May 11, 2018
The crew behind Treacle on Broughton Street and Hamilton’s in Stockbridge have taken what was the Auld Toll Bar on Leven Street, an old school Edinburgh boozer, and turned it into an attractive drinking den with contemporary appeal. Rechristened The Blackbird, the space has been handsomely done up. There are plenty of original features – exposed stonework, fireplaces and cornicing – but also modern touches, like their ‘Looking for Alice’ wall mural inspired by the characters from Lewis Carroll’s novels. This theme is continued in the lengthy drinks list, which is full of potions and concoctions designed to make you grin like a Cheshire cat. The usual suspects are all present and correct and but there are plenty of more creative drinks to choose from, including The Dirty Housewife, a blend of Sausa Horintos, Aperol, grapefruit bitters and orange marmalade. The drinks are prepared with care and though we hear service can be a little on the slow side, the bar tenders are friendly and clearly know their stuff. There’s a decent selection of beer on the draft and the food menu is also worthy of attention, including hearty burgers and steak sandwiches, as well as epic desserts. There’s a beer garden for when the Edinburgh weather behaves itself (we hear this happens sometimes).