Our second stop on our #tripleAscot break (check out my last post on Aberdeenshire) was a wonderful cosy distillery cottage just outside of Aberlour. We used this as our base for exploring the Speyside and Moray areas. Speyside is an intriguing area, as there are so many distilleries, you can virtually smell the whisky in the air wherever you go!
On our first full day, we took to the Speyside Way and walked into Aberlour. I say walked, it was a 4 mile trudge through mud and we were thoroughly glad to get into Aberlour ready for the warmth of the distillery tour!
I have done a couple of distillery tours, and really liked this one. The guide didn’t cram too much technical chat in as we walked round the production areas,, and it wasn’t long before we were taken into the tasting room which had an impressive set up!
Not being the biggest whisky fan I passed most of my samples over to Mr B. It wasn’t much of a surprise to find that I liked the 18 year old sample the best, which is sweeter than the rest and reminiscent of sherry.
A special mention must go to the Dowans Hotel where we ended up afterwards for drinks and a meal -it was pub grub done to a very high standard.
One place that was on my ‘must-do’ list was the Gordon Castle walled garden and café which recently won a national award for best informal dining experience. Whilst the walled garden was closed for winter, the café and shop were very much open for business and I wish I lived closer to visit when it reopens in the spring!
On the other days, we headed out to the Moray Coast, and on each day we passed the impressive Craigellachie Bridge. Even in early November, the bridge was flanked by some lovely autumnal colours from the trees overlooking the Spey.
After a very bracing walk along the beach at Cullen, there was only one thing that I was looking for – Cullen Skink! I love a good Cullen Skink – the combination of fish, potato in a creamy chowder is pretty much irresistible combo for me! This one at Rockpool Café didn’t disappoint, it was crammed full of haddock!
After we had thoroughly warmed up, we then mooched around Cullen’s salvage yard. These places are fascinating as you never know what you might find inside. This particular yard had a very eccentric owner to boot!
We also checked out Macduff, (isn’t that just the most Scottish name ever?) and I was really pleased to get the waves crashing at the harbour wall.
Possibly our favourite foodie stop off along the Moray Coast was the Portsoy ice cream parlour. Despite being November, you can’t turn down the best icecream in Moray, especially when your scoop of white chocolate and blueberry ice cream comes wrapped up in a warm bubble waffle cone!
I also took a walk out to Bow Fiddle Rock, although as it was blowing a gale I didn’t get too close to the cliff edge!
So there you have it, my highlights from our week in Speyside! Next week I’ll have a post for you all about the fab North Hop Aviemore festival!