On my most recent visit, I took a stroll with a friend along the waterfront from Leith to Newhaven – some of it pretty, some of it interesting and the rest, well let’s just say it is the price we pay for living in a working city and not just a tourist fantasy land. Our reward for the exercise was fish and chips in The Old Chain Pier – a great pub with lovely views over the Firth to Fife, even if it was somewhat obscured by a grey and a bit miserable Wednesday afternoon gloom.
The Old Chain Pier has been around, in various guises, from the early 1800s, it was originally the booking office (and bar) for the steamer services. One of my favourite stories from its past is that it had a landlady in the 1960s, Betty Moss, who used to brandish a cutlass or a gun, not loaded, to get customers to drink up and leave at closing time. These days it has been refurbished and revived and is weapons free. The food was lovely and they do a small-sized fish and chips for those with smaller appetites or those who believe that a three-mile round trip isn’t quite enough exercise to warrant a plate full of fried food. The beer was tasty too.
By the time we walked back to Leith we were ready for dessert so tried a fairly new place on The Shore called Toast. It markets itself as Edinburgh’s first wine café which I think means a funky coffee shop to meet friends but with good quality booze. Both the cake and the wine were tasty, the staff were a little over attentive but like I said it was new so maybe they were still working out the kinks.