Enough of that Scottish scenery, shows us some crustaceans, you cry. Possibly.
Ellenbaich‘s days producing slate are long gone, it’s tours and long lunches now. And garden ornaments.
Possibly not as ancient a pub as Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, or even Nottingham BrewDog, I thought.
We paused to admire the outdoor museum of Covid Compliance (I assume).
It’s important this stuff is preserved for the nation, as we won’t believe this in 2022 when all the pubs are closed.
Unexpectedly, the Oyster Bar was packed at 17:31, with a pubby feel rather denied us as we were escorted to the restaurant via the lone Fraoch handpump.
Scotland was an expensive trip, so it’s just as well we camped, and we went a bit mad in the Oyster Bar.
The menu had posh stuff like Steak Pie, Hunter’s Chicken and Macaroni Cheese (the Scottish national dish), but we went for Oysters and Langoustines as we know you like to see ethnic cuisine.
My request for “A pint of Fraoch, please” was met with “A full one ?”, which turned out to be confirmation I wasn’t a half pinter, not whether I wanted a top-up. It’s the little linguistic oddities that really make pubgoing so vital.
Fraoch’s heather ale is an odd choice for your lone handpump, a bit like just having Plum Porter Reserve or Old Tom on the bar, and it was fine rather than stunning. I may never encounter it again, I thought, wistfully.
And as for the langoustines, last sampled in that Russian Tavern on Bute that won awards but served the worst pint of 2007, anything that you need a surgical instrument to eat is dubious.
The service here was cheery and professional and personalised, and the atmosphere enhanced by a young group who said they “couldn’t see beyond the 3 cheese pasta“. Or the Old Mout. Someone asked for a pint of Irn Bru. Really.
Mrs RM asked to “share the fudge brownie“. As it turned up just as she headed for the Ladies, I made darn sure I actually got a share.