A reminder of what the Aberdeen & Grampian section of the Beer Guide looks like.
Two to do towards the Tayside border next.
Look at WhatPub and you’ll see there’s not a huge difference between the GBG and WhatPub. Hopefully that means Scottish pubs only put on real ale if they’ve the right cellar, the interest and the custom for it, eh ?
The 747 towards Montrose dropped me on the side of the A92 at the top of Johnshaven. I hadn’t realised there wasn’t a bell and you had to say something like “Excuse me awfully, could you stop just here please ?“. Luckily the buses have good brakes.
I’d lost the blue skies from Stonehaven; I think Montrose opted out of sunshine allowances in the 1300s. But the descent was picturesque, giving you the impression you were walking through people’s back yards on the way down to the little harbour.
At the bottom, you have empty fishing nets, and total peace. Rarer than you think.
In my quest to bring you more information than you could ever want on these places I visit for you, here’s a population analysis for Johnshaven.
Two pubs, a shop, no people.
Despite evidence of recent pirate activity, the only people I saw in the street were an army of blokes repairing the harbour road. For what reason, I know not. Anyway, they stopped me getting to a loo that was probably closed, so I was pleased the Ship was just opening.
It’s a giant thin thing, three entrances, none of them particularly inviting. And as I stood outside an apparently closed pub, memories of a certain elusive Shropshire tick came to mind.
But then I saw a light, and that third door on the corner creaked open.
Wow. And where to start.
I guess “long-standing Landlady” and “step back in time” spring to mind.
My sort of pub, even if I was the only customer.
“Are you on a walk ?” I pretended I was, just in case the only alternative reason for me to be there was tax collection.
The lone beer, Head East from Strathbraan, was decent enough, if a bit sharp.
But I could have sat there all day and enjoyed a soundtrack of Depeche Mode (“Just Can’t Get Enough“) and a ticking clock.
Stone walls, red velvet seating, and Quince Chips (What !). Why had no-one told me about this place when they were wittering on about dull brewery taps in Ellon ?
My bus back was at 12.40, the clock said 12.25. Except it didn’t. It was one of those backward clocks, wasn’t it ? 5 minutes running up that hill to the bus stop, just like in the Kate Bush song, just to see it pull away as I panted to the top.
Half an hour is a long time to kill in Johnshaven , particularly when workmen are blocking the road to the public loos.