Teviot Row House: Silent Dances and Library Bars

Last September, I spent three weeks in Edinburgh, Scotland working on a travel guide with a group of people. One of the girls sister’s happened to be staying there as well and tipped us off to this neat house filled with bars. Teviot Row House is located on the Edinburgh University campus and everyone knew about it. There were lines out the door! It also didn’t help that it was welcoming week for the university. Every freshman lined up and was gearing for a good time.


Originally built in 1889, the Teviot Row House was created for the student union during the Victorian era. The Castle-like building included rooms for billiards, a library, tea rooms, and several courts beneath the building. Up until 1971, men were only admitted to the building. They enjoyed wonderful tea times with beautiful waitresses serving them in black uniforms. What man wouldn’t love that in college? At the time, they didn’t serve alcohol in the building, but that soon changed in 1970.

Over the years, the building started to welcome the public. The Gilded Balloon used the place as a venue for for stand-up comedies and cabaret performances. The group has continued to use this space since 2003 and drawn more attention to the venue.

Bars and Music

Today, students flock to this building for games of billiards, meetings, and bars. The first bar I entered within the establishment was The Library Bar. Needless to say, I loved it. Books lines the walls with tables and chairs spread out. There was a spiral staircase leading to the second floor with even more books and lounging chairs to enjoy the experience. Granted, it seemed to be the most popular among the students since it was the most crowded out of the three bars I visited.

After running into a robust Scotsman, I headed down with him to the Sports Bar. There weren’t a lot of people at the time and a football game kept the amusement of the few there. The space was open with a couch and several billiards tables. We grabbed a drink and talked as the bar slowly began to fill up.

Later that evening, I headed up a couple floors to The New Amphion. Before I saw the room, I could hear thumping and people singing from the stairs but no music. All my friends were already there and each one was holding a beer and wearing headphones. They were singing along to something.

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In order to keep the noise down, students rented out these radio headphones for 5 which you get back once you return the headphones. There were two stations and you could tune in to each one throughout the night. They were singing along and dancing like no one was watching. Even without a DJ playing, they had smoke and strobe lights in the room. There were times when a popular song would come on and the entire crowd would sing the lyrics. It’s actually a neat concept. Maybe more colleges in the U.S. could do this and it would cut down on some of the cops showing up to overly loud house parties.

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Teviot Row House is a must visit when in Edinburgh, Scotland. This is a hot spot for young adults and college students. The place is a great way to visit several bars without having to walk the streets in search of the next best one.

Check out a video of the silent dancing!


Teviot Row House
Telephone: 0131 650 4673
Website: www.eusa.ed.ac.uk
Email: reception@eusa.ed.ac.uk
Address: 13 Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AJ



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