Saturday, 8 March 2014

Panda & Sons: A Fun New Bar in Edinburgh

Hey Guys.

I recently was taken to a very cool new bar in Edinburgh by my friend Laura called Panda & Sons and I thought I'd share my experience and thoughts on this lovely new place.
I had never heard of this bar, it was Laura's suggestion, and she normally has very good taste so I more than trusted her when we jumped into a taxi and headed to this mystery bar. Panda & Sons is in the West End of Edinburgh on Queen Street, and when you walk past it, it just looks like a barbershop, so you could easily miss it if it wasn't for the bouncer and the queue outside. When we first got there the bar was actually, full much to our annoyance because it was bloody freezing, but we needed to get money out so we decided to walk to the nearest cash machine, get money out in the hope that by the time we got back the bouncer on the door would tell us there was space for us - which is exactly what happened. 
The bar is down stairs from street level, and to keep in with the whole prohibition and speakeasy style of the bar, which I think is the inspiration for the barbershop front, the door actually into the bar looks like its a book case - how fun!!! (Very Gatsby like I must say, I was half expecting Leo to be sitting at the bar with a drink for me - or maybe that was a dream...anyway)
I thought this was the coolest thing ever, and was so excited for the actual bar. The night we went was quite busy, but it wasn't uncomfortably busy, although we did have to stand for the majority of the night, we didn't have to wait long at the bar and service was really good. As it is a cocktail bar they make any cocktail you could want, they also offer there own selections including a 'Red Panda' a twist on a Bloody Mary and one called 'Twelve Mile Limit', and when we first got there we were both took a while to decide exactly what we wanted. In the end, Laura went for a French Martini (her favourite) and I went for a Mojito (my favourite). We were expecting it to be really price, but I didn't think it was too bad most of the cocktails were around the £7 mark, which is kind of a standard price for a cocktail in many of the bars in Edinburgh anyway. The staff we all very helpful and obviously very good at their jobs. We watched our server not only make our drinks but like 4 other drinks before ours, how they remember all the orders and how to make every cocktail I don't know (we did notice that every man that worked in there had a moustache, which had us wondering whether or not it was a prerequisite for working there haha). 
 My Mojito (with a bamboo straw) 
The beautiful Laura and her French Martini

The bar wasn't as big as I had expected, but it wasn't crapped or overcrowded in anyway. There was a DJ in one corner, and lots of tables and what looked like comfy leather arm chairs throughout the bar, however as I said we didn't really get much of a seat. I really liked the atmosphere, it wasn't too loud that you couldn't have a conversation, which sometimes is a bit of a pain when you are out and you feel you have to shout at the person you are with, but it was very lively and it wasn't too quite and calm (if that makes sense). I just really liked that it was so different from any other bar I've ever been to especially in Edinburgh.

We had 2 drinks in Panda & Sons, following my mojito - which was lovely, I had a Cosmopolitan (my second favourite) and Laura had a simple Gin & Tonic. I think if it had been a bit quieter, and we had had a seat, we would have stayed for a lot longer just to relax and take it all in, but as it was so busy we didn't get that chance, but we will definitely go back. I think we both really enjoyed it.

I must say it was a relatively tame night-out for myself and Laura (we can get a bit wild) but Laura had been working and had work the next day so we stayed calmed and relaxed, but Panda & Sons didn't really have the feel of a bar to go to if you are having a big night out, it felt more like a relaxed bar for just a few leisurely drinks after a long day kind of bar (again, that makes way more sense in my head, I'm really bad at describing things). I really liked Panda & Sons and know I will be back in the near future.

What do you guys think? Have you been? Does it sound like your kind of bar? Let me know, as always, in the comments :).
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