I have no idea what took me so long to visit Pickles, but I finally made it! Pickles is a basement wine bar on Broughton Street and is very highly rated in Edinburgh; after only one visit, it’s easy to see why. Kirsten and I made our way there at 4.30pm one Thursday, just in time for the bar opening its doors. Although we arrived at opening time, there was another couple already enjoying a glass of wine. We knew we would be ordering food, but initially we started with a bottle of Argentinian Malbec. The staff were warm and friendly, which, along with the cosy atmosphere, made the bar very homely. We knew which wine we wanted, but the team were more than happy to offer suggestions or answer any questions.
It was such a comfortable setting that it was extremely easy to sit and drink a bottle of wine, as if I was in my own flat. Before we knew it our delicious wine was gone, so we took the opportunity to order another bottle, along with some food. The food menu is a mixture of platters, pates and nibbles – my ideal situation! We weren’t sure how hungry we were so we chose the mixed meat and cheese platter; the pate also caught our eye, but we decided to hold off and order that if we were still peckish after our platter. Being peckish certainly wasn’t something we had to worry about. It didn’t take long for our food to arrive and we were given a very generous portion of meat and cheese, alongside olives, pickles and a mountain of bread; our waitress also said to let her know if we needed any extra bread (we did not)! We were also given oatcakes and 2 big jars of chutney; one was caramelised onion and the other tomato – the tomato was my favourite.
Being a platter for 2 there was a good variety of meats and cheese; we had 5 different kinds of meat and 4 different types of cheese. There was one blue cheese, which Kirsten isn’t a fan of, but I love it and there was plenty of the other cheese for Kirsten to indulge in. The pate selection is intriguing with plenty of options and again it looked to be a good-sized portion. Unfortunately, the platter was enough to fill us up, but I will definitely consider the pate next time. The nibbles on the menu include bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which would be good for the less hungry, who just want a small bite. If you don’t have a specific wine in mind, you may want to consider the combo platters, which include a bottle of the house wine and is very reasonably priced.
We sat in Pickles for around 4 hours and the time just flew by because we were having so much fun. During the time we were there the bar had seriously filled up, with many people standing around waiting for a table – I was glad we arrived early. As well as having a fantastic wine list, I felt the food options were brilliant for a wine bar and the prices were pretty average; it wasn’t cheap, but I didn’t feel that it was overpriced at all because of the quantity and quality. My evening here was so relaxed and filled with friendly faces that I can’t wait to go back for more great wine and fantastic food.
Atmosphere – 5
Food – 5
Price – 3.5
Service – 4.5
Total – 18/20