Mrs RM said she’d divorce me if I didn’t tell THE TRUTH about the Cromarty Arms, and since I also observed that truth I have no choice but to tell it.
But I will preface this by saying, for the record, most Scots are lovely; see this post on Inverness.
But having overdosed on loveliness in Cromarty for half an hour, we were obliged to tick the eponymous GBG pub opposite the Hugh Miller Institute that contains the world-renowned collection of Pubmeister’s 19th century ticking records.
Now, the Cromarty Arms is a perfectly gorgeous Highlands boozer; unfussy, convivial, boisterous (I guess).
But sadly, that is all but naught after the Scottish “welcome” Mrs RM received after she followed the guidelines and plonked herself at the nearest table as I ordered my (dull, watery) Happy Chappie at the bar.
“EXCUSE ME ! CAN YOU NOT SIT AT A TABLE FOR SIX PLEASE !”
All the tables seemed set for six. A couple of locals who’d also sneaked in before noon opening (“Are you open ?” “Well, the door’s open, isn’t it ?”) sat sheepishly on the table for six opposite.
“Sorry, I didn’t see any smaller tables“. Neither had I. There was one, tucked behind the door. The pub was empty.
“We need the large tables for football” explained the Landlady. The next game was in five hours time, and we’d explained we were only popping in for a drink.
Mrs RM was taken aback, and suddenly we didn’t feel like staying anyway, and beat a hasty retreat. Perhaps that was the idea.
What happened to “Hello ! What can I get you ?”.
Do we look like wrong uns ? (Don’t answer that, Dave).
Mrs RM was shaken, and a little angry, and it wasn’t the only time we wondered where the welcome had gone.
Perhaps Covid had beaten it out of pubs. I do hope not.