Last Tuesday night saw the launch of Edinburgh’s newest whisky bar – Cannonball Bar. Located right at the top of the city’s famous Royal Mile, the venture is a new collaboration between lowland whisky, Glengoyne, and long-established Edinburgh restaurateurs, Victor and Carina Contini.
Cannonball House is one of Edinburgh’s oldest recorded buildings, with the name coming from the cannonball shot lodge in the wall facing the castle. Once it become surplus to requirements for the Royal Military Tattoo, the Contini’s took it over and faithfully restored the building, whilst adding their famous Italian hospitality. Despite the decent buzz around it though, I never managed to pay a visit. And here lies the rub.
As explained by Carina Contini on the night, tourists and locals alike don’t hike up the Royal Mile for pizza, pasta and gelato. They want hearty, Scottish fare, served alongside the country’s national drink. And if this is what they think the consumer wants, then Cannonball Bar is well placed to serve their needs.
The bar promises a selection of 120 malt whiskies – including the full Glengoyne and Tamdhu collections – with further additions to the groaning shelves promised. There’s also a contemporary menu, serving a range of lunch meals and light bites. The perfect place to soak up the electric atmosphere during the Edinburgh festivals or curl up with a dram on a cold winter’s night.
Downstairs, the area which used to sell ice creams has been re-modelled into a private event space – The Glengoyne Room. Perfect for bespoke events, including private whisky tastings, dinner and corporate events, the space can cater for groups of up to 40 people.
The transformation on the inside from its previous incarnation is impressive, mixing stylish and contemporary features, with authentic influences directly from Glengoyne Distillery, including rich copper colours and luxurious furnishings.
Sitting alongside The Scotch Whisky Experience and The Whiski Rooms in the Castlehill area of Edinburgh, Cannonball Bar is in good company, adding another dimension to the area’s food and drink (specifically whisky) offering. With live music and late suppers promised during the Edinburgh festivals, I’m already looking at dates in my diary for a return visit.