Game of Thrones pop-up bar in Edinburgh set to close its doors

Blood & Wine, a Game of Thrones bar is located in the cellar below Daylight Robbery bar on Dublin Street.

 Picture: JP License

Blood & Wine, a Game of Thrones bar is located in the cellar below Daylight Robbery bar on Dublin Street. Picture: JP License

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A popular Game of Thrones inspired pop-up bar in Edinburgh is preparing to close it’s doors at the end of February after a successful festive season.

The owners of the Blood and Wine bar had originally planned to shut up shop in January but due to popular demand from Evening News readers, the bar will now remain open until Thursday 23 February.

Rea Kenkel busy serving Ales and Wines of the Seven Kingdoms. Picture: JP License

Rea Kenkel busy serving Ales and Wines of the Seven Kingdoms. Picture: JP License

Hidden in the caverns of Daylight Robbery on Dublin Street the bar is open every Wednesday and Thursday from 5pm.

Pop-ups can be risky, and finding the balance between overselling an idea whilst still offering something unique can produce laboured themes more off-putting than enticing.

Luckily The Pop-Up Geeks, the guys behind this stroke of genius, have captured enough of the essence of the taverns of Kings Landings without tripping into the “too tacky” category.

Event manager, Linden Wilkinson said: “It’s important to strike a balance and you can go too cheesy but we seem to have got it right!”

Blood & Wine bar. Picture: JP License

Blood & Wine bar. Picture: JP License

And the popularity of the bar and in particular one of the drinks has surprised the organisers. “We’ve run out of mead! It is a lot more popular than we thought,” Linden explained. “But it is difficult to predict how an idea is going to take off.”

And taken off it certainly has.

Rammed into each nook and cranny of the theme-enhancing stone walls were people who could be heard discussing the plots, the books, the characters over wines, ales and spirits mentioned, drunk, thrown or poisoned in the novels of the show.

And despite the barbarity and savagery of Westeros, there is something wonderfully cohesive and friendly about a bar full of people united over a shared love of the fantasy world created by George R.R. Martin.

Spoiler alert - if you watch the TV series, and are not up to date, one of the less authentic touches are a couple of screens which show episodes from the series.

Circulating throughout the moody, medieval style basement bar are wenches dressed in “traditional” gear and barmen who pour from flasks of wine, tankards that swill and dripping candles that create a wonderfully cosy tavern atmosphere.

Draping furs, banners and props, including a real sword, add to the fun.

“A guy came to the opening wearing a full suit of armour,” Linden said. And getting into the spirit of the Game of Thrones is welcomed but far from compulsory.

So, it works for fans of the hit series, it works for fans of George R. R. Martin’s novels but it’s also a hit with people who know nothing about the Game of Thrones world but enjoy the genial ambiance and glass of Volantis sweet red.

And with such success could it continue? The Pop-Up Geeks won’t say for certain but with winter set to stay in the Capital for a lot longer, it seems likely.