John McLellan: Pub I panned as a shanty hut wins award

Never, as they say, judge a book by its cover. Shortly after it opened last year, I criticised the exterior design of the Barrelhouse Bar on London Road for its shanty-hut appearance, much to the disgust of some readers and one voter I canvassed who told me, in no uncertain terms, to get lost.

Thursday, 23rd November 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:02 pm

Barrel House has been named UK Bar of the Year. Picture: Neil Hanna
The Barrel House has been named UK Bar of the Year. Picture: Neil Hanna

But the Cajun and Blues-themed pub has just been named UK Bar of the Year at the Star Awards, a recognition scheme for Heineken’s Star Pubs & Bars business, and also won the award for best bar team.

One of three managed by Edinburgh operators Caygill & Smith, the Barrelhouse was commended by the judges for its “fantastic food and drink, the highest of standards and a brilliant team of attentive staff who give it the ‘X factor’, ensuring every customer has a great time”.

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The pub has also reached out to the locality by hosting community meetings and Caygill & Smith director Amanda Caygill said: “It’s unreal to have won – especially when we haven’t been open for long.”

So many congratulations to Ms Caygill and her crew for a job obviously very well done. But I still don’t like the outside.