Trips to Edinburgh from Newcastle are so easy, and this year I’ve already ventured up there twice. You might remember my stay at the Principal Charlotte Square over Easter weekend, but even if you’re not staying, a day trip for some shopping, good food and cocktails is definitely doable on the train. During my recent visits I’ve discovered two fabulous bars/restaurants that deliver everything you need for either a girls day out or a date – Rabble Taphouse & Grill, and Copper Blossom.
Rabble Taphouse & Grill
I first discovered this place on social media, and it’s where we went for dinner back in March after being strongly swayed by the menu, made up largely of open grill meats and fish. Located just off George Street it can be found right in the centre of the New Town, and the bar and restaurant are basically in the basement. Don’t let the sound of this put you off, if you’ve been to Edinburgh you’ll know around this area there are so many cool little basement bars, and this one is no exception.
The upper floors are all part of the same place, and form a boutique hotel with ten rooms, ideal for if you did want to extend your stay and be really central. It’s quirky, and very cute both at night with all the fairy lights, or during the day with plenty floral arrangements, a white washed outdoor area, and a glittering bar fully stocked with gin.
Our first visit was for an evening meal, where we shared a king prawn starter, followed by steaks for main.
All the food is locally sourced, and cooked on the charcoal fire pit. I was tempted by the salmon, and there’s a full menu of other meats and fish to choose from, but ultimately we were always going to go for the steaks. I got the sirloin which was delicious, but Kieran got the fillet, which comes served with a giant hash brown and that was the winner.
It looked an incredible juicy chunk of meat, and alongside it we got french fries and a side of mac and cheese. Literally our ideal meal! Washed down with a nice red wine, followed by gin cocktails at the car this place totally stuck in our minds for months to come. So much so, when it came to Kieran’s birthday I arranged a day trip to Edinburgh, and the main reason was for another steak back at Rabble.
Our second visit was therefore at lunchtime, and we were gutted to find that the menu was slightly different – mainly because steaks didn’t feature until the evening. We told our waiter we had come from Newcastle specifically for them, and were so lucky because the chef had already started to prepare them and was happy to make them for us. If that isn’t good service I don’t know what is. We had the exact same meal as the first time, except I didn’t mess about and had the fillet this time too.
Being there at lunchtime in the summer, it was more opportunity to take in the place itself. It’s so pretty, with a little outside terrace, all decked out in the St Germain pop up summer theme.
The St Germain liqueur have taken over Rabble for the whole of summer, and transformed it into a Parisian style garden. There’s features outside, but the main event is the indoor garden space – how gorgeous?!
If you’re visiting Edinburgh before the clocks go back, then I really can’t recommend a visit enough. It’s casual but elegant, and somewhere just a little bit different than the typical bars and restaurants you find in most cities. It’s only been open just over a year, and they really have nailed the food and drink concept. I’d love to go for brunch, because judging by their instagram that looks pretty special too.
Both my mum and sister recommended this place to me for cocktails, and back in March it was raining so much we didn’t leave Rabble all night. In June though, we had an hour to kill before our Rabble table, so spent it having a pre lunch cocktail (or four) at Copper Blossom.
Again just off George Street in the New Town, Copper Blossom is the perfect summer cocktail bar right in the centre. It’s been open a bit longer than Rabble, and has the feel a bit like the Ivy, or Selfridges floral lounge.
In the same style as Rabble, and many others nearby you go down to the basement from the street to get to it, and find yourself in a chic looking lounge bar. It’s bright and airy, with a floor to ceiling glass front, high marble topped tables, and flowery chairs.
Further in there’s more secluded booths and tables, or more lounge style yellow sofas and low coffee tables. Another gorgeous bar to look at, and a cocktail menu that will have you taking at least ten minutes to browse through and make a decision.
Over the course of our visit, I tried at least four, including the Royal Blush gin and pink grapefruit cocktail from the Copper Summer Serve menu, a pornstar martini, and a Garden Party with Brockman’s gin, elderflower and lime. The cocktail menu is a decent size, with some fancy originals and the old favourites for the less adventurous. They weren’t extravagantly priced either.
Of course there’s wine, beers, ciders and cocktails as well. I could happily have spent the entire afternoon working my way through the drinks menu.
After working up a bit of an appetite we decided to order a light bar snack to share, and I have to say the menu for this type of bite wasn’t huge. We got some sweet chilli chicken skewers which were nice, but the menu is definitely more for a full meal.
I’ve not ate here for a proper meal yet, but the Sunday lunch photos looked quite nice. I have read some reviews which state it’s definitely more of a bar than a food place, but I would try it for food in future. As far as being a bar goes though, it absolutely wins at that.
Even the toilets are gorgeous, I couldn’t get over them!
On sunny days, yes Edinburgh occasionally get them, there is a full terrace outside on the street level too.
Rabble and Copper Blossom have both become firm favourites of mine, and are places I’d visit as part of any trip to Edinburgh, whether it be for drinks, food or both. They’re both so close to each other, and are in prime location for after a spot of shopping along George Street.
Of course Rose Street with all the old fashioned traditional pubs aren’t too far away either, but for something that little bit nicer I would 100% recommend either of these places.
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