Gladstone Vineyard

One of the things I was most looking forward to about visiting New Zealand was the wine. We arranged to stay overnight at a small vineyard in Martinborough where we could relax and really enjoy some of New Zealand’s finest. After driving down from Lake Taupo we pulled up alongside Gladstone Vineyard on a sunny afternoon, just in time for a tasting! Read more Gladstone Vineyard

New Zealand – Beer

In the couple of weeks we spent in New Zealand we managed to visit most corners of the North Island and one thing stood out to me with regards to the beer down there. Good beer is everywhere! Surprisingly every bar and restaurant we visited had its taps dominated by New Zealand brews and not big multi-national brands (although Guinness was widely available in many bars as well). Read more New Zealand – Beer

Tolbooth Restaurant, Stonehaven

We were given a voucher for Stonehaven’s Tolbooth restaurant at Christmas and have waited for a sunny weekend all summer to use it. Our thinking is that it would be a shame to waste the trip to Stoney without being able to sit outside afterwords having a few speciality beers from The Marine. Well, summer came and went with barely a glimmer of sunshine on a free Saturday to get us over the hill so we decided to just book a table and hope for the best.

The restaurant lives right on the harbour in the upstairs of the old tolbooth jailhouse. Every seaside town needs to have a good seafood restaurant sitting right on the pier. Certainly every town with a fishing heritage like Stonehaven’s deserves one. Read more Tolbooth Restaurant, Stonehaven

Yorokobi by CJ

Last week I finally got to eat at a restaurant I’ve wanted to try for ages. Yorokobi by CJ opened on Huntly Street in Aberdeen after Korean Chef Jang had been operating a very successful wee sushi stall at Aberdeen Indoor Market for years. I visited the stall several times and it was my first taste of sushi. I was keen to try the full restaurant experience but for some reason I haven’t got around to visiting until now. Read more Yorokobi by CJ

Hop It!

I’m blaming my brother for this. I was never that into Belgian beers but he loves them and it’s slowly seeping into my psyche. There was also a particularly good night in the Marine which involved quite a heady mix of Anchor Liberty and a few Belgian beers. Read more Hop It!

Lunch at the Potarch Hotel

I am a creature of habit. Which means I fall into ruts easily and always return to the familiar and routine. So if I’m looking for somewhere nice to go get a bit of lunch at the weekend I almost always go to the same places. It’s not that I don’t want to try new things. Obviously I do or I wouldn’t have anything to write about here! I just fear trying somewhere and its rubbish. Although maybe then I’d have more entertaining things to write about here.

It was suggested to me that I take some time to check out the lunch deal at the Potarch Hotel, near Banchory, as it was a bit good. At a loss for something to do on a Sunday we booked a table and set off. Read more Lunch at the Potarch Hotel

Sea Breezes, Portree

When we spent the weekend in Skye recently top of our list was checking out some first class seafood. There’s no shortage of places to choose from, especially in Portree. While we were waiting for our sea eagle boat trip (if you’re ever in Portree go on this trip!) we eyed up the restaurants around the harbour and decided to check out a small one with a nice specials board outside advertising locally caught shellfish called Sea Breezes. Read more Sea Breezes, Portree

Distillery field trip

A few weeks ago I went on a trip organised by Deeside Drinks/Dunnottar Wines to tour two north-east whisky distilleries with the promise of all refreshments and food for the day thrown in. Sounded like a great excuse for a blogging field trip!

We were heading to two distilleries – Glenglassaugh in Portsoy in the morning and Glen Garioch in Oldmeldrum after lunch. I joined the rest of the 20 or so whisky fans on the bus from Banchory and settled in for the long haul up to Portsoy. Read more Distillery field trip

Miltonduff and Provenance Knockando Whisky

It’s been a while since I posted anything about booze on here. Partly because I don’t keep it around long enough to take pictures of it! But also because I don’t feel like I can talk about booze the same way I can talk about food. There are hundreds of fantastic beer, whisky and wine writers out there who can describe what they’re drinking with beautiful, descriptive prose. I’m not one of them.

However I can tell you what I like. Which might be enough for this blog. With that in mind I’d like to tell you about a couple of whiskys I’ve been supping over the last few weeks. Read more Miltonduff and Provenance Knockando Whisky

Candlestick Maker Restaurant in Aboyne

It was Angela’s birthday last week which gave the perfect excuse (as if we needed it) to go for a slap up meal. I’ve driven through Aboyne a lot recently on my way to training with Deeside Runners at Glen Tanar and noticed a small restaurant which looked interesting. We checked it out online, booked a table and jumped on a bus heading west.

The Candlestick Maker in Aboyne is a small restaurant overlooking the village green. In previous lives it’s been a butchers and a bakers so you can see where the inspiration for the name came from. The restaurant promises a menu (£24.50 for two courses and £28 for 3) full of local produce which changes daily. Read more Candlestick Maker Restaurant in Aboyne