DRIZZLE OVER BALLATER – “Mustn’t grumble”

I know BRAPA has done a bit of Aberdeen, this a typically #PubMan comment in one of hisearly posts;

The barman was a friendly chap who really knew his stuff, offering me tasters but I said I believed in committing yourself to a beer so I went for a “Deaf Mermaid”, at 5.4% one of their weaker efforts! “.

When he eventually gets back he’ll find quite a few new entries, and the No. 201 bus just waiting to whisk him to five (5) ticks on the road to the Cairngorns. That’s the sort of haul a ticker dreams of.

Ballater has the closest Guide entries to Balmoral, so don’t be surprised to see Her Majesty necking a cheeky half of Trade Winds in the (non GBG) Balmoral Bar.

Tourists arrive by the coachload, disgorging gentlefolk into a stream of tea shops and tat shops no longer allowed to claim royal patronage.

It’s a pleasant little place, the church and former station the highlights, with a touch of Whalley or other edge-of-Bowland about it.

I spent AGES looking for the Glenaden, before realising the bar was called the Barrel. If this is Simon’s sixth pub of the day he’ll never work it out.

Glenaden/Barrels had a few Old Boys who’d clearly been in before the expected opening time of noon, which I applaud.

Lovely barman, Test cricket on the telly,

Windswept (long time, no see) and Abbot on the two (one is plenty) pumps.

The beer looks good, and was; cool and crisp and foamy (NBSS 3+).

In contrast, the function room looks a little spartan, and not in a Blyth way. Nice glitter ball, mind.

Two minutes towards the Dee you get a second decent tick in the Alexandra.

They like their Cairngorns here; the Trade Winds was crisp enough.

And they love conversation. No hard sell on the lunches, a cheery word for every customer, all of whom were keen to add “Mustn’t grumble” to a lengthy debate on the weather (intermittent drizzle). That might be the only conversation they have all day, you know.

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