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The Cumberland Bar
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The Cumberland
1-3 Cumberland Street,
New Town,
Edinburgh,
EH3 6RT
0131 558 3134
7 Days
noon – midnight Mon-Wed, noon – 1am Thu-Sat, 11-midnight Sun

Classic local gem ...
Known in a previous era as The Tilted Wig, with a nod to some of its professional customers, this place was renovated and changed its name to its street location in the 1990s, receiving CAMRA’s best pub refurb award.  Since then its name has again been in print, this time as one of the New Town establishments featuring in McCall-Smith’s 44 Scotland St novels.

But it doesn’t take itself too seriously (apart from a website claim to have gourmet food).  It’s a relaxed bar, with a rare good-sized beer garden and helpful dog-friendly policy, which we saw a good few customers enjoying.   Food choices are homely, with straightforward favourites and drink-friendly nibbles, served by delightful, friendly, professional barstaff.

Sausage & mash comes via top local butchers Crombies, with eg beer-battered haddock, steak & ale pie and haggis, neeps & tatties coming in around £10.  If it can be put in a wrap or a bun, it’s yours for even less and staff can facilitate those with a limited lunchtime by having phoned-in orders ready to eat on arrival – a nice touch.

Regular quiz nights in the back room are packed out and best booked in advance, as are the traditional roasts (as well as the bar menu), Sundays from 1-7pm.

It has taken to the Tweet life with a useful ‘tap-feed’ of what’s on fresh now and casks due up next for real ale lovers.  Wine quaffers are well-catered for too, with a small range of wines by the glass & a varied selection of bottles, such as our Languedoc Pinot Noir.

We enjoyed our relaxed meal here, in a traditional setting with an immaculately kept bar.  Mr Fussy spoke up for his rich leek & potato soup.  Sharing a hot board allowed us to sample calamari, haddock goujons, chicken wings, haggis pakora, halloumi fries & dips, along with good Crombies sausage & mash – with fabulous gravy.  Stars of the board were the haggis pakora, surprisingly – spicy & moist in a wonderfully light, barely-there crust.  We didn’t need the sauces on the side, especially with the great vegetarian halloumi fries.

A good range of burgers is also available for your tenner – alternatively you can have soup or chips with a wrap and still have usable change.
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