The Roseleaf Bar is on the block where Coburg Street becomes Sandport Place. It’s on the other side of the Water of Leith from the majority of the café bars but the same side as places like Cameo and Chop Chop.
The first time I ventured to the front door of the little Roseleaf I actually backed away and retreated. It was very busy inside. The bar was full of women in large and expensive looking hats. At the time I easily rationalised it as a wedding party that had popped into the widely recommended bar. It could have been the cruise liner that had docked the night before up at Ocean Terminal. It looked like a Mad Hatter’s Party.
It was later that I discovered it was a Mad Hatter’s Party. The Roseleaf, which serves some of its drinks in crockery, actually holds hat parties.
It’s important to time your visit to the Roseleaf well. Unless you’re wearing a large hat.
The Roseleaf is a little bigger than it seems from the outside. That’s because it’s deeper than it looks and makes use of a second room. The bar itself doesn’t take up all that much space.
As well as serving some of their drinks in crockery the Roseleaf also does food. The menu’s pretty good and caters for people wanting food at all times of day. The choice is fairly eclectic though, perhaps fitting the quirky pub, and if you rule out pie and cheese from your acceptable foods then it shrinks dramatically.
You may not expect table service from a pub tucked away among the warehouses of Leith but that’s what you get from the Roseleaf. No wonder people recommend it – it can be a hard pub to get to, even if you live nearby, and feels like a safe recommendation. If you’re not prepared for a quirk or two, though, it may not be the retreat for you.
I loved the atmosphere.