One of my favourite places in Edinburgh is Teuchter’s Landing, down in Leith, near Rennie’s Isle. I have a very good friend who lives in the area, and get enormously envious to think he can just nip there for a pint whenever he fancies.
The building is special – it used to be a waiting room for ferries up to Aberdeen – and a great deal of the character of Teuchter’s comes from the large windows over the water, the great pontoon with tables for sitting out on good days, and the general twisty, pockety sense of the place that comes from the function of the old building. It’s not quite the same, or the same size, but this bygone compartmenty feel is reminiscent of pubs like Aberdeen classic The Prince of Wales, or Milne’s in Edinburgh.
In terms of location, Teuchter’s really is the definition of the hidden gem as they say, particularly if you’re looking across the water towards it, and must be one of the most picturesque pubs in Edinburgh. On a fine day, it’s a great place to sit and watch the water. On a poorer day it’s maybe a dram and a coffee in the warmth to watch the rain roll down the windows. All good, either way.
Teuchter’s sell a great range of beers, lagers and ciders, and basically an encyclopedia of whiskey to pick from. I was very chuffed one hot afternoon when I first went there a year or so ago to discover they sold one of my favourite pubby ciders, crispy and frosty on tap: Stowford Press. Stowford has the bitey, almost medicinal tang of good English ciders, and was a happy find. Last time I was there, I was guzzling West 4, the German style lager from Glasgow (“We brew all our beers in strict accordance with the German Purity Law of 1516, which we believe is simply the best way to make great beer”).
West 4 arrives in a really cool branded glass tankard mug that weighs a ton, and like a lot of German beers, I find it a bit nippy-bitter to begin with, but after half a glass almost impossible to stop drinking. It was served crispy cool at Teuchter’s, with great beads of perspiration like in Ice Cold in Alex, and was just very, very delicious. At only 4% it’s not mad, and really is as good a lager as you’ll get anywhere, I think.
Teuchter’s do good breakfasts, strong recuperative bacon and Stornoway Black Pudding rolls being a good nod, and have lots of hearty food besides, mostly sourced from across Scotland, on the main menu for lunch and supper. Fish and Chips, excellent Venison sausages, burgers. I’ve eaten there quite a few times, and have always enjoyed it. If you’re just peckish with your beer, there’s a selection of meals in mugs – Cullen Skink, Stovies, Haggis, and so on – that’ll keep you doing fine. There are times when you just want to sit down in a good place, with a drink, and eat a roasting hot plate of mashed tatties and good gravy, and sausages maybe, or a hearty section of chicken. You’ll get that here.
It’s a cracker of a pub down at Teuchter’s, especially on a crisp & sunny spring afternoon. There’s no rush, the staff create a totally relaxed place, so you can sit by the windows over the water, have a couple of beers, and think about stuff in peace. Later, when it’s buzzy and filled with folk, it’s cheery and good natured.
Bizarrely, I once got in a taxi at Waverely, and the driver didn’t know where Teucher’s Landing was. When we got there, folk were sitting out in the late summer sun, and he said, “This looks like a great place.”
“It is,” I replied. “It’s bloody brilliant.”
Carlsberg, but still ice cold like in Teuchter’s