Starting with a last breakfast at Molmeg Cottage, we spent most of Sunday in DRT’s, buses and trains — and an hour in Perth — travelling back from Balquhidder to Glasgow.
After an early arrival and checkin in our hotel for the last night, we had dinner at one of the newest smoke and barbecue places of Glasgow: Smoak. We can’t wait until this food trend reaches Brussels!
Since our last visit to the city, some more new places opened, so we quickly visited the Hippo Taproom and Shilling Brewing Co. as well, before saying our goodbyes — and drink a couple of great beers — at BrewDog Glasgow.
On Monday, we had breakfast at Where the Monkey Sleeps and a quick round of geocaching, before boarding our train to London.
There we went to the Basement Bar of BottleDog Kings X, but they seem to have misplaced their taps… Not a problem though, plenty of choice in their fridges!
The Eurostarwas on time this time, which means we were in our Brussels home again before midnight.
Saturday was the day of the Lochearnhead Highland Games, including the Clan MacLaren AGM, Stone of Strength, Tug o’War and lots of other (heavy) events. In the evening we celebrated Donald MacLaren of MacLaren’s fiftieth year as our chief with a supper and ceilidh in the Balquhidder Village Hall.
After a short train ride from Glasgow, we had two hours in Stirling before our bus would leave. We had a quick look at the castle of course, but spent most of our time inBrewDog Stirling, apparently one of the newest additions to the chain.
Arrived in Glasgow with a little delay, so we quickly checked into the hostel to shower and change. Headed to the very hot Merchant Chippie for some battered haddock, haggis, and chips.
We needed to cool down after that, so we had a couple of beers at Drygate. We finished the first evening at the DogHouse, BrewDog’s only restaurant at the moment, but luckily just a bar as well. Another BrewDog location to check off our list!
Leaving for Scotland again! We enjoyed traveling by rail so much last time, we decided to take the train again. We’re only using daytime trains this time, and stopping in London just long enough to have lunch in between our connections.
But first, let’s leave, so we can actually catch our train!
In a blog named Kilted Guy, it wouldn’t be right to skip the subject of being kilted in Aberdeen.
Usually I change into my kilt once I check into my hotel or hostel, but since we had the convenience of a private cabin in the Caledonian Sleeper, I could just put on my kilt in the morning, before even touching Aberdonian soil.
As usual in Scotland, people never seem to be fazed by the sight of a kilt — unlike in Brussels — and wearing my MacLaren kilt, I never received any remarks about it. Well, the lady at the left luggage facilities at the train station inquired about it, but she seemed to be seizing any opportunity to chat about anything…
During our stay in Aberdeen, we noticed two other kilties. The first one, a guy in his twenties, was wearing his kilt very casual. Read: halfway down his calves, way too low to my taste…
The other one was wearing a beautiful kilt, obviously made by 21st Century Kilts, easily identified by the typical kilt pin. He was wearing it exactly as you see it worn in the ads of the kilt maker, complete with high boots and scrunched down hoses. Now I look at their photos again, it might very well have been the white-bearded guy featuring in a couple of them!
For the Punk AGM I decided to wear my black ‘beer kilt’, complete with BrewDog-bottle-opener-converted-to-kilt-pin. Only minutes after leaving the hotel, someone noticed my BrewDog outfit, and wanted to take a photo of me.
At the AGM, someone else even made close-up shots of my kilt pin!
Then, while I was on my own for a couple of minutes, a Scottish lady — who obviously had a few beers too many already — came up to me to ask me why I was wearing “a schoolgirl’s skirt”! At first I thought it was because my black kilt is not the same high quality and yardage as my MacLaren kilt, and her Scottish eye spotted it was probably made in Pakistan. But no, it was merely because it was black! Apparently, in her mind, only a tartan kilt is a kilt.
I guess even some people in Scotland still have to get accustomed to ‘modern’ kilts…
We’ll be leaving for our next Scotland trip soon, and there were still two subjects about the our Aberdeen trip I wanted to discuss. One of them is BrewDog, since visiting their Punk AGM 2016 was the main goal of this trip!
We managed to visit eight different BrewDog bars — six of them for the first time: Camden, Soho, Clerkenwell, Aberdeen, DogTap, Underdog, Castlegate and Shoreditch. On top of that, we visited the brewery in Ellon, and of course the Punk AGM, where we also had the opportunity to have a drink at Truck Norris. On our way back we still had the opportunity to visit BottleDog Kings Xand buy a great looking growler, filled of course!
We’re quite experienced BrewDog patrons by now — we’re Equity Punks after all — but it still strikes me every time again, how passionate everybody who works for BrewDog is about craft beer, and about their company!
We usually stick with beer when visiting BrewDog bars, but this trip we also had lunch one time, at BrewDog Soho. The patty melt and hot dog were tasty for sure, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to have lunch or dinner at BrewDog.
The Dear Green coffee on the other hand, was a surprise: it surely was the best espresso we had in Aberdeen!