Tag Archives: Scotland

The Occidental Bar

Broughty Ferry, Dundee:

Our local for a week, being the nearest pub to our holiday cottage. An ordinary Scottish community pub away from the main tourist drag at the waterfront. When we walked in early on a Saturday evening it was rammed in the bar, busy in the lounge, but we found seats, a short distance from a group of lads from a football team, one with a remarkable Dwayne Dibley haircut that presumably is fashionable now, like I’d know.

Anyway, the pub. busy, pleasant enough, no food, no cask (so Heverlee it was). Much quieter on Tuesday evening, handy for the bus service. The name just kept reminding me of Piper Alpha, though.

The Village Inn

Fairlie, Near Largs:

Very first impressions weren’t so good, but we soon found out how wrong we were.

The first impressions weren’t helped by a bus driver not stopping when requeseted, so we ended up walking about 1/2 mile back. When we got in, there were a large group of people stood around the bar, blocking access. The landlord was keen to help, but a bit /too/ keen for my annoyed state of mind at that point. However, this was just me being grumpy.

We got settled, got a beer, and relaxed. Beer was great, the landlord turned out to be really friendly, really keen to do well, and a generally nice bloke. He’d taken over a few weeks ago- the pub has had a chequered history of late, open, shut, open again, shut again. Food excellant, and good value. Inside to the left is aimed towards dining, to the right is a traditional bar, both clean and tidy, but not devoid of atmosphere. Deserves to do well.

The Black Bull Inn

Rothesay, Isle of Bute:

Not terribly inspiring from outside- it looks like a shop frontage, and the sign is a plaing black and white full-width job, but inside is lovely; traditonal. The front half of the pub has a notice that you may be asked to move to the back of the pub at busy food times if not eating, but when we visited (for food and drink) a chap was just sat reading the paper, and a couple of older ladies dropped in for coffee. Moving to the back wouldn’t be a hardship anyway, unless all the seats were full.

Great food, great beer, and very friendly staff.

Blackfriars Bar

Merchant City, Glasgow:

In a street of bars and eateries, this is a big ,modern, open plan bar/pub, all stripped wood floors, but it had one of the better selections of cask ale, had outside space, and was en route to other pubs on our hit list, and it was actually quite nice, if a bit modern and trendy for the likes of me: staff were pleasant, beer was fine.

The Royal George Hotel

Millport, Isle of Cumbrae:

Right next to the bus stop for the ferry, so we dropped in. Technically a hotel, but the bar was very pubby, if a bit grotty and unexceptional. Looked like it may get a bit “vibrant” on a Friday/saturday night. No cask ale, so I was drinking Scottish lout, but the no ale thing is a bit of a feature in Scotland. Staff pleasant enough, and it was OK, but a definite disappointment after Frasers Bar.