Tonight we imbibed at The Bothy. If you are a fan of this blog, you know that Michael and I gave it a test-drive back on December 24, 2009. Our love of this place has developed into something akin to a mother and a child.
Kevin is there, reliable, adorable and wonderful in the kitchen. He popped out for a few minutes to say hello and recognize us from our first visit. If you know me, this sort of thing makes me a fan forever. The food was extraordinary and fit our mood perfectly this evening. Andrew was there, charming and informative about the world of whisky (note the absence of an e).
What sort of mood you wonder? Well, at work, I had a satisfying but busy day with a few ups and a few downs, and at the end of the day I was wanting a glass of wine and chat and detox from the week. Likewise, my dear hubby was in the same sort of mood. So, rather than go out and buy a bottle of wine and sit on the couch at home and listen to the upstairs neighbours’ new stereo, we thought we would go somewhere we would be comfy, be fed and watered, and most importantly, be relaxed. The Bothy is the only place that came to mind.
We arrived early enough to secure a comfortable table, and avoid the “barrel”. The barrel is a place people are welcome to stand beside whilst they wait for a spot at the bar, or a table. Michael and I declared the people that had to stand there “Barrel People”. Unfortunately, they stood beside us, and knew we called them “Barrel People” and hope they had the fortitude to know we were joking (except for the poor fellow that was stuck at the barrel and holding everyone’s coats and purses – he was the recipient of extra ribbing from us, People of a Table – we felt quite smug and aloof with having the security of a proper grown-ups table).
Our evening started with a delicious bottle of Montes Alpha Syrah, from Chile. We then nibbled on a nibbly sort of tray of meats and cheeses and breads and pestos and pickled onions. This was, without a doubt, one of the finer luxury’s of this place. The food is reliably delicious and perfect and wonderful, you don’t even have to think about it (except to explain to your husband that it wasn’t a grape you just ate, but a pickled onion).
**I had to stop for a few minutes to laugh about this, because he was quite serious it was a grape**.
Dinner was, once again, amazingly delicious and consistent, with a bowl of tomato-bacon soup, followed by a steak and mushroom pie. For dessert, we called over Andrew and built upon our last visits’ test of the Auchentoshan 3 Wood. This time, Michael started with a 60% alcohol Speyside Aberlour Abunadh, which completely frizzled my nose hairs just sniffing the stuff. But amazingly, it was delicious, and very much akin to Andrew’s description of a “Man Hug”.
As the whisky worked it magic, Michael became Mr. Social and went up to the bar and ask about all the “top shelf” bottles Andrew was pulling down during the evening. So not only did Michael make friends at the bar, but was then introduced to a most delicious and wonderful Laphroaig D.R. 18 SNG clear scotch. Yes, it was transparent… clear… white… not your traditional scotchy colour. If you are an adventurous tea drinker and are familiar with Lapsang Suchong, this Laphroaig smells EXACTLY the same. Smokey. Smokey. Perhaps peaty. Seriously, Michael and I both came home this evening with the smell of peat in our clothes. It’s wonderful as it brings back old memories of grandfathers and mounted fish on wood paneled walls.