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The Puffin’ Rooms, Edinburgh

Cigar, cocktails and whisky fans – I have a stylish new Edinburgh destination for you. With over 200 whiskies by the dram, a cigar shop, humidor and smoking terrace, an inventive cocktail menu and small plate fine dining, the Puffin’ Rooms and La Casa del Habana and is not just a haven for cigar aficionados. Let’s spend an evening with the Puffin’ Rooms in Edinburgh.

Welcome to the Puffin’ Rooms, Edinburgh

The Quartermile development in the old Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh has quietly become one of the most stylish areas of the city over the last 10 years and at the heart of the development is Lister Square with its cafes and restaurants, and the newly opened Puffin’ Rooms.

Sister restaurant to the popular Puffin’ Rooms in Liverpool, the Edinburgh outpost offers up a new a cocktail bar, small plate fine dining, a cigar humidor and cigar terrace and whisky shop.

Owned by cigar specialists and independent bottlers, C.Gars, a cuban and new world cigar merchant, who have cigar and whisky shops in London, Cheshire, Liverpool and across the rest of the UK and Europe, alongside the Mash Tun in Aberlour Speyside, an riverside inn and iconic whisky bar.

Transporting your back to a time of live jazz, classic cocktails and good service, the Puffin Rooms have live jazz and blues on the piano, 200 rare whiskies by the glass and a huge range of handmade Havana cigars in a walk-in humidor including La Casa del Habano specialities.

Cocktails at the Puffin’ Rooms Edinburgh

The Puffin’ Rooms at its heart is a whisky bar, so it is no surprise that whisky cocktails make a strong showing. The Manhattan (which is said to originate from Manhattan Club in New York in the mid-1870s) is the star of the show – with multiple variations to choose from.

The Puffin’ Rooms whisky cocktail specialities also include a Mitz Mutsu made with Japanese whisky, an Old Tabashioned and a Flemming’s Penicillin made with the independently bottled Stalla Dhu Speyside Scotch.

I prefer my cocktails on the spicy rather then the smokey side and I was well very looked after with a ‘Some Like it Hot’, a take on a margarita with chilli tequila, caracao and pineapple – and the Puffin’ Room’s take on an a personal favourite, the Aviation cocktail with Forager’s Winberry Gin, traditional creme de violet and maraschino but made long with tonic.

On the other side of the table were the sweet cocktails – a Havana Hurricane, with El Rumbo blend rum and passion fruit, and the star of the show, a blow out champagne cocktail made with with Privee Liberation Cognac, banana honey and lime.

Dining at the Puffin’ Rooms Edinburgh

To accompany your cocktail or whisky, on the Puffin’ Room’s menu are international-style ‘small plate’ fine dining dishes. We tried the sticky, spicy and succulent chicken yakitori with sesame and spicy sriracha, and the charcoal-grilled prawn toast with avocado – which was a lot more delicate but just as delicious.

My eye was also caught by the pork belly bao bun with jalapeno jam and pulled beef croque madame with a beef fat fried egg – ooft. You need these kind of big flavours in the food to accompany the big flavours in your whisky!

On the other side of the menu, the Puffin’ Rooms larger dishes include a richly smoked and falling to pieces piece of ox cheek with crispy polenta, fresh gremolata and shiitake mushroom, grilled halibut with mussel beurre blanc and bowls of steaming ramen. For those looking for an even more decadent accompaniment, you can also choose a sharing Imperial Oscietra caviar platter, or an East Coast Cured Charcuterie Board and I.J. Mellis cheeses. 

Make sure you leave room for a dessert. A white chocolate tart with rhubarb was delicate and light but it was the ”Whisky & Cigar“ – an ‘Old Fashioned’ cocktail with cherry tobacco infused Cremeux, jelly & whisky sour foam, and the star of the show – a chocolate mousse ‘cigar’ which elicited the most ooh and ahhs of the evening- a spectacularly clever pud.

La Casa del Habana at the Puffin’ Rooms

Behind the bar is the La Casa del Habana, the Puffin’ Room’s walk-in humidor with a wide range of cuban cigars on sale. If you wish to smoke on the Puffin Room’s cigar terrace, you will be accompanied into the humidor to choose your favourite cigar.

C.Gars stocks the full range of cuban cigars that are imported into the UK from single shorts and good value cigars to enjoy with a drink to full cases of Cohibas and the ever popular Romeo y Julieta. Outside the cigar terrace looks over Lister Square and is fully covered and heated for the inclement Scottish weather. Heaven for cigar smokers in Scotland!

With daily and weekly live jazz (and blues on a Sunday) the Puffin’ Rooms also runs popular whisky and cigar tastings.

Whether you love cigars, cocktails, whisky or delicious food, the Puffin’ Rooms is a stylish and very welcome addition to the Edinburgh bar and restaurant scene. See you there!

Love from Scotland x

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