As predicted by Stafford Paul, my second Forres tick is the Red Lion, a GBG legend apparently. It’s always the ones with the weird names.

Proper Pub

Forres Red Lion

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).

Bet Russ picks up on the Liver and Onoin Casserole

I warmed to Forres despite the drizzle. You’ve a low risk of bumping into people.

Architecturally pleasing

And if I ever decide to tick off all the keg boozers I might very well start here.

OK, OK, it’s a nightclub, but…

If I do come back, hopefully the Red Lion will still be in the Guide, though the “To Let” sign is always a concern.

FUN FACT: Forres has more GBG entries than Stratford-on-Avon

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.

Don’t turn round now, fellas, Laura will be off the telly soon enough
No bar blockers
Not the only warmth in the Red Lion

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).

Cask hidden in the lounge so as not to offend Tennents drinkers

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.

Where have I seen you before

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 ?


    1. I guess that’s roughly the idea of the blog, Dave. Something that always strike me, though; what on earth would you do if you didn’t visit the pubs in these towns ? There’s nothing else bar the odd plain cafe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As someone not from the UK I can’t tell you how the feel of a place like that affects you. Very powerful. I know a place like Southwold is a powerful experience just to sit in. I don’t really have to do anything. Just being.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Some mysteries are best left, er, mysterious, Duncan.

      What would Dick and Dave do if there were no pubs. When I met Leon and Charlotte in Cambridge they were headed for Evensong at Kings. Can you do that in Glenrothes?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. “it’s the sporrans in an army surplus store (top)”

    I thought that was a wig.

    “Bet Russ picks up on the Liver and Onoin Casserole”

    It’s Scotland. I just figured it was something weird like Neep or Tatties. 😉

    Also, I was trying to figure out why do some of the labels say ‘homemade’ while others don’t.

    “and whisky chasersbut ”

    Is that a new type of whisky?

    “What other explanation could there be ?”

    Agreed. It’s like you’re living in your own Truman show. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

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