Best venue name ever

In August, I’ll be speaking in Edinburgh, and the details of the event are emerging. I’ll be speaking at The Banshee Labyrinth at 7:50 on 14 August. I like the name.

I think that if you get lost looking for it, all you have to do is scream.


  1. chigau (違う) says

    It’s haunted, sells 60 varieties of rum and has Battered Haggis Balls on the menu.
    Be careful.

  2. blf says

    If they have cheese there, I fink we now know where the mildly deranged penguin is…

    (Actually, there is, or at least was (don’t know if it still exists or not), a brilliant restaurant in Edinburgh with an outstanding cheeseboard: Martin’s.)

  3. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I don’t suppose you’re talking about Martin Wishart.
    It’s the only Martin(‘s) restaurant I can find.

  4. opposablethumbs says

    I hope you have a wonderful visit to Edinburgh, PZ.

    It has some good hills for looking at the city from – my favourite is the one shaped (very) vaguely like a cat with an outsized saucer of milk (Arthur’s Seat looking down at Salisbury Crags). Miss it something chronic sometimes …

  5. robinjohnson says

    Blast. My show starts at 8:10, round the corner. Hope it goes well.

  6. blf says

    After a bit of searching the ‘Net, I very strongly suspect the chef’s name is Martin Irons. (And yes, the restaurant was just called Martin’s.) An old (2003) listing in the Sunday Times (far from my favorite newspaper) describes what I recall:

    You’ll need GPS to find it and a ball of string to get back out again, but Martin Irons’s back-street restaurant is worth the search through the nether regions of Edinburgh’s New Town. The proprietor personally supervises the delivery of brilliantly cooked fish, meat and game to your table, but really gets into his stride when the cheese trolley rolls into view. After a short Open University lecture on the provenance of every curd and whey — and he has been known to whip out photographs of the cow that produced them — it would take a hard heart to refuse.

    However, some 2011-ish comments in Edinburgh Foodie state that Martin’s is, alas, now closed (the description again matches my memory almost perfectly):

    I will always remember the cheeseboard served at a restaurant in a small alley just off Rose Street, Edinburgh. The owner of the restaurant was wearing a bow tie, and he came around with an enormous cheeseboard, and talked us through through all the different cheeses, and where they came from — he even had photos of the cows from the various farms! It was a little bit eccentric, but it added a bit of theartre to the meal, and it is one that I will never forget.

    He’s not in the business anymore… The restaurant was called Martin’s Restaurant (it’s now Calistoga, a Californian restaurant owned by someone else).

    Martin Irons is still around and is involved in various Foody ventures! …

    I haven’t tried to track down where Mr Irons is now, but he is worth seeking out.

  7. firefoxx says

    PZ! I am a grad student at the Uni of Edinburgh and would love to invite you to speak at the Institute of Evolutionary biology – you have a lot of fans here! But from emails and comments I haven’t managed to get in touch with you!

    I will try emailing again, but if any other commenters are in regular contact with PZ, can you please help me get in touch to invite him to speak? Thank you!

  8. he11cat81 says

    pfft, if you can make the short journey up to Dundee you can top off a visit to D’Arcy Thompson’s museum by visiting the D’Arcy Thompson bar! If you get in touch with me or the museum curator we’d be happy to give you a tour and a peek and all sorts of D’Arcy letters and memorabilia. Also it will be a calm break from the chaos of Edinburgh during Fringe month.