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  • Writer's pictureSimon Walton

Lochrin Rooftop Bar at Moxy Edinburgh Fountainbridge

The Rooftop Bar is part of The Moxy, Fountainbridge

I’m familiar with Moxy’s funky take on the hospitality scene. I've been a guest at the pirate-themed Moxy in Plymouth, where the price includes a rum baba at check-in, me hearties. So I had high hopes for this walk across the rooftops at their angels and altitude-friendly location, high above Lochrin Basin in Edinburgh, or Fountainbridge as we doomed dinosaurs still reminisce upon. No disappointment was had, even if the famous haar threatened to throw a wet grey blanket over proceedings.

It was not looking good, and I don’t mean my trendy jeans and dress jacket combo. It was Edinburgh’s best impression of Foggy Albion, which looked like lingering all day. Cold, damp and misty - everything you don’t want on an open-air opening. The afternoon wore on. A weak sliver of light began to challenge the grey. A bird sang. It got brighter. Then, with all the reluctance of a Wee Free Presenter, asked to do an All Saints medley, the sun came out with all the vigour of Shazay Lewis’s smile. Maybe we were up for more than a black coffee after all.

Signature and classic cocktails

Except Black Coffee would be a cocktail, cheerfully shaken by the hardworking crew behind the well-stocked bar. Maybe though, you’d just play fast and loose, and go with the bespoke offerings on the list. A One O’Clock Gun Martini, Madam? Blasting right up. How about our Pisco-based Sleeping Dragon? Breathing fire in a glass, if you ask me, all the way from Peru. 

Not from Peru, and sharing only the characteristics of charm and friendliness with a big bear from South America, is Joey, delightfully greeting guests on arrival. “Oh, I’ve been here since the very beginning,” says the immaculately dressed Joey, as you adjust to the altitude, before catching a glimpse of the skyline. Joey wastes no time ushering us to an experience of Edinburgh that reveals just how changed Fountainbridge is. 

Changing by the minute in this part of town, if the cranes on count are any measure. Check out your favourite satellite image and this place is still a building site. The Moxy is boxy fresh, and the Lochrin Rooftop Bar view changes more often than the black and white films projected onto the bar's back wall inside. Boris Karloff in The Body Snatcher is playing on our debut. Guess the inspiration.

What was the heart of Auld Reekie’s west-end brewing empire, is now the trendy dining and reclining enclave. Its decline as a canyon of smoke-blackened breweries was already underway when Boris made his cameo on the Castle. Rising from the rubble, and reinventing the neighbourhood, it’s now a flagstoned walk of trendy hotels and trendier bars - like this one.

There’s a nod to the city’s heritage in the foyer. I’m a brewing heretic, but the pair of copper mash tuns, or whatever they are, may even be in use, but you’ve little time to ponder, as the lift whisks you to the sixth floor. GM Julie may be found, keeping everyone on their toes, as she flits between bars and bedrooms, doing all the things a good GM does - like making sure the patio heaters are on for the guests enjoying the views of the Castle and Corstorphine Hill, while counting the cranes busily reshaping the skyline - that old fortification and the older landscape may be the only things a reborn Karloff may recognise. No matter if the still, calm, spring evening is a little too chill, there’s a DJ on site, pushing out an even more chilled set to mellow out the evening.

Being Moxy, it was always going to be a funky take on the sky bar concept. It hasn’t let us down. With smooth sounds and smoother surroundings, this is a place where the views are just as good inside as out.

Lochrin Rooftop Bar, at Moxy Edinburgh Fountainbridge

2 Freer Gait 

(one of Edinburgh’s invented new streets - it’s still Fountainbridge)

Edinburgh EH3 9FR

0131 378 2013

Classic and signature cocktails £10-12 and up.

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