After another aborted attempt to visit the Hanging Bat (curse you Scottish weather!), I needed to find somewhere to eat pretty quickly. The reason for the abandoment of the Bat plan was the arrival of more rain, so without much ado, I made a quick trip north to the Guildford Arms, which has a tiny restaurant area above the pub. It looked nice and had plenty of ales available, but no chance of getting a table, so I had to make a plan C.
I hopped back down to the Royal Mile, and in to one of the iconic pubs, The Inn on the Mile. It looks promising when you walk in, huge high ceilings, tables and booths around the outside, a breakfast bar and booths down the middle with the bar over in the corner.
Much like Holyrood 9A last night, they also offer flights of ale. But that’s where the similarity stops. Despite claiming craft beer credentials, the beers in this flight don’t hold up to closer inspection. The Caledonian Best (it’s kind of a Scottish equivalent of John Smith’s, so you know where to place it in your mind) was over chilled, strangling any potential flavour, the Flying Scotsman was probably going off and the Mile Ale was slightly better with a hint of hoppiness (it is brewed especially for the pub apparently). Essentially, none of these were all that great. When you spot that they call Deuchars IPA a Scottish craft ale, you know that you have a different definition to them.
Pair that with an uninspiring and dry chicken burger (although nice chips) and you get a very average experience. It seems that the location at the crossroads of the Royal Mile and North & South bridge is what keeps this place busy. It’s a shame as it’s a nice looking place, but there are better alternatives.