It was over a week ago that I was invited to Heads and Tales. It’s only now that I have been able to bring myself to write about it, the memory too painful. All self inflicted of course.
We started our evening at The Huxley, I’ve been once before to sample the kids food, this time it was a thoroughly grown up affair. We enjoyed a Pear and Raspberry Mojito before heading to Heads and Tales for the main event.
Blink and you’ll miss Heads and Tales, it’s directly below The Huxley and only signposted with a smallish brass plaque. I like that, it feels like an insiders kind of place. A friend of mine remembers it as L’Attache if that helps any. She will remain nameless as I don’t think it was the classiest of joints!
Anyway, moving swiftly on, we arrived to a cool basement bar with a really cosy vibe, and the home of Edinburgh Gin. We were invited to sample an Edinburgh Gin Prosecco. Drinks in hand, we settled ourselves down into one of the wingbacks for a catch up. It’s probably fair to note here that I had been saving myself for the evening’s dinner and had only had chicken noodle soup all day, the watery type that people diet on, hardly sustenance for drinking.
Enjoying the ambience and the conversation, the first drinks slipped down quickly and we found ourselves at the bar procuring a couple of elderflowers proseccos. We were so engrossed in our conversation we kind of missed most of the canapés, only a few beef carpaccios remained. We decided to have one more drink and then head off for some food as we were both feeling a bit tipsy now with our empty stomachs. We sat down and after a couple of moments a barman approached us and asked if we would be partaking in the gin tasting, it was starting in a few moments. We looked at each other (we had no idea gin tasting was on the itinerary), and then back at the barman and said that of course we would be doing the gin tasting. We sort of swayed into the cosy cavernous booth where the tasting would take place. We took our drinks with us, but we needn’t have bothered, there was gin in plentiful supply.
The barman running the tasting was really knowledgeable and there were dried fruits and herbs to complement the different types of gin. We tried three Scottish gins; Daffy’s (my favourite), The Botanist, and Firkin (matured in whisky casks, it’s almost a gin/whisky hybrid in flavour). The rest is a bit of a blur. A very good blur though. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I returned last night to try one of their ‘Create Your Own’ cocktails – pick a glass, a gin, and a flavour, and they do the rest. I had a cherry concoction in a tall glass with a very crackable crème brûlée top – impressive stuff. The gin tasting takes around an hour and is £20 for four gins, or £25 if you want to have the nibbles too.
The tasting ended with a mini tour of the onsite distillery. Edinburgh Gin also have a larger distillery which produces 800 bottles per run.
The Navy strength Cannonball and Seaside gin are both produced inside Heads and Tales, with each run producing around 600 bottles. Enough to keep us all busy!
We had a fantastic evening at Heads and Tales and would highly recommend it. Feeling very satisfied indeed, we went upstairs to The Huxley, they have the perfect food to help soak up alcohol.
For example, the ‘Wet Fries’ – fries with toppings. We tried the peppercorn sauce and chilli cheese and we were quickly feeling back in the game, so much so that we ordered another couple of drinks!
The Pork Tostadas were crispy, fatty (in a good way) and meaty with a punch of sharp apple. Moreish is an understatement. It was a struggle to share nicely.
The chicken wings were the little ones, but there were loads of them.
Heads and Tales
Location: 1a Rutland Place
Price: Create your own cocktail £8, Gin tasting from £20
Good for: Gin
Bestinburgh: Best place to drink gin in Edinburgh