Hub review Rate it

The Grade A-listed Highland Tolbooth St John's Kirk started life as the Victoria Hall for the Established Church General Assembly in 1844, following the religious 'Disruption' of the previous year. After it was bought by the Edinburgh International Festival in the late 1990s, it was renamed and extensively refurbished; a fantastic mix of Victorian Gothic and contemporary style, it's a prime example of how the architectural approaches of different eras can be sympathetically blended. The bold colour scheme of the Assembly Hall upstairs, said to adhere to Augustus Pugin's original palette, is particularly noteworthy. The rich red stairwell is decorated with 200 plaster statues by Jill Watson, representing people who have performed in the EIF in years gone by. It's now an information point, a ticket office and a restaurant-café (Café Hub); if the weather's good, action spills on to a terrace.

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Hub details

348 Castlehill

Area Old Town

Transport Bus 23, 27, 41, 42, 45

Telephone 0131 473 2015 enquiries, 0131 473 2000 tickets, 0131 473 2067 cafe

Hub website

Open Café 9.30am-10pm Mon-Sat; 9.30am-6pm Sun. Tickets & festival office hours vary by season; call for details.

Admission free.

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