Having a grumpy owner, a sticky, 30-year-old patterned carpet and sometimes, let’s be honest, a faint smell of urine shouldn’t inspire gushing feelings of affection from pub-goers. But weirdly, The Waverley does.
The décor is tatty, the opening hours can be unreliable and there are stickers on the broken ladies toilets doors that have been there for over a decade, still, The Waverley is a precious thing, even more so considering its location right in the middle of a High Street which is fast being turned into a string of identikit shortbread and kilt shops.
It’s an untouched, un-made-over, real pub - with real regulars, real stains, and its customers speak about The Waverley with real fondness. It’s not unusual for the owner to abruptly close the bar while customers are just settling in with a fresh pint, or refuse to serve someone if he doesn’t like the cut of their jib.
The bar is fairly limited - the selection of spirits is slim, and pints are usually Guinness or one of a couple of draughts, but then there’s usually a bowl of help-yourself bags of crisps on the counter too. Despite its shortcomings - or actually - because of some of them, it’s a good place to sit and nurse drinks, admiring the 15-year old gig posters and dusty photos, or catch one of the long-running open mic/ folk nights upstairs. An Old Town institution.