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A luxurious, secluded delight, nestled in the heart of Edinburgh’s West End effusing sophisticated spacious elegance as well as offering top quality gin and tapas style bites.
The lack of sign posting for Heads and Tales can be interpreted in a couple of ways. One – their first-class service and food does not require advertisement; the standard naturally draws in customers like bees to honey. Or two – they seclude themselves from the bustling high street so customers who catch a glimpse of their entrance conjure up thoughts of intrigued curiosity and thus let the train of fairy lights lure them down the stairs to the front door. While both reasons are likely, the latter is what drew me to this unique Edinburgh-based gin bar.
Heads and Tales is featured in 11 of Edinburgh’s Best Secret Bars
Inside, one can find a spacious and sophisticated seating arrangement. Leather brown chesterfield sofas coupled with masculine wooden table tops create a strong association with an eighteenth-century gentlemen’s club. In contrast, exposed brickwork and vintage style filament light bulbs gave off the ever popular ‘unfinished warehouse look’ – adding a contemporary flare to this creatively designed lounge.
After being seated and given menus by a friendly and attentive member of staff, the simple task of picking a few nibbles and cocktails became a brain-picking challenge due to the plentiful selection on offer. The menu is compiled of small tapas style dishes ranging from local Haggis bon bons to Monkfish scampi, a variety of sharing boards are also on offer.
Picking a cocktail proved no easier. As well as their pre-crafted ‘Cocktails of Champions’ selection, Heads and Tales offer ‘G.I.Y’ – Gin it Yourself, a unique opportunity to design your own gin-based cocktail that meets your personal satisfaction. The patience of the waiter who had to return to our table several times was impressive – though this could be blamed on Heads and Tales’ very own gin distillery that sat next to us, distracting us with its majestic, shiny copper-finished presence.
Quickly arriving at our table was a seafood platter, monkfish scampi and Tarte flambee. Delicately arranged on thin black slates, my chosen selection of dishes were simply delectable. The flavours of each dish were rich and accompanied with a right amount of seasoning, particularly mentioning the delicate sheets of tender, gin cured smoked salmon.
The cocktails were no different. I opted for a homemade cocktail consisting of Ungava gin, orange blossom flavouring and arriving in a Martini glass. I was fairly proud of myself for creating such a concoction of aromatic flavours though I knew all credit was due to the cocktail-making professionals behind the bar.
So, whether you are residing in Edinburgh or travelling here for the first time, visiting Heads and Tales is certain to be a relaxing yet wonderful learning experience in the field of creative cocktail sipping. Their charismatic staff, delicious food and most importantly their unique selection of drinks on offer certainly qualifies this basement bar to identify themselves as Edinburgh’s very own ‘hidden gem’.
Emily visited Heads and Tales for complimentary drinks and small bites, as always all views are honest opinions and there was no expectation of a positive review.