The Last Drop is a delightful Edinburgh pub with a darkly comic sense of humor. Situated at the edge of the Grassmarket, The Last Drop is close to the foot of Victoria Street and Candlemaker Row. This traditional Scottish pub has been a feature of the Old Town for decades and remains one of the liveliest and best loved drinking establishments of the Grassmarket.
Last Drop — Photo courtesy of Last Drop
The “Last Drop” is a reference to the public hangings that took place in the Grassmarket, just outside the pub. A series of plaques dotted around the pub recount the gruesome details and list the names of some of the poor unfortunates who met their end on the gallows, and a St Andrew’s Cross on the cobbled street outside marks the spot where the gallows once stood.
The pub is said to be haunted by a young girl named Mary who lived in one of the slum tenements which stood there during the seventeenth century. Staff of the pub claim to have heard her ghostly voice calling their names when working alone in the cellars and bar, and some have even claimed that cups and other items have moved or fallen from shelves on their own accord. Thankfully Mary seems to be mischievous rather than malevolent and no items have been broken so far.
The wood paneled exterior is painted a vibrant blood red and a noose is prominently painted on the pub’s sign which sways evocatively in the breeze. On sunny summer days the seating area outside the pub is very popular, and a great place for people-watching.
The interior is dimly lit, but has a warm and inviting atmosphere. Rough clad walls are papered with a vast number of real and forged bank notes provided by the international clientele, many of which have been signed by the donors. A series of booths and alcoves furnished with comfortable leather couches line the walls and dark wooden tables and chairs fill the floor in front of the well-stocked bar.
The Last Drop stocks an impressive array of real ales from guest breweries all over Britain, and they are rightly proud to have been granted a cask marque award for the quality of their ales. They also have a good selection of whiskies, wines and spirits. The drinks are very reasonably priced, not a claim you can make about all of the pubs in the vicinity!
You can also get a tasty bite to eat. Although the menu is largely composed of the standard pub favorites, all dishes are freshly prepared on the premises and are rather better than average. Their haggis has gained many admirers and tempted numerous tourists into their first taste of the Scottish national dish.
Whether you wish to indulge a morbid interest in the darker side of Edinburgh’s history, are hoping for your own close encounter with an ethereal spirit , or simply want a good night out in one of Edinburgh’s most endearing traditional pubs the Last Drop should certainly be on your list of places to visit in Edinburgh before you die!