I have just been on holiday for a couple of weeks… however my visit to Florida was more like a busman’s holiday! My mum and stepdad (who have had a place there for 10 years) decided to introduce us to all their favourite bars and restaurants. What a motley collection of great bars and restaurants they were! From beach front to pier front, dive bars to seafood.
I remember all the fuss we made about plastic glasses after 10pm… it’s the norm in Florida all day! You do get used to it! However getting salt to stick on a Margarita when it’s in plastic is no mean feat. What also struck me was the age group – they may be called snow birds… but there is no doubt about it the above 50’s know how to have a good time! I’ve come back to give my liver a rest! Maybe we are missing a trick!
Still on the subject of Florida, we went to a great brew pub, run by a woman, and called Motorworks. They didn’t just brew their own beer, but the bar also had a crazy putting area outside and a bean bag game, plenty of space for dogs, and a BBQ. It was huge. Like WEST but on steroids! It was also great to see Scottish beer Innis and Gunn on the menu.
Doggy beer has been going down a treat at some pubs including the DRAM’s award winning Ship Inn in Irvine, but now chef Albert Roux has gone one step further and created ‘dogs’ dinners, which will be served at some of the pet-friendly Scottish establishments where he has restaurants Chez Roux and Albert & Michel Roux Jnr. These include Cromlix House and the Roxburghe Hotel.
Four legged guests can now enjoy a selection of spinach and brown rice risotto, turkey and sweet potato stew and meatloaf with chicken jelly, salmon and mackerel.
Albert Roux, the driving force behind Le Gavroche said, “I designed a menu that would appeal to pet enthusiasts, like myself, which would be available alongside our much-loved restaurant menus.” Just as well as my two dogs can’t read!!
The Scottish Beer and Pub Association launched its manifesto last month (on April Fool’s Day) hope that is not indicative of its chances of succeeding, and asked Scottish politicians to show their support for the industry by creating the new role of Pubs Minister in the new Scottish Government. The SBPA believe that a Pubs Minister could help address the burden of business rates on the sector, support skills, and apprenticeships, drive innovation and investment, and help rural pubs. Let’s hope the government pays heed.
I got carried away last month while reporting on The Speratus Group. While owner Garreth Wood has put six pubs on the market, Edinburgh’s Copper Blossom is not for sale. Next month he will be filling us in on all his plans. Meanwhile the Group has already found a location for a new Boozy Cow in Stirling, and plans are well underway for a new outlet in Dundee too. While in Aberdeen the Boozy Cow is moving from its current location in the city’s Netherkirkgate into the Group’s Amicus Apple bar and restaurant, which is significantly larger, in early May.
And finally, I enjoyed a lovely evening of gin and food at the recent Gordon Castle dinner at Hutcheson’s in Glasgow. Hosted by Estate owners, Angus and Zara Gordon Lennox, the evening included a five-course tasting menu, tailored exclusively for the evening using produce inspired by the Estates famous Walled Garden with each course be paired with a Gordon Castle gin cocktail and its cider. It was a great idea, and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely. I have to say thou’ I am of the old school. I still prefer to eat my food rather than photograph it. But judging by the number of phones that were out I am very much in the minority.