I can’t believe I forgot the Blue Lamp when I told you I had three (3) new GBG ticks in Aberdeen.

Four (4) new (to me, anyway) Guide entries in an evening are riches indeed, only pipped by Kirkwall; I may yet do that ferry to Kirkwall (see the map) one way or the other.

Aberdeen has a wealth of treasures, from the great beaches at the Footdee and urinal cakes at Krakatoa to the majesty of the Marischal College.

The well-travelled landlady at the Holburn B & B (£33 tonight) has some great local pictures on the dining room walls, but oddly the Blue Lamp is absent.

I mean, even the 1990 GBG sticker alone makes it worth a visit.

It’s primarily a music venue, a warren of rooms, largely unlit.

When I find the bar, I can’t see any pumps, but before I’ve even finished saying “Got any cask, just a half of any…” the cheery barman has nipped upstairs to the lounge (below) where the sacred real ale is hidden.

It’s Orkney Northern Lights” he tells me, and I’m inclined to agree with him. One thing Scottish pubs have in common with those in Northern Ireland is a determination to hide or underpromote their real ale so only the most adventurous casketeers can drink it.

The beer was OK, but it’s worth coming here on non-music nights and paying your couple of quid just to soak up the atmosphere of “Pub“.

Half a dozen lads talking guff, net curtains, red velvet bench seating round the walls, the Black Velvet band on the jukebox.

Actually, most of the music was trad Irish, interrupted only by “Down Under“.

To my left, the side room lay in complete darkness;

until the lights unexpectedly came on at 20:20, revealing this treasure;

I wandered back to the B & B, ignoring the claims of BrewDogs and Grills and Spoons, focused only on the quirky Eagle May.

Neither the best or the worst Singapore Rice and Crispy Beef of the year, but May (or Eagle) was a cheery chap, and I didn’t make a mess in the room.

Which is something to be proud of, I guess.


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