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How was it for you? with Mobyduck on the Pub Forum

Halfway House, Edinburgh

24 Fleshmarket Close
Phone: 01312257101

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

Brainy Pool left this review about Halfway House

tiny traditional pub on the steep incline into the old town. Though very much city centreish, this is the good kind. People from all walks of life chatting away. Limited choice of beer but three decent real ales were on.

On 6th December 2019 - rating: 9
[User has posted 760 recommendations about 741 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about Halfway House

A fairly small, corner pub located on one of the many alleyways that run down from the Royal Mile, it looks quite contemporary from the outside with it’s duck egg blue woodwork, but is much more traditional, even dated perhaps, inside.

It consists of a single room internally, although divided in to two halves perhaps, with the front half including the bar counter which was rather usually on a 45° angle. It’s really surprisingly tiny, with a limited amount of seating and even less room to stand. The flooring was mostly wood strip along with some tartan carpet in the front section, whilst there was both dark and black wood panelling on the walls as well as some pale brown paintwork. Seating options included curved booths with chocolate brown leather benches and mustard colour back cushions. A couple of etched mirrors were on the wall and a small TV was showing a terrestrial channel, although the volume was off so this was not too intrusive. Unusually, a display case at the front had a number of items for sale, including caps, tee shirts and post cards. A small blackboard menu listed a basic selection of pub snacks, but with the miniscule kitchen being clearly visible from the bar it was apparent that all dishes were merely popped in the microwave. In any case, there were a number of tiny midges flying around which would have discouraged me from eating in there.

Beers on tap were Strathbraan True North, Strathaven Drookit, Flower of Scotland and Windswept Blonde. The solitary cider meanwhile was Addlestones. Overall, not a bad little pub although the slim chance of getting a seat and the midges prevented me staying too long.

On 5th April 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1748 recommendations about 1683 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Colin Walker left this review about Halfway House

The Halfway House is Edinburgh’s smallest AWARD winning pub It was CAMRA Scotland pub of the year 2005/6 and Edinburgh pub of the year 2009. The reason for the word AWARD being added is that the smallest claim to fame of the smallest pub is The Wee Pub in the Grassmarket area. Although this Wee Pub is part of Buddy Mulligan’s. On draught there is Stella, Tennent’s, Harviestoun Pale Ale available. There are 4 ale pumps & at the time of visiting 3 ales were on and 1 was being prepared ready to install. The ales available were Old Mortality, Strathaven & Spey Valleys David’s Not So Bitter. Visitors to the pub (Quotes from other websites) have complained about the food being heated up in a microwave. But if you check out the size of the please as already mentioned there is no room for a kitchen. So, you will have to be bear this in mind if wanting better than average quality food. The gents is a single one room cubicle, so keep the door closed.

On 7th September 2018 - rating: 10
[User has posted 711 recommendations about 706 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about Halfway House

Compact and bijou as they say. Small but perfectly formed pub on a stairway between cockburn street and the market street entrance to Waverley train station. Four real ales and food available. Railway memorabilia on the walls.

On 12th February 2018 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2693 recommendations about 2637 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about Halfway House

A rarity - an Edinburgh pub I haven't previously found.

Tiny but perfectly formed. Great pint of Stewarts 80'

Pleased to have found it.

Visit blogged at

On 13th July 2017 - rating: 9
[User has posted 277 recommendations about 276 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about Halfway House

Located down a Close on a small corner plot, just past the Jingling Geordie. Small and cramped, with a couple of intimate little semi-circular booths. Loud and drunk youngsters hogging the main drinking space in front of the bar rather off-putting in such a close environment. Railway memorabilia and retro rail holiday posters from the 1930’s were of interest. Four pumps but just two on, a super half of Harviestouns Bitter & Twisted and a very good Copper (from a brewery I forgot to note). A good place, but a case of planning your visit carefully to extract maximum enjoyment. 7.5

On 25th January 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3997 recommendations about 3985 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

David Ross left this review about Halfway House

One of the best pubs in Edinburgh, which is a substantial claim for a city with so many good ones. It is also one of the smallest, but that is an essential part of its charm. Occupying a tiny corner space about a quarter way (not halfway) up a steep and narrow alleyway between Waverley Station and the Royal Mile, it crouches directly below another pub, "Jinglin' Geordie." This is very convenient, as drinkers can head upstairs if the Halfway House is overly crowded, which it often is. Despite the limited space, there is a good selection of beers on draught. Telos Stewart Brewing Session Blond, Jack Back Stewart Brewing Session Pale Ale (only 3% and 3.7% alcohol respectively), Crofters Pale Ale and Strathbraan True North (4.4%, costing £3 a pint) are on hand pump, while Guinness, Caledonia Best, Tennent's and Stella Artois lagers, as well as Addlestone's Cloudy Premium cider are also on sale. It would be easy to miss this place if you're not familiar with the area, but try not to.

On 20th January 2016 - rating: 10
[User has posted 769 recommendations about 683 pubs]

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Peter Rydings left this review about Halfway House

One of my favorite pubs in the city always call when here only thing its the steps up to it

On 12th August 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 948 recommendations about 917 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about Halfway House

Had to use the full google maps facility on the iPhone to find this one, with its hidden location down the steps of Fleshmarket Close but it was well worth the effort.
A small, traditional pub as well described by previous reviewers and still an independent Free house (apparently there are very few of them left in Edinburgh ) which regularly gets in the GBG for its regularly changing range of well kept real ales
Standing room only for our evening visit, but you don’t mind that when you have an excellent pint of Kelburn Regnitz to enjoy. That was one of four regional Scottish beers on the go, including others from the Alechemy and Fyne Ales Breweries.

On 4th August 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1699 recommendations about 1648 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Danny O'Revey left this review about Halfway House

A cosy tiny bar halfway down one of the Closes between the Royal Mile and entrance to Waverley Station.

The landlord/barman is one of those miserable people who can't help portraying a feel that he doesn't want to be serving you, though he did seem to be trying and I can't even put it down to him being a dour Scot as he appeared to be English!

Despite that the pub is a little gem, especially if you get a seat, there is a train theme to the art work suggesting its closeness to the station, its just a lovely little snuggly feel of Edinburgh.

Good beer choice and quality.

On 25th April 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1276 recommendations about 1253 pubs]

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