Thanks to SGM for reminding me here on diablog of a trip to Scotland. As the two old geezers, Glynsky and Pete, are English, of course they don’t go there. Ever.
It was in Scotland where I learned about Single Malt whiskey and for that alone Scotland is worth visiting.
We came to Scotland from the continent and by car. That is the best way to travel around in Scotland. Just avoid the highways, or Motorways as the English call it. Stick to country roads and you’ll have great fun. We wanted to see the East coast first and started the trip in York going north.
The initial idea had been to stay in B&Bs and upgrade slowly. This did not work, since we arrived in Edinburgh the day before its famous festival. So we ended up staying in Houstoun House, a stately home turned hotel outside.
And it was there that I fell in love with Scotland right away. The people were lovely, friendly, welcoming and very warm hearted.
After settling in, we went down for dinner. It is custom in Scotland to go into the salon first, a cozy room with a fireplace and deep arm chairs, have an an aperitif, look at the menu and pick your meals and wines. We got excellent advice from our waiter. After we had decided food and drinks, our waiter brought an amuse-gueule and refills. Some time later, we were led into the dining room and when we sat down, the appetizers arrived.
Is there a more comfortable way to start dinner? Not in my book.
Since no place in Scotland is 100 miles away from the coast, expect fresh delicious fish almost everywhere. And Scottish ox is wonderful. The chefs in Scotland we met had spent at least a year in France, preparing local dishes with local ingredients and a French touch. Heaven!
After dinner, our choices weres to go back to a salon or have digestifs in the vaulted bar. We went downstairs. There was a huge fire burning and behind the bar a large selection of Single Malts, that would have been the pride of any excellent specialty retail shop. Amazing.
The small crowd of golfers, fishing tourists and regulars immediately pulled us into a conversation and time flew by. At 11:00 PM the bartender announced, that he was leaving. That said, he placed a list on the bar, kindly asking us to put down our consumption and left. Did you ever experience trust in you as a guest like this? Needless to say, the night went on for hours.
More about Scotland in another post,
now I need a drink,