Monday, July 20, 2009

Good Edinburgh Whisky pubs part 3 - Mathers

Broughton Street would surely make an excellent anthropological study. About ten years ago, i overheard a local woman telling her boy, 'aye son, i remember when this used to be a working class area'. As i one-time resident for many years, many years ago, i've seen it go from rough and run-down to a trendy 'metrosexual' centre for absurdly dressed Ben Fogle-type refugees from the south of England as well as those wanting good cheap scran at places like the Basement, Blue Moon or the Rapido chippy.

The Phoenix was infamous for it's fights and 'erotic' dancers. The Unemployed Workers Centre used to reside here until the Labour 'cooncil' cut funding and it became little more than a vegan-cafe and a place where the Irish Republican James Connolly Society assembled to launch a banned march that was violently stopped by Lothian and Borders fat boys in blue. There was the Lesbian and Gay Centre giving out free condoms in the fight against AIDS and occassionaly repelling gaybashing skinhead bigots from the BNP. The Basement, used to be the 'Blues Basement' and was similar to today's Henry's Cellar Bar with a variety of indie, rock and punk bands playing. Ironically enough, when it became the Basement as we know it today, the first chef and he who instigated the Mexican themed menu was the ex-drummer of local punk stalwards the Exploited. He was Californian btw...

There are still some havens though for Scots who....
  • are heterosexual
  • have an income of less than £50k per annum
  • wish to have a drink without picking up an Oxfordshire accent
Mathers, near the top of Broughton Street is one such place. A large blackboard on the right as you go in advertises it's wide range of malts at pretty reasonable prices for a city centre pub. It has the likes of Linkwood, Old Pulteneys 12, 17 and 21, Caol Ila 18, Edradour, Bruichladdich Waves and many others. We were pleased to consume Glenfarclas 105 Cask-strength at £3.25 and a Gordon & MacPhail cask strength of a Bruichladdich 15yo from 1988 at £4.80. It has sports on tellies, if thats important, and also live music and food.

Apparently it also the sometime haunt for the rich and famous according to auld DJ Jay Crawford who claims to have got pished with and subsequently humped the legs of:
Elton John, Whitesnake, Helen Shapiro, Desmond Dekker, Jim Diamond, The Average White Band and many others including Cliff Richard about whom he recalls "goat the evil tosspot weel pished on Ledaig, then ejected for dropping oor skants and singing YMCA." Click here for more star-gazing info from Jay.


naldo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
naldo said...

Sycophant corner here but cheers for mentioning Mathers, the Phoenix (still the best bar in the world) and Jay Crawford in the same post. Outstanding.

And delighted to see JayCee namechecke Pilot.

"Oh-woh-oh it's magic, ye know-wow-ow...."

Think i might try learning Gaelic.

An Donas said...

Not too up on Pilot but i recogise the song... "Gorgie aggro". Probably best to leave these days in the past!

An Donas said...

Oops, not sure what happened to comment #1 btw. Apologies!