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Beer of the Week (w/e 8th Decenber 2019) with Wittenden on the Pub Forum

The Guildford Arms, Edinburgh

5 West Register Street
Edinburgh
EH2 2AA
Phone: 01315564312

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines


peter ashworth left this review about The Guildford Arms

Cannot add much to Blackthorn's detailed description only that this late Victorian pub was elaborately designed and established in 1896 at the height of the Temperance movement and has been operated by the Stewart family ever since.All the features are stunning but i was impressed by the revolving door,the ornate plastering and the upstairs gallery.
There were 10 cask beers on the go all functioning and plumped for the Orkney Dark Island which was spot on. If you have never visited the pub and are close to Waverley station with time on your hands this is the place for you. You wont be disappointed.

On 19th September 2019 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2086 recommendations about 2049 pubs]


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Blackthorn _ left this review about The Guildford Arms

An unusual wedge shaped building in a slightly unpromising location perhaps, but nonetheless just a very short stroll from Princes Street, it consists of a single room downstairs in a sort of a V-shape wrapped around the bar counter along with a smaller mezzanine level floor upstairs.

Décor wise it’s quite impressive, with a very high and ornate ceiling with elaborate cornice work and much red and gold paintwork. Large arched and etched glass windows are on both sides with dark wood panelling on the walling in between. A wooden porch with revolving door was inset in to the pub, with only the TV perched on top showing a continual loop of drinks adverts spoilt the effect somewhat. Flooring was red patterned carpet and leather bench seating was around much of the perimeter. Despite the open plan nature of the pub, the unusual shape provided a number of cosy recesses. The upstairs area was clearly more of a restaurant and this was quite different in style with a contemporary appearance including a sanded wood floor and quite jazzy wallpaper. Service at the bar was fast and efficient.

The menu offered a decent selection of dishes including pub grub staples such as fish & chips and a burger. I went for the chicken stuffed with haggis, wrapped in smoked bacon and served in a peppercorn sauce, and this was a decent enough dish, although also one of the more expensive options at £15.95.

Beers on tap were Edinburgh Gold, Tenby Black Flag, Cromarty Hit The Lip, Thornbridge Tapit, Orkney IPA, Fyne Ales Jarl, Radical Road Reverse, Orkney Dark Island, Pentland IPA and Bombardier. After that lot, cider choice was a little disappointing with only Stowford Press.

On 30th November 2018 - rating: 8
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Ian Mapp left this review about The Guildford Arms

Can't think of any other pubs with a revolving door!

Used to thing it was slightly more down at heel to the Cafe Royal Bar next door - but on a quiet visit, I got to see it in all its splendour. Its beautiful.

Great local real ales all around the bar - so make sure you check them all out before committing.

On 12th January 2018 - rating: 10
[User has posted 276 recommendations about 275 pubs]


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hondo . left this review about The Guildford Arms

Old style pub serving 10 real ales . Makes a good double header with the very ornate Cafe Royal next door.

On 15th August 2017 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2648 recommendations about 2591 pubs]


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Aqualung . left this review about The Guildford Arms

This is an old wedge shaped pub with a revolving door entrance that I would have thought was a fire hazard.
It's been more than well described below and wasn't too busy on my Thursday afternoon visit. It struck me that it may be a bit food orientated and that the food service had ended.
This place probably had the best beer selection I saw in Scotland The ten hand pumps had London Pride, Stewart Pentland IPA, Fyne Jarl, Orkney Dark Island, Shiny Abyss, Allendale Yakima Pale, Swannay Scapa Special, Great Heck Mount Hood, Alechemy Line Breaker IPA and Bridge House Cherry Choc Stout.
These were all listed on a blackboard that showed the prices and their pricing structure doesn't do much for responsible drinking as just two sub 4.0% ABV ones were £3.80 & £3.90 while everything else was £4.00-£4.30. I've never advocated responsible drinking so went for the Allendale Yakima Pale (£4.00) and the Choc Cherry Stout (£4.30) both of which were excellent.
Although expensive this was one that I would return to.

