“ 35 Hanover St, Edinburgh. Tel:01312 256738 „
Milnes is situated on the corner of Hanover Steet and Rose Street, less than one minutes walk from Princes Street and about 5-10 minutes walk from Waverely Station. The original Milnes was associated with a loose affilliation of Edinburgh writers and poets who met there in the 1950s to discuss their work, life, politics and the Universe. And Id guess to have a few beers as well. The pub was extended in the early 1990s and now covers two floors. The bar has two entrances. One on Rose Street takes you into the street level bar and the other on Hanover Street takes you into the basement bar. The two levels are connected by an internal staircase. The basement bar is the original Milnes Bar and pictures of the poets who used to meet there adorn the walls, along with examples of their work. The bar is designed to look like an old fashioned Edinburgh boozer, with wooden floors, dark brown wooden panelling, nicotine stained wallpaper and, during the winter, a big roaring fire. They havent gone as far as to put sawdust down on the floor tho!. Anyway so much for the guide book stuff, whats the booze and grub like? Well, the usual selection of lagers, beers and spirits are available plus a regularly changing selection of real ales. The Guinness is not great but is definitely drinkable. I dont drink wine so can't comment on the selection. Prices are in line with Edinburgh city centre prices i.e. expensive. The food isnt going to win any awards but is passable pub grub. The menu is unchanging from day to day apart from a couple of daily specials. Food on offer includes burgers, fish and chips, baked potatoes, filled sandwiches, nachos, chicken salad, that type of thing. Best thing tho is the all in one pies. Basically your pie filling plus potatoes and veggies altogether in the same big pie dish with a pastry lid. Perfect with a pint of Guinness if you have a hangover. Prices are around £4-£6. The bar is usually fairly busy at lunch times, but can tend to be a little on the quiet side during week-day evenings. However it can be mobbed during the weekend, especially on a Friday when it is full of suits from the surrounding banks and insurance companies. It is also very popular with visitors, I think it must be in all the guide books, so it gets exceptionally crowded during the tourist season, and of course the Festival. It also tends to attract a rugby crowd when the rugby internationals are on at Murrayfield. This lends itself to a great atmosphere altho it can get a bit boistrous. During these times, the gents toilets tend to get a messy with toilet litter and wet floors. And in all the years Ive been going there, the toilet cubicles have never had a proper working lock on them. Service is variable to say the least. The staff tend to be visitors to the city themselves and as a result they can change with alarming frequency. And previous bar experience does not seem to be an essential requirement for getting a job there. On more than one occassion this year Ive had to tell the bar person how to pour a Guinness as it was clear that they had never poured one before. But what can I say, it all adds to the colour of the experience and service has rarely been terrible and I have been going there regularly for the past 10 years. Open from l11am to midnight during the week, 1am during the weekend. I dont think they do food during the evening at weekends as it gets so busy.