The Swedish entrepeneurs behind local legends Boda Bar, Joseph Pearce’s, Sofi’s and Victoria added Hemma to their indy pub chain back in 2012. It’s Swedish for ‘at home’ and, in keeping with the other bars, which throw together chintzy fabrics, second-hand furniture and Ikea trinkets, it feels a lot like being in someone’s home. Possibly the home of someone who likes cats and crocheting, and prizes cosiness above most things in life, but isn’t against the occasional hard session on the schnapps either.
Soft velvet armchairs and floral-wallpaper do a good job of softening the edges of a cold and angular glass-block building propped up on concrete columns. The home comforts continue in the menu - a Scandi-Scottish smörgåsbord of well, actual smörgåsbords (including smoked trout from Dunbar, herring, pickles, smoked cheese and bread), smørrebrød open sandwiches (with smoked salmon, beetroot, dill and cream cheese, or roast beef, radish and Swedish mustard), and puddings (flourless chocolate cake and cardamon toffee sauce, or rhubarb crumble with custard).
Although during the day it fills up with office workers and parents with young children (Hemma, like all the other bars in the chain, is very child-friendly, and sometimes runs a baby disco on a Sunday), by night it switches to a cocktail and fruit cider-drinking crowd, who can enjoy their booze while sinking deep into soft furnishings.
It’s also worth taking note of the many regular events thrown by the bar - a singles night, referendum night, Eurovision night, jogging club, clothes swap and quiz have all been recent successes. Check their Facebook page for updates on what’s planned next.