Mark (mhaithaca) wrote in scotlandtravel,

4/8: Huntly Hotel

Our casual itinerary had us driving to the town of Keith to find someplace to spend the night, but a road detour landed us in Huntly as dinnertime approached. We parked in the town square, and wandered over to the tourist center on one side. It was closed, but had a sheet in the window that listed several B&Bs in the (tiny) town, including the Huntly Hotel, with all of ten rooms.

The hotel was right on the square, a few yards from where our car was, so we figured it was worth peeking in. They had a reasonable B&B room rate, had a dining room in which they'd just started serving dinner, and seemed very friendly, so we took it! The Huntly Hotel turned out to be the absolute gem of the whole week!

Our dinner was fantastic, and Sandy, the hotel's owner, was sharing the serving duties and, meantime, spending a lot of time chatting with us and with the handful of others in the dining room. (That included locals.) He chided us for not getting two different entrees, so we could try each other's dinners and thus get more variety, but he didn't blame us for both wanting the steak pie. It was fantastic; we were not disappointed.

Sandy served in the Royal Air Force for 23 years before moving to Huntly and buying the hotel, so among other things we chatted about the war to liberate Iraq. He'd served in the Gulf War in '91, and felt very strongly that disposing of Saddam was the right thing to do, period.

After dinner, since we'd been talking about whisky, Sandy opened the bar, which he normally only has open on weekends. We bought a couple of drinks, and he treated us to tastes of a couple of things. He also urged us to walk down to the Huntly Castle (a ten minute walk away) before it was too dark; it was nearly dark by the time we got there. Also on his recommendation, we went to a nearby store with a good whisky selection.

Not only was the room comfortable, it even had its "en suite" bathroom split in two. One had a toilet and sink, and the other had a shower/tub and another sink. This made our morning much easier.

Breakfast was the now-familiar "full Scottish breakfast," and a fine example of it. It took a little while to prepare, probably because another group had apparently arrived shortly before us, but there was cereal out that we could have while we waited. I had some Weetabix.

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