The Salisbury Arms, 58 Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh EH16 5AD, Scotland

Many years ago, when I attended the  University of Edinburgh, this pub traded as The Gold Medal because it is near the swimming pool salisburythat was built for the Commonwealth Games when they first came to Scotland, to Edinburgh in 1970. The front of the building faces Queen’s Park. There is outside seating for the smokers in the pub.

Recently, the building has been thoroughly renovated and it serves not only a wide variety of drinks, but also meals. It looks very smart both inside and out. There is ample parking and access is easy for the disabled and those who have mobility problems.

My mother discovered The Salisbury Arms when her friend invited her there for lunch around the time of her birthday. She enjoyed the meal and the company. It is always nice to find a new haunt to visit. So, Mum booked Sunday lunch for herself, me, my sister and my nephew, (who had a few hours off from rehearsing with his band, Broken Records).

On Sundays, the pub serves a variety of Sunday roasts including nut roast for the vegetarians amongst us. The usual menu is also served. My sister and I are vegetarians. The choice for us was not wide and rather uninspired: it revolved largely around cheese, particularly goats cheese. My mother chose the roast pork and my nephew had fish and chips. All the portions were large and we enjoyed our meals well enough, although the vegetables served to my mother looked very dry and the crackling she was under-cooked. The service is courteous, but thoughtless. However, we booked the table ten days in advance and were told we could get a table for no more than 4 people at noon or 3pm. We chose the earlier time but had to vacate the table by 2.30pm.

We arrived promptly at noon, before the doors of the premises had opened. There was one other patron going in atthesalisburyarmsedinburgh-int-content-1 that time. There were no other diners. We were shown to a table for 4 where the sun shone into the eyes of two of our party. While it is lovely to enjoy the sunshine in February in Edinburgh, there were many other tables where we could have enjoyed the sun without it adversely affecting our table. When we left only another 3 tables were in use. I still do not understand the restrictions on booking or the lack of thoughtfulness when we were shown to that particular table.

I was my mother’s guest, therefore I did not complain about the inadequacies of the meal or the service: had I been the hostess, it would have been different. The Salisbury Arms has been beautifully restored. Unfortunately, neither the food nor the service met that beauty. I would not return to this venue by choice, nor can I recommend it.

Valerie Penny


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