Menu Home

The LGBTicons Guide to Edinburgh: Bars

“I assume it goes without saying that you’ll stand out like a sore thumb if you’re not covered in glitter riding a unicorn crying into a £3 cosmopolitan”.

Barry Church-Woods

If you’re a mischievous and adventurous little sprite chomping at the bit for a bit of Scottish tottie but currently spend your time knitting and watching Coronation Street, here are some handy hints to help you get on the scene.

First of all, leave the house and come to Edinburgh. We’re very approachable and will welcome you into our city with open minds and hearts.  Unless of course there’s a game on between Hearts, and Hibs.  In that instance, just stay home because the streets turn into a Hieronymus Bosch painting sponsored by Becks.  Really, just last week I watched a bunch of neds (Non Educated Delinquents) fighting each other from my livingroom window.  It was like a scene from the Walking Dead, but without shovels and a lot more inbreeding.

Assuming that you choose to visit on one of the other 364 days of the year, once here and you’ve effortlessly styled your faux-moh and dowsed yourself in Issay Miyake, it’s time to hit the town and embrace some of Edinburgh’s institutions.*

*lots of liberties have been taken with the use of the word institutions.

We recommend that you kick-start any night out at The Regent.


This pub is known as much for its real ale awards as it’s ridiculously flirty bar staff and as Lady Gaga famously sang “no matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered  life, you’ll be on the right track baby as they do a mean steak pie.”**

**this may be paraphrased

The Regent is without a doubt one of our favourite pubs in Edinburgh. It has a great mixed crowd and all are very welcoming. The bar staff love to chat and being called sweetheart from the burly gents never gets tired. The pub is always clean, though as a dog friendly space it’s best not to plan an evening there if you have allergies.  It’s also worth a visit just to be able to guffaw at the often hilariously bad community artist exhibitions.

Once you’ve sampled some of the local ales, head back down the hill into the area locals jokingly refer to as the Pink Triangle. (Note that this isn’t a cruel throwback reference to the holocaust, but homage to Edinburgh’s strip scene; the Pubic Triangle.)

Between Broughton Street, Picardy Place and Greenside Row you’ll find a number of great wee pubs; The Street, Mezz, Nom De Plume and The Basement are some of the more reliable for food and banter.


Once you’ve hit a couple of them, you may well be ready for the garish pre-clubbyness of Café Habana or Planet Out before moving on and ending the night amongst the good, bad and desperate in the one and only CC Blooms.

Yes. It was named after a character Bette Midler played in Beaches. I assume it goes without saying that you’ll stand out like a sore thumb if you’re not covered in glitter riding a unicorn crying into a £3 cosmopolitan.

Joking aside, CC Blooms it’s a bit of a rite of passage for LGBT visitors to the city. It can be a great night so long as you don’t mind a sticky floor, the occasional handsy hen-night and dubstep remixes from the cast of Glee.

We wouldn’t dream of going, we’re far too old, but we won’t judge you if it takes your fancy.

You’re beautiful in your way.

Listen to JonPleasedWimmin’s latest mixtape for the Church of High Kicks (CC’s Sunday evening shindig).



Categories: Bisexual Gay Lesbian LGBT Opinion Uncategorized

Tagged as:


2 replies

  1. I love CC Blooms. It was the first place I went to when I was 17 and hiding in Narnia while going to Napier Uni. When is the article about the hill behind it? ;o)

    CC Blooms would always have a dirty dancefloor, karaoke, old, young, gay, straight-ish, locals, visitors…it really was a great place to go and visit and not go home alone – or if you you did there was always great fish and chips across the road. Great article. Many memories. I wish China had at least two gay bars to rub together!


    1. Thanks for this. We’ve been travelling and somehow missed your comment. CC’s has been completely renovated since then (at least upstairs), and I too have many memories of taking many toads home. I never did get the hill…maybe a little too dangerous for my tastes, though we now live directly opposite and often see the drunk and horny making their way there as the clubs close. Just last year I woke to see three naked guys standing on the hill thinking it was still 4am. I guess that’s one of the hazards of the longest days. Thanks for stopping by. (Barry).


Share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: