We are always looking for somewhere a bit different to go in Edinburgh. When you see secret Speakeasy-style bars in New York or hidden little gems in London, there is no reason that our city is not clever or cool enough to compete. So we welcome the arrival of Camera in Edinburgh – South Clerk Street to be precise.
Hidden behind a secret door, entrance is granted by a tetative push of a doorbell. If you were passing, there is a good chance you would continue to do so… and there is something I really like about that It makes you feel special, like you have discovered a secret, when you walk through the door and guided inside.
When you arrive downstairs, it is cool, calm and downright sultry. Given we were directly below a main thoroughfare to the city, you wouldn’t know it. You could be anywhere in the world. I chose Japan.
Part of the Sonder restaurant above, the bar offers a great place for pre-dinner drinks or a night on the tiles. The team worked in partnership with Phil Robins to create something that looks and delivers the goods.
The truly special thing about the bar isn’t its secrecy or decor, however tremendous it might be. It is the bespoke choice of drinks on offer. The bar pride themselves on sourcing local produce, evident via their partnerships with Aelder Elixir, Escubac, Black Bottle and more.
They have created such unique cocktails that are really exciting – all clearly crafted by gentlemen who know what they are doing when it comes to blending flavours. They are bursting with tastes that each remind you of a place or moment in your life; a beach on a warm summers day, the highlands with a peat fire, Edinburgh at Christmas… and this was simply the standard drinks on offer. The team also have a “Market Menu” designed to keep pushing the boundaries of creativity and flair.
The cocktails go beyond simply tasting good; they set a new standard for what is expected in Edinburgh. At an average of £7.00, they are not expensive but offer the best value for money in terms of creativity, ingredients and all round flavour. Whilst ambience and location go some way to ensuring a new venture is popular, it is this imagination and quality that will keep us coming back.
Phil Robins’ guidance to the Sonder team will have no doubt come at a price, but the investment is so worth it. It is nice to see a venture standing out from the crowd and truly aiming to give that crowd inexpensive but high quality drinks.
PS: There are wines and beer on offer for those of you not willing to sample a cocktail or two. But you are daft. Order one of everything and enjoy!
With thanks to the team at Camera and Crimson Edge for offering us free drinks and a great experience. Whilst it was gifted, the review is 100% impartial, so much so we stayed on to purchase more drinks.
Fancy more food and drink?