26 July 2008

My rest day...

Friday - my “rest day”. Well, I didn’t do all of the driving so to me that counts as a “rest day”!

Our first little adventure took us back to the Glengoyne whisky distillery and today it was open - hooray! The advertising leaflets for the distillery describe it as “a taste of the Highlands on Glasgow’s doorstep” and also as “Scotland’s most beautiful distillery”. It’s not quite on Glasgow’s doorstep, it’s around 14 miles north but it most certainly is in a very beautiful setting. It’s also a rather nice collection of buildings too.

Lynda and I joined a guided tour around the distillery, learning much about the history of the place and also whisky in general, in the process. Before the tour began we were each given a dram of Glengoyne 10-year-old malt, and very nice it was too! Lynda, not being a whisky drinker, had a small taste of hers and passed the rest to me. I wasn’t going to argue - 11:00AM and the first two whiskies of the day. At the end of the tour we were guided to the distillery shop (a good sales ploy on their part) where we were presented with a dram of their 17-year-old malt to try. I again had Lynda’s and mine. Hey, it was now just after mid-day so another couple of whiskies wouldn’t do any harm!

After the second whisky tasting we had another stroll around the buildings before returning to the shop for a quick bit of retail therapy. Personally, I found the 10-year-old malt more to more liking (though both were very good) and so Lynda dug deep in her pockets and treated me to a bottle as an early birthday present. It will be going home un-opened and kept away from me for another few weeks yet! I also purchased miniature bottles of the 17 and 21-year-old malts that Glengoyne produce. The miniatures, along with one of the freebie ones the distillery gave us on Tuesday, will be going home to be added to my small, but growing collection.

Glengoyne distillery.

From the distillery Lynda took control of the car and drove the short distance down the road to the Beech Tree Inn; time for a bit of food to soak up some of the alcohol. First thing I did was order a pint of beer! It was my rest day and I was going to enjoy it! We only chose the Beech Tree due to its location but boy, did we strike it lucky. The food was top class. Lynda chose the chicken & mushroom crêpe whilst I went for the chicken breast, stuffed with haggis, on a bed of clapshot. Not only was the food very tasty it was also rather well presented too - much better than your average pub lunch.

Chicken & mushroom crêpe and the Chicken breast, stuffed with haggis.

When the waiter asked if we would like to see the dessert menu we said yes, even though, having noticed the menu earlier, we both knew what we were going to try... battered Mars bar! For years we have heard of this strange Scottish “delicacy” but never actually seen it served anywhere. Today we finally got to eat a chocolate bar covered in batter and it wasn’t at all bad. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it was rather tasty when served with orange sorbet. The calorie count? I daren’t even start to think about that! The rest of the afternoon was spent back at the holiday home soaking up the sun, reading our books and generally relaxing.

A battered Mars bar!

At 6:00PM the 9th Lomond Folk Festival kicked off and it kicked off in style with Clanadonia, fronted by, the man himself, Tu-Bardh Wilson playing to a packed crowd outside the Lomond Park Hotel. It was seeing Clanadonia listed in the band line-up for this weekend that was behind my decision to make the long drive north again this year and I’m so pleased I did.


From the moment the band took up their positions they had the crowd on their side; the crowd spilled out onto the pavement, cars pulled up by the roadside to watch, everyone loved it. Tracks that stood out for me included “Hornpipe”, “Samba Ya Bassa”, the superb “Hamsterheid” and, from the film “Last of the Mohicans” came “The Gael”. Highlight of the week so far? It certainly comes very close, and there will be more of the same over the rest of the weekend.

Friday, a true taste of Scotland!


  1. LOL! First of all...where's my whisky. All that drinking and talking about drinking and all that food...you do know how to torture a person don't you :-))
    Second...what is clapshot? It sounds like an STD LOL!. I do enjoy reading your blogs and I do enjoy giving you a hard time whilst the rest of us have to work ;-)
    I think I gained weight just reading about the dessert.
    Tu-Bardh Wilson must have been quite a site to see. I never had the pleasure but perhaps one day they will come to the US. We'll see.
    Can't wait to hear what's next.


  2. Beautiful photos as always!!!
    I am going down memory lane again as I watch them! Thanks for the trip !!