Once upon a time, there lived three sisters named Anastacia, Drusella and Cinderella.  The first two sisters were so ugly that no man in the entire kingdom would dare kiss them.  Fearing that they were destined to die spinsters, the pair hatched a cunning plan to seduce the menfolk of the castle town in which they lived.  Their scheme was breathtaking in its simplicity, but no less ingenious for that.  After leasing a large public house in the city’s Cowgate, Anastacia and Drusella outlined the dastardly scheme to their putative business partner and sister.  Cinderella gasped when she heard the true extent of their machinations.

‘I’ll have nothing to do with your wicked ways!’ she gasped.  ‘I thought we were setting up a nice pub with real ales.  Besides, some of us don’t need to trick men.  I’ll have you know I met an extremely handsome prince at the ball last night.  On Sunday we are to be married, whereupon he’s promised to carry me through to the royal chambers and smash the granny clean off me!’

‘Fine!’ snapped Drusella.  ‘Be like that if you must.  But we’re keeping The Three Sisters name cos we’ve already got the signage made up.’

And so it was that The Three Sisters came to be.  Cinderella rode off into the sunset with her handsome prince and got everything she had wished for.  And as for the ugly sisters?  Well, their dreams also came true, and they eked out the remainder of their days getting more cock than women of such homely countenance warranted.  This is the true story of how the ugly sisters achieved this incredible feat.

The Three Sisters

From the outside, Anastacia and Drusella make their pub look warm and inviting so as to lure as many passing menfolk as possible.  They do this by creating an inviting open courtyard that, from a distance, would appear to be the perfect spot for enjoying a cool pint on a fine summer’s evening.  Then, they borrow a few scantily-clad girls who’ve been refused entry to Stereo for being overdressed and drape these tantalisingly over the courtyard tables.  When the Cowgate’s passing gentlemen catch sight of such an enticing expanse of al fresco flesh, they can’t help but step over the threshold.  A charming, open-plan public house frequented by nubile females – who could resist?

It is only once they have entered the courtyard that things start to go horribly wrong.  Upon ordering a beer from the outside bar, patrons are horrified to discover that in place of a cold pint they have been handed a bottle of Fosters, a beer so bad that even Aussies won’t drink it.  And not just any old Fosters either, but lukewarm Fosters in a plastic bottle.  Traditionally, pubs dispense beer in plastic bottles for two reasons:

  1. They believe their patrons will try and chib f**k out of each other if given the chance.
  2. They believe their patrons will try and chib f**k out of each other if given the chance.

After purchasing an overpriced plastic bottle, the trepid drinkers turn round to discover that the eye-candy that has been propping up the courtyard appears to have disappeared indoors.  The only thing to do is follow it in there and hope that this inauspicious start to proceedings picks up.  Inside The Three Sisters’ cavernous vaulted interior, there are no pretty girls to be found however.  In fact there is no beauty of any sort to discern.  All that can be seen is a school disco dancefloor, replete with chunky women stomping around handbags to ‘anthems’ by Razorlight and other indie luminaries.  There are Anastacia and Drusella types everywhere, but not a Cinderella to be found.  You turn to leave, but suddenly find your legs have turned to jelly and the room has begun performing pirouettes.  You drain the last of your warm Fosters, only for it to come straight back up again.  You notice, to your disgust, that the jettisoned mouthful is full of sediment and is the colour of Tizer.  Not only have you been cheated out of a proper beer in a proper beer glass, but you’ve also been drugged.  Now, presumably, you’re about to be date-raped.  As if to confirm your fate, the last thing you recall as you slump to the floor is the distorted mugs of two grinning, ugly sisters swarming over you.

When you finally awake, 17 hours later, it is to discover that Drusella (or is it Anastacia?) is sat on your face and what feels like a plastic beer bottle has been rammed up your arse.  Still, at least it wasn’t made of glass.  Welcome to The Three Sisters.  In this fairytale, no one lives happily ever after.

BYOB: If you wanna start beef in The Three Sisters, bring your own (glass) bottle.

What is it that’s so repulsive about this odious drinking sphincter – is it the horrific chavvy tunes that bleed out of the courtyard’s PA, or is it the grim dancefloor that elicits stepping into the only nightclub in a small fishing town?   No, it’s everything, come to think of it.  If Stereo is hell on earth, The Three Sisters is its pre-club.  It’s a place where dreams are shattered, where beer is spiked with Fosters and where there are no Prince Charmings or Cinderellas to be found.  The beautiful people have long since left the building, leaving only the sluts and the knob-jockeys, the detritus that were deemed too pished to get into Sin.  Expect to meet Essex girls in the Three Sisters.  Expect to meet neds and bams and wide-ohs.  Expect the expected and expect nothing more – that’s the only way you won’t leave this place disappointed.  The men wear white jeans with piss stains on the crotch.  The women wear white hot-pants with cum stains on the crotch.  Everyone wears checked shirts.  It’s like a Superdry discount warehouse.  Imagine if God grabbed Newcastle by the scruff of the neck, gave it a good shake and tipped the dregs of the town’s hen and stag dos into The Three Sisters.  We’re talking about a pub so bad it makes Skegness look like Ayia Napia.  It makes Patrick Bateman look like a nice guy.  It makes death by sandpaper seem like a thrilling alternative.  Admittedly, The Three Sisters may not rival Cav or Stereo in the outright atrocious stakes; it’s just a very bad pub full of very horrible people.  Other than those two slight faults, it is an awesome venue with one of the best (plastic bottled) beer gardens in Edinburgh.

Postscript: Of course, all that stuff about Rohypnol and ugly sisters is based upon events that occurred once upon a time, many moons ago, back when The Three Sisters was first founded.  These days, I’m sure it’s an entirely different proposition.

The Three Sisters, 139 Cowgate, EH1 1JS

Tel: 0131 622 6801