Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 25754 74056
325754, 674056


Robert Paterson, 1861; altered A W Macnaughton, 1893-5; J Macintyre Henry, 1898-1901; Henry and T Forbes Maclennan, 1923. French 2nd Empire hotel and oyster bar. 3-storey basement and double attic in steep mansard 6-bay with quadrant corner bays to return elevations. Polished cream ashlar sandstone. Base course, pavement grilles to basement; basket arches and cornice at ground; arcaded fenestration at 1st floor with simple cornice band; pilastraded 2nd floor with lugged architraves and keystones; heavy consoled cornice. Pedestalled parapet with interlaced arcaded cast-iron (?) balustrade; pedimented ashlar dormers at corners with acroteria; pedimented timber dormers behind parapet; arched timber dormers to upper attic. Slim timber mullions. Pedimented doorway to Oyster Bar with polished pink granite columns at NW corner, 1898.

Register Place elevation: symmetrical 6-bay. Arched doorway at centre right with pair of Corinthian columns and incised decoration; consoled panelled parapet dated 1862. Cellar hatch to centre left bay; secondary door to right bay with wrought-iron bracket bearing lobster above. 3 dormers.

West Register Street elevation: 5-bay; door to right to upper floors. 3 dormers.

Gabriel's Road elevation: 2 bays as above; 2 further plain stugged bays to S above pedimented door with granite columns (as above). 1 dormer.

Bipartite plate glass windows at ground and 1st floor (with opening roundels); 4-pane timber sash and case above. Grey slates; harled stacks.

Interior: remodelled by J Macintyre Henry, 1900-1, with sumptuous woodwork; panelled dado, foliate rococo frieze, delicate compartmented ceiling with tiny hanging bosses at intersections. Bar at ground to E, with 6 large Doulton tile pictures of famous inventors, designed by John Eyre, executed by K Sturgeon and W G W Nunn; brass Corinthian lamp standards on consoled central bar; upholstered horseshoe booths to window wall. Oyster Bar, separated by arcaded mirror screen, with small tiled ovals set into woodwork of red marble counter; 8 stained glass windows of British sportsmen by Ballantine and Gardiner; 3 more tile pictures, 1 as above, 2 of ships on Clyde and Mersey by Esther Lewis.

At 1st floor, Crown Room with opulent plasterwork and gilded figurines at arcade spandrels; ceiling roundels. American Bar at NW corner, 1923, with Wrennaisance woodwork. Function room with 3 domes to ceiling extends to S (above 5-17 (odd nos) West Register Street - see separate listing).

Statement of Special Interest

Originally built with ground floor as a gas showroom for the owner Robert Hume & Co., but converted to Cafe Royal Hotel and Oyster Bar before opening. Probably the first mansard of its kind in central Edinburgh, it once had iron cresting. Some of the plasterwork is hard to date, but the woodwork is all Henry's. The tile pictures were shown at the Inventions Exhibition in 1885, and possibly at the Meadows Exibition the following year.



Building News 27 June 1862. RSA 1863. Alistair Rowan Country Life 27 November 1969. Dean of Guild plans. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker Edinburgh (1988) pp330-331. Fiona Sinclair Scotstyle: 150 Years of Scottish Architecture (1984) p36. SCOTTISH GEORGIAN SOCIETY BULLETIN Vol 3 (1974-5) pp15-19.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to WEST REGISTER STREET, CAFE ROYAL

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 02/07/2022 21:27