Edinburgh has plenty of pubs and plenty of restaurants, but what about places which successfully combine both? Often pubs can be mediocre in the food department and restaurants can be lacking when it comes to a relaxed, homely atmosphere. But, if you’re looking for the best of both worlds I’ve found just the place for you: The Queens Arms.
Centrally located on Frederick Street, The Queens Arms is the perfect place to enjoy a chilled out meal and some drinks. They recently invited me along to review the menu, so I headed along after work one day to try it out.
What We Ate at The Queens Arms
Rather than a traditional starters, mains and desserts setup, the menu at The Queens Arms is a much more relaxed affair, with a range of smaller and bigger plates which can be mixed and matched to create your own perfect menu. We were pretty famished when we visited so each opted for a small plate to share, and then moved on to a big plate each for mains. To start, we sampled the haggis lollipops and mackerel pate. I was a big fan of the mackerel pate as it was nice and light, with plenty of lemon, so it was ideal to kick off the meal. The haggis lollipops were also lovely and came served with a tangy homemade brown sauce.
On to the mains, and I opted for the steak salad. This was no ordinary steak salad, however, as the Aberdeen Angus steak had been marinated in harissa and it came served with salad leaves, mint and toasted cashews with a spicy dressing. Yum! With the fresh, spicy flavours and the perfectly rare steak, I would definitely recommend this dish. Owen chose the fish and chips for his main course, which was made with hake, that day’s “fish of the day”. This was a very generous portion, with mountains of crispy chips and flaky fried fish. We both really enjoyed our choices and decided we had just enough room left to sample dessert. After a quick peruse of the menu, we both went for the rum chocolate mousse with honeycomb and it didn’t disappoint!
The Atmosphere at The Queens Arms
The Queens Arms feels like a cosy, traditional pub with a wee bit of extra New Town class. The vibe is relaxed and friendly, so it’s ideal for lots of different occasions – a chilled date night, dinner with friends, after-work drinks with colleagues… the list goes on! Usually I try to avoid pubs which show lots of sport, but we happened to be visiting on a night when the football was on and it didn’t feel too “sporty” at all. It was nice and quiet where we were tucked away in our own booth, but you could still hear plenty of chatter from the bar to give the whole place a nice atmosphere.
The drinks list had a nice mix between traditional beers, nice wines and interesting cocktails. I opted for a cocktail to start which was a tasty mix of Edinburgh Rhubarb & Ginger Gin and some other stuff which I can’t remember! After we had finished our meal, we stuck around for another drink or two to make the most of a relaxing evening in the pub.
Worth a Visit?
I wasn’t sure what to expect when visiting The Queens Arms as it sounds like a fairly bog standard pub on the surface, but I was very pleasantly surprised by my experience and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. The food was delicious and had a nice mix of comforting pub food and more inventive dishes, and the atmosphere of the whole place was very welcoming. If you’re looking for a pub in Edinburgh which is a cut above the rest, whether for food, drinks or both, you definitely need to check out The Queens Arms.
Have you visited The Queens Arms before?