The Queens Arms is a ‘real’ pub right in the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre. At some point in time most folk who live or work in Edinburgh will have found themselves at The Queens Arms to watch a football match, to attend a work colleague’s leaving drinks or for a pub lunch. However, there was no denying the interior was dated and in desperate need of investment. After acquiring The Queens Arms in August 2009, the Signature Pub Group, perhaps best known for their excellent renovation of the West End’s Rutland Hotel and bar, stepped in and gave The Queems Arms a long overdue revamp.
The refit of The Queens Arms has remained sympathetic to the factors which have attracted so many through its doors. But the hand beaten copper bar top, library in the back corner and private booths now give it an edge and attractiveness which was lacking before. There’s also the private dining room, which includes its own TV screen and sound system - definitely an option for watching a football game in style. The best way to enjoy The Queens Arms is undoubtedly inside the bar, but the bar’s outdoor seating is proving popular given the recent run of good weather.
In days gone by I would describe the service at The Queens Arms as rather sharp and to the point. Like the old bar furniture that kind of service is now a relic of the past: we were warmly greeted by the bar staff and enjoyed attentive table service throughout. Sports fans are still well catered for, with an abundance of shiny flat screen TVs dotted along the walls, though thankfully they never become an unwanted distraction.
My rump steak burger (Â£8.75) with mozzarella was excellent - top quality meat cooked to juicy perfection. The simple sandwich is a competitive game these days; The Queens Arms rising to the challenge by providing ample poached salmon in between scrumptiously fresh sourdough bread (Â£5). The menu isn’t large, but it does offer an appealing balance of traditional ‘pub grub’ with modern twists. For dessert we shared a slice of flourless chocolate cake (Â£4.50). While still in keeping with the culinary prowess of The Queens Arms, the size of our slice didn’t offer particularly good value. A fine selection of whiskies, inventive cocktail list and a solid range of wines and beers (including an admirable real ale line-up) complete the offerings.
The revamp of The Queens Arms is a job well done. Despite the acquisitions of a number of bars in Edinburgh by the Signature Pub group, this latest effort further bolsters their reputation for ensuring the bars retain their character and individuality. Recommended.
The Queens Arms is located at 49 Frederick St, Edinburgh, EH2 1EP
Telephone: 0131 225 1045