Friday, April 13, 2012

Berwick Shellfish Depot

Oh my gracious we have been here three years now and we just found the best place for shellfish in the area. Its on the sea road in Tweedmouth outside Berwick and is in fact a commercial fishing depot right across the road from the Lifeboat service. One walks inside and there are ranges of sea water tanks full of fresh shellfish, crabs, lobsters, langoustines, cockles mussels etc. The men are in oilskins and its rough and ready but they will take your money. We got a huge plastic container of fresh lobster meat for 12 pounds, but they had lovely live lobsters for about 10-12 pounds a piece. Now we have several reasons to visit Berwick, best bread at Fords, good beach walks at Spittal and Scremerston, Shellfish in Tweedmouth and Morrisons.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

McChans - Fort Kinneard

Fort Kinneard is a large shopping complex to the South of Edinburgh, some good shops, very crowded. They have an outdoor Chinese eatery in a van staffed by all young Chinese, memories of outdoor food in SIngapore and Malaya. Forget it this brilliant idea is squashed by the very bad cooking. My wife and I ate their today and threw most of the food away. A very heavy hand with the vinegar and ketchup on what should have been Shezuan Chicken and beef made it inedible. A lot of people eat there but is it only once like us? We just can't work out why its such rubbish, Chinese is not that hard.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cycling on Railway in North Aberdeenshire

I don't seem to find much on web sites about this but there is a lovely old disused railway that rund along the whole North coast and looks ideal for cycling quietly, safely and on fairly level ground. I did find this reference ISLA WAY about a part of the track, but from my view its much longer. Our family may do this run in the summer vacation as the railway goes through some lovely scenery and unlike many railway walks is taken care of and looks tarmac'd.

April 10 2012 - Snow Falling

Woke up this am to heavy snow falling. At this point 9am it isn't settling but its quite thick.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Findlays Fish and Chips - Fraserburgh

Findlays is on the High Street and is a well kept clean little fish and chip with its own sit down section. The fish is fresh and lovely and the batter thin and crisp. The chips are good big and solid and well fried. Its a great little fish and chips.

1629 Restaurant, Lossiemouth

North Aberdeenshire is the home of good shellfish, but can you actually eat any? Not that we could find until we happended on this nice little restaurant in Lossiemouth. They do a kind of Tapas and they have fresh giant prawns. Other than this we struggled to taste the local fish.

The Tufted Duck Hotel St Combs

As you drive into the small viallage of St Combs about 10 minutes from Fraserburgh (turn right at Tesco), one sees this ugly flat square building in the distance and sure enough thats the hotel. Gets zero out of ten for looks for sure. It is set in a huge car park one side and a huge sweep of gravel the other. I spoke to the owner about the bleak exterior and was assured that plans were in the works for a major landscaping, including a place for wedding guests, but that the local planning authority instead of encouraging a local employer, was making it very difficult for them. When one invests a lot into something as obviously they have, it must be very upsetting not to be able to complete ones projects. From what I was told the plans include a health spa.

Having said all that its one of the friendliest and nicest hotels inside I have ever stayed in, and the staff and quality of the fittings and food make up for the bleak exterior. The rooms are large and the bathrooms spotless. The restaurant serves good solid fare, breakfast is a feast with black pudding, haggis, bacon, sausages, eggs, beans, tomato and fried bread...whew hard to get through and I am a trencherman. They also offer kippers, smoked haddock, porridge, lots of toast and the usual cereals and a bowl of fresh fruit.I am told they will even cook special requests with no problem such as chuckie eggs and fingers for little ones.

Dinner is a bit upmarket and quite expensive, fish and chips at 12 pounds but excellent fish and lovely chips so cannot complain. They do good steaks and a couple of specials each night although we felt they were not perfect, for example I had roast pork loin and it was obviously cooked and chilled sliced an reheated. But overall very good quality again, but expect to pay 60 to 80 pounds for 4 with a bottle of wine.

Aberdeenshire - The North Coast

Our family took a weeks holiday in North Aberdeenshire, staying at a small hotel in Fraserburgh called the Tufted Duck (see seperate review). We drove along both coasts, the one South to Aberdeen itself and the one West to Lossiemout and Elgin. Their is a nice well marked coastal road.

To the West it passes through Macduff ( abit downtrodden) and Banf (very nice, upmarket and pretty) then Portsoy (nice local pottery), Buckie and some small coves but all with no beaches to speak of until one come to Lossiemouth which is stunning. Lossiemouth has a large airbase but the town is lovely and very nice quality buildings and a super beach long and curving with soft sand.
Elgin was a great disappointment reminding us of Galashiels, not many shops and not very nice. We also visited the Dolphin Centre at Spay Head.

To the South there is not much happening except at Crudden Bay where there is a nice sandy beach accessed over a little bridge.