your city, laid bare
199 High Street
24 Fleshmarket Close, Edinburgh EH1 1BX
0131 225 7101
Located along Fleshmarket Close, just past a pile of puke and two doors down from some junkie jacking up, lies this quaint and unassuming drinking establishment. Halfway House (HH) claims to be Edinburgh’s smallest and friendliest pub, and is certainly right on one count – there’s just enough room to swing a cat in here, provided you first saw it in half and cut off the tail.
Halfway House specialises in guest beers from British micro-breweries such as BrewDog, Swannay and Harviestoun. (A micro-brewery, incidentally, is just like a micro-penis i.e a smaller version of the real thing.) HH has previously been voted Edinburgh Pub Of The Year by the splendid chaps at CAMRA, who know a good pint when they taste one (or two, or four or five or six). If being stuck in a confined space with a bunch of real ale bores sounds like your realisation of hell, then HH probably isn’t the place for you. However, if you consider the words ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘Trainspotting’ to be synonymous with Ewan McGregor pegging it from Lothian & Borders’ finest, HH’s display of railway memorabilia may cause you to rethink. Rumours that HH was so named in homage to the Führer (Heil Hitler!) or his sidekick Heinrich Himmler are completely unsubstantiated and were invented solely as a spurious literary device with which to conclude this review.
Sample prices: We honestly can’t remember as we were pretty wrecked the last time we went in. Cheap enough to be able to get pished then, it would be fair to say. Scottish bar meals are also available, for around £5 a dish.
Try: Paradox, or any of the other Brewdog beers if they’re on tap.
Avoid: Showing up with a hen party of 50 in tow.