Big Red Teapot to open new bar and restaurant in Edinburgh

voyage of buck edinburgh

The team behind leading Edinburgh bars including Treacle and Hamilton’s are set to open a new bar and restaurant in the city.

The Voyage of Buck is due to open this October in the former site of Bert’s Bar in William Street in Edinburgh’s West End, promising a stylish destination for all-day dining and cocktails.

It is based on the idea of a fictional host, William “Buck” Clarence, who travelled the world in the late 19th century and early 20th century, bringing many of the flavours and experiences back to Edinburgh.

It will be the fourth bar from Big Red Teapot, the bar and restaurant group behind Treacle, Hamilton’s and The Blackbird, headed by Colin Church and Martin Luney.

The interior will be a mixture of tables and Art Deco-style furniture, with a colour palette of blue, mustard and vintage gold inspired by the Edwardian era. It will offer 60 covers for eating and drinking, including space at the marble-topped bar.

Dotted throughout will be artefacts, treasures and antiques from Buck’s tours as well as a nod to the maverick artists of today. Big Red Teapot is working with interiors specialist Splintr. See below for a computer-generated image of one of the rooms.

The cocktail list has been inspired by Buck’s travels to Paris, Taipei, Cairo and Havana, with each city having its own suite of drinks, from sours, bucks and punches to sharing drinks and original creations, starting from £7.50.

From Paris comes Les Enfants Terribles – named after the 1929 Jean Cocteau novel – made with Tapatio Blanco tequila, Calvados Père Magloire, amontillado sherry, lemon and bay leaf syrup.

Representing Taipei, the Anna May Wong cocktail is named after the American-born actress who became the poster girl for Asian actresses in Hollywood in the 1920s and 1930s. It is made with Tanqueray No Ten, plum sake, purple shizo, Cocchi di Torino and preserved lychee.

Havana in Cuba inspires the Compay Segundo, combining banana-infused Diplomatico Reserva rum, lime, crème de cacao, smashed coffee beans, and house-batch coconut orgeat.

In homage to Cairo comes the Carter and Carnarvon, a Boulevardier-style drink in honour of the famed archaeologist Howard Carter and his patron, the Earl of Carnarvon. It is made with fig-infused Monkey Shoulder whisky, Cocchi di Torino, Campari, Buck’s own fenugreek cordial and bitters.

There will be a seasonally changing selection of original drinks, starting with a winter selection to see out the end of 2016. Drinks will include a Coffee and Praline Flip, made with praline-infused Bacardi Carta Ocho rum, Patron XO, beurre noisette cinnamon syrup and a whole egg, and a Mulled Chamomile Toddy, with Zubrowka bison grass vodka, Reyka vodka, camomile, apple, cinnamon, cloves and lemon.

Food will be available from 10am, starting with breakfast through to dinner finishing at 10pm. A weekend brunch menu will also be introduced to welcome the shoppers and residents of the West End.

The menu will include small plates, large plates and sweet plates allowing people to select dishes to share with friends or larger main dishes just for themselves. Dishes will include organic meats, seafood, gluten-free and vegetarian dishes. The menu will change monthly to ensure they use the freshest seasonal, locally sourced ingredients.

voyage of buck cgi

The story of William “Buck” Clarence by Big Red Teapot

Born in 1864, Buck was a philanthropist, polo player and travel companion of Prince Albert Victor, grandson of Queen Victoria. Educated at Edinburgh and Cambridge, Buck’s love of travel began after he was embroiled in the Cleveland Street Scandal of 1889 and fled London with the prince to begin a royal tour of India. He was made honorary major, 4th Regiment, Bengal Infantry where he lived as a guest of the Maharaja.

After many global adventures, Buck returned to his beloved Scotland in 1900 and continued to support music and theatre and was a patron to many young performers of the day.

When visiting friends in Paris, Buck enjoyed spending time on the Left Bank and in Montmartre, rubbing shoulders with creative giants such as Jean Cocteau, Jean Paul Sartre and Gertrude Stein. They drank Daisies, sours and Hi-balls while frequenting Harry’s Bar and Les Deux Magots. It was around this time that his friend Ernest Hemingway described Paris as “a moveable feast”.

With many investments in Asia, Buck often travelled along the Silk Road to gather textiles, art and Chinese medicine. The bourgeois ideas and modernist thinking from Europe arrived in Taiwan along with the merchants and travellers. Buck could often be found at Dadaocheng Pier drinking the various popular teas, painting and fully immersing himself in the beautiful city of Taipei

When in Cuba, Buck was often at The Hotel Nacional in Havana or drinking cocktails at La Floridita or Sloppy Joe’s. He became firm friends with Hollywood stars Mary Pickford, Clark Gable and Douglas Fairbanks with whom he shared Daiquiris, Rickeys and Planters Punch to excess. He also enjoyed the ballet, Trova guitar bands and H Upmann cigars.

After the discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922, Buck and his friends followed the trend towards all things Egyptian. They indulged in all the flavours, aromas and behaviour previously reserved for the Pharaohs.

The Voyage of Buck, 29-31 William Street, Edinburgh EH3 7NG

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