Where was I ?
Oh, telling you about the Great Scottish Ticking Trip, which came to a halt last Monday in Ben Lawers last Monday, leaving me stranded on nine (9) pubs to go to complete the lot. Will BRAPA get there before me at this rate ?
Easy to get to, but seemingly impossible to get into.
Loads of praise, but here’s a selection of the negative reviews of the Ben Lawers on Google reviews;
Lots of comments about weird opening times fails; sounds like a micro pub rather than a dining pub in the heart of tourist Highlands.
I’d phoned up a week before and asked the owner when they were open.
“We open from 4.30, but only if you’re dining. Drinkers only from 8pm“. Honest.
So Mrs RM booked a table for tea, despite us only just finishing fish pie at the Appleford. No way was I missing out on a tick for the sake of 1,542 unnecessary calories of stodge.
We arrived as mist and drizzle descended, and the picturesque setting was a bit lost on us.
But who need beauty when you have RULES.
At the gate we were instructed to ring the bell and wait in the rain for our host to let us in. Now I love getting soaked; Mrs RM, not so much. “Take a brolly !” you scream.
“some of the rules are seem strange to say the least probably never going back” says Peter on Google.
It was certainly old school. I must have committed 9 crimes at least, sitting at the wrong table, walking up to the bar, ordering the thing that wasn’t available.
But at least I wasn’t the one singing along to the adverts on Radio Tayside while it counted down the Songs of Summer Top 10. Mrs RM was horrified; I thought it was wonderful. “Staying Alive” at Number 5, “Boys of Summer” at 3…
We were first in at 18:30, joined by a couple of gentlefolk diners chinking glasses of Chauvignon Blanc.
Mrs RM had the sole cask, a good crisp Tempest (NBSS 3+), and a veggie curry that made me feel guilty about my burger.
The food was good value pub food, though when the landlord came to take our plates and noted aloud “you’ve swapped” I wondered for a second if that rule violation would incur an extra cost. It didn’t, and I reckoned I’d got good value, even when I lost a bet with Mrs RM that No.1 on the Tayside Sounds of Summer would be “Only Happy When It Rains” by the Jesus & Mary Chain (it was actually “Mr Blue Sky“).
Weird but kinda wonderful.
Oh yes, I really wanted to use this Number 9 track to please Mark C, so here it is anyway;