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Ghillie Dhu

A late-opening bar, restaurant and entertainment venue in the West End of Edinburgh, the Ghillie Dhu lies between Shandwick Place and Rutland Street, opposite the Caledonian Hotel. Opened in 2010 and marketed as a traditional Scottish pub and live music venue, it is owned and operated by the Glasgow-based G1 group. Taking its name from a forest sprite, the guardian of the trees in Gaelic folklore, Ghillie Dhu was built as St. Thomas' Church in 1843 for a breakaway congregation from the Scottish Episcopal Church which allied itself with Church of England. Constructed in the Neo-Norman style, it was the work of architect David Cousin (1809-78). The building was altered in the 1880s and A-listed in 1970. The church moved to Corstorphine in 1938 and this building was eventually converted in 1958 to serve for a time as a heritage centre, a tourist information centre and then the Berkeley Casino before being remodelled for its current use by designers Graven Images of Glasgow. The auditorium on the upper level retains a fine Norman arch, exceptional groin-vaulted ceiling and substantial wooden organ case. Mediaeval-style lighting adds to the atmosphere. The bar on the lower level is dark, featuring private booths along the south wall.

The venue is associated with music, comedy and drama, together with ceilidhs, Hogmanay celebrations, fashion shows and corporate events.


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