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Espionage (Edinburgh)

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      07.09.2001 18:18
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      • "hard to find a seat"

      Espoinage is a pub/club on 5 levels, 4 with different names, Pravda, Mata Hari, Kasbar and Lizard Lounge. Yes they are trying to be more upmarket then it is. But it has worked! There are two entrances, (oh and by the way - entrance is free, but there are strict doormen so keep away you under 18's!) the Main entrance on Victoria Street, and from here you can enter through two sets of doors - one takes you in on that level and the other takes you in on the stairs. follow the stairs right down and you will come to - in order - Kasbar - a very small floor with a small bar. good if you get there early and there's 10-15 in your group. Pravda - Nice floor with circular bar in the middle. Good size, weird seating. Small dinky stools around the circular bar - great for sitting with a friend and downing a few of the great shooters - see further down for details. Also either small booths for two (can squeeze four people in, but i mean squeeze!) or low seats which also can fit two, or four, once again, at a squeeze. More seating round the back of the bar, also really for two. This bar is known as the couples bar, mostly because of the seating arrangements and the small private booths. Mata Hari - This is the largest, most spacious bar and there is a good sized dancefloor round the side. A lot of seating and tables for 10 people. Fair sized bar, could be more staff, but you could say that about any bar in edinburgh. Seating in alcoves next to dancefloor and next to bar, but alcoves have 2 or 3 tables in each, some have space for 20 people to sit, and one has only four seats but they are big comfy seats and well worth taking up the space! Lizard Lounge - This is the floor with the proper dancefloor. There are a lot of seats but they are smaller, chill out seats as the main priority of this floor is for dancing. This is also where the DJ sits. you can talk to him/her and put in requests, but you will have to wait till 5 minutes before closi ng to hear your request! good sized bar, good seating. The other entrance is a 'secret' entrance round the back at the cowgate, just along from 3 sisters that everyone knows about and gets bigger queues than the front door. It takes you in on Mata Hari. Ah yes - queues. There are queues of around 100 people at both doors from about 10pm onwards, most nights. especially thursday, friday and saturday nights. I would always recommend getting there before 10pm. One more rule of espionage is get there as early as you can. I am talking 4-7pm if you want to get a seat anywhere. After 10pm any night you can hardly move around it is so busy. Personally i think this is a fire hazard as if there was a fire most people would be crushed or burn. Also there ais a free buffet and free soft drinks from 4-6pm every night, so it is worth getting there that little bit earlier and getting yourself some free scran. Drinks - they do a really good james bond themed shooters menu, £2.50 per shooter. I would recommend scaramanga, teehee, miss moneypenny and octopussy. Party bowls are fantastic. £14.50 and a £10 refundable deposit for a huge fish bowl filled with a red fizzy concoction and giant straws so everyone can just dig in and suck! dont know what the red stuff is, but there is grenadine and lemonade. The ingredients are on the menu's which can be found on every table along with shoter menu's and special deals. Cloakroom - this is only open on a friday and saturday night and is not worth the hassel. The queue gets huge aroung 1.30am and doesnt go down till after 3.30am. if you can be bothered waiting then okay, persoanlly i just stick my jacket on my chair. It's not a dodgy place and if you dont leave things lying around unattended, you'll be fine. Times - espionage is open from 4pm-3am every day, although durung the festival it is open 3pm till 5am. It is free to get in bu t the drinks are not cheap, altough not particularly expensive for an Edinburgh club. TOP TIPS Just to recap, i will list my top tips for a decent night at espionage. 1. Enter via the back entrance. this way you start off on a good floor without having to squeeze down 3 other floors to get there. 2. Drink lots of lovely shooters - scaramanga and teehee are my personal favourites. 3. Get there before 10pm as this is the sudden busy rush. The earlier the better really. 4. DONT USE THE CLOAKROOM the queues are too big 5. if you arrive at espionage and there is a huge queue, dont bother. often you will never get in as the queue moves really slowly. Wallk down victoria street and go to the 3 sisters - just behind espionage. Also gets very busy but name me a pub in Edinburgh that doesnt?! well, i hope i have helped a bit by sharing some bad experiences! follow the golden rules and have fun!!

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