is like stepping into a time machine.

“If someone were to travel 100 years into the future, I’m sure they’d still be at home here,” he said. “Not a lot changes, and that’s what our regulars like about the bar.

“You reach a certain age, and you just get happy with the way things are. We give people some continuity.”

He added: “We do exactly what a bar should do. Here, it’s all about the beer.”

Tynecastle Arms (009)

AS might be expected given the name, the Tynecastle Arms is right in the heart of Jambo territory.

The favourite maintains a “traditional” upkeep, and it’s got the interior to match.

Rich mahoganies and a coal fire attract throngs of visitors in the winter.

Meanwhile, the pub is littered with Hearts memorobila and the décor is a sea of maroon.

But manager Sharon Brown, who took on the role six months ago, says The Arms is a formidable haunt in its own right.

The bar boasts an affordable collection of ales, and Ms Brown believes its friendly staff are a top asset.

She said: “Everybody seems to think the pub has a happy atmosphere and a lot of regulars have returned.”

How to vote

BY POST: Fill in the coupon in the Evening News and post it to: Edinburgh Evening News, Best Bar of the Year 2014, Orchard Brae House, 30 Queensferry Road, Edinburgh, EH4 2HS.

All postal entries must reach us by noon, Tuesday, December 16.

You can vote as many times as you like, but you must use the official coupon from the paper. Photocopied or defaced coupons will not be accepted.

REMEMBER: A POSTAL FORM IS WORTH TWO VOTES

BY TEXT MESSAGE: Text your votes before 9am on Tuesday, December 16, to 65550.Simply start your text with the words EENBAR followed by the 3 digit code of the pub/bar you wish to vote for. Follow this with a space and then your name, address and email address. For example EENBAR007 Joe Bloggs 99 Nowhere St Edinburgh EH00 jo@notmail.crom. Text messages cost £1 in addition to your standard network charge and should contain no more than 160 characters