It had been a wee while since we’d had a Beer Team outing, so it was good to take the opportunity for a midweek venture around the New Town. Although the original plan was to eat at Feed at the Vinnie, we ended up in the Cumberland Bar on Cumberland Street.
Both Our Beer Man and I had struggled down the years with locating this bar that never seemed to appear in the places we sought it. Oftentimes it was the Vinnie that we both ended up in, so starting from there was actually really helpful. Our Beer Woman rolled her eyes at our incompetence.
The Cumberland is part of the same small chain as the Canon’s Gait, Abbotsford and the excellent Guildford Arms. I’d visited for drinks and a chilly seat in their beer garden whenever I could locate it, most memorably during the famous John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut Wimbledon epic.
Aside from sampling from their reasonable beer selection, we were in the mood for food. Our Beer Woman and I opted for burgers, splitting a beefy one and goat’s cheese-topped veggie burger. Our Beer Man chose the chicken balmoral, eschewing mash for a healthy portion of peas. We shared a starter of halloumi fries that were ordinary.
Mains were pretty good. I preferred the beef to the veggie burger, as without the goat’s cheese it would have been pretty bland stuff. The beef had good flavour and succulence and the accompanying fries were satisfying.
But I think Our Beer Man won the day as the haggis stuffed chicken looked good and raised an approving nod. It’s a dish that’s often prepared quite poorly so it was good to see this pleasing rendition.
So overall, we enjoyed the food at the Cumberland. Compared to their other bars, I think the beer selection is slightly weak but there are still a couple of taps to raise some interest. I’d visit again for food, perhaps to sample their much-vaunted Sunday roast.
Blythe scores the Cumberland Bar
3.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20
Today’s questers were: Our Beer Team, Blythe
We ate: halloumi fries, veggie burger with goat’s cheese, burger, chicken balmoral
We drank: various ales
We wore: formal beer drinking apparel, informal beer drinking apparel, mixed eating suit
Total bill: £50.45
Address: 1-3 Cumberland Street, New Town, Edinburgh EH3 6RT