On 27th July 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2144 recommendations about 2139 pubs]


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Quinno _ left this review about The Guildford Arms

Whilst mainly the same as what I encountered ten years back, there have been some subtle changes here and there. The beautiful ceiling looks to have been repainted and is a lot more vibrant than I recall from previous. So that’s a plus. A minus is the huge Bladerunner-esque TV above the main door permanently beaming out advertising toward the ranked masses in the main bar. So that’s a minus. Still plenty of interesting ale at the bar and also notably advertising gluten free beers too. However it was a mixed bag when I ordered; from the cloth-eared barman auto-piloting to pints (and not even being gracious when I pointed this out as he was hallway up the first pint glass) to two of the three ales (from Loch Ness and Alchemy) being utterly flat and lifeless. Left disappointed, though I would try it again next time because it certainly is a lovely place.

March 2006
My personal favourite I did in Edinburgh, a massive range of ale served in a tidy boozer with a lovely Victorian interior (dig the revolving door, dark wood interior and high, ornate ceiling). My pint of Red McGregor was superb. Ideal for a few beers before catching the train from Waverley BR - a must-visit. Rated 9

On 23rd January 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3921 recommendations about 3909 pubs]


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David Ross left this review about The Guildford Arms

An extremely popular and, therefore, extremely busy central Edinburgh pub, the Guildford is just a short walk from Waverley Station. The interior, reached through a revolving door, is beautiful, with lots of dark wood, chandeliers, mirrors and an ornate bar. This boasts approximately ten hand pumps and an equal number dispensing keg beers and ciders. Being in the middle of Edinburgh, it is understandably expensive, with a perfect pint of London Pride costing me £3.90. The upstairs restaurant, called "The Gallery," is part of the pub and food is also served in the ground floor bar, including breakfasts from 10.00 to mid-day on Saturdays and Sundays. The main attractions here, though, have to be the architecture and the beer.

On 18th January 2016 - rating: 9
[User has posted 769 recommendations about 683 pubs]


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Steve of N21 left this review about Guildford Arms

We left the Guildford Arms and the neighbouring Cafe Royal Bar to the last evening of our visit to Edinburgh as a way to sign off the trip, and what a double to finish these are.
The Guildford Arms is a superb destination pub and one that should be included in any visit to Edinburgh.
Converted to a pub from an existing shop in 1898 during the golden age in Scottish pub design, it is now a rare survivor of that period when Scottish publicans responded to the strong Temperance Movement of the time by investing in extremely grand premises to differentiate from the common seedy drinking dens.
Once you have negotiated the revolving front door you are faced with a magnificent ornate dark wood interior and an impressive canopied bar. We managed to get a seat up the end by the equally wonderful Gallery Restaurant mezzanine level, the underside of which is mirrored for effect. Although a lot plainer than the ground floor it is worth taking a look up the stairs to the Gallery restaurant because from here you get a great view of the rest of the pub and especially the ornate ceiling, which you are now obviously a lot closer to.
But as Roger says it’s not all about the décor and we were lucky to visit when they had a complete mix of Ales on the 11 working pumps. And to prove it these were Cairngorn Wildcat, Highland Brewery Company Island Hopping, Alechemy Amarillo Burst IPA, Scottish Border Brewery Foxy Blond, Orkney Dark Island, Williams Brothers Birds & Bees, Harviestoun Schiehallion, Craft Beer Kitchen Magnum Scrachi Ale, Stewarts Pentland IPA and last and very least in this company Charles Wells Bombardier.
Between us we tried five of these and they were all in top condition.
Very difficult to pull ourselves out of this one.

On 5th August 2014 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1686 recommendations about 1635 pubs]


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Old Boots left this review about Guildford Arms

Much like my estimable friend I can't understand why I haven't reviewed one of the top three pubs in Edinburgh so this is a live review as I am sat there looking at nine pump clips of extremely good beer. Personally I am drinking an Orkney Dark Island which is spot on just a bit "Edinburgh" at £3.70 a pint! Three pulls are being swapped but I think I'll pop round to the Cafe Royal and then the Abbotsford rather than see what's on next.

On 19th January 2014 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2145 recommendations about 1994 pubs]


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ROB Camra left this review about Guildford Arms

This pub has been one of my regular haunts in Auld Reekie for years, but for some reason I've never got around to reviewing it. Expertly described by Roger below it's a architectural gem and if that floats your boat try the Cafe Royal next door. They often have weeks where they showcase one brewery's beers which is probably what Roger encountered. At other times it's a complete mix of differing ales, mostly Scottish, all well kept on every occasion I've visited, which has been often. Like I said it's a gem even in Edinburgh, which is full of gems.

On 26th January 2012 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2760 recommendations about 2687 pubs]

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