Tag Archives: Scotland

The Ferry Tap

South Queensferry:

Almost in the shadow of both the road and rail Firth of Forth crossings, South Queensferry is a peasant little place. Sadly, we were in the car, but found parking nearby and stopped for lunch. Food was a bit mixed; my burger was fine, but stymistress’s baguette was a bit below par. Real ale on offer, but not tried (due to presence of car), and a large slection of whisky. Pleasant, helpful staff, and nice, traditional interior only marred by the large TV (thankfully muted).

The Oxford Bar

Edinburgh:

This was a real surprise: it was on our list because of its literary connections (being the favourite bar of Ian Rankin and his well known character Inspector John Rebus).

It’s lovely. Positively lovely. It’s a bit of a timewarp, still subdivided up, and the back room we were in had a real fire. No food, no music, no TV, just a quiet, relaxing bar with some superb ale and a lovely quiet bolthole from the city. The staff and locals have a reputation for surliness, but we found them friendly- and we were very obviously tourists.

The Old Forge

Inverie, Knoydart Peninsula:


View Larger Map

The remotest pub in mainland Britain, only accessible by a 20 mile hike or by boat. There are roads, but they’re not connected to the main UK road network.

I was a bit dissapointed, perhaps because of high expectations: the pub’s site bigs up the real ale, but there was only one on offer (which was fine, but not one I was keen on), the wine seemed a bit duff and while the food looked good, it was a bit over the top for lunchtime, which is the easiest time to visit, so we went to a tearoom for lunch instead. Staff were fine though, and there was decent lager.

The Grog and Gruel

Fort William:


View Larger Map

First impressions weren’t doing it for me: I was expecting a sub-Wetherspoon pub, and inside was dark on a very bright sunny day (and no outside space, sadly- a couple of tables in the pedestrianised High St would be great) but I was very wrong: the staff were friendly, the beer was great (a choice of ale including a fine IPA whose name escapes me) and the food other customers had looked good, and this was the closest to a proper traditional pub we got to in the Highlands this week.

The Ben Nevis Bar

Fort William:


View Larger Map

Fronting on to the High St, this large pub has a rear terrace with a fine view of the A82 dual carriageway Loch Linnhe. Ok, it has a view of both, but look up and you can shut out the A82.

There was ale, but sadly only 1, and that a dark one, so our stay was shorty than otherwise: staff were pleasant, food was good value and, joking aside, the terrace at the back does have a good view.

The Marine

Mallaig:


View Larger Map

We’ve had hotels on pubblog before, and the difficulty for me is deciding if they’re sufficiently pub-like: pure hotel bars don’t get listed.

This is the reverse: It calls itself a hotel, has rooms available, and the website lists a menu, but it seems they’ve stopped doing food, and this place just feels like a local’s pub: a bit rough and ready, but pleasant and lively. No ale, but decent lager and very friendly staff.

The Steam Inn

Mallaig:


View Larger Map

Just down the street from The Chlachain Inn, this has a restaurant attached, but you can just eat in the bar. Again, it’s not that traditional inside- much less than you’d expect, but there was ale, great food (including curry!) and a friendly welcome. There’s a TV and jukebox but you can hear over them. Prices OK- food expensive, but that’s true everywhere in town.