Welcome to Edinburgh’s gay scene

Because there’s more to life than Carlton Hill


Heterosexuals, or “breeders” as badly-brought up but university-educated little tossers like to call them, will often go to places like Hive or Cab Vol to catch this month’s latest STD.

But those of us in the LGBT community (as well as trying our hand at Hive and such) have our own little niche area in Edinburgh to play in.

Preferred to be called the ‘Rainbow Triangle’ by the gays (as ‘Pink Triangle’ sounds like a trophy girls would compete for in the lesbian version of ‘The Hunger Games’) the infamous Edinburgh Gay Scene is a vibrant area sandwiched between the top of Leith Walk and the end of Princes Street.

This area of condensed fairy-dust offers a varying selection of pubs and clubs which can be dissected and categorised in a similar fashion to when Cady is introduced to the various groups of students in the lunch hall on her first day of school in the movie ‘Mean Girls’. And yes, I’m Regina George.

Sexy pirate indeed...

Sexy pirate indeed…

It’s important to note the establishments of notoriety (AKA: the ones you really need to bother about) are all within staggering distance of each other.

For the gays who are ejected from one bar for vomiting a litre of aftershock onto the dance-floor during their mash-up of Britney Vs Madonna this is perfect as it means the gentle 100 metre stroll between each bar means your powerful posy of penis munchers will sober up in just enough time to get into another bar.

But please note the one you may have heard of but should probably avoid – Regent Bar on Montrose Terrace, AKA Jurassic Park: If you want to get fucked by the Crypt Keeper then good luck with that.

The Good ‘Uns

Planet Bar on Baxter’s Place – 6/10

This little bar is popular with the locals for its friendly staff and enjoyable chart music but even more popular with the students who drown themselves in various drink promotions.

With the reputation of being a lesbian bar, it’s sometimes difficult to figure out if you’re chatting up a boy, a girl or Justin Bieber.

But the offer of Karaoke, a mildly-entertaining pub quiz and the odd cabaret show, you could do much worse than landing on this Planet.

No less drunk than the Hive crowd

No less drunk than the Hive crowd

Cafe Habana on Greenside Lane – 7/10

It has a similar feeling to that of Planet where cabaret and pop culture collide and people who go in often can’t remember coming out because of marvellous drinks promos.

Premier location on the Scene for the twink-like gay boys, there is often ‘Murder on the Dance Floor’ and ‘Manhandling in the Mens Room’. If you are out for some cheesy pop and a shag then get yourself to Habana.

The Street Bar and Nightclub on Picardy Place – 9/10

With well trained staff, a wide range of excellently made cocktails and spirits, great music and a funky layout over two floors, this really is the place to be.

It’s much more sophisticated than Planet and Habana and you can actually hold a conversation with people that have an IQ of more than that of a wooden spoon.

On a Wednesday night there is an interactive ‘Game-show’ style quiz called ‘Prize Surprise’ that currently has a jackpot of £700 which only costs £1 to enter – well worth it.

At night the downstairs becomes a night club with a wide selection of DJs playing throughout the week. Friday nights are especially good as Scene Icon and bar owner ‘Trendy Wendy’ is on the decks from 9pm-3am.

That gold jacket...

That gold jacket…

Chalkies Late Night Lounge on Picardy Place – 7/10

Formally the famous and fabulous GHQ this nightclub is now under the ownership of the same team who run Planet. T

Their attempts to bring this place back from the dead have been exemplary as the old owners of GHQ sold it without prior notice to Mood Nightclub, and it left a bitter taste in the LGBT communities’ mouth as it brought an element of danger to the Rainbow Triangle.

But the club is well on its way to reclaiming its former glory!

CC Blooms on Greenside Lane – 8/10

Right next door to Cafe Habana and Edinburgh’s famous The Playhouse you would be unlucky not to see some kind of drama unfolding outside one of the oldest and most legendary gay clubs in Scotland.

After recently having a massive refurbishment (about time too) CCs has re-established itself as the crown jewel in the Edinburgh Scene Crown.

Great staff, a mix of music and a 3am license and named after one of Bette Midler’s most favourite characters, you can’t really complain, can you?

Yum.

Yum.

And around the area are some cruising spots, like Jacob’s Ladder on Carlton Hill, or the public toilets on London Road.

But why do you need to go cruising when you have so many venues to go looking for the man/woman/Conchita of your dreams!

Scotland has become the 17th country to allow same sex-marriage and the first ceremonies are expected later this year, so get your fucking arse down the Rainbow Triangle and get a ring on it!