Photo of
October 17, 2022

First up, congratulations are due to The Tollhouse, the third venue opened by the Dine team. 

The other two outlets are on Cambridge Street and by Murrayfield.

Located in Canonmills, overlooking the banks of the Water of Leith, the new venturesits on the site of a former public toilet.

As the name suggests, long before that, the location was the site for one of Edinburgh's tollhouses, tax collection points that regulated traffic in and out of the city. You can read about its transformation here.

Whatever the site's past, its present is rather glam. As well as views over the Water of Leith from the main dining room, The Tollhouse also has a cute terrace over the river. Ideal for summer drinks or even a lunch, if the weather is amenable.

Seasonal and local 

The Tollhouse by the Canonmills Bridge, Edinburgh.

The Tollhouse by the Canonmills Bridge, Edinburgh. Pic: Tollhouse Instagram

The menu changes every fortnight but is always grounded in seasonal and local ingredients. Main courses on the latest menu include smoked roasted aubergine with grilled courgettes, piperade, gremolata and a tahini mayonnaise; venison loin with butternut purée, potato cake, pickled blackberries and crispy kale plus seared scallops with black pudding, cauliflower purée, burnt cauliflower florets and blackberry gastric.

Your blogger had lunch there a few days ago and, while the 5pm blog doesn't do reviews, it was very enjoyable. We wish them luck.

Beers Without Beards

Sticking on the East side of the M8, Beers Without Beards are holding 2022’s Women In Beer Festival (WiB Fest) from the 20th to the 23rd of October.

Returning after a two year Covid hiatus, the Edinburgh-based 'women who beer group' will team up with local Edinburgh pubs to showcase some of the UK’s best female-owned breweries or those with female brewers. These include Lost and Grounded, Wild Card, Merakai and the Edinburgh local Jump Ship Brewing.

At least two breweries will be showcased every day at a different venue:

Thursday 20th of October - Wild Card Brewery + Merakai Brew Co. at Fierce Bar on Rose Street.

Friday 21st of October - Duration Beer + Gritchie Brewing at Lost In Leith Bar on Commercial Quay.

Saturday 22nd of October - Big Smoke Brew Co. + Coalition Brew  at Dreadnought Pub on North Fort Street.

Sunday 23rd of October - Lost & Grounded + Jump Ship Brewing at Portobello Tap on Porty High Street.

The brewery showcases are free and, of course, open to people of all genders. The full program of the festival can be found on Beers Without Beards website.

New cocktail bar brings Palma to Partick

Fergus McCoss and Ness Achilles, the owners of Hinba Coffee Roasters in Partick, have introduced a relaxed coffee-to-cocktail concept with their new venture, Eighty Six.

The bar has been launched in collaboration with neighbouring venue Eighty Eight, whose expert mixologist Iain Welsh has crafted a cocktail list that nods to Hinba’s daytime coffee offering.

Inspired by their time living on the Mediterranean island of Majorca, the Hinba duo are aiming to recreate the same relaxed after-hours atmosphere they experienced in Palma.

Located within their existing venue on Dumbarton Road, Eighty Six offers an intimate coffee-to-cocktail experience from 6pm until midnight every Wednesday to Sunday.

The cocktails add up at Eighty Six.

The cocktails add up at Eighty Six.

Pistachio Sour, Champagne Spritz and the Spiced Paloma are just three of the nine exotic drinks on the menu, which features coffee-inspired tasting notes for each of the cocktails.

Opened earlier this year, the Partick coffee shop is Fergus and Ness’ second premises, having launched their first cafe in Oban in 2019. 

Fergus said: 'Most of the coffee shops in Palma turn into bars at night. The transition was always seamless - the relaxed daytime atmosphere really helped set the tone for a chilled night. I knew it was a concept I wanted to bring to Hinba.  

'I think it will be really well received, especially in the West End. We’re the only venue in the area to be offering a coffee to cocktail experience like this. We want to be a place that people can enjoy at any time of the day.'