The West Port is Edinburgh’s Soho, a heady mix of booze, bosoms, bespoke tailoring and BOOKS. It would be churlish not to celebrate this profusion of pages so we run an annual book festival that plays out over a number of wonderful venues, ranging from singular second-hand bookshops to crisp art spaces and whisky-scented pubs.
Anyone familiar with Edinburgh can’t have failed to notice the impressive church and graveyard set back off the north end of Lothian Road, but how much do you “actually” know about The Parish Church of St Cuthbert’s?
The Forest’s first green shoots inched above our very own West Port soil more than a decade ago, transplanting in time to the Old Congressional Church on Bristo Place. It was threatened last year by a bad case of Bankrupted Charity Dieback, so we’re happy and relieved to welcome the cafe, social centre and arts space to its new home in Tollcross, and to this year’s list of venues.
Just a hop, skip and teeny jump from the West Port sits a huddle of venues, Edinburgh’s arts quarter, made up of the Usher Hall, the Lyceum and the Traverse Theatre; an unrivalled density of culture outwith the collected majesty of the West Port’s bookshops.
Author/columnist Lucy Mangan is a bit of an odd connecting thread between two venues on the same street of Edinburgh, but there we are.
The West Port wears a number of identities: the literary, the creative and the lewd. Nowhere do the profane, the profound and the artistic combine more completely than in second-hand genre bookstore, Pulp Fiction.