Category Archives: Scotland

The Pillars


Only went in here because of the impressive pub sign and frontage, spotted when we used a postbox just over the street, and glad we did. No food, no cask ale, but tons of atmosphere is a proper, city-centre drinker’s pub. Friendly staff and locals meant we spent our time in here chatting to strangers and just soaking it up.

The Green Room


I was expecting to like this a lot, and walking through the door, it seemed good- traditional-looking, interesting looking beer, doggy greeting, wood-burning stove.

Things channged though; my beer was distinctly below-par, a bit vinegary, and we were asked to move upstairs, because of the smoke from stove drifting into the room- storm Ali was in progress outside. I don’t think that was the actual reason: smoke was present upstairs too. I think that in actual fact, they wanted to close the downstairs bar to move upstairs.

Upstairs had a different vibe: it’s a music venue, and a bit on the grotty side, which probably works really well and has the right feel if you’re seeing live music on a Friday night and it’s full, but on a Wednesday afternoon, it just felt a bit grimy, and it felt like we were intruding on a semi-private session, the dogs became annoying, and the bogs were swimming in water (but there were free condoms). Don’t get me wrong, I like pubs to be “lived in”, but something here didn’t work for me.

The Old Brewhouse


The usual debate of “pub or not” ensued here. It describes iself as

family run à la carte restaurant and bar with accommodation

Just about pub, as there’s a bar that seems to be primarily for drinking, and it looks pubby, in a recently made-over kind of way from outside, but I’m now wondering, especially given that a pretty simple lunch (sandwich and fries, Cullen Skink, 2 drinks each) for 2 ran up a 35 quid bill. Staff were really pleasant, and it wasn’t a bad place to sit, but no cask ale, and food that was good rather than exceptional.

The Speedwell Bar


So, this time, the heritage pub guide and GBG both had this, and it’s a real gem. Almost unaltered early 20th century pub, multi-roomed and with partitions in the main,largest room. There’s TVs and a fruit machine, sadly, but they don’t spoil the effect of unspoilt Scottish boozer, little altered since it was built. Well worth the walk out of town.