Nominations for the 27th annual Scottish Bar & Pub Awards 2022 close on June 30.
This competition has 18 categories, including Dog Friendly Pub of the Year and Whisky Bar of the Year. However, they’re still drumming up interest when it comes to entries for the Hotel Bar category, which is in its second year and sponsored by St Andrews based Old Tom Gin 1821.
We’d like to suggest a few potential nominees in Edinburgh, since the capital has really raised its game in recent years when it comes to hotel bars. They no longer have that slightly seedy business traveller vibe but are top notch.
Forget ordering a cocktail straight off the menu. At this Cowgate hotel’s new bar, you can get Lilith, aka Queen of the Damned, to order for you after she’s used her tarot cards to select a suitable drink. Hopefully, you’ll end up with something decent, as you hang out in this sexy space, with its Jackie Collins-style leopard print cushions and cobra stemmed lamps.
We often forget about this four-star hotel, and we think others might too, as it’s never too hoaching. Take the lift up to the seventh floor, where you can buy Champagne by the glass, starting from a very reasonable £9.50 for their Justerini & Brooks 250th Anniversary Cuvée, and boggle at the Hallam Foe-esque rooftop views. They also serve cocktails and small plates.
This bar, in India buildings at the Victoria Street entrance, is totally box fresh. It has comfortable leather banquettes, along with wood panelling and irreverent artwork. Drinks-wise, their focus is on cocktails, with versions including Breakfast in the Highlands, which is practically a meal in a glass with ingredients including Glenfiddich 15 Single Malt Whisky, brown butter, toasted oat Amontillado sherry, Edinburgh Honey Co Heather Honey and Bitter Sling Kensington Aromatic. You could also try one of their Martini flights.
We think a visit to this rooftop bar might be a pipe dream, as it’s only open to residents and club members. Still, non-residents as well as residents will be able to book a table at ground floor restaurant and bar, The Spence, from Monday June 27. Alongside the all day menu, they serve cocktails including the Silver Branch with 11 Tanqueray No.10 Gin, Calvados, Verjus, apple, mint and egg white.
The Register Club at Cheval The Edinburgh Grand, www.chevalcollection.com
Stride through the reception and take the lift up to this wood clad bar, with comfy seating and plenty of private nooks for your tete-a-tetes. Their resident mixologist, Ruben Goncalves, is a bit of a magician when it comes to mixing drinks. Anything he does with tequila is going to be impressive.
Bar Prince at The Balmoral, www.roccofortehotels.com
You can’t do a round up of Edinburgh bars without mentioning the city’s best loved five-star hotel. Their bar has a plush and glamorous feel, with live music on the weekends.