Category Archives: Scotland

The Pillars

Dundee:

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

Perth:

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

Arbroath:

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

Dundee:

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.