Fear not, dear reader, I near the end of my A Scottish Life diary; epic landscapes, exotic dishes and unfathomably bad beer.
Our last overnighter, back in the campervan, came in bucolic Blairgowrie.
If you’d never heard of Blairgowrie, you’re not alone.
Type “Tell me something interesting about Blairgowrie” into your search engine, and you find out about the Meikleour Beech Hedge which was planted in 1746 and is officially recognised as the tallest hedge in the world. Wow.
It’s a Perthshire town best known for its soft fruit, which I guess qualifies it as the Histon of the North, except the local team has yet to beat L***s United (though there’s still time).
I presume all those greenhouses on the left side of the aerial view are the remains of the strawberry industry.
The journey down from Aviemore via lovely Dunkeld was uneventful, bar the occasional (old) boy racer.
We parked near the bus station, a lovely quiet (free) spot for the night, and from this short clip seem to have fallen into the bosom of an expectant town.
One other thing about the town; it has the Christmas decorations up ALL YEAR (Blairgowrie means “Christmas in June” in Gaelic). I quite like that, as every day IS Christmas.
A busy little town of 9,020, perhaps we expect too much of small Scottish towns. But I couldn’t help thinking that it was a bit plain compared to Cupar, my nearby post-CAMRA AGM stop 2 years ago.
BUT, it has a quiet charm, reflected in some proper old-fashioned shops.
Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit. I’ve already shown you how quiet the Spoons was the next morning, but it was doing good Sunday afternoon trade,
despite the shameful lack of Doom Bar.
They didn’t really have an Isle of Wight beer, of course, and I foolishly chose the homebrew from up the road, which was hard going and if I’d know the Deuchars was coming on I’d have waited. The Nobleman started a cool foamy 3, and ended a 2. Spoons routinely produced the most disappointing beer of the trip, a noble effort.
Mrs RM had wisely given up on cask in favour of Prosecco. She liked the lights (top), which reminded me of this classic from Duluth slow core merchants Low.
The tiling on the butchers reminded me of a famous album cover, too, but I’ve forgotten which one. Etu will know.