The views from the front of The Waterline are great. Large windows are especially lovely in the summer when the sunlight streams in and the Water of Leith sparkles. In recent months there have been a lot of road works as the council dig up the area – although this is disrupting the result will be worth it. The Waterline will be part of a water front area that will be a delight to wander along.
The Waterline is a pub in two halves. The front room has its own door and its own bar. This tends to be the most popular section of the pub during the day, has a TV in the corner enjoys the view. However, the backroom has the larger tables and is more popular with groups coming in for good. The back half of The Waterline is reached just be walking through from the front room or using a side door on Burgress Street. The Burgress Street entrance is not very attractive; stuck in what look likes 1960s Edinburgh.
The food is The Waterline is good and reasonably priced. Just expect Edinburgh prices for your drinks. However, the menu range is not as large as its sister Belhaven pub the Cameo Bar that is just across the water.
As The Waterline can cater for some large tables there is always the risk of your food order being stuck behind a large one. By and large the management seem to do a pretty good job at predicting demand; staffing up during the holidays but there is always the risk. This reviewer prefers to head to The Waterline for lunch rather than risk and after work dinner as the pub can get very busy.
As both rooms have their own bar counter staff are forced to split their attention resulting in the occasional slowness for table service in the backroom. It is usually the front bar, that watches the front door, where you will find staff during the day. That said table service is generally pretty quick and there is no objection to you paying at the bar if you’ve run out of lunch hour.
The decorations in The Waterline are particularly good. Some of the walls are covered in old style maps that show the trading ports that where once heavily used by Britain and the old merchant navy. I especially like the thick coils of rope around the pillars. Not only are these practical but they look relatively clean and certainly bless the pub with a ‘water line’ feel.
As it typical of Belhaven Pubs there is wifi although the mobile network coverage inside the old building is not too bad. The Waterline is a particularly good pub to bring first time Edinburgh visitors too, on a sunny day, at an off hour so you can sit together in the front room, enjoy a drink and watch the sun play on the water outside (as long as the council’s building plans allow).