Author: Christine Richard OBE FRSA

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Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 at 2:52 am
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A Cosy Pub with good food

The Bailie is a long-established pub in the bustling Stockbridge area of Edinburgh. Entered by going down steps, the first impression is of a traditional public house in a basement setting. The smell of smoke has long since gone but the dark furniture and red patterned carpet keep the image alive.

Suse and I decided to have lunch there. Although Bailie’s is part of a chain of pubs and restaurants it retains a welcome individuality. As well as specialising in real ales all food is cooked on the premises and the Chef’s Specials are regularly reviewed and new dishes and sauces tried out.

The staff were welcoming and the waiter knew his “wines by the glass” without having to consult a wine list. So we decided on a glass of Merlot for Suse and a Pinto Grigio for me. After a good look at both the regular menu and the “Specials” menu we each chose a main course. The Bailie is famous for its fresh haddock and chips, served with a well-dressed side salad, and Suse chose the Venison sausages on mash with a rich sauce, invented by the Chef. Suse said her dish was excellent and she is trying to get the recipe from the chef. (See below.)

My fish was enormous. You can choose either beer batter, with zillions of calories or, as I did the fish in fresh breadcrumbs. With no room for pudding we settled for excellent coffees.

The Manager, Angus, clearly enjoys his job and was in the middle of organising a short beer festival in the pub. Whilst we were there a large party of Germans arrived, presumably to sample the beer as well as the food. There are newspapers available if you want to eat there on your own.

Prices are reasonable. The fish and chips was £8.95 and the venison sausages an ever more reasonable £6.95. The wine was in the middle of price range and enjoyable. There was no pressure to vacate the table, even though we were there for some time catching up with each other’s news.

Altogether this was a good eating experience with well-prepared fresh food that was appetising and comforting at the same time.

Recipe for beer gravy

Start with a deep roasting tray with diced onion, carrot, celery and a few whole black peppercorns. Fry in a knob of butter and olive oil – don’t let it burn – then add your beer, sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme, chopped garlic (optional) and dash of soya sauce, then add half a pint of fresh chicken or beef bouillion and half pint of cold water. Simmer for 20 mins then seive in to suitable pot and bring back to boil. Add cornflour, but not too much, finish with a knob of butter and salt to taste. Simmer for 5 mins.

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One Response to “A Cosy Pub with good food”

  1. Ron Says:

    I agree that this is an excellent pub.

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