Category Archives: Scotland

The Fleece Bar & Kitchen


First impressions had this feeling odd: we walked past the side entrance (for the bar), and had to walk back through the restaurant, and then the bar felt a bit…vibrant.

A second visit was better (or was it just us in a better mood?). The bar feels like a traditional Scottish pub, and while there was no cask ale, there was decent craft keg. Staff were pleasant too.

The restaurant is seperated by a corridor, so the two functions don’t interfere, which is good for both. The food in the restaurant, by the way, was excellent.

The Kings Arms Hotel


A hotel, but as I’ve remarked before, the lines blur north of the border, and the bar felt pubby. It also felt *expensive* at 8 quid for a 175ml wine and a pint of lime and soda (I was driving…). The cackling women didn’t help the ambience, either, but I think we caught it at a bad time. Several cask ales. Food was a bit…tapas (shudder). Staff friendly enough, just can’t get over that 8 quid…

The Ecclefechan Hotel


I *should* have blogged this in May 2014, when we stopped here en route from Mallaig back home, trying for a cheaper option than Moffat but didn’t: maybe it felt the wrong side of the hotel/pub thing.

I’ll briefly mention the hotel- it’s ace. Great value and comfortable.

Besides that, it’s the village pub. Evidently once on the main Carlisle-Glasgow road, now the A74M passes by a short distance away, making the village quiet, but the proximity of a junction makes this a convenient pause.

In the bar itself, it’s pleasant and welcoming. Pub food, cask ale, a real fire, and friendly staff and locals.

The Monreith Arms Hotel

Port William:

Another place we’d visited many years ago. It’s changed little: a bit down at heel, but given it’s in a small village capital to invest must come hard. No ale, but the Tennants was OK. People were eating, but we had a booking at a nearby restaurant. Landlord and locals chatty and pleasant- overall, I liked it as much as the quarter-century or so ago we last visited. There’s a few nice 30s details- terrazzo flooring, for example, and it could be *lovely*, given a pile of cash.