But first, it’s the sporrans in an army surplus store (top) and Fraser Bros award winning haggis you’re really here for. One thing’s for sure, you won’t starve in Scotland (as long as you have a portable microwave).
I warmed to Forres despite the drizzle. You’ve a low risk of bumping into people.
And if I ever decide to tick off all the keg boozers I might very well start here.
If I do come back, hopefully the Red Lion will still be in the Guide, though the “To Let” sign is always a concern.
Now, I may on occasion have suggested that Scotland has more GBG entries than strict beer quality warrants, but frankly I’m rarely disappointed by the pubs.
The Red Lion at midday has only a couple of Old Boys on the Tennents and whisky chasers, but a warmth you’ll rarely get in a Kent micro pub.
At the public bar, no sign of the real ales.
I asked for a coke.
But then I opened my eyes.
“Oooh. Have you got real ale !”
“We do !”
She seemed delighted to go and fetch it for me (If I’d read WhatPub I’d have known that).
Yes, the Lounge gets the cask, the Public gets the marmalade vodka. In 2019, this discrimination still goes on. Bit like the Grill banning women till ’75, I guess.
The Belhaven is officially rarer than the Ossian, so I had that. Another perfectly decent if unexceptional half, cool and fruity (NBSS 3) but the pub was pure magic (see also: The Ship).
But the most astonishing thing was this.
Yes, someone had only gone and taken the piano up the hill from the Mosset and stuck it in the Red Lion while I was admiring the haggis !
What other explanation could there be ?