“ Pub.74 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JR. Tel = +44(0)131 225 4851. „
The Last Drop pub is steeped in history and is a warm, welcoming pub. When I lived in Edinburgh I brought all my visitors to this pub, as this to me, was a proper Scottish pub. It is always packed with different people, ranging from students to rugby supporters. I agree with the pervious reviewer that it is by far the best pub in the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh. Some of the other pubs in the area are tacky and lack the warmth and down to earth atmosphere of The Last Drop. It is particularly cosy on a cold winter's day. The food is tasty, not world class, but definitely nice simple food to keep you going when you are having a few drinks on a Saturday afternoon. It is great place to meet friends and bring visitors to. One thing that stands out for me is the fact that it is always full of locals as well. Always a good sign to me!
The last review was obviously written by the manager of a rival pub, who has clearly never worked in the Last Drop. It could not have been further from the truth. I worked in the Last Drop for several years with James (never known as Jimmy), and every member of staff both past and present can verify what a fantastic boss he is. James and Ruth create a brilliant atmosphere for staff and patrons of the pub alike. They have great respect for their staff and for that reason still receive Christmas cards and updates from all over the world from the hundreds of people they have employed over the last 20 years. The Last Drop has always been well known for it's restaurant quality food, and pioneered the way for great pub food. So naturally, it has always been a target for rival pub owners in the Grassmarket who just can't figure out why it's always so busy. I still pop in occasionally to say hello and the pub is still as fantastic as it always was!!!!!! Check it out for yourself.
Before I worked as a member of staff there, I used to go to The Last Drop occasionally with friends. I thought it was average to low-class; an unremarkable place with avergae food and drink. Having worked at The Last Drop I can now say it is the last place I would re-visit. The ginger-haired manager, Jimmy typically bullies staff and customers who he takes a dislike to. He personally made my life hell by constantly criticising and humiliating me with his extremely bigoted and neurotic manner, aided and abetted by his partner. The food and service standards of the Last Drop reflect the style and impact of its autocratic management. There is an oppressive atmosphere that you cannot escape and I believe that's a result of the anxiety-ridden manager's influence upon the place. Whether you are local to the area or a tourist, if you care about the health and wellbeing of staff and customers, spend your money elsewhere. Otherwise, you risk funding a bigoted bully who doesn't appear to care very much about people.
Directly behind, and far, far below Edinburgh Castle, lies the Grassmarket - a small open space that has played an important role in Edinburgh's history. As the name implies, the Grassmarket used to be where local farmers brought their hay and other produce for sale. But it was also the location of one of the main gallows in the city and crowds would flock in huge numbers to see the public executions. Pubs in the Grassmarket are not an uncommon sight, they literally line the streets, jostling for position, side-by-side, one after another. Two pubs that are not only next door to each other, but share a common theme, are MAGGIE DICKSON'S and THE LAST DROP TAVERN. Immediately outside their doors was the scene of public hangings back in the 18th century. Maggie Dickson was one of the victims of the gallows, but when tossed on the burial cart after her 'execution', she could be heard still moaning. After some attention, she survived and lived out her remaining days down in Portobello where she was known as 'Hauf Hingit Maggie!' Nowadays, on summer afternoons the scene here resembles the very best of French cafe life (as opposed to life during the French Revolution!), with almost as many customers outside as when executions were public entertainment. (Conversely, in winter it is more reminiscent of Siberian cafe life!) THE LAST DROP (18th century) is the older of the two pubs and is so named in commemoration of the last ever hanging in the Grassmarket. It is only a few steps from the very spot on which the original gallows stood - although you're not very likely to witness a public hanging these days. There's speculation at the origins of the name with some suggesting that the condemned were given their last drop to drink before getting their neck stretched, but it's more likely that the name derives from the fact that so many people literally took their last drop there. The pu b is housed in one of the few buildings in the Grassmarket to have retained its original form and design from that time. You can't miss it, the exterior of the pub is painted bright red. The interior is relatively large for a pub in the Old Town - some of them can be crowded when the number of patrons goes into double figures. There's lots of hidden little corners and the low ceiling - supported by pillars, intimate tables and low-level lighting, make for a cosy and welcoming atmosphere. It's decorated with many interesting and some quite unusual pictures of the Grassmarket - as well as curiosities from the local area - with a large array of banknotes from around the world adorning the wooden, ceiling beams. There is a decent, if less than inspired, selection of draught beer - the usual suspects are represented - such as: Tennents, Carlsberg, Calders, Tetleys, Guinness and there are guest ales; there's also the usual range of wines and spirits, with