The Balmoral Bar – Ballater

While visiting the parents in Portlethen for the weekend we decided to take a little drive, since we were taking the S2k we weren’t really going to be stopping and walking anywhere, so we decided on a nice drive out to Ballater. Once there we fancied some simple pub grub and spotted the Balmoral Bar.


Once inside you could tell it was a mixture of a locals and tourists bar. At the end of the bar sat three locals chatting away with the owner who was serving drinks as his wife ran in and out of the kitchen looking after a mix of locals and tourists. To our right sat some Italians, across the room were some Spanish, and to our left were a couple of tables of Scottish folk. One gentleman left with his pool queue sticking out of his bag and his own whisky tasting glass freshly emptied, a regular if ever there was one.

The decor was quite freshly painted, wood slatted ceiling, light wood panelled bar and freshly painted walls. There were plenty of photos across the bar of local wildlife, and some stunning ones too, across the walls were paintings and photos of ruined castles and other typical Scottish views.

With no music, Sky news on a few TV’s playing not too loudly, it was a nice pub. The only downside being it was smoking…not long to go before that will be sorted though.

Balmoral Burger with chips

Stovies and Oatcakes

I had the Balmoral burger, which comprised of a huge hand made burger sitting atop two exceedingly healthy sized pieces of bacon, I knew I wasn’t in profit based Edinburgh anymore Toto. There was a lot of food in there and it was perfectly cooked too. On the side was a nice fresh salad, you know you usually get half hearted attempt at a slice of tomato and some limp lettuce, not here, this looked freshly cut and served from the Grocer. The chips were thick and chunky, slightly fatty, straight from the deep frier.

I couldn’t help but try the Stovies which were filled with chunks of beef amongst the corned beef, gorgeous, it even came with beetroot. If the burger hadn’t been so good I would have wished I’d chosen the Stovies.

Add to that the fact that it was only £5 for each of the meals and you’re talking a great bargain. I would say that there wasn’t a great choice on the menu, but then Ballater has the restaurants for the more upmarket palate, this is for good pub grub and it delivered that. I’d recommend this place for a nice lunch if you’re out that way.

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