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Saturday in Edinburgh

There’s a naming pattern in Edinburgh.

When we saw some jazz last night, it was at The Jazz Club.
The national museum of Scotland is The National Museum of Scotland.
Where do you drink whisky? The Whisky Bar!
That big castle? Edinburgh Castle.

So the name of this bar?:

Under the Stairs Edinburgh Bar | Ellen Says Hola | Travel Blog

Yep. Under The Stairs.
I love it.

After Kate’s smashing success presenting to the Scottish Arts Club about What is the Point?, we needed to do three things:

1. Toast our successful afternoon
2. Try a dram or two of Scottish whisky
3. ChillTF out.

The bar Under the Stairs was such a good place to conquer item number one. It was full of an eclectic mix of tables and chairs, set up for groups and gatherings of any size. Kate and I reclined into two vintage arm chairs with an adorable view of the front window seat to toast our success — an afternoon spent getting to know members of the Scottish Arts Club, who were amazingly warm and welcoming to us, as well as very interested in and supportive of all that WITP is trying to accomplish. Cheers!

Under the Stairs Edinburgh Bar | Ellen Says Hola | Travel Blog

Having thus accomplished item one, and by default item three, we set our sights on finding some whisky. When in Scotland, am I right?

Oh, I’m right.

We did a bit of internetting and settled on a quick trek halfway up the hill to The Bow Bar, which sadly didn’t sell bows. Just booze. The one place that isn’t literally named in the whole city.

I know very little about whisky. Mainly that it burns a little and I drink it like a 1970s disney cartoon character might: poorly, and with a lot of coughing and face flushing, mixed with occasional hiccups.

Luckily, the staff at The Bow Bar are patient and knowledgeable. And while I didn’t love my first dram, I definitely didn’t hate it. And there was very little sputtering involved in consuming it.

Edinburgh Whisky | Ellen Says Hola | Travel Blog Edinburgh Whisky | Ellen Says Hola | Travel Blog

But for the second round, the bartender nailed it. She knew what she’d served us for the first round and was able to adapt to our feedback for what we’d like in Round Two. She let us smell the bottles before pouring, and I daresay she would have let us set up an optometrist operation if we’d requested it. “Do you prefer waft one? Or Two? One… or Two…”

Whisky in Edinburgh | Ellen Says Hola | Travel Blog The Bow Bar Whisky in Edinburgh | Ellen Says Hola | Travel Blog

And once satisfied with our liquids, we just. chilled. out. And chatted and watched the bar patrons, almost all of who appeared to be locals. Kate noticed they were ordering beer with their whisky, and one poor sap even let me commandeer his evening long enough to take a photo.

Beer and Whisky | Ellen Says Hola | Travel Blog

And as I’m sipping my whisky (and water!) my eyes drift to the beer board, where they’ve listed their international bottles by country. See anything you might recognize, KC-ites?!

Kansas City in Edinburgh | Edinburgh Whisky | Ellen Says Hola | Travel Blog

What the heck is Boulevard Tank 7 doing in a cooler in Edinburgh?! I don’t know, because it cost £12 ($17) so I wasn’t about to find out. But Kate can attest to how distracted I was by that bit of home staring me right in the face! (Later someone reminded me Boulevard is now owned by Duvel. D’oh! That helps a few pieces fall into place.)

To end our evening, we ate our way through five antipasti plates at a nearby Italian restaurant. Because a) we’re cheeky and b) balsamic vinegar is delicious.

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