Tag Archives: Scotland

The Cairnbaan Hotel


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Again, it’s a hotel, but the bar area feels sufficiently pub-like. Great staff, decent beer (2 real ales), and good food- a step above average pub food. Not cheap, but not rip-off, and you have to remember overheads here are greater. Right alongside the Crinnan Canal; there’s some outside seating, and a separate restaurant if you want quieter dining. We ate here three times, and drank a couple of times on top of that, as we were staying nearby.

The Townhead Hotel


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The only place in town with parking, it seemed, so we stopped for lunch as a break from the drive. It’s a pleasant enough place- a locals pub as well as hotel- and the staff were very pleasant. No real ale, but a good selection of other stuff. Lunch, however, was not so good: I have a thing with sandwiches drowned in mayonnaise, and this, literally, dripped. Shame really, there was lots to like.

The Grove


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This looks like it might be a bit rough from outside: enough to cause a colleague to comment. However, Stymistress and my good self are of sterner stuff. We went in.

It was actually quite pleasant. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a Glasgow drinker’s pub, not a trendy bar or family-friendly carbon-copy pub, but it’s really quite nice. No cask, but Belhaven keg was OK and the staff were friendly (unless you were fool enough to be rude to them, as one local was), as were the people at the bar, even though I couldn’t understand a word (heavy Glaswegian accent, plus a bit pissed).

Drumchork Lodge Hotel


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The second hotel in the village, but just outside the centre.

Location doesn’t help this in terms of locals in the bar, but there’s other attractions: Whisky Hotel of the year a few years ago, there’s a bewildering array of whisky, including some made in Scotland’s smallest legal still, out the back, which you can take tours of. The owner’s a real character.

Food is similar, but I think the Aultbea Hotel has the edge.