The Guildford Arms

1 West Register Street, Edinburgh

What is it? Towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th in Edinburgh, there was a surge in beautifully designed pubs built all over the city. Some historians say that this may have been a reaction against the Temperance movement, an anti-alcohol campaign which began gathering strength around 1830 in Scotland. The Guildford Arms was designed by Robert Macfarlane Cameron. Completed in 1896, on the site of a tenement which previously housed The Guildford Arms Hotel, it proudly boasts that it has been run by the Stewart family ever since. The pub frontage is grand and imposing, consisting of large, arched frosted glass windows windows bearing the Guildford Arms logo. With its its amazing Jacobean style ceiling, the interior is a perfect example of Victorian opulence.

Interesting fact: The Stewart family have been involved in the Edinburgh drinks trade for over 140 years. Alongside the family whisky business, D&J McCallum Ltd, they run a number of public houses including The Canon's Gait, The Abbotsford Bar & Restaurant, The Cumberland Bar and of course their first: The Guildford Arms.

Verdict: For a long time this has been my hideaway pub where I can escape the busy city and enjoy a pint and a bite to eat in peace. As a proud Glaswegian I am extremely jealous that the capital has these perfectly kept Victorian pubs but at least it gives me an excuse to keep coming back.

Drink: Great range on offer but beer is the main attraction here with, with a constantly changing range of cask and craft ales as well as a great selection on tap and in bottles.

Food: The owners here put real thought into their menu. Gastro is the best way to describe the fare, with hearty Scottish dishes on offer. Over the years they have picked up a reputation for having some of the best pub grub in the city. I went for the steak and ale pie with Orkney Dark Island ale and Aberdeen Angus steak for a reasonable £10.95.

Prices: Compared to some of the bars around this area, the Guildford is pretty good, as you can tell by the number of locals who prop up the bar.

Alfresco: Just out the front if you fancy some fresh air.

Children: Allowed in if dining with adults.

Perfect for: I have a lot of friends in Edinburgh who own some of the best cocktail bars and restaurants in the country. I absolutely love spending time in them but I also sometimes crave a pub with a quiet corner where I can enjoy a cold pint and read the paper. The Guildford is perfect for this, it is slap bang in the middle of the city but tucked away so you don’t really get many tourists in taking up the seats.

Avoid if: Classic pubs are just not your thing – in which case we can't be friends.

Follow me on Twitter @andydrink or on Facebook