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The Abbotsford, Edinburgh

3-5 Rose Street
Phone: 01312255276

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 8 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Brainy Pool left this review about The Abbotsford

Not bad, and a beautiful interior with its lovely island bar. Pub busy with an after work clientele. staff, and the place itself, seemed a bit stiff and corporate. Five real ales on from somewhere I was unfamiliar but my beer was sadly not the best on this occasion.

On 5th December 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 772 recommendations about 753 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Abbotsford

A traditional old street corner pub at one end of the Rose Street strip, it consists of a single room interior with a large central island bar counter.

The bar counter is certainly a prominent feature taking up a large percentage of the floor area, and is quite ornate with carved and lathed woodwork. The ceiling too was quite impressive with much elaborate cornice work and being attractively painted in cream, red and gold. Old wooden boards were on the floor along with dark wood panelling on the lower part of the walls and cream plasterwork above. Red leather benches were fitted around much of the perimeter with additional seating provided by freestanding benches, also topped with red leather padding. A fire place was off to one side, although this looked to be unused which was a bit of a shame on such a wet and miserable night. A second, much smaller bar counter was in the back corner, although what this was used for I’m not sure as there we no pumps visible.

Beers on tap were all from Cromarty, with their Kowabunga, Red Rocker, Ghost Town and Raptor. The solitary cider was Stowford Press, which seemed slightly passed it’s best unfortunately.

On 10th December 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1749 recommendations about 1684 pubs]

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Ian Mapp left this review about The Abbotsford

Another unassuming pub from the outside which reveals a gorgeous interior.

Again, its the ceiling and the island bar that make this special.

Decent local ales.

Visit blogged at

On 25th May 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 277 recommendations about 276 pubs]

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Will Larter left this review about The Abbotsford

My favourite among the half dozen pubs planned as a small trip with my daughter - when the Thistle Street proved to have no real ale, I suggested coming back here for a second visit, whereupon we were greeted by one of the barmen as regulars. "It's always nice to see returning faces," he said. The bar is one of several outstanding island bars in this part of town, and the ornate ceiling is eye-catching too. On the bar is an offering of several real ales, mostly on the old Scottish system, with just one hand pump. We went for the Alechemy Ten Storey Malt Bomb, a modern 80/-. It's pleasant to get a chance to taste a beer that's based on malt rather than just hops, as the modern fashion seems to be. Luckily it was still on when we returned two hours later.

On 24th March 2017 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2641 recommendations about 2490 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Abbotsford

First or last pub if your doing the rose street pub crawl. Under the management of the group that has the excellent Guildford Arms located a short walk away. A central island bar serves 6 real ales and food. Extensive whisky selection. Ornate ceiling and wooden bar have been retained. I didn't visit the upstairs dining area.

On 28th May 2016 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2699 recommendations about 2643 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

ROB Camra left this review about The Abbotsford

Another couple of visits over our two night stay in Edinburgh. Very quiet on the Wednesday night and they ended up closing early. They still have the air dispense fonts but they've added a handpump as well now. Both the pints I had were in good nick as always. We'll keep calling back as it's too good not to.

Nice looking pub on one of the main tourist streets that doesn't seem to get many of them in. Ornate ceiling and a traditional Scottish island bar are the main features. There are wooden tables and benches around three sides of the room. The beer is served through air dispense fonts, again the traditional Scottish way, it's still real ale! 4 beers available when we called, Deuchars and 3 changing guests. The pint I had was in good form as well. There's a restaurant above the pub called "Above" where they will serve you the real stuff from the downstairs bar. It's a good pub.

On 21st May 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2863 recommendations about 2783 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Abbotsford

Another splendid New Town pub, with an imposing island bar surrounded by equally solid furniture. Half-height wood panelling on the walls. Fine moulded ceiling. Fireplace in use (but gas, so not much heat). Not a lot in the way of decor, but this is not necessarily a bad thing when you think of some of the tat in certain other Auld Reekie pubs. Six real ales available - five from traditional 'tall founts' supplemented by one handpump - with a decent selection of Scottish seasonal beers (e.g. Highland Brewery Dark Munro, £3.40). Overall, one of the Rose Street essentials.

On 29th January 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6116 recommendations about 6116 pubs]

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Roger Button left this review about The Abbotsford

Named after Abbotsford House, the home of Sir Walter Scott, the Abbotsford was originally a thatched cottage that was virtually rebuilt in the 1880’s. The building was subsequently demolished and rebuilt again in 1902 and is currently owned by the same company as the Guildford Arms. The pub remained virtually untouched for over a hundred years but underwent some restoration and refurbishment in 2007 but appears to have been more of a cosmetic nature and has not affected its listing in the CAMRA inventory of historic pub interiors.

The pub part consists of a single ground floor room with a classic mahogany island bar taking centre stage. Simple furnishings hug the sides and whilst it was busy on my visit, it wasn’t as cramped as you would expect given that the pub isn’t that big. The ornate ceiling is also one of the more impressive features. In one corner is a separate snack bar although I believe this is only used at lunchtimes. More substantial meals are available on the first floor is a restaurant called “Above” where a main course will cost around £8-£16. I didn’t venture this far but understand that the restaurant has similar décor to main bar.

There were 6 ales available on my visit, Inveralmond Inkie Pikie, Orkney Island Hopping, Strathaven Avondale, Kelburn Cart Blanche, Orkney Red MacGregor and Fyne Vital Spark. Whilst they were all Scottish, there were a few that I didn’t find in the numerous pubs I visited during my week of travelling to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling. The beers are all poured from some rare survivng Scottish tall fonts as opposed to hand pumps. A large selection of whiskies was also available.

As hertitage pubs go, the Abbotsford is worthy of a visit for that reason alone but the decent ale selection, good mix of customers and bubbly ambience made this one of my favourite of Edinburgh pubs. Next time I visit I’ll hopefully be able to make it a longer visit.

On 13th October 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1238 recommendations about 1232 pubs]

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E TA left this review about The Abbotsford

The Abbotsford is situated on a busy corner in Rose Street. It is small but spread over two levels. Downstairs is a busy high street bar, whiel upstairs is quieter and a good place to sit and eat. I had a very well cooked haggis at a fair price. There were 6 ales on - my pint of Nimbus was very well kept and most enjoyable. I wish I could have stayed for more. A good traditional pub, well worth a visit and a must for a Rose Street crawl.

On 16th August 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2571 recommendations about 2547 pubs]

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I L left this review about The Abbotsford

Superb Scottish style central island bar with long bench tables around the perimeter, wood panelled walks up to shoulder height and ornate ceiling. There were four ales on and the Strathavon Red ale was superb. prices are similar to those in London but I suppose being in a busy Edinburgh street that's only to be expected.

On 16th October 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 287 recommendations about 284 pubs]

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