Friday 15 April 2016

Edinburgh pubs: World's End, The Southern and Tiles

There is nothing like a ye olde cosy British pub.  They usually have some good vegetarian food on the menu and a delightful ambiance.  I have already written about the pub highlights of our recent trip to Edinburgh.  Today I am going to write about meals at three different types of pubs.  Though not as spectacular as at the Auld Hoose and The Beehive, they nevertheless produced impressive vegetarian pub grub.  The World's End is an iconic tourist pub, Tiles is an after work city centre pub and The Southern is more for the locals and students.  As I had brunch, lunch and dinner at these pubs, I will write about them in that order.

The Southern 
22-26 South Clerk Street
Edinburgh, EH8 9PR
0131 662 8926

The Southern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sylvia and I had brunch one day at The Southern, which was near our holiday flat in Newington.  I liked the dark exterior which suggested a cosy interior.  More importantly, the menu promised a good veggie fry up.

Inside was actually brighter and more modern than I expected albeit cosy.  Leather benches, copper table tops, high tables, heavy stools, and lots of bare white walls.  Yet it still had a touch of vintage charm with the fireplace and little window nooks.  I can imagine it is popular with students.

The music was fun British classics and the pub very quiet at about 10.30am so Sylvia and I had fun dancing while we waited for our meal.  It gave us a laugh.  However most of our laughter came when Sylvia thanked the man who brought in the barrels of beer and then told me she had  embarrassed her pants off!

I ordered the veggie breakfast which consisted of vegetarian sausages, vegetarian haggis, baked beans, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, and sourdough bread.  I enjoyed it but I think I have been spoilt by the likes of Melbourne's Glass Den and wished for more vegies with my meal.  Sylvia enjoyed baked beans on toast.  She had a lovely apple juice and I had a more astringent cranberry juice.

It was an excellent way to start the day and we had fun watching people and buses going by out the window.  If I had had the chance I would have liked to try the vegetarian burgers.

The World's End
4 High Street, Royal Mile
Old Town, Edinburgh EH1 1TB
0131 5563628

The World's End Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

It amazes me that it has taken me this long to eat at the World's End pub on the Royal Mile.  I first noticed it on my first trip to Edinburgh 20 years ago.  I just never went in.  There are so many pubs and so little time in Edinburgh.  In 2006 I ate at the opposite pub (then called The Tass) and took this photo of the exterior through the window (apologies that it is the only photo I could find).  On our last visit, I tried to get in but they would not let Sylvia in with the stroller.  Finally this year we ate there.

This is the cosy British pub of my romantic imagination.  Thick stone walls, some painted a warm burnt sienna and hung with old photos, gilt edged mirrors, cute wee nooks, a curved wooden bar, axes above the doors.  It is in the heart of heritage Edinburgh with a backpackers hostel above it.  Hence it is very popular with tourists.  You can spot all the foreign bank notes around the bar.

Unfortunately pubs are traditionally places for drinking too and I am not so interested in alcohol.  I asked about the alcohol free Kopparberg berry cider on the drinks menu.  It was dismissed as being just juice.  Hurrumph!  It was actually a very nice fizzy fruity cider.

Sylvia wanted chips as usual.  We didn't mind as she had been having lots of kids boxes with cheese sandwiches. E and I decided to share the plate of haggis nachos.  It was great to find some haggis nachos but a pretty ordinary plate of nachos.  The corn chips had cheese melted over them with a pile of veg haggis on top and some sour cream and salsa on the side.  No guacamole.  And not enough salsa.  But a good solid meal while out and about.

I was pleased to eat in a cosy ye olde worlde pub.  And one with a great story.  The name comes from the location of the pub at the end of the walled city of Edinburgh in the 16th Century so it was the end of the known world to the citizens.  The intersection outside the pub has gold markers to show where the gate once stood.  (The Museum of Edinburgh has a great little model of Edinburgh during this period.)

Tiles Bar and Bistro
1 St. Andrew Square
Edinburgh, EH2 2BD
0131 557 3228

Tiles Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I arranged to meet with an old work colleague one evening in Edinburgh.  She suggested Tiles, a bar that she goes to after work regularly.  It is in the old Prudential Insurance art deco building and is really worthwhile to spend your time there staring up at the amazing ceiling.

Tiles offers a fairly traditional Scottish menu of soup, ploughman's board, haggis, burgers and sandwiches.  I ordered a vegetarian burger (on a brioche bun with salad) with cheese, tomato chutney, coleslaw on the side and a cute basket of chips.  The burger was lovely and I really enjoyed the chips too.  I confess I didn't focus too much on the food as I was enjoying catching up with Anne whom I had not seen for a few years.

It was great to visit these pubs in Edinburgh.  I wish I had found more time to sit in pubs enjoying the pub grub and the general ambiance.  It is hard to get into them as laws mean that a 7 year old is not welcome in many of them.  Hopefully we will visit a few more next time. 

Meanwhile, you can check out other Edinburgh pubs I have written about: The Kenilworth, The Last Drop, Sheep Heid Inn, The Beehive Inn, The Auld Hoose.


  1. ye olde pubs! That ceiling does look pretty fabulous but goodness that's a wee bit of salsa!

  2. I remember walking past The World's End and thinking what an interesting name! It would be so nice to visit a warm pub during Winter :)

  3. How lovely - there is nothing like a pub in the UK. They have a different feel to here.

  4. I love love love British pubs and want to go to all of these! I'm also fairly spoiled by my locals, as they all serve excellent and more imaginative veggie food.

  5. Barrels of beer? That sounds fun. Sylvia sounds like a quite an adorable child =)
    I like the look of The World's End - very cool looking.
    Sounds like you managed to find some pretty good food at some nice pubs.


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