a good selection of malt whiskies. Prices are average for central Edinburgh - extortionate. This wouldn't be my first choice of pub in the area, there are better alternatives as regards choices of ale, but when shopping with Mrs P, the thought of taking a lunch-break in ANY pub is a welcome diversion. Being a beer phillistine, she just doesn't care what's on offer at the pumps....women, eh. Besides, SHE wanted to go there - and I wanted to DRINK a beer, not wear it. They serve food until 7.30pm, mostly traditional Scottish pub fare but with a few offerings from further afield. Apparently they used to have a chef from India but he was sacked within a month. He keep favouring curry. The menu is good with quite a large choice of meals, or for anyone just looking for a snack, more simple options like baked potatoes and sandwiches etc. Meals range from steak pie to bangers 'n' mash; pizza to moussaka; chicken tikka to bur gers; various salads, and a wide choice of starters and desserts. They even do a vegetarian (and regular) haggis with neeps and tatties. I was tempted to have the cured ham salad but as they didn't state what it had been cured of, I thought better of it and decided instead on the lasagne, which was very good. It was a large portion - stuffed with mince and lots of creamy cheese sauce - with a lovely, fresh and crisp, side salad and garlic bread. Mrs P, bless her, opted for an impressive bowl of steaming pea & ham soup with crusty bread. The soup was a meal in itself and was so thick you could stand your spoon in it. At £4.95 for the lasagne and £1.95 for the soup, we thought it excellent value for money. Mrs P wanted to have the apple crumble and custard but as she didn't finish all her soup, I didn't think she deserved one (the waster). Even when she looked pleadingly at me with those big, sad, puppy dog eyes, I wasn't budging. But as she gently whispered in my ear, "Get me the that dessert noo ya big eejit or you'll be carrying yer hee-haws hame in a new bag." She certainly does have a way with words. Needless to say, she got her wish - she shared half it with me anyway. Outside of summer, it isn't too busy at lunchtime and you can usually always get a table. When it comes round to the height of the tourist season though...forget it. I can't really say what it's like of an evening as I haven't been there at night for years but it's generally a very busy area, especially at the weekend, so I wouldn't expect this pub to be any different. Edinburgh has an astonishing number of top-class pubs and although when in the Old Town, I would prefer the likes of the Bow Bar or Jinglin' Geordies, it's still a well-run, friendly and cosy pub. Thanks for reading, ©proxam2003
The Last Drop pub in Edinburgh's Grassmarket has a very old history. The pub has been there since at least the 18th century and has seen quite a lot of political activity in its time! The unusual name is nothing to do with a lack of alcohol or indeed anything to do with drinking. The name comes from the fact that the hangman's gallows were situated just outside the pub. Hence it was definitely the last drop for a lot of people! There are wall to wall pubs in the Grassmarket, its just one pub after another but what makes a pub stand out? At The Last Drop it's easy to see why. The Last Drop is actually quite large for a Grassmarket pub, some of them are tiny. There is plenty of room inside to sit and stand. The tables are situated in nooks and crannies and there is always a quiet table during the day if you want one. The low ceiling and dimmed lighting add to the cosiness of the pub and make it feel warm and welcoming. I popped in there during the Xmas holidays to have a bite to eat and a well deserved pint. During lunchtime there is table service which saves you having to go to the large bar and wait for your pint. There is a good selection of draught beer and lager - the normal popular stuff such as Tennents, Calders and Guinness. There is also a wide range of bottled drinks from beer to the latest alcopops. The menu was good and extensive. It must be the first pub menu I have seen in a long time that didn't have chips on it! There were baked potatoes and sandwiches for those not wanting an actual meal as well as plenty of starters and desserts. From the main course menu I chose a tomato tortilla containing minced lamb covered in mozzarella cheese. My friend chose vegetarian haggis with neeps and tatties (swede and potatoes for the non-Scots reading this!). I was very pleased with my choice. It came in a large bowl and was absolutely covered in cheese! The dish was deep and there was tons of meat - not the usual and vegetables and no meat. It also came with a side salad, which contained the best coleslaw I have ever tasted! The vegetarian haggis was good (apparently!) and came with a substantial amount of vegetables. Both dishes cost £4.95 but we could both claim student status so they only cost us £2.95 each - excellent value for money. The drink was a little bit expensive - a pint of Tennents and a pint of Calders cost £2 each. However, as we had saved so much on the food and the beer was so nice we didn't mind at all! The Last Drop is a good place for lunch during a shopping trip as it is calm, peaceful and very relaxing. It's a little bit out of the way from Princes Street which is a good thing as there are plenty of unusual shops to look in on the way. I haven't been there at night for several years now but when I used to go there, it was always packed so be warned! PS Apparently the mens toilets have a rather interesting feature which is not present in the ladies (apart from the usual features!). There is a blackboard on which any male visiting the establishment can leave a message. What kinds of messages are written there I do not want to know!