Tuesday, 7 August 2007

BarWatch: a warning about NBs, Edinburgh

Since I complained of a £5 large glass of wine in Ealing last month I thought it only fair to point out a dearer example nearer home. Just prior to attending the Tattoo last Thursday I arranged to meet my mate Stuart in NBs bar in the centre of town (it's in the Balmoral Hotel opposite Burger King at the east end of Princes' St) and ordered my usual 'large glass of dry white wine' without checking the price list. I had intended to check the place out anyway following it's redecoration earlier in the year. I was told to take a seat and it would be brought over. While waiting I checked the wine list and found the cheapest was a Pinot Grigot at £5.25 a large glass! And some sneaky bar staff don't always decide on the cheapest to serve of course. My wine was brought over by a smart Justin Timberlake lookalike, alongside a pretentious black leather 'wallet' containing the bill plus a pen where I was to sign for it and included a space to add a 'gratuity'. The cheek! At least it was £5.25. Bizarrely It was further complimented by an unwanted dish of cheesy nibbles (I wasn't hungry and I can't stand cheese but did they ask?). Stuart managed to eat some of this 'garnish' upon arrival but the real bonus was he was able to hand out one of his modelling cards to a comely blond barman who I paid the charge to.

I know it's the festival but these prices and 'extras' are a joke. Were I to walk down to the other end of Leith Walk there's a Wetherspoons serving a large glass of (perfectly fine) dry white wine for £2.50. That's my gratuity for any of you visiting Edinburgh who don't want ripped off. Unless you want to check out those 2 bar staffof course ...

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